Following experience as a head of department in a secondary school, Peter joined the School of Education at the University of Manchester where he worked primarily in initial teacher education and continuing professional development. Joining the Department of Economics at Staffordshire University in 1994 he established and led the Institute for Education Policy Research. He moved to the University of Birmingham in 2010.
Peter is Deputy Head of School and Director of Research.
Ph.D. University of Manchester
M.A. (Econ) University of Manchester
PGCE University of Manchester
B.A. (Econ. 1, G.L.S. Shackle prize) University of Liverpool
Participation and access in higher education: the role of policy, information and schooling. Subject choice in secondary and higher education. The development of conceptual understanding in social sciences: applications of threshold concepts, alternative frameworks and Variation Theory.
Peter currently supervises a number of postgraduate research students. View some of their profiles below.
For more information on research degrees, please visit the Postgraduate Research pages.
Theory and empirical evidence in relation to:
Multidisciplinary analysis of participation, choice and engagement in secondary and higher education.
Private and public finance of education.
Conceptual change with particular reference to understanding in economics.
Relationships between different theoretical perspectives on conceptual change, particularly Variation Theory and Threshold Concepts.
Development of teachers’ thinking and practice through ‘Learning Study’.
2011-2013 Labour market expectations, relative performance and subject choice, The Nuffield Foundation, £142,200.
2004-2007 ‘Developing first year economics undergraduates’ understanding of threshold concepts’ (leading consortium including Universities of Durham, Coventry and West of England), HEFCE £249,780.
2006-2007 ‘Knowing where to study? Fess, bursaries and fair access, The Sutton Trust, £28,500.
2007-2008 Continuing Professional Development to Support Subject Networks of Teachers in Secondary Schools, Teacher Development Agency, £40,000.
2007-2009 Research Informed Teaching: The impact of enquiry modules in undergraduate programmes, Staffordshire University, £105,000
2008-2009 Evaluation of Flexible Degree Routes, Higher Education Funding Council for England, £60,000.
2009-2010 Private School Bursaries, The Sutton Trust, £15,700.
2009-2010 Information Needs of Undergraduate Students (with Oakleigh Consulting), Higher Education Funding Council for England, £130,070
Knowledge exchange and impact
Research on student finance was featured in the lead article of the Guardian on 14th February 2008 and was subsequently widely cited, including the report on social mobility from Alan Milburn for the Cabinet Office.
Research on Flexible Degrees indicated the cost effectiveness of Fast-Track degrees which were subsequently identified by the Secretary of State as a promising area for development in Higher Education (December 2009).
Research in 2010 identified students’ information preferences when choosing where to study in higher education. These priorities were reflected in the policy manifesto published by the new coalition government in May 2010.
Joint Editor, International Review of Economics Education
Gambrinus Fellow, Technical University of Dortmund, Germany. (2010-11).
Affiliated Professor: Stockholm University, Sweden.
Visiting Professor: Staffordshire University, UK.
Davies, P. and Lundholm, C. (2012). Students' understanding of socio-economic phenomena: conceptions about the free provision of goods and services. Journal of Economic Psychology, 33, 1, pp. 79-89. DOI:10.1016/j.joep.2011.08.003
Davies, P., Slack. K. and Howard, C. (2012). Variation in the length of an undergraduate degree: participation and outcomes, Studies in Higher Education, 37, 4, pp. 431-447. DOI: 10.1080/03075079.2010.520698
Davies, K. and Davies, P. (2012). Tensions in Commissioning: services for children’s speech, language and communication needs in one English Region, Journal of Health Service Research and Policy, 17, 2, pp. 37-44. DOI:10.1258/jhsrp.2012.011121
Davies, P., Mangan, J., Hughes, A. and Slack, K. (2012) Labour market motivation and students’ choice of degree subject. British Educational Research Journal. iFirst DOI: 10.1080/01411926.2011.646239
Davies, P. (2012). Threshold Concepts in Economics. In. G. Hoyt and KM. McGoldrick, Eds. The International Handbook on Teaching and Learning Economics pp. 250-256.. Aldershot: Edward Elgar Press.
Davies, P. (2012). Can governments improve Higher Education through ‘informing choice’?, British Journal of Educational Studies 60, 3, pp. 261-276. DOI: 10.1080/00071005.2012.715626
Howard, C. and Davies, P. (2012). Attracting Mature Students into Higher Education: The Impact of Approaches to Learning and Social Identity Journal of Further and Higher Education.ifirst. DOI: 10.1080/0309877X.2012.684038
Davies, P. (2011) Private Schools and Public Benefit: Fees, Fee Remissions and Subsidies, Journal of School Choice, 5, 4, pp. 397-413. DOI: 10.1080/15582159.2011.624923
Davies, P. (2011) Students’ conceptions of price, value and opportunity cost: some implications for future research, Citizenship, Social and Economic Education, 10, 2-3, pp. 101-110. DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2011.08.003
Davies P, Slack K, Howard CR. (2011) Variation in the length of an undergraduate degree: participation and outcomes, Studies in Higher Education, 1-17. ISSN: 0307-5079. DOI: 10.1080/03075079.2010.520698
Full publication list for Professor Peter Davies (PDF, opens new window)