Perhaps the most important step in the formulation of your research project is to identify a member of academic staff with appropriate expertise to supervise your area of interest. Your supervisor will act as the main source of academic supervisory support and research mentoring during your time as a doctoral researcher at the University and as such, it is vital that you ensure that the department to which you are applying is able to offer appropriate supervisory support in your relevant research area. Before submitting your application to the University you will need to identify potential supervisors in your desired field of research and contact them directly about your research proposal.
Whilst we accept applications covering all aspects of educational research, we particularly welcome applications for our current priority areas. Applicants are encouraged to view the research activity within each department in the school as well as on the individual staff profiles.
Individual staff research interests
Dr Sarah Aiston
Gender and education, more specifically women in higher education, both as staff and students and from a
historical and contemporary perspective.
Professor Julie Allan
Disability and children’s rights, educational theory.
Professor James Arthur
Citizenship education and civic engagement; the relationship between theory and practice in education; communitarianism; social virtues; citizenship and religion in education.
Dr Bene Bassetti
Bilingualism and language learning: Bilingual cognition (especially language and thought in L2 learners and bilinguals) and Second language writing systems (reading/spelling a second language; effects of orthography on L2 phonology). Dr Bassetti particularly welcomes proposals that: involve Chinese, as a first or second language; involve experimental research or could be cosupervised with colleagues in Psychology or English.
Professor Ann-Marie Bathmaker
Sociology of education, Vocational education, Knowledge in vocational education, Post-compulsory education, New forms of higher education/widening participation, Teacher professional identities in post-compulsory education, Further education, particularly teachers’ and students’ experience of teaching and learning, Social justice and social inequalities, Qualitative methods.
Professor Kalwant Bhopal
Race, racism, gender, class, intersectionality, educational inequalities, schools and higher education, qualitative research, case study research, ethnography, Gypsy and Traveller groups, social justice, equity.
Dr Joanne Cliffe
Secondary school leadership; intelligences (particularly emotional intelligence); emotions; life history; gender; pedagogy; learning and teaching in Physical Education; assessment in Physical Education.
Dr Adam Cooke
Modern foreign language teaching methodology; Second language acquisition; Macro and micro educational policy; Teacher beliefs.
Dr Ian Davison
Learning and teaching science in secondary schools. Pedagogy, particularly related to learning study and conceptual change. Education of doctors and other health professionals.
Dr Laura Day Ashley
Non-state education, Education in India, The history of schooling, Cross-cultural education, Alternatives to education and progressive education, Qualitative approaches, Ethnography, Case Studies, Anthropological approaches, education and marketisation / privatisation / the private sector; NGOs and education (especially developing countries).
Dr Laura D'Olimpio
Moral education; Moral philosophy and applied ethics; Aesthetics; particularly aesthetics and ethics; Philosophy in schools; Media, mass art, technology and digital literacy; Philosophy of film and literature; Virtue ethics and character education; Public philosophy.
Professor Graeme Douglas
Visual impairment; Educational outcomes and SEN; Transitions from school; Curriculum balance; WHO ICF model of disability; The views of disabled people; Technology and SEN / disability.
Dr Reza Gholami
Impact of transnationality and diversity on education practice and policy; Citizenship education, subjectivity and social change in the contemporary/future world; Educational responses to extremism and counterextremism.
Professor David Gillborn
Race and racism in education, Critical race theory and multicultural education, Education policy and inequalities of achievement/inclusion Exclusions from school, Race/class/disability intersections, Qualitative methods.
Dr Celia Greenway
Early Years workforce reform; Early Years practitioners professional identity; Gender issues connected to the recruitment of males into Early Years; Leadership and Management within the nursery sector; Creative Curriculum with reference to young children’s social and emotional development; Outdoor learning and Forest schools.
Professor Ian Grosvenor
Dr Celia Greenway www.Birmingham.ac.uk/celia-greenway History of schooling 19-20C; Birmingham educational history; school design and material cultures of schooling; cultural diversity and race equality; anti-racist and refugee education; black history; museum and heritage education; the teaching of history.
Dr Karen Guldberg
Technology Enhanced Learning for children with autism; social learning theory and inter subjectivity theory; Evidence Based Practice in Education; participatory methodologies
Mr Neil Hall
Assessment and intervention in child and adolescent mental health; understanding how family mental health and trauma affects children’s learning and well-being, behaviour and development; teachers’ models of child and adolescent mental health.
Dr Sarah Hall
Holocaust education within the RE/RS classroom and wider issues of tolerance education; Teaching and Learning strategies and their impact upon differentiation and stretch and challenge; RE and art; Growth mindset.
Professor Michael Hand
Philosophy of education; moral education; religious education; political education; teaching controversial issues; philosophy in schools.
Dr Tom Harrison
Character, virtue, citizenship, cyber-phronesis, youth social action.
Dr Liz Hodges
Education of children with deafblindness; education of adult learners with deafblindness.
Dr Julie Howe
Professional practice in educational psychology services; social constructionism with a particular interest in gender; anti-oppressive practice in educational psychology; the educational implications of acquired brain injury.
Dr Dina Kiwan
Citizenship, civil society, activism, conflict, human rights, ethnic and religious diversity, disability, gender, sexuality, migration, refugees, intersectionality.
Dr Lila Kossyvaki
The impact of adult style on the communication of young children with autism; Autism and severe learning difficulties; Video Interaction Guidance (VIG); Technology enhanced learning environments for individuals with autism; Play skills; Staff and parents' training; Cultural differences and autism.
Dr Ben Kotzee
Philosophy of education; virtue theory; ethics in education; professional education.
Professor Kristján Kristjánsson
Moral education, virtue ethics, well-being, educational values, teacher/student emotions and self-concepts.
Dr Paul Lynch
Ethnography and participatory research approaches; Education of children who are blind and have low vision; Inclusive education and disability in developing countries; Curriculum development for children with visual impairment; Assistive Technology; Braille literacy; Education of children with albinism in Africa.
Dr Andrea MacLeod
Adults with autism spectrum conditions; models of support; self-advocacy; higher education students with autism; participatory methodologies.
Dr Eleni Mariou
Multilingualism in educational and social contexts; Language ideology and discourse; Cultural and political implications of English as an International Language; Language education.
Professor Jane Martin
Biography, history and education, Comprehensive education, Gender and education, Education and politics, Education and social movements, Identities and social action, Teacher unions.
Dr Ian McGimpsey
Professor Mike McLinden
Identification and reduction of potential barriers to learning and participation for children with complex needs; early literacy/communication for children with complex needs; role of senses in teaching and learning for children with complex needs; inclusion of children with complex needs; professional learning and pedagogy (including new teaching and learning technologies); enquiry/problem based learning in higher education.
Ms Sue Morris
Child and adolescent development and learning; child and adolescent mental health, with a particular focus on promotion of psychological well-being and prevention of distress; organisational development and learning; psychologically–oriented study domains.
Dr Kevin Myers
History of education; history and heritage; social history of childhood and youth.
Dr Jawiria Naseem
Dynamics of Higher Education and the labour market in France and Britain; Socio-economic inequalities among (female) graduates; Citizenship and belonging among second generation and Muslim minority ethnic groups.
Dr Despina Papoudi
Communication and play in typical and atypical development; Psycho-educational interventions with a particular focus on communication and play; Teachers’ beliefs and practices regarding autism and inclusive education; Preschool teachers’ beliefs and practices regarding play and literacy; Parents’ beliefs and participation in children’s play; Human intersubjectivity and cultural learning and applications in typical and atypical development, education and therapy.
Dr Maria Reraki
Language, literacy and dyslexia; dyslexia and language learning; inclusion for pupils with dyslexia in monolingual and bi/multilingual education; dyslexia and English Language Teaching (ELT); Educational development and inclusive education in language settings; (language) teachers' attitudes to inclusion.
Dr Siân Roberts
Twentieth century educational interventions with children and refugees in contexts of war or displacement; pedagogic contributions by refugee educationalists who arrived in the UK , 1914-1950; transnational interventions by British Quaker women in education, social justice and humanitarian aid, 1914-1950; visual representations of children by humanitarian and political activists; the history of educational broadcasting.
Dr Matt Schuelka
Inclusive Education; Cultural Construction of Disability Anthropology of Education; Education Policy; International Comparative Education; Education in Asia.
Dr Nicola Smith
Children and families with EAL; children as researchers and parental involvement in early years education.
Dr Anita Soni
Early years; Children's Centres; personal social and emotional development in young children; key person approach; supervision and group supervision.
Dr Toni Stolberg
Science education, Sustainable development education, Science and the creative arts, The teaching of and learning about controversial issues Religion and science, The impact of faith on teaching and learning, Cultural influences on education, Pedagogy, Values and education, Philosophy of education, Phenomenological education.
Dr Wendy Symes
Psychological predictors of achievement, such as motivation, interest, self-concept and anxiety.
Dr Emmanouela Terlektsi
Education of deaf and hearing impaired children , Literacy skills of deaf children and young people, socioemotional development of deaf children and young people.
Professor Gary Thomas
Inclusive education; learning difficulties in schools; the work of additional personnel in schools; research methodology in education with a particular focus on the epistemology of special education.
Dr Tracey Whatmore
Professional development, partnership, international and comparative education, early childhood education, policy studies.
Dr Kirsty Wilson
Mathematics education; algebraic thinking; pedagogy and teachers' practices, including use of technology; primary and early years mathematics; primary teacher education.
Professor Deborah Youdell
Sociology of Education, Pedagogy, institutional processes and education policy, Identity and race, Professor Deborah www.birmingham.ac.uk/deborah-youdell ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, social class, ability and disability, Post-structural thinking, Politics and critical/political practice.