Dr Laura Bentley

Dr Laura Bentley

Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology
Research Fellow in Social Policy

Laura Bentley is a Research Fellow in the Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology. She joined the department in 2019 after submitting her PhD thesis which examined the transitions of working-class women out of higher education. Laura currently works on a research project which seeks to understand the levels of social need in Sutton Coldfield and identify how provision and policy can best fulfil these needs.

 In all her work, Laura seeks to examine and demonstrate how inequalities are established and reproduced through policies and practices in education, employment and wider societal structures, and works to eradicate these.

Qualifications

  • PhD in Sociology (2020)
  • BA (Hons) in English and Education (2014)

Biography

After completing her undergraduate degree, Laura began her PhD and started working as a Research Assistant on the Paired Peers Project. This was a six-year longitudinal mixed methods study which examined the young people's experiences of navigating and graduating from higher education in the UK.

Laura also worked as a Research Assistant on a project called “understanding feedback: staff and student perspectives on the use of undergraduate feedback”, which was based at Sheffield Hallam University.

While studying for her PhD, Laura also worked as a Lecturer on the University of Huddersfield's Early Years Education degree (based at University Campus Barnsley). At this time, she was invited to be a Visiting Lecturer in the Sheffield Institute of Education at Sheffield Hallam University.

Doctoral research

PhD title
Title: Jackie Goes Home. Working-class women: Higher education, employment and social (re)alignment Department of Education, University of the West of England. Supervised by Professor Harriet Bradley and Dr Richard Waller and examined by Professor Diane Reay and Dr Helen Bovill.

Research

  • Research Fellow for the project “Revisiting the Needs of Sutton Coldfield” which is based at the University of Birmingham and funded by Sutton Coldfield Charitable Trust (2019-2021).
  • Research Assistant for the second phase of the “Paired Peers” research project. This project was based at the University of the West of England and funded by the Leverhulme Trust (2014-2018).
  • Research Assistant for the project “Understanding Feedback: Staff and student perspectives on the use of undergraduate feedback”. This was based at Sheffield Hallam University and funded by the Sheffield Institute of Education (2016).  
  • Postgraduate Researcher conducting PhD research titled “Jackie Goes Home. Working-class women: Higher education, employment and social (re)alignment”. Throughout her postgraduate research, Laura was based at the University of the West of England and funded by the Leverhulme Trust (2014-2017).

Other activities

  • Member of the British Sociological Association
  • Member of the Society for Research into Higher Education

Publications

Forthcoming: Bentley, L., and Papafilippou, V. (2020) ‘Engineering capital’, gender and graduate employment: the case of Jennifer and Marcus. In: Ingram, N., Abrahams, J., Bathmaker, A.M., Bentley, L., Bradley, H., Hoare, T., Papafilippou, V., and Waller, R. (2020) Moving on up? Mobility Narratives of the Degree Generation. Bristol: Bristol University Press.

 Bentley, L. (2020) Jackie Goes Home. Working-class women: Higher education, employment and social (re)alignment. PhD thesis, UWE. 

Bentley, L. (2018) A Working-Class Feminist’s Perspective of Navigating the ‘Classed’ Higher Education System. Bristol Inter-disciplinary Group for Education Research, [online]. 14th June. 

Bradley, H., Abrahams, J., Bathmaker, A-M., Bentley, L., Hoare, T., Ingram, N., Papafilippou, V., and Waller, R. (2017) Paired Peers: Moving on Up? Year Three Project Report. Social Class and Graduate Trajectories Report. Bristol: the Leverhulme Trust. 

 Papafilippou, V., and Bentley, L. (2017) Gendered transitions, career identities and possible selves: The case of engineering graduates. Journal of Education and Work, 30 (8), pp. 827-839.

 Bentley, L. (2017) The (Habitus) War Is Over… If You Want It? The Sociological Review, [online]. 7th December. 

 Papafilippou, V., and Bentley, L., (2016) Exploring the ‘possible selves’ available to male and female engineering graduates. Report. Bristol: Centre of Employment Studies Research Review. 

View all publications in research portal