Supervisor Directory

The School of Education offers PhD supervision across a range of integrated research themes.

We have a number of full and part-time postgraduate research students currently being supervised by our academic staff across a wide range of subject-specific research areas.

Here you will find a full list of our current Postgraduate Research Supervisors.

Dr Jeff Buckles

My current research interests are around democracy, agency and education, and developing an ecological education that meets the challenges of the 21st Century.

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Professor Matthew Clarke

My research interests are wide-ranging but are connected by an engagement with theory – including social, political, psychoanalytic, literary and film theory – in order to analyze, unsettle and critique dominant policy agendas in education and teacher education. Recent publications include Teacher education and the political: The power of negative thinking (Routledge, 2017, co-authored with Anne M. Phelan) and Lacan and education policy: The other side of education (2019, Bloomsbury). I am interested in supervising doctoral students who wish to conduct critical studies of politics and policy in education or who are interested in exploring ways in which the democratic potential of education might be enhanced.

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Professor Dean Garratt

My research interests are broad and eclectic, hovering between the educational and social, and spanning a diverse range of sociological themes, philosophical perspectives and methodologies with a firm commitment to social justice. These embrace the sociological critique of citizenship education - (relating to notions of democracy, monarchy, identity, cosmopolitan and global conceptions of citizenship theory, sport and ‘race’ and ethnicity) and critical analysis of education policy-making. I am additionally interested in the sociology and politics of sport and sports coaching. This range is coupled with a long-standing interest in qualitative research methodologies and their underpinning philosophies, especially those of phenomenology and philosophical hermeneutics, post-structuralism and, more recently, Lacanian psychoanalytic theory. I would welcome expressions of interest that overlap with any of these areas of social and educational inquiry.

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Dr Tony Leach

My ongoing research is in two areas of interest, and I would welcome expressions of interest from post-graduate researchers wishing to work in either of these broad areas of study:

  • Building Research-Engaged Schools:
    Working with schools, I am particularly interested in listening to the voices of staff and pupils: to discover how and to what ends they engage in, and with, research. I want to understand more about how their engagement with research is influencing their ethos, their principles and their practice. I also want to explore the everyday realities and outcomes for the school and its members, when teams of teachers, and teachers and students, engage in collaborative research.
  • Graduate Career Trajectories:
    This project is an ongoing study to obtain rich case study accounts of the way graduates perceive and enact their careers; how their careers are evolving in today’s complex work environment; and how building their careers involve crossing physical, cultural and psychological boundaries, including the psychological reorientation of how they perceive their career unfolding.

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Associate Professor Caroline Leeson

I am currently looking at looking at the complexity of the interaction between police and welfare services when a child goes missing from home. I am also engaged in a longitudinal study of the benefits of a drug rehabilitation program for women and their children.

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Dr Paul McGivern

I would welcome PG researchers wishing to work on any of the following broad areas: The use of new technologies in education, cyber-psychology, the psychology of risk and I would be happy to discuss your ideas prior to application.

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Dr Helen Rowe

I would welcome PG researchers wishing to work on any of the following broad areas; early years practice, early metacognition and development of reflection. My main research interests include Early Years practice and child development as well as supporting mature and non-traditional learners and I would be happy to discuss your ideas prior to application'

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Dr Catherine Samiei

My current research interests are critical thinking, teaching creativity and creative writing and academic literacies.

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Dr Johnathan Vincent

My research lies, broadly, in the field of autism and education.

Primarily, I am interested in higher education experiences and transitions for emerging adults on the autism spectrum, particularly the transition from university to employment. Where possible, my research takes a participatory approach and I lead PRO Autism, a multi-stakeholder group comprised of autistic and non-autistic people, which seeks to learn more about industry perspectives regarding employing autistic people.

Alongside this, I am interested in trainee teachers’ knowledge of autism and how this impacts on inclusive practice in schools and classrooms.

I would be interested in supervising doctoral / MRes students in theses relating to autism and education, higher education transitions among disabled populations, employment and autism, and inclusive research.

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Dr Joan Walton

I am interested in working with students who are researching an aspect of their professional and / or political practice, particularly if they are wishing to include an exploration of their own role in creating change.  So, I would welcome postgraduate researchers planning to use action research, autoethnography, or narrative inquiry as their main methodology. 

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Dr Margaret Wood

I am an experienced PhD supervisor and I also act as External Examiner for PhD and EdD candidates at other universities. My research and publications critique the centralising tendencies of much current education policy and its relation to community and democracy at the local level. This theme is explored, for instance, in my work in relation to the discourse of ‘teaching excellence’ in higher education policy and implications for leaders and academic practitioners in universities, as well as my work on the dismantling of local democratic structures of governance and the impact on local democracy and teacher autonomy in the school sector. The theme of student voice and agency has also been prominent in my research and publications and I would welcome PG researchers wishing to work in any of these broad areas of study.

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