Accessibility statement

Dr Sally Hancock



BA (Durham), MSc (London School of Economics), PhD (Imperial College London)

I am a senior lecturer in Education specialising in higher education research. I am particularly interested in access to and outcomes from postgraduate education, including the PhD. I have published on doctoral students’ aspirations, experiences and identities; career aims and decision-making; transferable skills training; and doctoral policy. My most recent work is focused on PhD employment in and out of the academy, including PhD holders’ sustained engagement in research. My work on these issues has featured in Nature, the Times Higher Education, and informed guidance on research supervision at a number of UK universities and through the UK Council for Graduate Education.

I joined the department in 2014 as a Research Associate, before beginning a lectureship in 2015. I previously held research appointments at the University of Edinburgh and Imperial College London; and have conducted research for a think-tank (Demos), an independent social research institute (NatCen), and on behalf of the UK government.

I teach on a number of undergraduate and postgraduate modules relating to the sociology of education, education policy, higher education, and research methods; and supervise undergraduate and postgraduate students. Currently I am programme leader for the BA in Education, the MA in Social Justice and Education, and the PhD in Education by distance learning.


Available PhD research projects

View all of our current available PhD research projects.

External activities


I am a member of the Society for Research into Higher Education, the British Sociological Association, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

I peer-review for a number of journals including Higher Education and Studies in Higher Education.

In 2019, I was invited to join the Global Higher Education & Research steering group of the Worldwide Universities Network.

Contact details

Department of Education
University of York
YO10 5DD

Tel: +44 (0)1904 323939