Accessibility statement

Research topic areas where proposals from PhD applicants are particularly welcome

Members of staff would particularly welcome applications to study for a PhD in one of their areas of research interest, as listed below, although we are also happy to consider applications to undertake research for a PhD in other areas.

Member of staff

Research interests relevant to PhD supervision

Dr Jeremy Airey

Teaching and learning in science (particularly biology and psychology); continuing professional development for school science educators; informal science learning.​

Dr Kathryn Asbury

Home and school influences on academic achievement or wellbeing; educational research using genetically sensitive designs; choosing extra-curricular activities; choosing careers and planning the future.

Dr Clementine Beauvais

Childhood studies; children's literature; philosophy of education; theoretical approaches to childhood and education; childhood and education in culture and literature.

Professor Judith Bennett

Science education; attitudes, engagement and participation in science; widening participation in science, including gender issues in science education, evaluation of educational interventions; systematic research reviews.

Dr Cylcia Bolibaugh

Processing and acquisition of formulaic language; usage-based approaches to second language acquisition; corpus-based research and experimental investigations of frequency effects; individual differences in implicit and explicit language learning.

Dr Claudine Bowyer-Crane

Reading and language development and disorders; the processes underlying reading comprehension; new vocabulary learning and methods of vocabulary instruction; the interplay between oral language and reading development; learning needs of children with English as an Additional Language; effective interventions for children with reading and language difficulties.

Dr Eleanor Brown

Development education, global citizenship, transformative learning, critical pedagogies, critical reflection and dialogue.

Dr Andrzej Cirocki

Teaching and learning English as a foreign language; developing learner autonomy, TESOL materials development and reflective teaching.

Professor Ian Davies

Citizenship education; history education; global education; social studies education.

Dr Lynda Dunlop

Science education (primary and secondary), particularly teaching and learning relating to the nature of science and socio-scientific issues; science teacher education; and philosophy for children.

Dr Khaled El Ebyary 

 The pedagogical applications and impact of emerging technologies; language assessment including automated writing evaluation and computer-based feedback; Web 2.0 technologies in the classroom; test washback; language learners and teachers; computer-mediated communication.  

Dr Sally Hancock

Higher education research; education policy; political economy of education; sociology of education; widening participation and social mobility.

Dr Zoe Handley

Second language speech learning, including oral fluency development and pronunciation;  new technologies in language learning and teaching, and in particular studies grounded in second language acquisition theory research; and, (computer-mediated) task-based language learning.

Dr Jan Hardman

Classroom interaction; dialogic teaching; language curriculum-based research.

Dr John Issitt

Historical and cultural formation and learning – especially learning that crosses cultural barriers. Epistemological, religious and political assumptions used in learning. Relations of power, critical pedagogy, themes of emancipation, the development of learning programmes and the micro-politics of learning communities; the public intellectual and the evolution of higher education.

Professor Robert Klassen

Teacher-student interactions; measuring teacher effectiveness; student and teacher motivation and emotions; cross-cultural perspectives on education and psychology; motivation and emotions of students with special education needs.    

Dr Kerry Knox

Teaching and learning of science at the undergraduate level; development of expertise in experimental chemistry; interdisciplinary training.

Dr Irena Kuzborska

Teacher cognition in language teaching; teaching second language reading; English for specific purposes; materials evaluation and design for language learning.

Dr Ursula Lanvers

Psychological aspects of second language learning, in particular motivation and learner perceptions; language education policy; global Englishes and language learning.

Dr Hugues Lortie Forgues

Students’ and teachers’ understanding of primary- and secondary-level mathematics (eg, arithmetic, fraction, decimal, algebra); developmental aspects of mathematical understanding.

Professor Emma Marsden

Foreign and second language teaching and learning; Evaluation of foreign and second language practice and policy (particularly with comparative/experimental designs); Second language acquisition; Learning theories; Attention and memory in language learning.

Dr Nadia Mifka-Profozic

Corrective feedback (oral and written); classroom interaction in language teaching; task-based language teaching; individual differences in language learning (focus on cognitive factors: aptitude, analytic ability, working memory); discourse analysis; writing instruction.

Dr Poppy Nash

Psychological aspects of education eg school-based interventions, effective behaviour management in schools, coping with disadvantage, emotional barriers to learning.

Dr Amanda Naylor

Teaching poetry, particularly pre-twentieth century poetry; teaching and learning English in UK schools; initial teacher education in English; post-16 English pedagogy.  

Dr Sarah Olive

Teaching early modern drama (especially Shakespeare); English (subject) education policy; theatre and heritage education departments; representations of literature and reading in popular culture.

Dr Elpis Pavilidou

Development and individual differences of implicit/statistical learning; neurobiology of reading across languages; neurocognitive bases of developmental dyslexia; diagnostic procedures in developmental dyslexia; behavioural and neuroimaging (namely fMRI and EEG) methods. 

Professor Leah Roberts

Psychological aspects of language learning; grammatical acquisition; lexical acquisition; second language sentence processing.

Dr Paul Roberts

English as an international language; internationalisation of the curriculum; English Language Teaching in China.

Dr Bill Soden

English Language Teaching: methodology, testing/assessment and English for Academic Purposes; assessment and feedback in higher education.

Professor Vanita Sundaram

'Lad culture' and 'laddism' in compulsory and higher education; inclusion; gender-based violence and adolescents; gender and sexuality; sociology of education; sex education.

Dr Louise Tracey

Early childhood education and settings; early literacy and phonics; programme evaluations and implementation fidelity; relationships between research and practice; teacher education, continuing professional development, and teacher retention; relationship between early health and educational outcomes.

Dr Danijela Trenkic

Second language processing; second language grammar learning; learning of new vocabulary and methods for vocabulary instruction; learning needs of university students with English as a foreign language; developing listening in a second language (speech segmentation); bilingual cognition; definiteness and reference resolution.

Dr Norbert Vanek

Temporal and spatial reference across languages and learner varieties; conceptual restructuring in highly advanced second language learners; cross-linguistic influence in L2 acquisition; bilingual and multilingual code-switching.

Professor Paul Wakeling

Educational inequalities, especially access to higher education; sociology of education; higher education policy; postgraduate students; educational expansion; social stratification and social mobility.