Skip to main content

Education, Work and Social Change Research Group

We research how education affects the broader structures of power that maintain (and/or transform) unequal life chances in contemporary societies.

What is the Education, Work and Social Change Research Group?

With a focus on the interplay between education, economy, and social change, our research explores social inequality, and the polarisation of incomes and educational achievement within and across national contexts.

Key strands of our work cover social class, gender and race within higher education. We also pay attention to the unequal structuring of labour markets, with an interest in academic work and precarity.

Partners and collaborators

We work with different organisations and education providers, including:

  • National governments
  • Non-governmental bodies, agencies and charities (Social Mobility Commission, The Sutton Trust)
  • International NGOs (UNESCO)
  • The NERUPI Network
  • TATA Institute of Social Sciences, India
  • University of Gwadar, Pakistan
  • University of Cairo, Egypt
  • University of Newcastle, Australia
  • University of Ghana
  • University of Arizona, United States
  • University of Oulu, Finland
  • University of the Western Cape, South Africa
A woman stood in front of a blackboard with mathematical equations written on it in white chalk.

Research themes

We engage in theoretically informed critical education policy analysis, concentrating on topics like:

  • Education, work and labour market outcomes
  • Access, participation, progression and inequalities in higher education
  • Academic work, precarity and marginalisation (such as disability, class, gender, LGBTQ+, race)
  • How shifting labour market conditions, like technological and global shifts, impact on education and skills
  • The ways education can be used as a lens to see how (dis)advantage is reproduced in broader society
  • How privilege is (re)produced in contemporary labour markets (in relation to education)
  • The political economy of place and how this relates to education
  • Regional geographic divisions within countries and education
  • Critical sociological perspectives on education policy

Our research is influenced by multiple disciplinary traditions and a wide range of qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods.

A group of people working at a table using laptops.

Our members and projects

Find out more about our members and their research activity.

About us

Our Research Group is part of the Department of Education.

Contact us

If you have any questions about our research, please contact us.