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The University of Worcester welcomes applications to undertake research towards MPhil and PhD degrees in a range of areas of Education.

Research in Education at Worcester has grown significantly in the last 10 years as the University itself has expanded. As a research student you will join a vibrant student community in our Research School and become part of our dynamic and engaged research student body in Education.



Researcher Development Programme

You will have the opportunity to be supervised by leading researchers in your field and take advantage of our rich Researcher Development programme which will help you to develop the skills and knowledge you need to complete your research degree, but also enhance the skills you will need in any future career.

Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

Entry qualifications

For MPhil

  • First or Upper Second Class Honours Degree or an approved equivalent award


  • Research or professional experience which has resulted in appropriate evidence of achievement.

For PhD

  • Postgraduate Masters Degree in a discipline which is appropriate to the proposed programme of study


  • First or Upper Second Class Honours Degree or equivalent award in an appropriate discipline


  • Research or professional experience at postgraduate level which has resulted in published work, written reports or other appropriate evidence of achievement.

International applicants

International applicants will be required to demonstrate that they have the appropriate level of written and spoken English.

For MPhil/PhD this is an IELTS score of 7.0 with a minimum score of 7.0 in Written English.

Course content

What will you study?

Wide variety of research interests

The School of Education has a strong mix of academics with a high degree of professional and personal experience, enabling you to get the most out of your programme. Our staff have expertise in, amongst other things, learning and teaching in different contexts; values education; professional learning and professional development; history of education; religious education; special and inclusive education.

Teaching and assessment

How will you be taught?

Excellent supervision

Benefit from a professional and challenging relationship with your supervisory team, drawn from experienced academics working at the forefront of their disciplines.


Access to the University of Worcester’s virtual resources and its state of the art library facilities.

Recent successful projects have involved research on a non-authoritarian approach to secondary school pedagogy; enhancing trainee teachers’ confidence and subject knowledge of primary school drama; and Kenyan teachers’ professional identity in the context of educational change. Some of the topic currently being explored by research students are: broadcast collective worship for schools at the BBC; leadership work in further education; and how the educational experiences of Muslim young women affect their life choices. In contrast, our newest Education MPhil/PhD student is evaluating SENCo perceptions of education, health and care plans.


Dr Anthony Barnett 
Expertise: innovative research methodology; generative social research; the use and categorisation of asynchronous discussion within HE.

Dr Karen Blackmore
Expertise: science related pedagogy and andragogy particularly with respective to pioneering and mobile technology enhanced learning strategies; emergent teacher professional identity of pre-service teachers with a foci on fostering research informed teaching practice; learning and teaching innovations in the area of conceptually challenging cognition.

Dr Sean Bracken 
Expertise: leadership of learning and teaching; inclusivity in higher, secondary and primary education; linguistic and cultural diversity.

Professor Jaswinder Dhillon 
Expertise: the perspectives of students, lecturers, senior leaders and managers in educational organisations, particularly in relation to policies and initiatives that aim to improve existing practice; partnerships and partnership working, social capital, students’ experience of higher education; and qualitative research in organisations, families and communities.

Professor Geoffrey Elliott 
Expertise: work-based research; Higher Education access and inclusion; education and social change; post-compulsory education; educational leadership.

Dr Peter Gossman 
Expertise: higher education pedagogy, conceptions of teaching, SoTL, learning gain, and academic development.

Dr Karen Hanson 
Expertise: action research; the transition within phases of education; collaborative working in educational environments; education and care.

Dr Ruth Hewston 
Expertise: education of gifted, talented and highly able pupils; effective pedagogies for creative arts learning; the development of musical ability; music psychology; psychology of education.

Dr Colin Howard 
Expertise: teachers’ sense of professional identity and professional resilience; how the physical environment of a school can influence the motivation, morale and job satisfaction of teaching professionals.

Dr Sue Howarth 
Expertise: biology education; science education; Initial Teacher Education (Secondary); the importance of effective practical work, including dissection and field work, in science education; continuing professional development for science teachers; STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Enrichment and Enhancement.

Dr Pinky Jain
Expertise: primary mathematics; mathematics pedagogy; mathematical difficulties and anxiety; considering the role of talk in mathematics; experiential learning; mathematical thinking and reasoning skills; mathematical prior knowledge; professional development and teachers mathematical subject knowledge and International comparative studies.

Professor Alison Kington 
Expertise: mixed methods research in education and social psychology;  'classroom life'; the utilisation and application of research to improve professional practice; teacher-pupil and peer relationships; the impact of social interaction on cognitive development; classroom identities; and effective practice.

Professor Stephen Parker 
Expertise: the religious history of education in the 19th and 20th century; religious education in a variety of contexts; history of education; history of childhood; media history; religions and society; theology and education.

Professor Maggi Savin-Baden 
Expertise: the effectiveness of learning in new electronic and immersive spaces; innovative and creative scenarios designed for learning.

Dr Carla Solvason 
Expertise: concepts of educational justice and exploring policy in practice; educational cultures and re/creating cultures; social justice; educational opportunity; philosophy of education; children’s language development.

Dr Marie Stephenson 
Expertise: leadership, theory & practice; ethical leadership & ethical decision-making; qualitative research; pedagocic innovation; and educational leadership.

Dr Philip Woodward 
Expertise: aspects of the sociology of education.

Dr Richard Woolley 
Expertise: diversity, equality and inclusion issues in education; approaches to difficult and controversial issues in primary education; citizenship and PSHE in primary education; relationships and sex education (primary); religious education and children’s spirituality; the pedagogy of Holocaust education in the primary year education studies; widening participation, first generation and non-traditional students in higher education


Dr Anthony Barnett

Anthony's experience includes working as an educational research assistant on a project related to primary science and special educational needs during 1980 which led to a publication in the journal Special Education Forward Trends.

In the years that followed he worked as an information officer for the Nottingham Council for Voluntary Service and undertook a range of voluntary work with the recovering mentally ill, mentally handicapped, homeless and adult literacy project. He also spent approximately 13 years in extended studies at Nottingham University where he was a member of the Classics and Archaeology Society. He was also the treasurer of the University of Nottingham's Third World First Society. During this period Anthony was an actively competitive and moderately successful ultra-distance road runner and member of the 100km Association.

As a teacher his experience has included longer term supply teaching in a secondary school and ten years teaching in a range of primary schools mainly in inner city London but also in Kent. While teaching in South East London he was the science coordinator during which time he wrote the schools scheme of work for science and promoted links between science and technology. As an ICT coordinator Anthony promoted the role of the Internet within class teaching and helped with staff development. He has a keen interest in playing the classical guitar and achieved a certificate in music education from Trinity College of Music. He has taught children how to play the guitar and organised a successful primary school music club.


  • PhD
  • MA (Primary Education)
  • PG Cert Research Methods
  • SEDA
  • Certificate in Music Education (Trinity College of Music)
  • Bed II(ii) Social & Environmental Studies
  • Teachers certificate (Primary education/QTS)

Dr Karen Blackmore

Karen has always found science fascinating; one of her earliest memories is of watching rain drops hitting a window pane. What determined which one reached the bottom of the window pane first? Was it the size of the rain drop or where it landed? This initial childhood curiosity fuelled a lifetime interest in science.

Karen pursued her scientific education in the beautiful city of Bath, answering slightly more complex scientific problems but still with the same level of fascination. She then forged a career in the pharmaceutical industry as a Senior Research Scientist. One of the most fulfilling aspects of this role was acting as a mentor to Masters students. Years later this prompted her to cross-train in the education sector as a secondary science teacher. A decade and a half later, working in school as a Science Teacher Training Mentor, led her to reflect what is more important? the acquisition of science knowledge itself or the processes by which that is achieved?.

As a Learning and Teaching Fellow and Science Mentor at the University of Worcester , Karen hopes to meld her passion for science with a deep reaching interest in how people learn. She teaches on the undergraduate BA QTS and the PGCE initial teacher training courses, as well as supervising and teaching Masters, Ed.D and Ph.D. students. Her philosophy on teaching and learning is best described by this YouTube video clip, where she asks her students to reflect on the metaphor of an osprey seeking its prey and understanding knowledge acquisition and assessment.


  • PGCE, Teaching and Learning in HE. University of Worcester
  • OCR Teaching Certificate, Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia), South Worcestershire College
  • PGCE, Secondary Combined Science, University of Worcester
  • PhD, Pharmacy and Pharmacology, University of Bath
  • BSc Hons, Biochemistry, University of Bath

Professor Jaswinder K Dhillon

ORCID| LinkedIn

Jaswinder joined the University as Professor of Education in January 2015, having previously worked in further and higher education in a range of teaching, research and leadership roles. Jas is passionate about research and research-informed professional practice and has extensive experience of teaching and research supervision at undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral levels both in the UK and in other countries, including China, India, Holland, Mauritius and the Solomon Islands.

In her own research, Jas has focussed on investigating the perspectives of students, teachers and managers, particularly in relation to policies and initiatives that aim to improve existing practice. For her PhD, she researched partnership working amongst education and training providers and uncovered the role of social capital in inter-organisational partnerships. Jas has developed and researched partnerships in other settings, such as international partnerships with China, Mauritius and India and is currently an international mentor for educational research at Central University of Punjab, India. Her other areas of research are qualitative research methodologies, collaborative leadership, teaching and teacher education, learning and assessment, higher education, further and vocational education and TESOL.

Currently, Jas is researching outstanding leadership in schools and colleges, the role of education, entrepreneurship and social capital in Sikh families and the ethics of engagement in cross-cultural research. In her recent research with British Sikh families, Jas has developed an innovative methodology, bilingual-bicultural ethnography, which uses her bilingual skills in English and Panjabi and insider-outsider research positionalities, to capture and interpret the experiences of three generations of British Sikhs. She has been given an honour and award by the British Sikh community for her work in this field of research.

In the wider research community, Jas is actively engaged in national and international research associations and in editorial work for leading education journals. She is associate editor for the journal Educational Management Administration & Leadership (EMAL), and a long standing member of the editorial board and editorial management committee of the Journal of Vocational Education and Training (JVET), and served as editor for four years.She maintains her practical knowledge of school and college leadership and governance through her voluntary work as a governor in a secondary school and a governor in a further education college.

Academic qualifications

  • PhD, (University of Warwick, 2006) Joining-up: a study of partnership in post-16 learning
  • MSc Teaching English for Specific Purposes (University of Aston, 1986)
  • BA (Joint Hons) History and Philosophy, (University College Cardiff, 1976)

Professional qualifications

  • Fellow of Higher Education Academy (FHEA), 2000
  • Dip RSA Training and Development, 1992
  • PGCE (Secondary) University College Cardiff, 1977

Professor Geoffrey Elliot

Geoffrey Elliott has taught in comprehensive schools, further, adult and higher education, and has undertaken a range of leadership roles during his career. He is President of the Association for Research in Post-Compulsory Education, and serves on the Board of the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education. He edits the international peer reviewed journal Research in Post-Compulsory Education, and is currently Professor of Post-Compulsory Education at the University of Worcester specialising in education policy and lifelong learning.


  • BA (Hons)
  • English PGCE
  • MA Education
  • PhD

Dr Peter Gossman

Peter has worked in a range of FE and HE institutions in the UK and NZ in both Education and Academic Development roles, initially at Lincoln University just four songs south of Christchurch on the South Island. He has worked on a large NZ project investigating the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning as well as publishing on a variety of subjects, particularly in relation to 'good' teaching and conceptions of teaching and he has published in a range of academic journals.


  • M.A. Manchester Metropolitan University, Higher Education.
  • Ed.D. The University of Huddersfield. By research thesis: A-Level Geography and Key Skills.
  • M.Ed. The University of Huddersfield. By research dissertation: Geography Syllabus Selection.
  • P.G.C.E. (Secondary) Keele University, Main method Geography and second method Information Technology.
  • M.A. Leeds University, Health Information Studies.
  • B.A. (Hons), St David's University College, Lampeter, Geography.

Dr Karen Hanson

Karen completed her doctoral research into supporting students to develop a reflective disposition. This action research study enabled Karen to understand the significance of previous experiences and environmental influences upon undergraduate students. Karen is particularly interested in the transition periods within different phases of education and understands how important it is to use a variety of perspectives through which to plan appropriate learning environments.

Karen is totally committed to exploring the learning and teaching experience for both student and tutor and believes that this process is co-constructed through an environment conducive to collaborative working. Her expertise in working with young children and families in a variety of settings has enabled her to understand the complexities of education and care and creating appropriate pedagogical approaches to suit individual and contextual needs.

Since joining the University in 2003 Karen has co-ordinated and led on different aspects of undergraduate and post graduate programmes in Early Years /Children and Families education and care. She was appointed as Head of Centre for Children and Families in 2010-2017 and viewed it as a privilege to lead an inspiring academic multi-disciplinary team who are all actively engage in research and publication writing within the field of Early Childhood.Karen is now leading on the development of Higher and Degree level apprenticeships for the Institute of Education.


  • EdD (Exeter 2012)
  • SEDA Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
  • MA(Ed)
  • B.Ed (Hons) First Class

Dr Ruth Hewston

Ruth joined the University of Worcester in 2009 having worked in both teaching and research led Higher Education Institutions for over ten years. Prior to joining the University of Worcester, she was employed as a Senior Research Fellow within the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth (NAGTY) and the Centre for Educational Development Appraisal and Research (CEDAR), both at the University of Warwick. She has also held posts at the University of Leicester, University of Wolverhampton and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. She is now Head of Department for Education and Inclusion.

Over the past 18 years, she has led and contributed to a number of national and international projects in inclusive education, giftedness and supporting learners with additional educational needs. In 2012-2015 Ruth was involved in the GUIDE Project, funded by the European Commission under the Lifelong Learning Programme, which developed a professional training package for teachers across Europe working with learners with additional needs in mainstream settings.

Aside from her academic interests, Ruth is also a volunteer Research Networker for the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) and a Patient for Public Involvement (PPI) Advisor for CLARHC West Midlands Maternity and Child Health Theme. Ruth also contributes as a volunteer and lay member to projects in obstetric care, including as a co-applicant on a number of research grants in public health and maternity care at the University of Birmingham.

Ruth is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (FRSA). She is also an Associate Fellow (AFBPsS) and Chartered Psychologist (CPsychol) with the British Psychological Society.

Academic qualifications:

  • PhD Entitled “Using music to regulate mood”
  • MA Psychology for Musicians
  • PgCert Mentoring and Coaching for Leadership in Education (with Distinction)
  • PgCert Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (with Distinction)
  • Dip Psych Diploma in Psychology
  • BA (Hons) Performing Arts

Professional accreditations:

  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA)
  • Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (FRSA)
  • Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society (AFBPsS)
  • Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society (CPsychol)     

Dr Colin Howard

Dr Colin Howard has been involved in primary education for 24 years of which over 14 years has been as a successful headteacher in both small village and large primary settings. He has a strong research background in educational leadership and the influence that school buildings have upon their stakeholders. He currently inspects schools for the Diocese of Hereford as a S48 SIAMS Inspector.


  • Ph.D (University of Birmingham 2013)
  • Title 'The Influence of new school buildings upon the motivation, morale and job satisfaction of their teaching staff.
  • M.Ed Educational Leadership (Gloucester University 2006).
  • B.Ed (Hons) (Lancaster University 1986).
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education
  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Leading Teaching Award (University of Worcester) 2016


Dr Pinky Jain

Pinky is passionate about education, especially the professional development of trainee teachers and the teaching of maths in schools.

Pinky teaches on the BA QTS and PGCE (Primary Mathematics Modules, Professional Studies and Independent Research Modules), is Subject Leader for Primary Mathematics and is Programme Leader for the PGCE Mathematics Specialist Pathway. She is currently supervising 4 Masters research students from the UK and abroad.


Professor Alison Kington

PhD, CPsychol, AFBPsS, FRSA


ResearchGate| Twitter|LinkedIn

Since completing her PhD in 2001, Alison has worked in a number of research and teaching roles and has gained extensive experience of, and expertise in, designing and conducting mixed methods research in education and social psychology. Her research focuses on classroom life; that is, the experiences, relationships and perceptions of children, teachers and other practitioners in schools, with an emphasis on the utilization and application of research to improve professional practice. Specifically, her main research interests are teacher-pupil and peer relationships, the impact of social interaction on cognition and development, classroom identities, and the relationship between career phase and effective practice.

Over the past 15 years, Alison has contributed to the success of a range of international and national research projects funded by Research Councils and Government agencies, including studies of the work and lives of teachers (DfES), effective classroom practice (ESRC), school leadership and pupil outcomes (DfES), and inspirational and effective teachers (CfBT). She is currently engaged in a number of research projects including the professional identity of mid-career primary teachers, the role of school staff rooms, and the impact of friendships in the transition from pre-school to reception.

As well as her involvement in research, Alison has a number of additional responsibilities at University and Institute levels. She is Chair of the Humanities, Arts and Social Science Research Ethics Committee (HASSREC), convenor of the Social Psychology of Education Research Interest Group, and course leader for the MRes Education. Alison is currently supervising 8 (4 PhD & 4 EdD) research students who come from a range of international and national contexts, and has supervised a further 12 (7 PhD & 5 EdD) students to successful completion of their studies.

Alison is lead editor of the forthcoming volume, Social and Learning Relationships in the Primary School, lead author of Effective Classroom Practice (2014, McGraw-Hill), co-author of Teachers Matter (2007), and co-editor of The Role of Theory and Research in Educational Practice (2008) and Paradigms and Research of Educational Practice (2012).She has also published papers and chapters relating to her substantive and methodological interests.

Academic qualifications:

  • PhD Education andSocial Psychology (University of Bristol, 2001)
  • BEd (Hons) Primary Education and English (University of the West of England, 1994)

Professional qualifications:

  • Postgraduate Certificate: Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (2014)
  • Certificate: Associate Teachers Programme (2010)
  • Certificate: Teaching and Learning (2008)
  • Certificate: Research Management (2005)

Professor Stephen G Parker

ORCID | Research Gate | LinkedIn | Twitter    

Stephen joined the Institute of Education at Worcester in 2008, becoming a Professor in 2013. Whilst at Worcester Stephen has led and developed a range of programmes, including the MA Education and the university’s professional doctorate, as well as teaching across undergraduate and postgraduate teacher education awards. He is presently course lead for MPhil/PhD awards for the Institute and Unit of Assessment Lead in preparation for REF2021.

Since publishing Faith on the Home Front in 2005, Stephen has published widely on aspects of both the religious history of education and childhood. He is a leading contributor to developing international perspectives on the history of religious education. In addition, he has published research utilising social scientific methodologies, and on aspects of the philosophy of education and religion.

Since being awarded a prestigious research project Grant by the Leverhulme Trust, for a project entitled Faith on the Air: religious educational broadcasting history, c.1920-, Stephen has continued to develop expertise in the wider aspects of educational media history. His book, Religious Education: a broadcasting history will be published by Oxford University Press in 2019.

Stephen’s work at the University of Worcester utilises his research in various ways: directly, in teaching across courses on issues in religion and education, and also in developing critical perspectives upon the formation of education policy and practice over time.

Since 2008, Stephen has been engaged in several other funded research projects as Co or Principal Investigator:

• The professionalization of Religious Education since 1944 (funded by the Westhill Endowment) 
• The Hidden History of Curriculum Change in Religious Education in English schools, 1969-1979 (funded by the British Academy) 
• The Hidden History of Religious Education: The Life-Histories of R.E. Professionals in the Midlands from the long 1960s to the 1980s (funded by the Westhill Endowment). 
• The impact of A-level Religious Studies on the values and outlook of 16-19 year olds (funded by the St. Gabriel’s and the St Peter’s Saltley Trusts in)

Stephen has been an Associate Fellow of the Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit since 2009. 

He is also an affiliated member of the University of Exeter’s Religion, Spirituality and Education Network and the University of Birmingham’s DOMUS: interdisciplinary research in histories of education and childhood.

Academic Qualifications

  • PhD (Birmingham)
  • PGCert (Teaching and Learning in Higher Education) (Liverpool)
  • MA (Birmingham)
  • B.Ed (Hons) Religious and Theological Studies and Education (Birmingham)

Maggi Savin-Baden

Visit Maggi's Blog

As someone who has always been interested in innovation and change my interest in learning this has been the focus of my research for many years. My previous research is focussed on the impact of virtual worlds on learning and teaching, through a large Leverhulme-funded project. Further, over the last three years I have been developing the method of Qualitative Research Synthesis. I have researched and evaluated staff and student experience of learning for over 20 years and gained funding (Leverhulme Trust, JISC,) to research the effectiveness of learning in new electronic and immersive spaces. I am an experienced evaluator not only of curricula but also of research and research methodologies and an expert in the development of innovative and creative scenarios designed for learning. My research over the last 5 years has focussed on exploring learning in a digital age and examining the impact of diverse forms of digital technology on learning. Such research has been focussed on examining new pedagogical stances and perspectives, and the research has been located in and through a variety of qualitative approaches. I have published over 50 research publications and 15 books, and am currently writing 2 more. In my spare time I run, rock climb, ski and attempt to be a triathlete.


  • 2010 MSc E-Learning, University of Edinburgh
  • 2005 Certificate in Educational Leadership, (Distinction), University of Leicester
  • 1996 PhD, University of London
  • 1989 MA in Further and Higher Education, University of London
  • 1987 Diploma in Teaching and Curriculum Development in Higher Education (Distinction), University of London

Dr Carla Solvason


  • BA(QTS) English and RE
  • MA Gender, Literature and Modernity
  • PhD Inclusion or Excellence (Education based)
  • PGCert Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

In Carla's current role as senior lecturer at the University of Worcester her key area of responsibility is around the area of research. This involves ensuring that student practitioners are given the support that they need to carry out worthwhile research projects, but also encouraging colleagues to reach their full research potential. Her most recent publications and presentations have explored the topic of ethicality and how we can embed this within professional development. With her colleague, Rosie Walker, she has co-authored a book to support Early Years practitioners in their research projects, which has received very positive reviews.

She delivers CPD on supporting children’s speech, language and communication development and has also completed longitudinal collaborative research in this area. She is currently carrying out an evaluation of a school leadership development programme with a local authority. 

Carla’s first role was as a primary school teacher. During that time she completed a Masters in Gender, Literature and Modernity (classic literature remains a passion of hers) and a PhD in Education, specifically looking at concepts of inclusion. Before starting work at Worcester, in 2009, she spent a year as a consultant for the children’s communication charity, I CAN.


Dr Marie Stephenson

Marie joined the Centre for Education & Inclusion in 2014 and brings extensive teaching experience from the post-compulsory (FE) sector. Marie has a number of specialisms, which include teaching the visually impaired, having spent a number of years designing and delivering courses at the Royal National College for the Blind. In addition to teaching here at the University of Worcester, Marie also spent time in the USA, delivering on the Executive Leadership Doctoral Program at the George Washington University, Graduate School of Education & Human Development.

Marie holds a Masters degree in Educational Leadership & Management and a doctorate in Education. Her doctoral thesis concerned Ethical decision-making: Learning from Prominent Leaders in Not-for-Profit Organisations. The research has provided many insights into the ethical leader mindset, particularly how elite or specialized individuals maintain their moral compass in morally intense situations in value expressive organisations (contexts). The contribution adds to the field by linking individual ethical awareness, with that of the organization and as corollary, society. The concepts of responsibility, trust and ethics are shown to be perpetually interwoven. Marie hopes to add to this work by completing a Post-Doc which explores how gender plays a part in ethical decision-making building on Carol Gilligans (1982) seminal work In a Different Voice.


Academic Qualifications:

  • PhD in Education Feb 2018
  • PG Cert Research Methods, University of Worcester (Distinction) - 2013
  • MSc Educational Leadership and Management (Distinction), University of Worcester February 2008
  • PGCE in Education (Education & Training) with Distinction, University of Wales - 1998

Professional Qualifications:

  • BTEC Professional Award: Teaching Adults with a Visual Impairment

Dr Philip Woodward

Philip joined the Institute of Education at Worcester in 2015, as a Senior Lecturer in Education Studies. He brings extensive experience from both further and higher education.

In the higher education sector, Philip spent twelve years as an Associate Lecturer for The Open University working on a range of multidisciplinary social science courses. He has also contributed to the University of Greenwich Initial Teacher Education programme as an Associate Lecturer.

In the further education sector Philip spent nineteen years teaching Sociology in colleges in both London and Southampton on a range of courses. He also has extensive experience of managing curriculum teams, UCAS applications and pastoral provision.


  • EdD (Open) The significance of cultural and social capital in university choice: intra-class differences amongst working-class students
  • MEd in Lifelong Learning (Open)
  • MA in Film & Television Studies (Westminster)
  • MA in Philosophy (Kent)
  • BA (Hons) Sociology & Social Anthropology (Hull)
  • PGCE (FE) (Greenwich)

Dr Richard Woolley

Richard Woolley is Deputy Head in the Institute of Education.He has been at the University of Worcester since September 2011, having worked previously at what is now Bishop Grosseteste University in Lincoln. His career started in primary education, in north Yorkshire, before moving to work in further and higher education in Derbyshire and then returning to primary school teaching in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. He has served as a deputy head teacher and special educational needs coordinator, as well as being curriculum coordinator for several subjects across the primary phase of education.He was Head of Centre for Education and Inclusion at the University of Worcester from 2011 to 2017.

Richards professional and research interests centre on the areas of inclusion, diversity and equality, including the personal and social development of children, values and issues in primary education, religious education and special educational needs provision. He is the author of Tackling Controversial Issues in the Primary School and co-author of Relationships and Sex Education 5 11, The Spiritual Dimension of Childhood,Values and Vision in Primary Education, Understanding Inclusionand in the area of early years provision Personal Social and Emotional Development and Knowledge and Understanding of the World. He has also written chapters for several other books as well as presenting conference papers and publishing articles.


  • PhD (Sheffield)
  • MA (Leeds)
  • NPQH
  • PGCE (Ripon & York St John/Leeds)
  • BA (Ripon & York St John/Leeds)
  • ALCM

Where could it take you?

All research students must engage with the Researcher Development Programme (RDP), a core curriculum of training and development which provides them with the general and subject-specific knowledge, skills and behaviours to support them in the completion of their research degree. At the beginning of an MPhil/PhD degree, you will be allocated to one of two pathways depending on your experience and knowledge as a researcher. This will determine which elements of the programme are core and which are optional.At the beginning of the programme you will be required to complete a Training Needs Analysis (TNA) in conjunction with your Director of Studies. This identifies the training that you will need to undertake, in addition to the mandatory elements of RDP, in order to complete the programme and to become an effective researcher. This TNA is revisited at the beginning of each subsequent academic year. All students are offered a wide range of optional training workshops throughout the programme focused around the following themes:

  • Developing and Managing Your Research
  • Dissemination, Impact, Engagement
  • Completing Your Research Degree
  • Research Methodology Master classes
  • Data Analysis
  • Research Funding
  • Wellbeing and Personal Effectiveness
  • Careers and Employability
  • Enterprise and Entrepreneurship

How much will it cost?


The current fees can be found within the tuition fees document on our figure out finances page.


Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience, and our welcoming student communities are great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our halls of residence. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £102 per week to 'En-suite Extra' at £165 per week (2019/20 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

How to apply

How do you apply?

Additional information

As part of the application process, you will be asked to submit a research outline. We recommend preparing your research outline before beginning your online application. Some guidance on preparing your research outline is available here.

If your research involves working with vulnerable adults and/or children then you may be required to obtain a DBS check. There will be a small charge for this. For more information please contact

We are committed to making reasonable adjustment. If you require an alternative format for making your application due to a disability, please contact us to discuss your needs on 01905 542182 or

How to apply

Please make your application via our online application form. If you have any questions, please contact the Research School on 01905 542182 or

Before you submit a full application, please contact Prof. Stephen Parker ( to discuss your research project and the availability of appropriate supervision.

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Get in touch

Professor Stephen G Parker