Research students



Title of study:  Exploring Pedagogies of Teaching and Learning in Kenyan Classrooms

This PhD study explores current pedagogies of teaching and learning in Kenyan primary schools. Drawing on ethnographic approaches, the study examines to what extent dialogic pedagogies can be adopted in Kenya, and suggests that teachers engage with a number of ‘spaces’ that are available to them to enhance children’s learning.

Supervisory team: Dr Leena Robertson and Dr Victoria Brook



Bheshaj Kumar Ashley HOOLASH (BSc  MSc  PGCertHE  FHEA  CMath  FIMA)

Title of study: An exploration of strategies to support non-specialist Mathematics and Statistics Learners in Higher Education in Mauritius.

This doctorate intends to develop a few themes for exploration by looking at some major research questions. Past experiences (joy, excitement, apprehension, fear, anxiety) and personal expectations students have, that will help the researcher enhance his teaching skills and the students’ learning experience, in mathematics and statistics. Furthermore, the researcher is looking at appropriate actions he should undertake to assist non-specialist students in studying and enjoying mathematics/statistics modules.

Supervisory team: Dr Leena Robertson and Dr Gordon Weller




Title of study: The role of emotional intelligence in the development of adolescents’ social and emotional skills, abilities and academic performance following the transition to secondary school

Previous research has shown that pupils do not always have the necessary emotional intelligence to cope with the transition to secondary school successfully. This mixed methods thesis explores whether an intervention designed to enhance key aspects of emotional intelligence can impact positively on students’ skills, abilities and academic achievement following the transitional period.

Supervisory team: Dr Tracey Cockerton, Dr Jackie Meredith and Dr Mona Sakr


kirsteKirsteen Macdonald (BA, BSc, PGCHE)

Title of study: Curriculum development and delivery and the place of learning technologies in a context of changing academic identities

I am a Lead Academic Developer based in the Centre for Learning & Teaching Enhancement. With my DProf study I am exploring the relationship between academics and academic developers and the ways in which they collaborate, taking into account changes to both roles in recent times. This study will also consider the impact of and support afforded by learning technologies to support the delivery of our programmes and student learning.

Supervisory team: Dr Leena Robertson and Dr Gordon Weller



Stuart Peck (BSc, LLM)

Title of study: Studying law on the fast-track: working-class, mature students’ constructions and experiences of their two-year undergraduate degree.

This PhD study draws upon the qualitative research conducted over an 18-month period at one ‘private’ law school in the south of England. Using qualitative methods, this study attempts to provide some answers to an under-researched area. Set within a Foucauldian theoretical framework, the analysis of the data (so far) suggests that the working-class, mature students in this study constructed their student experience via discourses connected with ‘intensity’ and ‘consumerism’ (among others) – all of which are hegemonic, complex and shifting. The analysis of the data also indicates that the power embedded within their discourses (re)positioned the students as more or less powerful and had an impact on their subjectivity and student experience.

Supervisory team: Professor Jayne Osgood and Professor Paul Gibbs




Title of study:  The Role and Nature of Japanese Supplementary School in London

This PhD study sets out to explore the role of Japanese supplementary school in London. It will be investigated how Japanese children grow up as a bilingual in the process of learning English and Japanese at the same time. This research from the aspect of translanguage will gain a new insight into a 21st English-Japanese educational system in Japan.

Supervisory team: Dr Leena Robertson and Dr Anna Charalambidou




Title of study: An exploratory case study of academic writing in English amongst undergraduates in Hong Kong

This PhD study sets out to explore the current practices of teaching academic and the learning process of writing skills in English at a Hong Kong university, as well as exploring the perceptions of English for Academic purposes (EAP) amongst the three main stakeholders, namely the students, subject lecturers and EAP practitioners. It is hoped that the study will provide a panoramic view of how EAP is understood and practiced in higher education.

Supervisory team: Professor Paul Gibbs and Dr Nick Endacott