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Our research students


Research students

We supervise and support a growing community of around 100 research students across a number of research degree programmes offered in our School, including the MRes, PhD and EdD and our students are a mix of part time and full time. Students interested in developing an application should contact the Research Degrees Director Dr Shona Hunter. School staff also welcome direct approaches from students interested in proposing a project related to their work.

Current doctoral students

Plus Icon Year of commencement 2018-19
  • Steven Riley (EdD)
    Supervisor: Professor Damien Page

    Thesis working title: Does adding coaching and mentoring support enhance teacher research and enquiry?

    Thesis summary - I will be investigating the impact of developing and utilising coaching and mentoring strategies and techniques to help to embed research and enquiry practices of teachers, with the intention of developing an improved provision of bespoke CPD, which will have increased impact and therefore should lead to better outcomes at all levels.

  • Suus-anna Harskamp-Eve (EdD)
    Supervisor: Catherine Beaton
  • Balaraba John (PhD)
  • Jeanne Dickinson (PhD)
    Supervisor: Dr Thomas Dobson

    Thesis title: An Exploration into the Impact of Dramatherapy Techniques with children aged 11-13 in a Guernsey Secondary School Drama Class

    Thesis summary - This study aims to make meaning of secondary school children’s experience of the introduction of Drama schemes of work that include Dramatherapy techniques and a Dramatherapy orientation, the ultimate aim of the study being to apply the findings as a means to design more engaging project material in direct response to issues arising from challenging group dynamics of the class.

    This study therefore seeks to investigate the impact of engagement with schemes of work in KS3 Drama that are a synthesis of traditional Drama teaching methods and Dramatherapy techniques, understandings and skills, where challenging issues arising from the class dynamic are seen as material to work with as opposed to behaviour to control.

  • Adrian Knott (PhD)
    Supervisor: Dr Caroline Bligh

    Thesis title: An Exploration into the Impact of Dramatherapy Techniques with children aged 11-13 in a Guernsey Secondary School Drama Class

    Thesis summary - This study aims to make meaning of secondary school children’s experience of the introduction of Drama schemes of work that include Dramatherapy techniques and a Dramatherapy orientation, the ultimate aim of the study being to apply the findings as a means to design more engaging project material in direct response to issues arising from challenging group dynamics of the class.

    This study therefore seeks to investigate the impact of engagement with schemes of work in KS3 Drama that are a synthesis of traditional Drama teaching methods and Dramatherapy techniques, understandings and skills, where challenging issues arising from the class dynamic are seen as material to work with as opposed to behaviour to control.

Plus Icon Year of commencement 2017-18
  • Anuttoma Sen (PhD)
    Supervisor: Dr Alison Wilde

    Thesis title: Experiences of parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) during educational transitions.

    Thesis summary - It is reported that Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) affects around 1% of children in the UK. Recent research indicates that the prevalence rate of ASD is 12 times higher than estimations made 30 years ago. ASD is a complex developmental disorder that can cause problems with thinking, feeling, language and the ability to relate to others. Transitions are the continuity of experiences that children have between periods and between spheres of their lives. Key transitions can be particularly stressful for children having ASD and their families. Due to their social communication difficulties with respect to barriers, children with ASD find educational transitions particularly challenging. A communication barrier is anything that prevents one from receiving and understanding the messages others use to convey their information, ideas and thoughts. It appears that there is limited research in the UK that has investigated key transition points for pupils with ASD from the perspective of parents. Recent legislation and consultation suggest that the UK government has made it a priority to improve outcomes for children by addressing the needs of parents. The findings would encourage practitioners with ideas for better practice incorporating the views of parents and also will contribute to academic literature on this topic. It is intended that the outcomes of my research will benefit the local community including the children, parents, educators and support services. Therefore, this research of mine is with the intention to improve future transition support for children with ASD and their parents in the UK.

  • Lorna Campbell (EdD)
    Supervisor: Dr Shona Hunter

    Thesis title: The perceptions and experiences of students of colour enrolled on BSc and MSc (pre-registration) physiotherapy programmes.

    Thesis summary - The physiotherapy profession remains predominately white female and middle class. Despite calls for greater diversity within the physiotherapy workforce the recruitment of people of colour onto physiotherapy courses remains low. Using critical race theory as a theoretical framework this research aims to explore the narratives of physiotherapy students of colour. Narrative inquiry will be used to explore perceptions and experiences of home students who have enrolled on or completed a physiotherapy course (BSc or MSc- pre-registration). This study will explore both pre-enrolment and course experiences and will include drivers for choosing a career in physiotherapy, experiences of navigating a highly competitive selection process and classroom and clinical placement learning experiences. It is anticipated that these narratives will highlight barriers to accessing physiotherapy education and identify experiences of everyday racism which will inform future physiotherapy education practice.

  • Lisa Gorton (EdD)
    Supervisor: Dr Caroline Bligh

    Thesis title: The development of tourism graduates fit for a complex world: Critical perspectives on the role of socially constructed learning.

    Thesis summary - This study will offer a series of critical perspectives on the role of socially constructed learning within the development of graduate-level competencies amongst a small group of tourism under-graduate students at Leeds Beckett University.

Plus Icon Year of commencement 2016-17
  • Joaquim Dias (PhD)
    Supervisor: Douglas Martin
Plus Icon Year of commencement 2015-16
  • Frances Chapman (EdD)
  • Christine Daley (EdD)
    Supervisor: Dr Anne Temple Clothier
    Advisor: Dr Caroline Bligh

    Thesis title: The Experiences of Students Undertaking a Part-time, Postgraduate, Professional Course without an Undergraduate Degree

    Thesis summary - For over thirty years, Leeds Business School has offered a part-time Post-graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management (PDHRM). Students graduating from the course are awarded both a Level 7 qualification by the university.and also Associate Membership of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). Completing the course enables students to apply for more senior roles in the profession for which membership of the CIPD is increasingly a pre-requisite. The course is one of the most popular post-graduate taught (PGT) courses within Business / Administrative studies is the most popular and expanding PGT subject area in England and Wales accounting for 33% of applications over the seven year period to 2013, (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, (BIS) 2013).

    Almost without exception, students admitted to the course are working full-time in human resource management (HRM) roles. They attend the course for one weekly afternoon-to-evening, six hour session over two academic years. For most, course fees are paid for by their employer, but in recent years, there has been an increase in students who are self-funding their studies.

    The majority of students entering the course will have completed an undergraduate degree but every year up to a third of the cohort are admitted with lower levels of educational attainment. Some students will have completed the CIPD Intermediate Certificate in HRM at Level 5, normally through attendance at a college of further education (FE), but some will have attainment Levels of 2 and 3 (Qualifications and Credit Framework, (QCF) 2015). For this group, significant work experience in the field is accepted as a proxy or substitute measure of attainment and thus suitability for study through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

    Evidence in the form of attainment profiles suggests most will eventually graduate from the course but with lower average marks, than students entering the course with an undergraduate degree. The aim of this study is to explore the experiences of this cohort.

Plus Icon Year of commencement 2014-15
  • Liz Clark (EdD)
    Supervisor: David White
Plus Icon Year of commencement 2013-14
  • Wendy Anne Altinors (PhD)
    Supervisor: Professor Simon Robinson

    Thesis title: The Other Turk: Perceptions and realities of integration in Germany through an intergenerational lens

    Thesis summary - Turks were brought to Germany as guestworkers (Gastarbeiter) in the early 1960s to act as a temporary economic buffer serving West Germany’s “economic miracle.” In contemporary society, with a population of around three million, what further lessons can be learnt about integration from the Turkish case across the generations?  The common theme over the decades is that Turks are poorly integrated into German society. There are promising signs that some German Turks have integrated fairly successfully at a local level through local initiatives and civil society engagement but this is not reflected in national policy. The aim of this study is to investigate, through a historical intergenerational lens, how Turkish immigrants in Germany perceive the process of integration.

  • Ioanna Theotokatou (PhD)
    Supervisor: Dr Stephen Newman

    Thesis title:The leader who is not a leader: A micropolitical analysis of a Cypriot principal’s management styles.

    Thesis summary - This research furthers understanding concerning how school leaders negotiate power in their daily interactions with members of the school community, such as the deputy heads, the teaching staff and students and the ways in which this process influences the construction of the dominant management styles. It presents a case study, conducted at a secondary school in Cyprus and the data collected perform a micropolitical analysis of one Principal’s management styles. Micropolitics concerns formal and informal power employed by individuals and groups promoting and protecting their interests. To ensure thick descriptions of reality, ethnographic tools and a reflexive process were used for data collection, including semi-structured interviews, informal discussions, field notes and observations. The data was analyzed using Hatch’s (2002) models of inductive and interpretive analysis. The study’s findings align with those reported elsewhere and reveal that heavily centralized systems constrain school Principal’s capacity to exercise leadership. The Principal’s power is limited to that of resource manager and mediator with the Ministry, responsible for implementing the Ministry’s policy. Therefore, the Principal’s chief role is to introduce management styles that ensure the school’s smooth functioning from an interpersonal and hierarchical perspective. The results overall encapsulate the intense desire of members of the school community to achieve self-governance with regard to resources. 

  • Joanne Tyssen (EdD)
    Supervisor: Nick Mitchell
  • Thesis title: A story of stories. An alternative perception of the issue of retention in higher education.

    Thesis summary - It challenges the dominant discourse and practice around widening participation (WP) and retention. It is not a story about retention per se. It is a story about the social phenomenon that is students starting higher education (HE) in further education colleges (FECs) who cannot, or choose to not, continue. It is about viewing such students differently to current dominant discourse, and without negativity. This story reconceptualises the issue of retention and looks at continuation and non-continuation in a student centred way that has not been done before. My original contribution to knowledge is to offer a different perspective of the issue of retention than has previously been presented in literature or practice. I hold the assumption that it is very difficult to motivate and retain some students, because they are not yet fully understood. The fundamental notion is that to better understand retention there needs to be better understanding of students and what continuation means to them. However, I hold a further assumption that even with greater understanding there will remain some students that cannot be retained, because they cannot continue or they choose not to.

  • Sarah Wilson (EdD)
Plus Icon Year of commencement 2012-13
Plus Icon Year of commencement 2011-12
  • Nicholas Halafihi (EdD)
  • Anita Volkert (EdD)
  • Sarah Whiter (EdD)
  • Eileen McAllister (EdD)
    Supervisor: Josephine Louis Armistead

Completed research

Plus Icon Year of completion 2017-18
  • Faziya AlZadjali - Thesis title: The impact of curriculum prescription on English teacher professional identity in Oman

  • Michael Cross - Thesis title: Graduate Voices: Exploring Numerate Professionals’ Mathematics Education Experiences and Challenges
  • Monalisa Fathima - Thesis title: A Sociocultural Analysis of the Interpersonal Learning within the Cooking Practices of Children
  • Jean Laight - Thesis title: Resistance and resilience: exploring narratives of women teacher trade union activists 

  • Anne Llewellyn - Thesis title: Transformations in Social Work Pedagogy: Analysis of Immersive Worlds and Authentic Learning 

  • Angela Murphy - Thesis title: Possible Selves and Occupational Potential of Students with Dyslexia: A Narrative Inquiry
  • Andrew Parkinson - Thesis title: Curriculum Innovation: Navigating the Tensions Between a Standardised Curriculum and Professional Autonomy
Plus Icon Year of completion 2016-17
  • Suzanne Richards - Thesis title: Understanding part-time, mature students’ ‘sense of belonging’ when studying higher education in the further education sector
  • Elizabeth Mary Whalley - Thesis title: The role of the graduate pedagogical leader with children from birth to thirty months
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