Dr Richard Waller

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  • Qualifications:BA (Hons) Social Science, PGCE (FE), MSc Sociology, PhD
  • Position:Professor of Education and Social Justice
  • Department:ACE - Education and Childhood
  • Telephone:+4411732 84100
  • Email:Richard.Waller@uwe.ac.uk

About me

My original degree was in Sociology and Politics at what was then Bristol Polytechnic, and after a year as an NUS sabbatical officer I joined the civil service through their graduate recruitment scheme. I left there to re-train as a further education college lecturer at Cardiff University, and held a number of part-time teaching roles in FE colleges (mainly Sociology and on Access to HE courses) and HE (including on UWE's Sociology degree course) from 1994-2003. I also worked p/t in the University of Bristol's Widening Participation Office 2000-2001, helping get more mature students into the university. I completed my MSc in Sociology in 2001, and began a PhD full-time on a bursary later that year, a study of adults returning to education as mature students and the impact it had on their lives. 

I joined UWE's Faculty of Education in a full-time Senior Lecturer role in 2003, completing my PhD as a part-time student in 2006. I was promoted to Director of Lifelong Learning in 2009, and became Associate Head of Dept in 2011. In 2012 I was appointed Associate Professor of the Sociology of Education, and then Professor of Education and Social Justice from January 2022. I am co-leader of the BRIDGE departmental research group, and jointly lead our PhD and Professional Doctorate in Education (EdD) programmes. I co-founded and co-convened UWE's Education Research Network (ERNie) which ran from 2016-2020, and am now on the Advisory Group of UWE's Higher Education Pedagogies, Policy and Practice (HEPPP) research network. I led UWE's Education Unit of Assessment submission to both the REF2014 and REF2021 exercises. 

I have sole- or jointly authored or edited six books (with two more in production), twenty six peer reviewed journal articles and nine book chapters. I am on the editorial board of four journals, and until mid-2022 was both a Trustee and a Public Engagement Director of the British Sociological Association, having previously served for three years as Publications Director. I have also previously served as Education Study Group co-convenor and conference Education stream co-ordinator for the BSA too. I have successfully supervised 19 doctoral students to completion, and examined 28 theses as an internal or external examiner. I am currently supervising two PhD and three EdD candidates, and regularly act as one of UWE's Independent Chairs for doctoral vivas.

When not working I like to relax by cooking, attending music or comedy gigs, fly fishing and watching sport, especially football, and in particular Spurs, where I hold a season ticket (although watching Spurs hasn't been very relaxing for quite a few years!).

Area of expertise

Post-compulsory education; Sociology of Education; Student experience/s; Qualitative research methods; Identity; Education and social class; Education and gender; Masculinty and social class; Adult education teacher training; Professional identities in education.


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