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 Equity and Education strand of the school Education and Childhood 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 (two more currently under review) 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 sit on UWE's Access and Participation Plan Monitoring Group, and on the Academic Advisory Board of the Network for Evaluating and Researching University Participation Interventions (NERUPI), both of which allow me to influence university admissions and support processes for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. 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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