Moray House School of Education and Sport

Supervisors and topics

Looking for a supervisor? Search through a table of our research supervisors and their areas of expertise.

Research thematic hubs

Our research thematic hubs are:

  • Advanced Quantitative Research in Education
  • Children and Young People
  • Digital Education
  • Language, Interculturalities and Literacies
  • Social Justice and Inclusion
  • Sport-Related Research
  • Teacher Education, Curriculum and Pedagogy

More about each of the thematic hubs

A-Z of supervisors and their topics

Supervisors Areas of potential supervision of research students
Dr Ramsey Affifi Philosophy of education;  Practitioner and alternative (arts-informed, autoethnographic, action research, narrative, self-study, theoretical and desk-based) research methods (rather than more typical qualitative studies);  Emotions and education, and contemplative approaches;  Environmental/sustainability/science/outdoor education
Dr Farah Akbar [Not available to supervise any further new students for the coming year, 2021/22] English language learning and teaching;  Evaluation and design of ELT materials;  Individual differences in language learning;  Language and identity
Dr Graham Baker [Not available to supervise any further new students for the coming year, 2021/22] Physical activity;  Walking;  Cycling;  Active travel/transport Interventions;  Health inequalities;  Ethnicity; Exercise prescription;  Exercise Rehabilitation;  Behaviour change;  Prevention, management of overweight and obesity;  Health psychology;  Measurement of health behaviours
Dr Dario Luis Banegas Language teacher education, language curriculum development, CLIL, materials development, learner and teacher identity, language learning/teaching motivation, social justice and diversity (gender & sexuality) in language education, action research, content analysis, mixed methods, ethnography
Professor Siân Bayne Higher education;  Lifelong learning;  Open education;  Digital education
Dr Simon Beames Outdoor adventure education;  Outdoor adventure recreation/leisure;  Learning outside the classroom
Dr Shereen Benjamin Gender and education (particularly schooling);  Inclusive education;  Intersections of gender, disability and social class;  Developing feminist poststructuralist and Marxist theories/methodologies
Dr Ray Bobrownicki Coaching instruction/practice;  Performing under pressure;  Motor learning/control;  Impact of sporting structures and policies on athlete identity, welfare, and rights
Dr Josie Booth Josie’s research seeks to understand and support how children learn and the relationships with their health behaviour (e.g. physical activity and obesity). Much of Josie’s research involves school based programmes which are often co-created with teachers and pupils, and includes neurodiverse populations, such as ADHD. Josie uses a range of methodology in her research, such as Randomised Controlled Trials, Secondary data analysis of longitudinal data sets, and systematic reviews and meta-analyses.
Dr Florence Bonacina-Pugh Language policy and practice in education;  Bilingualism/multilingualism in education;  Discourse analysis (Conversation Analysis);  The Internationalisation of higher education
Dr Cathy Bovill

Co-creation of higher education curriculum;  Conceptualisations of higher education curriculum;  Student-staff partnership;  Peer observation of teaching;  The ethics of internationalisation. Methodologies: Case study methodology, participatory methodologies

Dr Nicola Carse [Not available to supervise any further new students for the coming year, 2021/22 Primary physical education;  Teacher education;  Teacher professional learning; Educational change;  Curriculum development; Complexity thinking;  Methodologically: I am interested in self-study and the use of observation and interview as research methods
Dr Howie Carson Sports coaching; Motor learning and control
Dr Katie Cebula [Not available to supervise any further new students for the coming year, 2021/22] Social-cognitive and social-emotional development;  Children with additional support needs (particularly Down’s syndrome, Williams syndrome and autism);  Family (eg sibling relationships);  Children’s play

Dr Kuang-Hsu Chiang

Higher Education policies;  Knowledge production;  University-industry partnership, Doctoral education; Research training, Disciplinary differences, European and international higher education systems, Interculturality and knowledge, Research on research;  Meta-analysis of research;  Nature of enquiry;  Research in different fields, Trust and Higher Education, University and industry, Research and Higher Education policies, Technocracy and administration, Research and teaching relationships, Comparative education studies
Dr Seongsook Choi Interaction (classroom interaction, professional interaction, interdisciplinary/intercultural interaction/communication);  Spoken Discourse;  Institutional Discourse;  Professional Discourse;  Constructing Identity;  Interdisciplinary research engagements in Higher Education
Dr Beth Christie [Not available to supervise any further new students for the coming year, 2021/22] Practical, theoretical and philosophical aspects of outdoor learning and learning for sustainability;  The developing policy landscape in Scotland in relation to outdoor learning, learning for sustainability and the curriculum

Dr Hazel Christie

Learning and teaching in higher education including student identities, student transitions, student retention, non-traditional students, teacher identities, emotional dynamics of learning; Qualitative methods

Dr Laura Colucci-Gray Science education;  Sustainability education;  Outdoor learning;  STEAM education;  Citizen science;  Interactive and participatory research methodologies
Professor Dave Collins Performance enhancement and support;  Coach development;  Talent development;  Expertise

Dr Loel Collins

[Not available to supervise any further new students for the coming year, 2022/23] 

Theory and practice of coaching, coach development and education in outdoor activities, action and adventure sports; Judgement and Decision making in complex and consequential environments.

Professor Do Coyle      Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) in school and tertiary sectors;  Ecological frameworks for learning and Educational Linguistics;  Immersion and bilingual education in classrooms including transdisciplinary studies, language-medium learning; PluriLiteracies and the role of language in meaning-making, conceptual development and intercultural understanding;  Academic literacies (discourse, conceptual and intercultural thinking) in different disciplines e.g. science, history, social sciences;  Transformative pedagogies and shared learning spaces for deeper learning;  Pupils as researchers, teachers as researchers, student teachers as researchers;  Theories of Practice;  Classroom discourse
Dr Maria Dasli Intercultural language pedagogy;  Intercultural education;  Language and identity;  Critical theory;  Critical pedagogy;  Ethnography;  Hospitality ethics;  Cultural studies;  Critical discourse analysis;  Critical race theory
Dr Jacqueline Dohaney STEM higher education; Geoscience education; Higher educational philosophy; Identity and sense of belonging; Scholarship of Teaching & Learning
Dr Noreen Dunnett Digital Education; boredom and engagement in school-based learning; game-informed learning; sociomaterial ethnography; hybrid learning environments; technology and education
Dr Adriana Duta Welcomes PhD projects using quantitative data analysis for topics related to social inequalities, social mobility and social justice. These could include social inequalities and determinants of success in education and/or cognitive and non-cognitive skills OR the role of education in shaping individuals’ life chances, attitudes and behaviour.
Dr Andrea E English [Not available to supervise any further new students for the coming year, 2021/22] Philosophy of education, especially Dewey, and the classical German tradition;  Phenomenology and pragmatism;  Topics of moral education;  Dialogic teaching;  Pupil voice;  Critical thinking
Dr Samantha Fawkner Young people;  Physical activity;  Sedentary behaviour;  Body composition
Dr Claire Fitzsimons Sedentary behaviour and older adults; Physical activity and older adults
Dr Sarah Foley

Welcomes ideas on projects around: parenting and families; fathers; family transitions (e.g., to parenthood, divorce/separation); new family forms; mind-mindedness; attachment; theory of mind; child social, emotional and cognitive development; longitudinal methods; quantitative methods. 

Dr Kenneth Fordyce Learner corpus research;  Interlanguage pragmatics; Intercultural pragmatics;  Internationalization of higher education (linguistic and cultural issues);  Academic literacies
Deborah Fry Safe and inclusive education;  Burden of violence on educational and learning outcomes;  Violence in childhood;  Child protection;  Bullying;  Corporal punishment/discipline;  Gangs;  Conflict-affected societies, Insecurity and education;  Refugees, Forced migration, Asylum seekers, Unaccompanied and separated children & education;  Education and development;  Teacher training for social justice;  Peacebuilding
Dr Ian Fyfe Youth studies/sociology of youth; Youth work; Education for citizenship
Dr Michael Gallagher ICT for development (ICT4D);  International education;  Mobilities frameworks; Higher education in the Global South;  Policy and practice around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);  Emerging pedagogies;  Educational futures
Dr Shirley Gray Physical education;  Health and wellbeing (health, the body and healthism discourse);  PE pedagogy and curriculum;   Motivation, self-regulation and self-determination;  Student engagement in PE;   Girls' participation in PE;   Team games pedagogy and decision making;  Masculinity and PE;  Teacher learning and research
Dr Lorna Hamilton Identity - personal and professional; Teacher beliefs and values (early professional development);  Behaviour in schools and developing professional identity;  Intercultural education and multicultural citizenship;  Inclusion - critical approaches to giftedness - gifted and talented youth;  Ability and ability grouping;  The organization of learning; Pupil voice – absent voices
Professor Peter Higgins [Not available to supervise any further new students for the coming year, 2021/22] Theory, philosophy and practice of outdoor education/outdoor learning;  Theory, philosophy and practice of environmental and sustainability education;  International comparative approaches to outdoor, environmental and sustainability education;  Coaching and skill acquisition in outdoor activities
Dr Jule Hildmann Personal and social development;  Experiential learning;  Outdoor environmental education;  Outdoor learning (and taking the curriculum outdoors), leadership (theory, styles, etc.) in education;  Facilitation of individual and group processes;  Creative approaches to learning;  Emotions and learning
Dr Deborah Holt Positive mental health promotion in education;  Health and wellbeing;  Wellbeing promotion;  Pastoral care of pupils in schools and students in universities;  Anything related to promoting the social, emotional and mental wellbeing of learners, e.g. resilience, emotional literacy, co-operative learning, resolving conflict;  Metacognitive approaches in the classroom
Dr Lindsey Horner Education and development;  Peacebuilding education;  Peace education;  Education and conflict;  Postdevelopment approaches: Popular education/community organising (in developing contexts);  Arts-based research methods;  Participatory research research methods;  Ethnography
Dr Andrew Horrell Teacher professional learning;  Curriculum development;  Educational Policy and Curriculum enactment;  Physical Education Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment, Physical Education Teacher Education. I specialise in areas of enquiry which draw on qualitative research methods.
Professor Cristina Iannelli Social stratification in education and the labour market; Social mobility;  Youth transitions;  Cross-country comparative analyses;  Quantitative data analysis
Professor Grant Jarvie Sport, social sciences, politics;  Sports policy;  Sport diplomacy and cultural relations;  Social inequality;  Scottish sport and physical education;  Sport and international development;  Physical Education;  Sport for health;  The role universities and higher education;  Political economy
Dr Mike Jess Complexity thinking;  Curriculum and pedagogy;  Policy;  Physical education, particularly primary physical education
Dr John Kelly Sport and culture/fandom;  Media analyses and sport;  Militarism (civil-military relations) and sport;  'Sectarianism' and sport;  PE and the body (socio-cultural issues);  Symbolic interactionism (sociological theory);  Sub-cultures in sport; Offensiveness, language and discourse in sport
Dr Paul Kelly Walking, cycling and active travel;  Health behaviour measurement;  Health behaviour change
Dr Charlotte Kemp [Not available to supervise any further new students for the coming year, 2021/22] Metacognition;  Multilingualism;  Metacognition in multilinguals or bilinguals. I can supervise both Qualitative and Quantitative research
Dr Jeremy Knox Digital education;  Higher education;  MOOCs; Open Educational Resources (OERs);  Social media; Continental philosophy;  Posthumanism;  New materialism;  Science and technology studies/Actor-Network Theory/socio-material theory
Dr Kristina Konstantoni [Not available to supervise any further new students for the coming year, 2021/22] Children's and young people's social identities and attitudes;  Diversity, equity/fairness/social justice practices;  Children's and young people's rights and participation in research, policy and practice;  Intersectionality; partnerships between research, policy and practice; Methodologies of research with children and young people;  Ethical issues in research with children and young people;  Early years and professionalism;  Early learning and care   
Dr Marlies Kustatscher [Not available to supervise any further new students for the coming year, 2021/22] Children and young people’s social identities and inequalities of race, class, gender etc.;  Children’s rights and participation in research, policy and practice;  Children's emotions and relationships, particularly in educational settings;  Intersectionality, feminist research, research with children, participatory action research
Dr James Lamb Learning spaces;  Multimodality in education;  Assessment practice and digital technology;  Sonic methods in education research

Dr Jennifer Lavoie [Not available to supervise any further new students for the coming year, 2022/23]

Children and the legal system;  Child maltreatment and child protection;  Commercial sexual exploitation of children;  Child-friendly justice models; Forensic interviewing protocols;  Forensic disclosure;  Children;  Adolescents;  Developmental trajectories;  Lying;  Secrecy; Theory of mind;  Justice; Moral development;  Cognitive development;  Conduct problems;  Parent socialisation and parenting
Dr Jack Lee Comparative and International Education;  Higher education, knowledge and power;  Cultural diplomacy;  Research capacity building;  Regionalization;  Intercultural communication;  Asia and the Global South
Dr Jung Woo (Jay) Lee Sport media and communication;  Sport and globalisation; Sports mega-events studies;  Sports and international relations;  Sociology of sport;  Sport and social identities;  Sport and social theories;  Sport and semiotics
Dr Neil Lent Graduate employability, work-based learning, professional development;  Enhancement of assessment and feedback in higher education;  Evaluation of policy and new practices in higher education (from a socio-cultural perspective rather than audit-based)

Dr Hui-Chuan (Jane) Li

Curriculum materials design and development, particularly in relation to mathematics;  Social constructivism in mathematics teaching and learning;  Development of students’ mathematical proficiency with meaningful grounding;  Learning for sustainability in mathematics education;  Learning, teaching and assessment;  Classroom discussion and communication;  International and comparative education
Dr Jingyi Li [Not available to supervise any further new students for the coming year, 2021/22] Education Policy development, International education, and Globalisation
Dr Holly Linklater [Not available to supervise any further new students for the coming year, 2021/22] Autoethnography;  Ethnography;  Practitioner research;  Teacher research; Inclusion;  Pedagogy (especially primary schools/ early years); Teachers' creative/imaginative thinking (with regard to pedagogic decision making)
Dr Mike Lynch [Not available to supervise any further new students for the coming year, 2021/22] Modern language learning and teaching; Second language acquisition;  L2 learning and teaching;  Communicative language teaching; Language teacher cognition
Dr James MacAllister Philosophical inquiries into any educational issue/s;  Ethics, values and moral education;  Epistemology and education - what types of knowledge and curricula are valuable and why;  Issues concerning discipline and/or punishment in educational settings;  Alternative schooling 
Dr Ann MacDonald Gender;  Religious culture and experience;  Gender and feminism in religion;  Religion and schooling;  Teacher culture;  Women teachers;  Primary teaching as work;  Schooling in Scotland;  Social justice
Dr Georgios Machtsiras Swimming;  Sports biomechanics;  Dance biomechanics
Dr Sarah MacIsaac Health and the body from a sociological perspective;  Social media and the body;  Embodied identities;  Young people's experiences of, and engagements with, the PE environment;  Ethnographic research methods
Dr Justine MacLean Social Sciences and Policy, Curriculum, Agency, Identity, Resilience
Dr Gale Macleod Social, emotional and behavioural problems;  School disaffection; Behaviour;  Exclusion/inclusion;  Authority relationships;  Medicalisation of behaviour
Dr Andrew Manches Children (<12 years) and technology;  Embodied Cognition;  Early Numerical development;  Computing Education
Dr Gale Macleod Social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (SEBD);  School disaffection and disruptive behaviour;  Exclusion/ inclusion; Medicalisation of behaviour;  Pedagogical relationships;  Authority relationships;  Postgraduate provision
Dr Alan MacPherson Rhythm for expertise;  Instructional technique/Coaching;  Sources of information for movement
Dr Amanda Martindale Professional judgement and decision making;  Accelerating expertise (Individuals & Teams);  Mindfulness;  Performance psychology; (Please note - the context of research can be diverse and involve an element of risk (e.g., sport, medicine, emergency services, military, business)
Professor Catherine Maternowska Children and young people; Social justice and inclusion;  Medical anthropology; Violence prevention;  Child rights and protection; Sexual and reproductive health;  Mixed methods research;  Child sexual abuse and exploitation
Dr Gillean McCluskey [Not available to supervise any further new students for the coming year, 2021/22] Exclusion from school;  Youth at risk;  Behaviour and relationships in school; Troubled and Troublesome pupils;  Restorative Approaches in school;  Relationships between youth crime and education;  Pupil voice; Marginalised groups in education
Dr Velda McCune [Not available to supervise any further new students for the coming year, 2023/24] Learning and teaching in higher education - more specifically topics such as: academic identities, learner identities, education for complex or ‘wicked’ problems, international students’ learning, widening participation, digital education;  Qualitative methodologies such as interviews and virtual ethnography or mixed methodologies. I do not have up-to-date expertise in statistical methods.
Dr Matt McDowell ‘Second-order’ sporting events;  The history of football;  Sport on the North Atlantic Rim;  The patronage of sport by industrialists, politicians, and landowners;  Sport, material culture, and the politics of representation; Scottish/British sport, Empire, and decolonisation;  Lifestyle sports in Scotland;  The history of education (including physical education);  North American sport;  The Scottish diaspora and sport;  The history and politics of baseball;  Hillwalking, land politics, and environmentalism
Dr Sarah McGeown Literacy/reading;  Sex/gender differences;  Mental toughness/resilience;  Motivation
Dr Paul McMillan Physical education, particularly in secondary schools; The 'Sport Education' model;  Curriculum;  Pedagogy;  Teachers' everyday practices;  Teacher-pupil interaction, qualitative classroom research;  Naturalistic inquiry;  Qualitative research methods, self-study
Dr Aline Nardo Philosophy of Education, in particular topics connected to Dewey, Vygotsky, Marxism and Critical Theory;  Topics at the intersection of Evolution and Education;  Philosophical/conceptual/historical work on ‘learning’ and ‘development’;  Theory and design related to ‘ethics and play’ (digital and analogue) in educational contexts
Dr Christine Nash Sport coaching;  Coach education;  Talent development;  Development of expertise;  Mentoring
Dr Robbie Nicol Outdoor environmental education (theory and practice);  Environmental philosophy;  Epistemological diversity (different ways of knowing); Experiential learning;  Sustainable development;  Education;  Learning for sustainability;  Cultural perspectives on environmental education
Dr Ailsa Niven Psychological determinants and consequences of physical activity and sedentary behaviour;  Walking for health;  Health in adolescents
Dr Fiona O'Hanlon [Not available to supervise any further new students for the coming year, 2021/22] Bilingual education;  Languages education;  Attitudes to language;  Language policy;  Language planning
Rachel O'Neill Deaf education;  Language policies at any level in relation to signed languages;  Science discussion and deaf learners;  Online reading and deaf learners. Monitoring deaf children's early language acquisition in speech and sign;  Transition of deaf young people from school to college, university and work
Dr Mike Orr [Not available to supervise any further new students for the coming year, 2021/22] Second language teacher education: Action research/reflective practise for professional development; English as a medium of instruction: Linguistic/cultural imperialism
Dr Debbie Palmer Sports injury and illness epidemiology, risk and prevention;  Longer-term consequences of injury (e.g. osteoarthritis);  Retired athlete health; sport-related concussion.  Elite, recreational, community, and youth sport cohorts. Trauma and orthopaedics;  Clinical cohorts
Dr Nataša Pantić Teacher agency;  Educational change;  Relationships in an education setting;  Mixed-method Social Network Analysis  
Dr Shaun Phillips

Fatigue mechanisms in sport and exercise;  Self-regulation of sport and exercise performance;  Perceptions of high-intensity interval exercise;  Sport and exercise interventions for individuals with neurological impairment

Dr Stelios Psycharakis Biomechanics of swimming and other aquatic sports;  Aquatic rehabilitation, in particular for chronic low back pain patients, sufferers of other MSDs and the elderly;  Clinical biomechanics;  Applied biomechanics in sports;  Human performance science;  Physical activity and health
Dr Ann J Rae Teachers' professional learning;  Teacher identity  
Professor John Ravenscroft Visual impairment;  Adaptive sport;  Sensory impairment;  Hearing impairment;  Inclusion;  Philosophy of education/ Virtue epistemology
Dr Gavin L Reid Sport and the city;  Sport and social enterprise;  Sport and event legacies;  Sport and the politics of dissent/protest;  Sport and local government austerity;  Sport and social exclusion
Professor Sheila Riddell Additional support needs;  Higher education;  Equality and social justice
Professor Judy Robertson Computer science education schools, particularly data literacy
Dr Claudia Rosenhan Language and literature;  Pedagogy;  Ecocriticism/ecolinguistics
Dr Jen Ross  [Not available to supervise any further new students for the coming year, 2021/22] Digital related topics with a critical and well-theorised perspective, as they relate to higher education, cultural sector (museums and galleries), lifelong and informal learning;  Reflective practices;  MOOCs;  Open education;  Online distance learning
Dr Shari Sabeti [Not available to supervise any further new students for the coming year, 2021/22] Arts education (including literature, graphic novels and the visual arts);  Cultural heritage education;  Museum education; Creative writing;  Anthropology of education;  Education in the global south;  Education and development;  Literacy in its social context;  Projects focused around ethnography as the primary approach to research;  Projects interested in using visual or arts-based methodologies
Dr Dave Saunders Life after stroke;  Physical activity;  Systematic review
Dr Philippa Sheail Digital education;  Distance education;  Libraries;  Organisational theory;  Temporality;  Ethnography
 Dr Ashley Simpson Language Education:  Intercultural education;  Intercultural communication;  Multilingualism;  Discourses, identities and diversities in education. Social Justice and Inclusion:  Critical approaches to democracy;  Equality and human rights in education;  Critical approaches and theories of Global Education. Methodologies:  Discourse analysis;  Conversation analysis;  Dialogism
Dr Heidi Smith Outdoor Environmental Education with particular interest in pedagogy, leadership, transculturality, international perspectives, nature connection, learning communities and initial teacher education
Dr Julie Smith Mental health and education; Pedagogies in Higher Education; Primary mathematics education
Professor John Sproule Self-regulated learning;  Transformational teaching;  Physical education curriculum;  Physical education pedagogy;  Coach education;  Environmental physiology
Dr Tracy Stewart Child and adolescent mental health and wellbeing (including adolescents up to age 24);  Cognition, executive functioning and emotion regulation in depression and anxiety;  Mental health in developmental disorders
Professor Kay Tisdall Children's human rights; children's participation in decision-making; children's and childhood policy;  Disabilities issues affecting children;  Education and schooling; related socio-legal analysis; and methodologies of research and consultation with children and young people
Dr Martin Toye

Inclusive education;  Cognitive development;  Executive functions and academic attainment;  Specific learning difficulties

Dr Dimitra Tsakalou Inclusive education;  Equality and social justice;  Perceptions and practices on inclusion;  Inclusive practices
Dr Tony Turner Human performance science;  Motorsport physiology & performance;  Cardio-respiratory systems’ responses during exercise;  Physiology of strength & conditioning;  Concussion
Dr Martine Verheul Motor Control;  Motor coordination;  Perception and movement;  Motor development;  Disability sport
Dr Sarah Ward Youth work and community development, including how to support  high-poverty communities to have a voice in policy decisions that concern them, and in journeys towards collective agency. Research projects have included building a Capabilities framework for social change with young people in Scotland, and a multi-site evaluation of community development using theory-based evaluation (Theory of Change and Realistic Evaluation).
Dr Matt Weston

Applied sports science

Dr Ben Williamson Social scientific analyses of digital technologies, data, metrics, and the organizations that produce and promote them, in the field of education: Critical social scientific studies of data or metrics in education policy and governance, in the schools and HE sectors;  Education policy studies on digital technologies, technology companies, education businesses, think tanks, consultancies;  Social science studies of data-centred sciences in education (e.g. digital psychometrics, biometrics, neuroscience, genetics); Empirical studies of educational data use in practice
Dr Isobel Kaihui Wang Language learner strategies, vocabulary learning strategies, strategy-based instruction, second/foreign vocabulary teaching and learning

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Details about our postgraduate research degrees

English Language Education (ELE) - for research in the area of language education

More about our research