Dr Andy Hancock

Director of Postgraduate Studies / Lecturer in Primary Education


I started teaching in multilingual primary schools in London before working for two years in a State Secondary school in Karoi, Zimbabwe as Head of Department for Social Studies. In 1990 I moved to Scotland to become a peripatetic support teacher to bilingual and traveller pupils in primary and secondary schools across Stirling, Clackmannan and Falkirk. For a short period I was seconded as part of a regional anti-bullying project investigating racist incidents and developing anti-racist support materials for schools. I was also involved in a collaborative curriculum development initiative at the Central Scotland Chinese complementary school.  Prior to coming to the University of Edinburgh I was Manager of the Bilingual Support Service in North Lanarkshire. My PhD research investigated Chinese children's experiences of biliteracy learning in the home, primary schools and Chinese schools in Scotland.

I have recently edited a book with Xiaolan Curdt-Christiansen from Reading University entitled Learning Chinese in Diasporic Communities to be published by John Benjamins.


  • 1979 BA (Hons) Economic History/Geography. Leeds University
  • 1982 Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Primary). Didsbury College of Education     
  • 1991 RSA Diploma in Teaching English Across the Curriculum in Multilingual Schools. Moray House College, Heriot-Watt University
  • 2001 MSc Advanced Professional Studies. University of Edinburgh
  • 2010 PhD. University of Edinburgh

Responsibilities & affiliations

I am Co-Director of the Centre for Education for Racial Equality in Scotland (CERES) and a visiting lecturer at the University of Strasbourg.

Postgraduate teaching

I teach languages and literacies on the following Initial Teacher Education programmes:

  • MA Primary Education 'With'
  • PGDE Primary Education

I am a course organiser on the MEd/Diploma Additional Support for Learning (Bilingual Learners). The following courses are now delivered as blended learning:

  • The Developing Bilingual Learner
  • Bilingualism and Other Additional Support Needs

Inclusive Education (MSc)

Areas of interest for supervision

I am happy to supervise any research under the research interests listed.

Current PhD students supervised

  • Jagdeep Gill- Second language learner identity in India

Research summary

  • English as an additional language (EAL)
  • multilingual literacy practices
  • Chinese children's experiences of biliteracy learning
  • bilingualism and social justice
  • student teachers' understandings of linguistically diverse primary school classrooms

Current and recent research

  • Student teachers’ understandings of multilingual primary classrooms.  Collaboration with Christine Hélot and Andrea Young, University of Strasbourg. Refer to Hancock, A. (2011) Empowering student teachers to meet the challenge of multilingual schools in Scotland. In Hélot, C and Majia, A-M. (eds)  Empowering Teachers Across Cultures (pp.45-57). Frankfurt: Peter Lang. 
  • Early Years Writer in Residence Project Evaluation: Follow up evaluation. With Moira Leslie. Report forthcoming.
  • 2012 Research in collaboration with the Institute of Education, Nanyang University, Singapore comparing bilingual and monolingual literacy development in primary schools in Scotland, Singapore and China.
  • 2013 Evaluation of Letterbox Club Scotland. With Moira Leslie. Funder: Booktrust.
  • 2015 Audit of Complementary Schools in Scotland Funder: CHSS Knowledge Exchange and Impact Grant

View all 23 publications on Research Explorer