Professor Cristina Iannelli

Personal Chair of Education and Social Stratification / AQMeN Co-Director / Research Lead in the Institute of Education, Community and Society


Cristina Iannelli is Professor of Education and Social Stratification and Co-Director of the Applied Quantitative Methods Network (AQMeN) Centre in Scotland ( Within the Centre she is also leader of the 'Education and Social Stratification' research strand. One of the main aims of this strand is to examine the role of institutional differentiation of curriculum and status in reproducing social inequalities in education and the labour market.

Cristina has extensive research experience as leader and co-investigator of several national and international research projects. After the award of her PhD at the European University Institute (Florence), she worked as Research Fellow at the Centre for Educational Sociology in the University of Edinburgh. During this period she was involved in two major European projects, A Comparative Analysis of Education to Work Transitions in Europe (CATEWE) and Evaluation and Analysis of the Labour Forces Survey 2000 Ad Hoc Module on School-To-Work Transitions in Europe.

She was the principal investigator of the ESRC project Education and Social Mobility in Scotland in the 20th Century which provided an up-to-date picture of social mobility patterns in Scotland. After this study she was awarded a three-year ESRC Research Fellowship on The Role of Educational Structure and Content in the Process of Social Mobility.

She was successfully involved in the creation of a Scotland-wide Advanced Quantitative Methods Network (AQMeN) (funded by the ESRC and the Scottish Funding Council) which aimed to boost capacity in quantitative methods in Scotland.  Since January 2013 AQMeN has become an ESRC-funded research centre.

She is involved in a further two major initiatives, Edinburgh Q-Step and the Administrative Data Research Centre in Scotland.

Responsibilities & affiliations

She is a member of the Scientific Committee of the European Research Network on Transitions in Youth (TIY) and a member of the Supervisory Board of the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science.

Areas of interest for supervision

I am keen to supervise research under the topics listed in the Research tab.

Current PhD students supervised

  • Dafni Dima - 'Labour market transitions before and during the Great recession in Europe'
  • Alice Dias Lopes  -'International Mobility in Higher Education: understanding the dynamics of inequality and social stratification in the Brazilian educational system'
  • Takuya Numajiri- Improving the quality of mathematics education in basic school in St. Lucia : a study of Socio-Economic Status, school and teachers’ factors
  • Carla Cebula – ‘The role of family and neighbourhood factors in the reproduction of inequalities in educational attainment’

  • Lucy Hunter Blackburn -  'Student funding and the reproduction of inequality' 
  • Stephanie DeMarco - 'Social class inequalities in education: Incremental differences in language and teaching practices in five Massachusetts high schools'

Past PhD students supervised

  • Alaba Agbatogun (completed): 'Comparative effects of interactive mobiles and communicative approach on the learning outcomes of the educationally disadvantaged Nigerian pupils in ESL classrooms'
  • Gitit Satat-Kadar (completed): 'Participation in Out-of-School Activities and the Socio-Economic Gap in Children's Academic Outcomes'
  • Morag Treanor (2009-2011, completed): 'Exploring children's outcomes at the transition to primary school of children experiencing persistent poverty in Scotland'
  • Susan Whittaker (completed) 'Higher education students crossing internal UK borders: Student and country differences and their contribution to higher education inequalities'
  • Dulce Carolina Mendoza (completed) 'Analysing educational transitions in upper secondary and higher education in Mexico. An empirical application of the capability approach and sociological perspectives on inequalities in education'

Research summary

  • Social stratification in education and the labour market
  • Social mobility
  • Youth transitions
  • Cross-country comparative analyses
  • Quantitative data analysis

Research activities

View all 78 activities on Research Explorer

Project activity

  • 2017-2020: Understanding Inequalities (co-applicant) (ESRC)
  • 2015-2016: Beyond access to HE: Widening Access Initiatives and Student Retention (Principal Investigator), (Scottish Funding Council)
  • 2013-2016: Applied Quantitative Methods Network - Phase II (co-applicant) (ESRC)
  • 2009-2012: Applied Quantitative Methods Network (co-applicant) (ESRC)
  • 2005-2008: The Role of Educational Structure and Content in the Process of Social Mobility (ESRC Research Fellowship)
  • 2003-2006: Education and Youth Transitions in England, Wales and Scotland 1984-2002 (ESRC)
  • 2002-2005: Education and Social Mobility in Scotland in the 20th Century (principal investigator) (ESRC)
  • 2002: Special Study of the Labour Market Outcomes of Low-Achievers and Early School-Leavers Based on the Longitudinal Data from the Scottish School Leavers' Survey (Scottish Executive)
  • 2001-2002: Evaluation and Analysis of the LFS 2000 Ad Hoc Module on School-to-Work Transitions in Europe (LFS) (Eurostat)
  • 2001: Evaluation of Fast Trac (Scottish Executive)
  • 1998-2001: A Comparative Analysis of Education to Work Transitions in Europe (Catewe) (EU TSER)

View all 41 publications on Research Explorer