London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

Carole Leathwood


Director of IPSE, Professor of Education

I specialise in research in higher and post-compulsory education, with a particular focus on educational inequalities related to gender, social class and ‘race’, and on critical policy analysis. My primary disciplinary field is the sociology of education, and in particular the application of feminist theory and approaches to educational concerns. My research has included projects on equality issues for staff in further and higher education;  social class and access to HE; student experiences of higher education; graduate access to the labour market; and a comparative study of educational policies to tackle disadvantage in Europe.

My research interests include:

  • Gender and higher education
  • Debates about the ‘feminisation’ of education
  • Education policy
  • Feminist theory, research and practice
  • Rationality, emotion and subjectivity in higher education
  • Widening participation and inequalities in HE
  • Constructions of student and academic identities

I am currently in receipt of a Research Award from SRHE for a small-scale study to assess the impact of recent developments in research policy for research on higher education in the UK. I am also the international adviser for a research project on ‘Research policy and research practice in the global research economy’, led by Dr Paula Mählck and funded by the Swedish Research Council, 2011-2013.

I am the Director of the IPSE Doctor of Education (EdD) programme and supervise EdD and PhD students on a range of topics related to issues of equality and social justice in education.

I am a Fellow of the Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE), Convenor of the SRHE Higher Education Policy Network (, a member of the Network for Intersectional Research into Higher Education (NIRHE) based at the University of Gothenburg ( and a member of the New Visions for Education Group which promotes policies designed to achieve a high quality equitable public education service(

I am also on the editorial boards of four international journals:

  • Gender and Education
  • Journal of Education Policy
  • Gender, Work and Organisation (for which I am also an Associate Editor)
  • Women’s Studies international Forum (and the Ireland/Britain Regional Editor from 2002-2009).

My publications include ‘Gender and the Changing Face of Higher Education: A feminised future?’ co-authored with Barbara Read (2009, SRHE/OUP) and ‘Gender and Lifelong Learning: Critical Feminist Engagements’ co-edited with Becky Francis (2006, Routledge). A full list of my publications is available on this site.

Prior to joining the University, I taught in further education for 14 years, and before that I worked with young people outside the formal education system.


Research Projects




Tel: 0207 133 2088


   Company Information    Page last updated 04 March 2015     Contact Page Owner (Angela Kamara)