I’m a Senior Lecturer in Social Policy based at the University of Kent’s School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (SSPSSR).
My teaching and research interests are social inequalities in the UK. My specialist areas of expertise are ethnicity and poverty studies.
I’m currently working with Dr Alexander Hensby on the problem of why, on average, some groups of students in higher education achieve marks that are lower than would be expected given their previous attainment. Recently we have been looking at the experiences of Black students and students who followed a Level 3 BTEC qualification. We expect to recommend practical measures that will improve the educational experience for all students.
I have published on ethnic minorities in the UK and I am co-editor of a major social policy textbook for Oxford University Press.
I came to the University of Kent from the London School of Economics, where I did my PhD, titled “The Objectives and Outcomes of Means Testing under the British Welfare State”. It analysed the effectiveness of the policy of means testing welfare payments between the mid-1960s and the mid-1990s.
Before that I worked for Professor Holly Sutherland as a Junior Research Officer in the then Microsimulation Unit based at the University of Cambridge’s Department of Applied Economics.
I have a PhD from the London School of Economics. My MSc is from Wolfson College, University of Oxford, and is in The Social History of Medicine. My BA is from Somerville College, University of Oxford, and is in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.
Room CNE 114
Cornwallis North East
University of Kent
Kent CT2 7NF
Consultation/Office hours: please email me to arrange a mutually convenient time
The best way to contact me is by email, as this is checked more frequently than voicemails.
Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository
My research interests are in the field of social inequalities in the UK from a social policy perspective. My specialist areas of expertise are ethnicity and poverty studies. I have a particular interest in analysing very large-scale surveys, such as the Family Resources Survey and the Labour Force Survey.
My ongoing research projects include:
- Working with colleagues from several Schools and Professional Services departments on the University of Kent ‘OFFA Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity Project’. We are piloting innovations in teaching and student support that will improve the educational experience at Kent for all students. Further information can be found on the Student Success Project website.
- We presented a paper on our emerging findings at the 2015 British Sociological Association Conference. Further information can be found in the book of conference abstracts.
My previous research includes work on:
- Black Africans in the UK (funded by the ESRC)
- Financial exclusion in the UK (funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation)
- Social security benefit fraud (funded by the Department for Work and Pensions)
- Welfare Innovations at the Local Level in Favour of Cohesion (funded by the EU)
- The impact of the economic crisis on social exclusion processes in Europe (funded by the La Caxia Foundation)
- Encouraging labour market participation among 50-64 years olds (funded by the Department for Work and Pensions)
My current research students are:
- Ada Cheung (with Dr Joy Zhang) - 'Community care for older people in Urban China'
- Jellina Davies (with Dr Anne Logan) - 'Applying Behaviour Change Principles to Welfare Benefit Cap Regulation'
- Emma Stait (with Professor Mike Calnan) - 'Cigarette smoking and socio-economic position - prevalence, patterns and explanations'
I teach on the welfare state in Britain and on social inequalities.
- SO601 Welfare in Modern Britain (module convenor)
- SO575 Poverty, Inequality and Social Security (module convenor)
Contributions to the MA in International Social Policy and on Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods.