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Current Postgraduate Research Students

Paul Ashwin supervises 10 postgraduate research students. Some of the students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

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Professor Paul Ashwin PhD

Professor, Head of Department

Paul Ashwin

County South

Lancaster University


Lancaster LA1 4YL

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 1524 594443


PhD supervision

I am interested in receiving PhD proposals in most areas related to knowledge, curriculum, teaching, learning and assessment in higher education, particularly those relating to students' and academics' experiences of higher education.


I am a Professor of Higher Education and my research interests are focused on the relations between teaching-learning and knowledge-curriculum practices in higher education. I am also interested in the relations between these practices and higher education policies as well as the relations between theories and methods in research into higher education. The kinds of questions that I explore in this research include:  What counts as high quality teaching and learning in higher education? How is this positioned in policies and practices? How do we research and theorise these competing notions of quality?

Research Interests

My research interests are focused on teaching, learning, and assessment in higher education. I am the lead author on the recently published Reflective Teaching in Higher Education, which supports research-informed university teaching. My book 'Analysing Teaching-Learning Interactions in Higher Education' focuses on ways of conceptualising teaching-learning processes in higher education that support a consideration of both structure and agency. I have recently completed an Economic and Social Research Council funded project looking at pedagogic quality and inequality in undergraduate Sociology degrees. This project focused on comparing the quality of teaching, learning and curricula in undergraduate sociology and allied subjects in four universities that have different reputations for the quality of the undergraduate experience that they offer. The study aimed to question the assumptions underlying these reputations through an in-depth exploration of the relations between what students bring to university, their experiences of university education and what they gain it. We investigated what is taught, why and how; and how undergraduate students' and lecturers' experience and evaluate the curriculum and the teaching and learning environment.

I am a member of the Governing Council of the Society for Research in Higher Education.

Career Details

Before coming to Lancaster, I spent four years researching students' experiences of learning at the Institute for the Advancement of University Learning, University of Oxford and, before that, seven years implementing and researching peer learning at Newham College of Further Education.

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