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Cara Molyneux

Research student

Cara Molyneux

Lancaster University

Bowland North



Research overview

I am currently working on my PhD thesis after obtaining full funding (1+3) from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) in 2016 to undertake an MA in Social Research, followed by a PhD.

My research crosses bridges between Disability Studies, Ability Studies, Management Studies and Social Policy to explore the lived experience of disabled people working in small and medium size enterprises. I am interested in exposing instances of ableism and disablism to understand the consequence of both on the psycho-emotional experience of disability for people with impairments. By critically exploring employer attitudes towards individual employability, disaiblity and expected worker abilities we begin to expose the deep-rooted normative issues that lay at the heart of the "disability employment" problem. 

Prior to this, I completed a Foundation Degree in Disability Studies (Inclusive Practice) followed by a BA Hons Top Up in Disability Studies (Inclusive Practice) at the University Centre Blackburn College (UCBC), a HE in FE provider, where I obtained a first class honours degree. I am also an Associate Fellow of the HEA.

I have substantial experience in quality assurance, including as a QAA student reviewer in England and Wales since 2015. This has included membership of ten QAA teams for Higher Education Review (HER) for a wide range of further education colleges and alternative providers and more recently as a student assessor on the very first combined Degree Awarding Powers/Quality and Standards Review for an alternative provider, a student reviewer on a DAPs Variation application, and as a student reviewer on three QSRMI assessments.

I have extensive experience representing and promoting the interests of students in a variety of roles, which include: Lead Student Representative, Programme Representative and as a student sitting on a TEF Steering Group at Lancaster University.

I also represented the student interest working as a TEF assessor for Year 2 and Year 4.

In 2018/19 I worked as a seminar tutor at Lancaster University, preparing and delivering weekly seminars and responsible for assessing first year Social Work students work (assignments and exam) and providing formative and summative feedback.