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Education, Work and Globalisation Research

Education, Work and Globalisation

The School of Social Sciences is a leading international centre for research on education and the future of work. A major strength of our research is its outstanding scholarship across established boundaries between social science subjects including sociology, education, social policy, politics, industrial relations, management studies and economics. As experts in this field we are engaged in leading-edge research, contributing new theoretical insights and setting public agendas that challenge much of the accepted wisdom about education, skills and the knowledge economy; globalisation, work and the labour market; and the future of capitalism, political economy and social movements.

Research Groups

Education Policy Analysis research group
Childhood research group
Work, Employability and Labour Markets (WELM)

Research Centres

WISERD Education

WISERD Education is a one million pound investment to advance education research in Wales.  Funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), WISERD Education will undertake research in order to sustain and enhance the quality of learning and the standards of teaching and teacher education in Wales.



The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded Centre on Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance (SKOPE)  is co-located here in the School of Social Sciences and in the Department of Education, Oxford University, and has an extensive international network of associate research fellows. Its central aim is to examine the links between the acquisition and use of skills and knowledge, organisational strategies and performance (measured in a variety of ways).



The Seafarers International Research Centre (SIRC) is the only international research facility of its kind and has built up unparalleled experience of research on the working conditions and lives of seafarers in one of the world’s most globalised industries. The Centre has a particular emphasis on issues of occupational health and safety.


The Cardiff Unit for Research and Evaluation in Medical and Dental Education (CUREMeDE) is a collaboration with the Wales Postgraduate Deanery. Its primary purpose is to undertake research on the education and the training of healthcare professionals to inform and improve healthcare practice



The Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD) is engaged in research capacity building drawing together expertise in both quantitative and qualitative approaches across a number of Welsh universities and has a number of studies investigating education, work and labour market issues.


The Cardiff Working Environment Research Centre (CWERC) is an inter-disciplinary centre within the University dedicated to understanding the relationship between health, safety and well-being in the working environment. It is a Joint Research Centre and supported by the Schools of Social Sciences and Psychology.

Key Areas of Research Include:

  • Education and Work in an Age of Austerity
  • Higher Education, Employability and the Changing Graduate Labour Market;
  • Knowledge Economy, Knowledge Work and Knowledge Workers;
  • Sociology of Economy Behaviour;
  • Corporate Strategy and the Future of Skills;
  • Global Labour Market;
  • Class, Education and Social Mobility
  • Workplace Learning;
  • Post-Compulsory Education, Training and Lifelong Learning;
  • Educational Inclusion and Exclusion
  • School Choice and Diversity
  • Devolution and the Governance of Education and Training;
  • Workforce Development;
  • Globalisation and Occupational Health & Safety; 
  • Nation States, Competitiveness and Comparative Skill Formation;
  • Global Capitalism and Social Movements;
  • Occupational Socialisation, Recruitment and Careers;
  • Organisational Re-structuring and the Future of Work;
  • Creativity and Innovation in Higher Education and the Workplace;
  • Work, Family Life and Identity;
  • Regeneration, Locality and (Un)Employment;
  • Work, Employment and Consumption;
  • Race, Ethnicity and Working Conditions;
  • Trade Union Organisation and Renewal;
  • Restructuring of Public Services

Research Projects

Insight into ill-treatment in the British workplace

Training in recession: Historical, Comparative and Case Study Perspectives

Skills and Employment Survey 


Policy and Impact

Impact Case Study: EU regulation on on chemical 'toolbox', Cardiff Work Environment Research Centre (CWERC)


The world-class standing of staff working in this area is based on sustained publication, funded research and intellectual engagement. Research capacity building is a key role involving all staff as we are training a large number of doctoral students from around the world with the expertise required for a wide range of careers not limited to academia. 

Publications Include:

Brown, P., Lauder, H. and Ashton, D. (2011) The Global Auction: The Broken Promises of Education, Jobs and Incomes,  New York: Oxford University Press, pp.198.

Bloor, M., Sampson, H. (2009) ‘Regulatory enforcement of labour standards in an outsourcing globalized industry: the case of the shipping industry’, Work, Employment & Society, 23(4): 711-726, Sage, ISSN 0905-0170.

Bullock, A.D., Firmstone, V.R., Frame, J. and Thomas, H. (2010) Using dentistry as a case study to examine continuing education and its impact on practice.  Oxford Review of Education 36 (1) 79-95.

Chaney, P. (2011) Equality and Public Policy, Cardiff, University of Wales Press, pp345.

Gerber, Theodore, P. and Cheung, Sin Yi. (2008) Horizontal Stratification in Education: Forms, Gender Differences, Trends, and Explanations; Annual Review of Sociology, Vol.34: 299-318.

Davies, S., Hammer, N., Williams, G., Raman, R., Ruppert, C.S. and Volynets, L. (2011) ‘Labour capacity in global subcontracting chains: evidence from a construction MNC,’ Industrial Relations Journal. Vol. 42, No. 2.

Rosario, C.C., Stephens, N. and Delamont, S. (2010) 'I'm your teacher!  I'm Brazilian!' Sport, Education and Society, 15, 1. 103-120

Felstead, A., Fuller, A, Jewson, N and Unwin, L (2009) Improving Working as Learning, London: Routledge, pp.231.

Fevre R. and Bancroft, A. (2010) Dead White Men and Other Important People: Sociology’s Big Ideas, London: Palgrave, 282 pages.

Fairbrother P, Kruse W, Stringfellow E, Stroud D, Tech D, Winterton J, Cam S and Parken A, (2008) Equality and Diversity Learning in European Steel Industry, European Commission.

Bharadwaj A and Glasner P (2009) Local Cells, Global Science. The Rise of Embryonic Stem Cell Research in India, London: Routledge.

Jephcote M and Salisbury J, (2008) The Wider Social Context of Learning: beyond the classroom door, The International Journal of Learning, 15(6), 281-288.

Keep, E., and Mayhew, K. (2010), ‘Moving Beyond Skills as an Social and Economic Panacea?’, Work, Employment and Society, 24,3, 565-577.

Lloyd, C. and Payne, J. (2009) ‘‘Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing’: interrogating new skill concepts in service work – the view from two UK call centres’, Work, Employment and Society, 23, 4, 617-634.

Nichols, T., Danford, A. and Tasiran, Ali C. (2009) Trust, Employer Exposure and the Employment Relation’, Economic and Industrial Democracy, 30 (2): 244–268

Payne, J. (2009) Emotional labour and skill: a reappraisal, Gender, Work and Organisation, 16, 3, 348-367.

Power, S. & Frandji, D. (2010) ‘Education markets, the new politics of recognition and the increasing fatalism toward inequality’, Journal of Education Policy. 25, 3, 385–396

Rees, G. (2010) ‘Combating Ignorance: education, social opportunity and citizenship in Wales’, in G. Calder, J. Gass and K. Merrill-Glover (eds.) The Welfare State at 60, Cardiff: University of Wales Press.

Hills, J; Brewer, M; Jenkins, S; Lister, R; Lupton, R; Machin, S; Mills, C; Modood, T; Rees, T and Riddell, S (2010) An Anatomy of Economic Inequality in the UK: report of the National Equality Panel London: Government Equalities Office and London, Centre

Salisbury, J., and Jephcote, M. (2010), 'Mucking in and Mucking out: vocational learning in Animal care. Teaching and Teacher Education, 25 (8) pp..

Sampson H, Bloor M and Fincham B, (2008) 'A Price Worth Paying? Considering the 'Cost' of Reflexive Research Methods and the Influence of Feminist Ways of 'Doing', Sociology, 42(5): 919-933.

Stroud D and Fairbrother P (2008) ‘Training and Workforce Transformation in the European Steel Industry: Questions for Public Policy’, Policy Studies, 29 (2).

Tang, L. (2009) ‘Shaping feelings in Cyberspace: the Case of Chinese Seafarer-Partners’, Emotion, Space & Society, 2(2).

Taylor, C., Power, S. & Rees, G.  (2010) ‘Out-of-school learning; the uneven distribution of school provision and local authority support’. British Educational Research Journal. Vol. 36 (6), 1017 – 1036.

Thomas, M. and Bailey, N. (2009) ‘Out of Time: Work, Temporal Synchrony and Families’, Sociology, 43 (4): 613-630.

Walters D and Nichols T (2009) ‘Representing Workers on Health and Safety in the Modern World of Work’, in Walters D. and Nichols T., eds.  Workplace Health and Safety: International Perspectives on Worker Representation, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Theme Members