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The Education Policy and Inequalities Cluster (EPIC)

The Education Policy and Inequalities Cluster (EPIC) draws together research from within the Department of Education Studies (DES) and beyond. At the heart of our work is an interest in how research into education policy can help us to understand and tackle inequalities, both in the UK and internationally. We conceive ‘education policy’ in a broad sense, examining policy at various levels (including international, national, regional and institutional levels) and across a wide range of topics, educational phases and contexts.

Current and recent projects focus on the following areas:

  • Widening participation and access to university
  • School structures, governance and accountability
  • Labour market and career trajectories of graduates
  • Teacher supply
  • The ‘attainment’ gap for disadvantaged school/college students
  • School choice and ‘markets’
  • Further and tertiary education and flexible pathways
  • Links between research, policy and practice.
  • Curriculum development and enactment
  • Young people’s conceptions of fairness and social justice

The cluster is interdisciplinary in nature. Members also take a particular interest in the various methods and approaches available to investigate the role and outcomes of education policy within society. Cluster colleagues have expertise with mixed methods approaches, the use of large-scale secondary datasets, experimental and non-experimental evaluation work, and policy/documentary analyses.

The work of the EPIC group integrates closely with research happening in other DES clusters. A number of doctoral students from across the department and wider university are members of the cluster.

We welcome enquiries from anyone interested in our work. Please contact cluster leads, Dr Rebecca Morris ( or Dr Jacqueline Dynes (