Dr Katy Vigurs

Job Title and Responsibilities

Associate Professor of Higher and Professional Education

Course Director for the Professional Doctorate in Education (EdD)

Module Leader for Theory in Educational Research (EdD)

Module Leader for Designing Educational Research (EdD)

Module Leader for Research Supervision Training Module

Module Leader for MA Education Research Proposal and Dissertation modules

Doctoral Supervisor

Masters Dissertation Supervisor

Member of the Faculty Research Degrees Sub Committee

Member of the University Research Degrees Sub Committee

About Me

I joined Staffordshire University on a PhD scholarship in 2002. This involved a longitudinal, critical ethnography of an informal education partnership. In 2006, I became a fulltime Research Fellow in the Institute for Access Studies, which saw me carry out a number of educational research projects, particularly in the field of widening participation in education. I am currently a full-time member of staff in the School of Education at Staffordshire University and am Programme Director of the Professional Doctorate in Education (EdD). I am also an active member of the Institute for Education Policy Research and have much experience of social research design, data generation, management and analysis, and report writing in the field of education research. 

I have previously designed and led research projects that focused on young people and community engagement. I have also designed and led focus groups, interviews, workshops and observations with learners in school, college, university and adult education settings, as well as with families and learning providers for projects funded by JRF, HEFCE, Sutton Trust, Learning and Skills Development Agency, Youth Sport Trust and Aimhigher. In addition to traditional qualitative research design I have knowledge and experience of a range of visual and participative research methods, as well as having considerable experience of analysing qualitative data using software such as NVivo. 

Research and teaching interests include researcher development; doctoral pedagogies; research methods pedagogies; use of technology in postgraduate education; social justice and education; equity in HE; collaborative working in education settings. 

I have supervised many doctoral and masters’ students. I am the elected co-convenor for the British Educational Research Association’s Special Interest Group (SIG) on Social Justice and Education. I have also been selected to be part of the national UK Council for Graduate Education’s (UKCGE) Student Experience Working Group. I am also an active member of both the National EdD Leaders' Network and the UCET Research and Development Committee.

I was awarded a University Teaching Excellence Fellowship in 2013 and achieved HEA Senior Fellow status in 2014. I am committed to developing research-informed teaching in my own programmes and I also support other colleagues to achieve this.


Postgraduate Certificate in Higher and Professional Education (PgCHPE) – Staffordshire University (2012)

PhD. Reconceptualising Conflict and Consensus within Partnerships: The Roles of Overlapping Communities and Dynamic Social Ties – Staffordshire University (2010)

MProf. Leadership for Sustainable Development – Middlesex University (2000)

BA (Joint Hons.) (First Class) English Literature and Cultural Criticism - Cardiff University (1999)


  • Researcher development

  • Social justice and education policy and practice

  • Equity in education

  • Participation in higher and further education

  • Partnership working / collaborative working in education

  • Social networks and social networking in education

  • Education and community development

  • Qualitative research design and analysis

  • Participative & visual research methods

  • Ethnographic research

Professional Memberships and Activities

British Education Research Association (BERA)

UK Council for Graduate Education (UKCGE)

National EdD Leaders’ Network

Higher Education Academy (HEA)

Teaching Excellence Academy (Staffordshire University)

Society for Research in Higher Education (SRHE)

Editorial Board Member - Innovative Practice in Higher Education Journal (IPiHE)


Universities’ Council for the Education of Teachers (UCET)

British Educational Leadership, Management and Administration Society (BELMAS)

British Sociological Association (BSA)

Social Research Association (SRA)

Selected Publications

Thomas, L., Quinn, J., Slack, K., Casey, L, Vigurs, K. and Flynn, J. (2004) Learning brokerage: Building bridges between learners and providers.  London: Learning and Skills Development Agency.

Thomas, L., Slack. K., Vigurs, K., Thexton, W., Flynn, N., Casey, L., and Quinn, J.  (2005)  Learning brokerage: Building bridges between learners and providers. Phases 2 and 3 London: Learning and Skills Development Agency. 

Quinn, J., Thomas, L., Slack, K., Vigurs, K. and Flynn, N. (2005) ‘Learners on their own terms? Learning brokerage, mainstream transformation and social exclusion’ in the Journal of Access Policy and Practice.

Vigurs, K., Thexton, W. and Davies, P. (2005) Maximising Tolerance, Minimising Nuisance: Promoting intergenerational dialogue through the use of community arts (research commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation) York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Vigurs, K. and Davies, P. (2005) Youth Act Evaluation Report (research commissioned by Youth Act Stoke-on-Trent).

Robinson, D., Hammersley-Fletcher, L., Davies, P. and Vigurs, K. (2006) A Comparative Study of the Leadership, Management and Governance Issues of three FE/HE partnerships (research commissioned by HEFCE)

Slack, K. and Vigurs, K. (2006) Evaluation of Aimhigher in Lincolnshire and Rutland: Final Report

Slack, K. and Vigurs, K. (2006) Evaluation of Aimhigher in Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent

Davies, P., Slack, K., Hughes, A., Mangan, J. And Vigurs, K. (2008) Knowing where to study? Fees, bursaries and Fair Access. Report for the Sutton Trust.

Davies, P., Hughes, A., Mangan, J., Slack, K., Vigurs, K., Renfrew, K., Baird, H. and Green, H. (2010) Understanding the information needs of users of public information about higher education. Report for HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England).

Davies, P., Noble, J., Slack, K. and Vigurs, K. (2010) Fee remissions and bursaries in independent schools. Report for the Sutton Trust.

Vigurs, K. and Sobocinski, M. (2012) Academic Writing Skills: Necessity for Education and Work. Report on EU project, for ECORYS.

Vigurs, K. and Capper, J. (2013) Competition for Learning: use of competition in the classroom to promote learning. Report for Youth Sport Trust.

Slack, K. and Vigurs, K. (2013) ‘Variation in local career trajectories of young people sharing a similar low socio-economic background in one geographic community’, National Institute for Careers Education and Counselling, October 2013, Issue 31.

Research Interests

Researcher development

Pedagogies for doctoral learning

Collaborative working in education

Social justice and education

Equity and education

Community education and community learning

Widening participation in higher education

Social research methods

Current Teaching

For postgraduate education students I teach modules and sessions on research methods; using theory in educational research; designing educational research projects; supervising and supporting research students; using technology to enhance learning; education, culture and society; and collaborative working in education..


Dr Katy Vigurs
Associate Professor (Tef)
School of Education (Lifelong and International Learning)
Faculty of Business, Education and Law
Staffordshire University
Brindley Building
Leek Road
t: +44 (0)1782 294273
e: k.vigurs@staffs.ac.uk
twitter: @drkatyvigurs