Karl Mannheim Chair of Sociology of Education, UCL

My research focuses on educational identities and inequalities, particularly in relation to gender, ethnicity and social class. I have previously undertaken studies on topics such as British Muslim students' identities and educational experiences (e.g. Archer, L., 2003, Race, Masculinity and Schooling, Open University Press); working-class access and non-participation in higher education (e.g. Archer et al., 2003, Higher Education and Social Class, Routledge); the factors behind British Chinese students' educational success (e.g. Archer & Francis, 2007, Understanding Minority Ethnic Achievement, Routledge); urban students' who are at risk of 'dropping out' of schooling (e.g. Archer et al., 2010, Urban Youth and Schooling, Open University Press) and more recently research on inequalities in science participation (e.g. Archer & DeWitt, 2017, Understanding Young People's Science Aspirations, Routledge).

I am currently the Karl Mannheim Professor of Sociology of Education at UCL IOE (2017-) and co-chair of the Sociology Activity Group (with Jessica Ringrose). Previously I was Professor of Sociology of Education at King's College London, where I was also the Director of the Centre for Research in Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

I am currently the PI of a number of large national projects, including the ten year ESRC funded ASPIRES/ASPIRES 2 study (a mixed methods longitudinal tracking of students' science and career aspirations from age 10-19); the Enterprising Science project (a five year research and development project focusing on students from socially disadvantaged communities) and the UK PI of the Youth Equity & STEM project (a four year, UK-US project, focusing on youth equity in informal educational settings, with US PI, Angela Calabrese Barton). Previously I was the lead coordinator of the ESRC's £3m TISME research programme (Targeted Initiative on Science and Mathematics Education).

I am passionate about social justice approaches to education and to the potential for academic research to 'make a difference' to educational policy and practice.


  • –present
    Karl Mannheim Chair of Sociology of Education, UCL


  • 1998 
    University of Greenwich, PhD, Social Psychology