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Professor of Education Policy Research, University of Birmingham

Peter is Professor of Education Policy Research at the University of Birmingham. He also leads the Centre for Higher Education Equity and Access and programme lead for the Masters in School Improvement and Educational Leadership.

His main research interests are multidisciplinary analysis of participation, choice and engagement in secondary and higher education.

Private and public finance of education.

Conceptual change with particular reference to understanding in economics.

Relationships between different theoretical perspectives on conceptual change, particularly Variation Theory and Threshold Concepts.

Development of teachers’ thinking and practice through ‘Learning Study’


  • 2010–present
    Professor, Centre for Higher Education Equity and Access, University of Birmingham


  • 1999 
    University of Manchester, Ph.D. (Education)
  • 1978 
    University of Manchester, PGCE (Secondary)
  • 1977 
    University of Manchester, MA Economics
  • 1976 
    University of Liverpool, BA Economics, first, GLS Shackle prize


  • 2014
    Cultural and Human Capital, Information and Higher Education Choices, Journal of Education Policy
  • 2014
    Paying for Quality? Associations between private school fees, performance and use of resources, British Educational Research Journal
  • 2013
    Defining and assessing enterprise capability, Journal of Education and Work
  • 2013
    Swedish upper secondary school students’ conceptions of negative environmental impact and pricing, Sustainability
  • 2013
    A response to Entwistle and Nisbet, Psychology of Education Review
  • 2013
    Labour market motivation and undergraduates’ choice of degree subject. , British Educational Research Journal
  • 2012
    ‘Hot’, ‘cold’ and ‘warm’ information and higher education decision-making, British Journal of Sociology of Education
  • 2012
    Attracting Mature Students into Higher Education: The Impact of Approaches to Learning and Social Identity, Journal of Further and Higher Education
  • 2012
    Can governments improve Higher Education through ‘informing choice’? , British Journal of Educational Studies
  • 2012
    Young people’s understanding of socio-economic phenomena: conceptions about the free provision of goods and services. , Journal of Economic Psychology
  • 2012
    Variation in the length of an undergraduate degree: participation and outcomes, Studies in Higher Education

Grants and Contracts

  • 2012
    Labour Market Expectations, Relative Performance and Subject Choice
    Principal Investigator
    Funding Source:
    Nuffield Foundation