full and part-time postgraduate research

Education and Professional Studies

Education and Professional Studies staff are active in a number of areas of research. This is conducted in collaboration with colleagues in subject areas from across the University and with regional, national and international partners.

Research Interests:

  • Education and social policy
  • Creativity and imagination in education
  • Cultural politics of media/popular culture education
  • Inter-professional collaboration and communities of practice
  • Safeguarding children and workforce reform
  • Education and interdisciplinary practitioner research
  • Qualitative research methodology and research representation
  • School assessment and discursive negotiation of learning identities
  • Higher education practice and student engagement.


English at Newman is a thriving research area with expertise in colonial and postcolonial literature, twentieth century and contemporary writing, drama and manuscript and print culture. As well as giving papers at national and international conferences, the team host a research seminar series, and co-organise an annual conference on print culture – the Print Networks series. In addition to publishing articles, editing essay collections and literary texts, members of the team are also contracted for forthcoming monographs with Ashgate and Palgrave-Macmillan. English staff at Newman work with published writers and dramatists to enhance regional and national literary and performance culture.

Doctoral study in the department currently includes work on postcolonial and eco-critical approaches to the representation of landscapes in Indian literature, the twentieth-century middlebrow writer Clemence Dane, and the representation of Trade Unionism in the twentieth century.

Research Interests:

  • Early modern drama
  • Early modern travel writing
  • Print culture
  • The contemporary dramatist Edward Bond
  • Colonial and postcolonial literature
  • African women’s writing
  • South Asian literatures
  • The twentieth century middlebrow writer Clemence Dane.


The History team’s research is both national and international in scope. It spans from classics and reception to modern political culture. Historians at Newman write across a range of different publications, appear in local and national media and speak at events across the world.  In 2021, the Research Excellence Framework recognised much of the Subject Area’s research as internationally important and a proportion as world leading in its significance.

Dr Emma Folwell

Emma’s work addresses twentieth-century American history, particularly responses to poverty and community action. She welcomes enquiries from prospective MRes students in most areas of modern American history and for PhD projects that address concepts of poverty and resistance in the mid-twentieth century.

Dr Juliette Harrisson

Juliette’s research interests primarily focus on myth and religion in the ancient world, particularly in the Roman world, and the reception of the ancient world in modern popular culture. She is happy to supervise MRes dissertations projects in any area of ancient history, but particularly in areas relating to gender studies, women’s and family history, myth, religion, emotional history and the application of modern medicine and psychology to the study of ancient history.

Dr Charlotte Lewandowski

Charlotte is interested in the relationship between authority and identity in the High Middle Ages. She has worked extensively on the role of the medieval episcopate and the impact of changing concepts of power on the Church. She welcomes MRes enquiries in most areas of Western European medieval studies and encourages doctoral applications on episcopal power and ecclesiastical institutions in the period.

Sport and Health

The Sport and Health subject area is one of the most established and successful research groups at Newman University. The scholarly work of this enthusiastic research team involves a range of topics related to sport performance, physical activity and health, mental skills training, and sport in society. In 2021, the Research Excellence Framework (REF) recognised the majority of the subject area’s published research as internationally excellent or world leading, and the social impact of the research is rated as internationally excellent. The group has established collaborative research initiatives with academics from other universities, subject associations, national and international governing bodies, local authorities, charities and businesses.

Research Interests:

  • Physical exertion and sports performance
  • Mental toughness and mental skills training in sports performance
  • Social and environmental correlates of physical activity and physical activity interventions (including children)
  • Social justice and inequalities in sport and physical activity
  • Physical activity, sport and mental health
  • Bayesian data analysis in sport and health contexts

Prof. Tony Myers
Dr Ibrahim Akubat
Dr Adam Benkwitz
Dr Mark Holland
Dr Alex Powell
Dr Emma Powell
Dr Lorayne Woodfield


The Psychology and Counselling area at Newman has a focus on issues around health, wellbeing and applied psychology – for example, students’ health risk perception, health knowledge and health behaviour, narratives of untreated heavy drinking, and the views and experiences of same-sex couples in counselling.

The subject area has major strengths in the teaching of professional courses in Counselling and applied aspects of Psychology, and this drives the research agenda.


The Theology staff at Newman have taught postgraduate students successfully for over ten years through a well-established Masters programme in Contemporary Christian Theology. Research supervision (MPhil/PhD) is offered in a number of areas, including aspects of Christian theology, biblical studies, early post-biblical Judaism, contemporary philosophical theology, the history of philosophy, feminist theology and Religious Education. We are also able to work with those wishing to apply theological reflection to their ministry or professional practice. The recent appointment to the subject area of two visiting professors and the provision of a fully-funded PhD studentship has enabled Theology to become a rapidly expanding research area within the University.

Members of the Theology team regularly publish and present conference papers in their areas of special expertise, and all value the promotion of good relationships between staff and students and the provision of good support networks. The Newman Research Centre for the Bible and its Reception is located within the Theology subject area, providing opportunities for research students to network with scholars of international standing and to benefit from engagement with an active research culture.

Research Interests:

  • Old and New Testament Studies
  • The use of the Old Testament in the New Testament
  • Early Post-biblical Judaism
  • Reception of the Jewish and Christian Bible
  • Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century English Platonism and Neo-Platonism
  • Contemporary developments in natural theology and its place in the science-theology conversation
  • Bio-ethics
  • Feminist theology
  • Religious Education
  • Theologising and philosophising with children
  • Late ancient religion and culture
  • Patristics and Early Christianity.