Deborah Youdell

Professor, Dr

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Personal profile


Deborah Youdell is internationally renowned for her research in education. She has been at the forefront of the new field of biosocial research in education and has led sociological study of educational inequalities, education practices and student and learner subjectivities. Since her first book investigating the connections between education policy, practice and inequality was named ‘Book of the Year’ by the UK’s Society for Education Studies (Gillborn & Youdell 2000), her work has taken the study of learner identities into the mainstream of education research.

Book of the Year Award, Society for Educational Studies, for Rationing Education: policy, practice, reform and equity (50:50 authorship with Gillborn).


2012 – 2019 Executive Editorial Board, British Journal of Sociology of Education.

2008 – 2015 Regional Editor (UK), International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education.

2003 – Editorial Boards: British Journal of Sociology of Education; Critical Studies in Education; Gender and Education; Race Ethnicity and Education; Asia Pacific Journal of Teacher Education.

Research student supervision

Christopher Tooley, Cambridge Gates Scholarship, University of Cambridge, 2006, now CEO Te Puna Ora o Mataatua Charitable Trust, New Zealand.

Natalie Heath, ESRC Studentship, Institute of Education, 2007.

Teresa Winstead, Overseas Research Student Award, Institute of Education, 2009.

Karl Kitching, Institute of Education, 2010, now Reader in Education at University of Birmingham.

Alice Bradbury, ESRC Studentship, Institute of Education, 2011, now Professor of Education at Institute of Education.

Alejandra Falabella Chilean Research Council (CONICYT) Studentship, Institute of Education, 2012, now Senior Lecturer at Alberto Hurtado University, Santiago, Chile.

Ian McGimspey, ESRC Studentship, Institute of Education, 2014, now Lecturer at University of Birmingham.

Evi Markou, Greek Research Council Studentship, Institute of Education, 2015.

Laura Teague, ESRC Studentship, Institute of Education, 2016, now Lecturer at Goldsmiths College.

Paula Lameu, Brazilian (CAPES) Studentship, University of Birmingham, 2017.

Holly Henderson, ESRC Studentship, University of Birmingham 2018, now Lecturer at Nottingham.

April-Louise Pennant, ESRC Studentship, University of Birmingham, 2020, now ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Cardiff.

Carol Wild, University of Birmingham Studentship, University of Birmingham, 2021, now Senior Lecturer in Education at UCL Institute of Education.

Alejandra Meyer, Chilean Research Council (CONICYT) Studentship, University of Birmingham 2022. 

External positions

Head of School of Education, University of Birmingham

1 May 201230 Jun 2016

Professor, UCL Institute of Education

1 Sept 200830 Apr 2011

Senior Lecturer

1 Sept 200430 Aug 2008

Lecturer, University of Cambridge

1 Jan 200330 Aug 2004


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