Dr Elspeth Nelson

Dr Elspeth Nelson

Lecturer in Education and Childhood/ Programme Director for BA Education, Society and Culture (top-up)

Faculty and Department

  • Faculty of Arts Cultures and Education
  • School of Education


  • BA (University of Hull)
  • PGCert (Keele University)
  • MA (Open University)
  • EdD (Open University)


I have worked in a variety of teaching roles in non-compulsory education in the Hull area for around 25 years. This includes 20 years at a GFE college offering HE courses where I was a quality improvement and student support manager in the faculty of business and science. It was here that I noted that students on vocational degree level programmes, such as Foundation degrees and HNC/Ds having made a commitment to start their programmes of study sometimes dropped out of their studies, this led to my doctoral research and the title of my thesis, ‘The importance of absence: an investigation into the significance of resilience in retention on Higher Education courses in a Further Education College’. I studies for my doctorate in education through the open university and during my research I received the Lord Perry of Walton award for research in the social sciences.

I am currently a Lecturer in Education and Childhood at the University of Hull and teach on the Education degree and master’s programmes as well as supervising and examining PhDs. I also work with the University’s teaching excellence academy, and I am looking to extend my research with local HE in FE providers in the future.

I teach and lead on range of modules at undergraduate level focussing on Special educational needs, disability and inclusion, Contemporary issues in education, research methods and dissertation supervision. I also teach educational leadership and management at masters level and supervise master's students final research dissertations. I also examine and supervise at doctoral level. Additionally, I am an active personal supervisor for a number of students at all levels of study.

Research interests

Higher Education in Further Education

Widening Participation

Resilience and Education

Post compulsory education

Student retention in the post compulsory education sector

Awards and prizes

The Lord Perry of Walton Award for Research in the Social Sciences


This was awarded by the association of Open University Graduates (AOUG) at the Open University in Milton Keynes whilst a doctoral student in recognition of my research within a hard to reach population.

Membership/Fellowship of professional body

Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy