Emel Thomas

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Dr Emel Thomas is interested in supervising PhD students examining themes such as race, ethnicity, gender, social class, comparative and international education, education in small states and higher education policy.


Research activity per year

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Personal profile


Dr Emel Thomas is a Senior Lecturer in Education, Children and Young People at the University of Northampton. She obtained her doctorate in education at the University of Cambridge in 2013. Emel has written and presented papers for various conferences on education, migration and equality. She received her MSc in Comparative and International Education from the University of Oxford. Prior to this, she taught in a variety of schools in England and has conducted research for charities that support disengaged young people. Her main teaching interests include equality and diversity, race, identity, migration, intercultural teaching and learning, comparative theories, education in small states and higher educational development. Currently, Dr Emel Thomas leads the Centre for Education and Research (CER) Special Interest Group (SIG) 'Families and Communities'. 


Current Supervision:

Qiuling Bi

Critical thinking instruction through project-based learning in Chinese EFL classes - A case study in HE. 


Michelle Bye-Gannon

Exploring the role of gender and identity in the experiences of male secondary school students.


Chimeuma Darlington Beke

Student mobility for higher education: the case of Nigeria. 


Hilary Gbedemah

Examining the Application of International Human Rights’ Standards in Ghana for Non-Discriminatory Practices in Girls Secondary Education: The Impact of Discriminatory Disciplinary Measures.


Rajani Padmanabhan

A case study investigation of a mainstream school that supports inclusion in Bangalore, South India.  


Bhuvana Ramakrishnan

An investigation into parental perspective of inclusive education for primary pupils with SEND in Dubai private schools.  


Xianrong Wang

Exploring the perceptions of teachers about the implementation of the SPELL framework for children with autism. 


PhD Completions:

Emmanuel Maphosa

The Zimbabwean student: examining the experiences of migrant students in English secondary schools.


Yahya Moalin

UK Somali diaspora perspectives on Peace Education as a means of conflict resolution on the National Reconciliation process in Somalia: An exploratory case study.


Nicola Preston

Stories of restorative justice and school exclusion: an autoethnography of relational understanding.  


My Tran

An exploratory inquiry into the adoption of performance based accountability policies for public universities in Vietnam. 

Teaching Interests

Dr Emel Thomas teaches on a number of educational modules at undergraduate and postgradiate level. Specifically she is module leader for EDU2015 Research Methods in Education; PDT3001 Issues of Equality in Education; PDT4002 Research Methods and Dissertation; and EDUM074 International Perspectives on Education. She supervises a number of research students at Masters and PhD level. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Devlopment Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Cambridge

Award Date: 11 May 2013

Master, University of Oxford

Award Date: 11 Nov 2011

PGCE, University of Warwick

Award Date: 1 Aug 2001

External positions

Reviewer, Gender and Education - Taylor and Francis

Reviewer, Journal of International and Comparative Education - University of Malaya

Reviewer, The University of the West Indies Press

Reviewer, Education Sciences


  • HT Communities. Classes. Races
  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • L Education (General)


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