Nicola Ingram

Professor Nicola Ingram BA PGCE FHEA PhD


I am a Professor of Sociology of Education in Department of Education, Childhood and Inclusion. 

I joined the department in 2019 after working at Lancaster University, the University of Bath, and the University of Bristol. Prior to working in academia, I was a secondary school art teacher in Belfast.

I have published widely on issues of class and gender in education, including two recent monographs and three recent edited books.


I am currently an investigator on an ERASMUS PLUS funded project, Researcher Identity Development. The project is a collaboration between the UK, Finland, Spain, and Estonia and has the following objectives:

1. To design, create and assess interactive on-line research-based resources to help new researchers (PhD Students and post-docs) to face challenges concerning: interaction with supervisors, teams and communities of reference, strategies and emotions, and scientific writing and production.
2. To develop, validate and set up digital tools that contribute to the development of researchers’ career trajectories through effective participation in the professional and scientific community of reference.
3. To raise awareness within the European scientific community on the importance of researcher identity and career development through the presence of these digital tools.
4. To showcase and disseminate proven methodologies, tools and practices to successfully address researchers’ challenges in advancing their careers.

My previous research includes the Paired Peers Project (funded by the Leverhulme Trust) , which was a longitudinal study (2010-2017) of social class, social mobility and institutional differentiation in Higher Education. The second phase of the project was recently completed and I am currently leading on the second project monograph to be published by Bristol University Press, which follows on from the team's successful award winning book Higher Education, Social Class and Social Mobility: the Degree Generation (published by Palgrave MacMillan in 2016).

The second phase, Paired Peers: Moving On Up? investigated the post university destinations of graduates. It builds upon the original Paired Peers project (2010-2013), which was a three-year qualitative study of students’ experiences at the two universities in Bristol (University of Bristol and the University of the West of England)

The project tracked an initial cohort of 90 (final number 73) of middle-class and working-class students through their undergraduate life, and collected rich data on all aspects of the student experience. The overarching aim was to consider the impact of social class on the undergraduate experience, and thus to evaluate the role of HE in promoting social mobility. In the second phase of the project, we tracked the same cohort into the next stages of career-building and employment and are analysing their experiences in terms of class and gender differences, aspirations and approaches to career development.


Department of Education, Childhood and Inclusion

College of Social Sciences and Arts

PhD supervision

EdD supervision


Journal articles

Bowers-Brown, T., Ingram, N., & Burke, C. (2019). Higher education and aspiration. International Studies in Sociology of Education, 28 (3-4), 207-214.

Ingram, N., & Allen, K. (2018). ‘Talent-spotting’ or ‘social magic’? Inequality, cultural sorting and constructions of the ideal graduate in elite professions. The Sociological Review.

Mellor, J., Ingram, N., Abrahams, J., & Beedell, P. (2014). Class matters in the interview setting? Positionality, situatedness and class. British Educational Research Journal, 40 (1), 135-149.

Abrahams, J., & Ingram, N. (2013). The Chameleon Habitus: Exploring Local Students’ Negotiations of Multiple Fields. Sociological Research Online, 18 (4), 213-226.

Bathmaker, A.-.M., Ingram, N., & Waller, R. (2013). Higher education, social class and the mobilisation of capitals: recognising and playing the game. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 34 (5-6), 723-743.

Burke, C.T., Emmerich, N., & Ingram, N. (2013). Well-founded social fictions: a defence of the concepts of institutional and familial habitus. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 34 (2), 165-182.

Ingram, N. (2011). Within School and Beyond the Gate: The Complexities of Being Educationally Successful and Working Class. Sociology, 45 (2), 287-302.

Ingram, N. (2009). Working‐class boys, educational success and the misrecognition of working‐class culture. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 30 (4), 421-434.

Book chapters

Ingram, N., Abrahams, J., & Bathmaker, A.-.M. (2018). When Class Trumps University Status: narratives of Zoe and Francesca from the Paired Peers project. In Evaluating Equity and Widening Participation in Higher Education. Trentham Books Limited

Ingram, N. (2017). “I’m Not Just One Type of Person”. Aspirational Working-Class Belfast Boys and Complex Embodied Performances of Educationally Successful Masculinities. In Masculinity and Aspiration in an Era of Neoliberal Education International Perspectives. Taylor & Francis

Ingram, N., & The Res-Sisters, (2016). ‘I'm an Early Career Feminist Academic: Get Me Out of Here?’ Experiencing and resisting the neoliberal academy. In Being an Early Career Feminist Academic Global Perspectives, Experiences and Challenges. Springer

Ingram, N., Burke, C., Thatcher, J., & Abrahams, J. (2015). The development of Bourdieu’s intellectual heritage in UK sociology. In Bourdieu: The Next Generation The Development of Bourdieu's Intellectual Heritage in Contemporary UK Sociology. Routledge

Ingram, N., & Abrahams, J. (2015). Stepping outside of oneself: how a cleft-habitus can lead to greater reflexivity through occupying “the third space. In Bourdieu: The Next Generation The Development of Bourdieu's Intellectual Heritage in Contemporary UK Sociology. Routledge

Burke, C., Thatcher, J., Abrahams, J., & Ingram, N. (2015). Bourdieu: the next generation. In Bourdieu: The Next Generation The Development of Bourdieu's Intellectual Heritage in Contemporary UK Sociology. Routledge

Ingram, N., & Waller, R. (2014). Degrees of Masculinity. In Debating Modern Masculinities Change, Continuity, Crisis?. Springer

Ingram, N., & Bradley, H. (2012). Banking on the Future: choices, aspirations and economic hardship in working-class student experience. In Class Inequality in Austerity Britain Power, Difference and Suffering. Springer


Tarabini, A., & Ingram, N. (2018). Educational Choices, Transitions and Aspirations in Europe Systemic, Institutional and Subjective Challenges. Routledge.

Ingram, N. (2018). Working-Class Boys and Educational Success Teenage Identities, Masculinities and Urban Schooling. Springer.

Waller, R., Ingram, N., & Ward, M.R.M. (2017). Higher Education and Social Inequalities University Admissions, Experiences and Outcomes. Sociological Futures.

Bathmaker, A.-.M., Ingram, N., Abrahams, J., Hoare, A., Waller, R., & Bradley, H. (2016). Higher Education, Social Class and Social Mobility The Degree Generation. Palgrave Macmillan.

Ingram, N., Thatcher, J., Abrahams, J., & Burke, C. (2015). Bourdieu: the Next Generation The Development of Bourdieu's Intellectual Heritage in Contemporary UK Sociology. Routledge.

Theses / Dissertations

Assaf, D. (2024). Female Underrepresentation in Syrian University Senior Leadership Positions: Perceptions, Barriers, and Enablers. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Adams, G., Ingram, N., & Madriaga, M.

Internet Publications

Ingram, N., & The Res-sisters, (2016). Research, Resistance and Sisterhood.

Ingram, N. (2016). Forced academisation by proxy: when schools have little choice but to convert.

Ingram, N., & Waller, R. (2015). Higher Education and the reproduction of social elites.

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