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Nicola Lightfoot BA (Hons), PGCE, MA, EdD

Principal Lecturer


My current role is the Head of the Education subject group. Previously I worked at Nottingham Trent University as a Partnership Manager with responsibility for developing links with external agencies to enhance the student academic experience. Prior to this I was the Programme Lead on a large Joint Honour's Programme within the School of Education

  • About

    Previous roles include

    Partnership Manager Undergraduate and Professional Education team, Nottingham Trent University

    Undergraduate Programme Manager, Nottingham Trent University

    Senior Lecturer - teaching on the Educational Development Strand

    All Saints RC School - Teacher of Economics and Law, then Head of Department.

    Clowne Comprehensive, Derbyshire - Teacher of Economics

    My current group leader role involves me in supporting staff delivering Education Studies, Foundation Degree, BA Top Up in Education and Learning Support as well as staff from The Autism Centre. I also contribute to the Department and College strategic and operational decision making.

    Teaching interests

    marketisation of higher education

    Use of economic models to analyse higher education

    contemporary issues in education

    transition and academic skills


    social justice

  • Teaching

    Department of Education, Childhood and Inclusion

    Social Sciences and Arts

    A selection of recent papers include:

    Byrom, T. and Lightfoot, N. (2011) Higher Education and Non-Traditional Students: Identity Transformation or an Act of Transgression? European Conference in Educational Research, Berlin, 12-16 September,

    Byrom, T. and Lightfoot, N. (2011) Transformation Or Transgression Working Class Students and Higher Education Experiences. International Conference on Education, Samos, 7-9 July.

  • Publications

    Journal articles

    McCaig, C., & Lightfoot, N. (2019). Higher education, widening access and market failure: towards a dual pricing mechanism in England. Social Sciences, 8 (10), 268.

    Byrom, T., & Lightfoot, N. (2013). Interrupted trajectories: the impact of academic failure on the social mobility of working-class students. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 34 (5-6), 812-828.

    Lightfoot, N. (2009). A view from the other side: Interpretations of widening participation by a post-1992 university. Improving Schools, 12 (3), 196-208.

    Conference papers

    McCaig, C., & Lightfoot, N. (2017). A dual pricing mechanism: modelling the English higher education market? In European Educational Research Association Annual Conference 2017, Copenhagen, 21 August 2017 - 24 August 2017.

    Book chapters

    Lightfoot, N. (2015). Policy research: In defence of ad hocery? In Exploring Education at Postgraduate Level: Policy, Theory and Practice. (pp. 81-87).

  • Other activities

    member of the British Educational Research Association

    member of the British Education Studies Association

    External Examiner BA (Hons) Education Studies, Hull University

    School Governer

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