Research

Research Areas
  • Career development theory and gendered career development theory
  • Equality of opportunity in career choice
  • Career guidance and social inclusion 
  • Inclusive practice in career guidance 

Master's Supervision
As a lecturer in career guidance and development at the University of the West of Scotland I supervise career guidance practitioners who undertake the careers MSc by dissertation. This qualification is for practitioner-researchers and academics looking to build on their existing diploma level qualification via a top-up route. I would be particularly keen to hear from potential students looking to undertake research into the topics listed above. 


PhD: Gender and Occupational Segregation in Apprenticeships: Career Decision Making Factors 
I am currently working towards a PhD researching Gender and Occupational Segregation in Apprenticeships, based at Heriot-Watt University, co-funded by the ESRC and Skills Development Scotland, and my employer, the University of the West of ScotlandI am supervised by Prof. Mike Danson (Professor of Enterprise at Heriot-Watt University) and Dr Jim Campbell (Glasgow Caledonian University).

The overall aim of my PhD is to use career development theory to explore and explain the presentation and persistence of occupational segregation in Modern Apprenticeships in Scotland. Previous research has focused on the presentation, and economic and social impact of persistent occupational segregation with less focus on the career decision making processes of individuals that result in significant gender biases. The study incorporates critique of the gender tolerances and vulnerabilities of career development theories and the validity of gendered career development theories. The research is designed to provide new information on the career decision making processes of, and career influences on, young people. 

The permeating themes of the research focus on whether the career decision making factors that lead to occupational segregation can be quantified and if a gender-focused career development theory could underpin a model, or models, of guidance or service provision to better address gender bias in career choice.

PhD Poster
PhD Poster March 2017