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Dr Sophie Ward is an Associate Professor in the School of Education and Programme Director for the MA in Education.

Dr Sophie Ward, School of Education
Dr Sophie Ward, School of Education
Tell us about your role within the School of Education

In addition to publishing widely on the arts in education and creativity, I direct the MA in Education programme, convene Undergraduate modules on the history and philosophy of education and the arts, and supervise doctoral theses. I am also the School of Education’s Research Environment Champion. I am a member of Durham University’s Hedgehog Working Group I was thrilled when we received the Gold Award for being a Hedgehog Friendly Campus 2022-2023.

Tell us about your research interests / specialism within the School of Education

My research explores education policy and the arts in education using a variety of conventional and arts-based research methods. Publications in this field include my book, Ward, S. (2017). Using Shakespeare’s Plays to Explore Education Policy Today: Neoliberalism through the lens of Renaissance humanism. Abingdon: Routledge.

What can students expect from their first few weeks in the School of Education?

Your first few weeks will be very busy as there is so much on offer at Durham University in terms of clubs and societies as well as so much to discover about the School of Education, study support, library services and so on. You will attend induction activities that are designed to introduce you to your fellow students and answer your questions about the MA in Education. You will also attend your first lectures and seminars. The first few weeks are a lot of fun!

What do you think makes the School of Education unique?

Despite being world-leading experts in the field of Education, our teaching staff are friendly and approachable. We are a small department and provide a high level of support for our students, and this support is reflected in the high quality of our students’ work. As our MA in Education is taught by eminent researchers, the curriculum content is up-to-date and of international relevance.

What advice would you give someone thinking of studying in the School of Education?

Try to ensure that you make the most of every moment during your time on the MA in Education: make use of the library, attend optional research seminars, form study groups to discuss topics that interest you, take the train to Newcastle and go sightseeing, join a club or society to develop a new hobby. The School of Education is a vibrant community, so enjoy it to the maximum!

What have your students gone on to do after graduating from Durham?

Some of our MA Education students have progressed to PhD study in Durham’s School of Education and at other universities and become lecturers and professors; some have taken up teaching or leadership positions in schools; others have taken up posts in local government.

Find out more

  • Dr Sophie Ward is an Associate Professor in the School of Education and Programme Director for the MA in Education. If you would like to find out more about Sophie, visit her profile.
  • Learn more about the MA in Education programme
  • We are one of the leading Schools of Education in the UK and ranked in the top 100 in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023. Feeling inspired? Visit our School of Education webpages to find out more about studying with us.
  • If you’d like to share your story or insights into your work, visit our Submit a blog or vlog page to learn more.