Staff profile

Professor James Avis

Professor of Post-Compulsory Education


Education, Childhood and SEND


College of Arts, Humanities and Education


Institute of Education

Research centre

Technical and Vocational Education and Training Research Cluster




Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



I joined the University of Derby in November 2019 as Professor of Post-Compulsory Education. I am a member of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Research Cluster, and my research currently focuses on the policy context surrounding vocational education and training. Currently, I am working on a book about the 4th Industrial Revolution and the future of waged labour.

I am involved with a number of different organisations both nationally and internationally. I am a member of a number of editorial boards, including International Journal for Research in Vocational Education and Training, International Studies in the Sociology of Education, Journal of Critical Education Policy Studies, Journal of Education and Work, Journal of Education Policy, and the Journal of Vocational Education and Training. I have successfully supervised 22 doctorates (eight EdDs and 14 Phds, which include three Phds by publication). I have examined 49 doctoral theses (20 Phds, 29 EdDs).

Teaching responsibilities

My current teaching responsibilities are focused on EdD and PhD supervision.

Professional interests

My professional interests are located in the further and vocational education sector with a specific focus on its political economy. In addition, I am interested in questions of intersectionality, social justice and waged labour as well as the impact of socio-economic change on the sector.

Research interests

Membership of professional bodies

I am a member of the following professional bodies:


Recent conferences

I have previously organised conferences, including many of the School of Education Annual Research Conferences at the University of Huddersfield, and also regularly attend and present at conferences nationally and internationally. Recent examples include:

Experience in industry

I worked as an A-level trainee and section manager in the John Lewis Partnership, and I taught in Further Education for 14 years.

International experience

I regularly attend and present my work at ECER (European Educational Research Association). I have given keynote lectures in Rostock and Melbourne and am a member of VETNET and am also a member of the editorial panel of International Journal for Research in Vocational Education and Training. I have presented workshop on writing for journal publication in India on numerous occasions (Bangalore, Trichy, Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai, Bhopal).

Recent publications

Forthcoming publications include: