Staff profile

Dr Phil Burton-Cartledge

Course Director, Business, Law, and Social Sciences


Social Sciences


College of Business, Law and Social Sciences


One Friar Gate Square, Derby Campus



I wear two hats at the University. As Course Director, my role is about improving the experiences of students and helping them realise their full potential. As a senior lecturer in Sociology, I deliver accessible and engaging courses that help students get to grips with the way the social world works, how it has changed, and what role they have in shaping it for the better.

I joined the University of Derby as a lecturer in Sociology in 2013 after a period of working for a Member of Parliament.

Outside of academia, I am a politics blogger and occasional contributor to a number of media outlets. These have included BBC Radio 4, local radio, The Independent, and New Statesman among others. I also speak regularly to audiences of trade unionists, campaigners, and activists. My work has been featured in The EconomistTimes Literary Supplement, and The Guardian, among others. 

Teaching responsibilities

I currently lead the following modules:

I also supervise dissertations at undergraduate and postgraduate level. 

Research interests

I am interested in the sociology of power and politics, with a particular interest in British politics and questions of power, class, and interest in the Conservative and Labour parties. My most recent publication, The Party's Over: The Rise and Fall of the Conservatives from Thatcher to Sunak (2023) explains the electoral difficulties of Britain's most successful political party. This is the paperback edition of an earlier book mostly written during the first Covid lockdown in Spring of 2020 that highlighted the long-term difficulties facing the party - problems Boris Johnson's 2019 election triumph only compounded.

I am also interested in questions of political subjectivity and governance and whether, as Western societies move away from market-focused economic policies to more interventionist measures, how this builds on and undermines the common senses of the last 40 years.

Additionally, I have two side interests. The first is in science fiction and its depictions of societies of the near and far future. I am currently composing a paper on the conservative use of SF scenarios. The second is on the politics of local and regional economic regeneration. 

Membership of professional bodies


Recent conferences

Experience in industry

Having previously worked in a politics-related occupation and as an activist, I have experience and insight into the workings of a local and national government, running campaigns, organising set-piece events, formulating political strategy, and media management.

International experience

Coverage of my work has been featured in American, Spanish, Belgian, German, and Polish publications. I have also appeared on Californian public radio. 

In the media

I have appeared on and contributed to broadcast and print media over the years, and I am a regular speaker at labour movement and other events. My work has also attracted some media comment. Here is a selection from the last year.

Recent publications

Houses of Parliament, London

Dr Phil Burton-Cartledge, Sociology Lecturer at the University of Derby, explores the rationale behind the surprise appointment of David Cameron in Rishi Sunak’s cabinet reshuffle. 

Finger on head

Phil Burton-Cartledge, Course Director of Law and Social Sciences, shares a short guide to voting in the General Election. It won't make your mind up for you but will hopefully help you come to an informed decision.

Red Cross with pencil

Dr Phil Burton-Cartledge, Lecturer in Sociology, discusses political tactics and his predictions ahead of the General Election on June 8.

Electrical circuit board

Phil Burton-Cartledge, Course Director of Law and Social Sciences and Lecturer in Sociology, looks at the future world of work, what this means for the labour market, and how individuals can prepare.