Dr Michael R.M. Ward is lecturer in Social Sciences and Programme Director for Education at Swansea University. He joined the Department of public health, policy and social science in October 2016. His work centres on the performance of working-class masculinities within and beyond educational institutions. He is the author of the award winning book From Labouring to Learning, Working-class Masculinities, Education and De-industrialization (Palgrave MacMillan).

Areas of Expertise

  • masculinities
  • qualitative research
  • social class
  • ethnography
  • sociology of education


  1. (2018). The fight for education doesn’t stop when working-class boys get into university (The Conversation).
  2. Educational Trajectories and Different Displays of Masculinity in Post-industrial Wales. Cylchgrawn Addysg Cymru / Wales Journal of Education 20(1), 5-25.
  3. “I am going to Uni!” Working-class academic success, opportunity and conflict. In Masculinity, Labour and Neoliberalism: Working-Class Men in International Perspective. (pp. 60-79). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  4. & (Eds.). Higher Education and Social Inequalities: University Admissions, Experiences, and Outcomes (Edited by Richard Waller, Nicola Ingram and Michael R.M. Ward). Abingdon: Routledge.
  5. & Introduction: Setting the Scene. In Higher Education and Social Inequality: University Admissions, Experiences and Outcomes. Oxford; Routledge. [Edited by Richard Waller, Nicola Ingram and Michael R.M.Ward]. (pp. XV-XXII). Abingdon: Routledge.

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  • ASP256 Education, Policy and Society

    This module aims to introduce students to the role of education in society and the impacts of recent educational policies on access to educational opportunities, the governance of educational institutions and on wider social well-being. Through the examination of contemporary educational issues from Britain, students will develop a greater appreciation for the role of education in society.

  • ASP315 Social Policy in an Ageing World

    This module explores policies and provision for an ageing population. It begins with an overview of the theoretical explanations of the experience of ageing and takes a critical social gerontological approach towards the analysis of policy. The impact of ageism and other forms of discrimination is explored. Substantive areas of policy (e.g. mobility and transport, safe-guarding in residential contexts, housing) are scrutinized in the UK and Welsh contexts, and comparatively with other countries.

  • EDN102 Education Across the Lifespan

    This module will introduce students to various contexts for education across the lifespan. This will include formal and informal contexts for learning. Educational practice will be considered from a historical perspective, beginning with schooling and teaching. The changing nature of education and the variety of different professionals, working in the sector, will then be examined. The module will include guest speakers from the education sector, discussing current and future developments and the impact of these on educational practice. Students will be encouraged to reflect on their understanding of education and the range of contexts in which this can occur across the lifespan.

  • EYXM01 Researching Childhood

    This module will examine and critically analyse the advantages and limitations of various research models and research methods relevant to the social sciences. Students will examine the significance of research for professional practice with children and critically evaluate relevant published research studies. The module serves to prepare students for the completion of literature based and empirical projects. It is a requirement that all students on this module have enhanced DBS clearance.

  • PPS202 Interrogating Qualitative Social Science Methods

    This module will build on research understanding attained in year one and will provide and contextualise knowledge related to social research, focussing on developing understanding of qualitative methodologies. The module will particularly focus on developing students¿ understanding of interview-based and observational research. It will utilise real-world examples to critically analyse qualitative research design, data collection and analysis in order to assess the research of others. It will include an appreciation of the theoretical underpinnings of qualitative research and associated research methods.

  • PPS301 Doing Social Science 1

    This module will build on research understanding attained in years one and two and will further contextualise theoretical and practical knowledge related to social research. It will particularly focus on developing an in-depth understanding of complex ethical aspects involved in researching with human subjects. The module will support students to retrieve, analyse and synthesise extensive background literature to support their selected research question. It will also support students to present and defend their consideration of the ethical aspects of a proposed study in a `real-life¿ situation.

  • PPS302 Doing Social Science 2

    This module will build on research understanding attained in years one and two and will further contextualise theoretical knowledge related to social research, focussing on developing understanding of complex concepts such as the philosophy of knowledge. In particular the students will be guided to develop skills in collecting data either through an anonymous electronic survey or analysing published data. The module provides the student with an opportunity to undertake a small real-life research study and to analyse and present the findings.

  • SHH300 Dissertation

    This module provides the student with an opportunity to develop a research proposal relevant for research in health and social care.


  • An Examination of the Experience of Ecotherapy as an Intervention for Mental Health in Wales. (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Jeanette Hewitt
    Other supervisor: Prof Michael Coffey

External Responsibilities

  • Co-Convener, BSA Education Study Group

    2013 - Present

  • Organizer and Chair of the Education Stream, BSA Annual Conference

    2013 - Present

  • Organizer and Chair of Session, BSA Annual Conference

    2017 - Present

  • Organizer and Chair of Special Panel, BSA Annual Conference

    2016 - Present

Awards And Prizes

Date Description
2017 Swansea University, Mary Williams Award for Equality & Diversity - Shortlisted
2017 College of Human and Health Sciences Staff Achievement Awards - Shortlisted for outstanding contribution to research award
2017 Emerald Literati Network - Award for Excellence, Outstanding Author Contribution
2017 Higher Education Funding Council for Wales £650 Conference Award
2016 The Society for Educational Studies - Highly commended book prize
2016 The Sociology Review - Early Career Funding Award
2016 BSA Phillip Abraham's Prize (Nominated)
2016 BBC Radio 4 Ethnography Award (Nominated) for From Labouring to Learning
2012 Most Innovating Teacher Award - Cardiff University Student Enrichment Awards