Personal profile


James Avis left school at the age of 16 and, after working in retailing for a number of years, studied for a degree in Management Science at the University of Manchester, Institute of Science and Technology. This was followed by an MA in Sociology and a PGCE(FE). He later taught Sociology in a College of Further Education during which time he studies for a PhD at the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at Birmingham University. From FE he moved to Oxford Brookes University where he was course leader for Educational Studies. He then moved to the University of Wolverhampton where he was Professor of Education Studies. Currently he is Professor of Post-Compulsory Education and Training at the University of Huddersfield.

His research interests lie in post-compulsory education and life-long learning. He has written extensively on the policy contextualisation of further education, having addressed curriculum issues, methodological questions, teacher professionalism, as well as the lived experience of teachers and learners. He has a keen interest in the political economy of this sector and its policy contextualisation. Recent books include Issues in Post-Compulsory Education and Training, Education, Policy and Social Justice: Learning and Skills, Teaching in Lifelong Learning: a guide to theory and practice, Social Justice, Transformation and Knowledge: policy. workplace learning and skills. Current writing addresses localism, governance and community in relation to education and the state. He is also exploring issues surrounding workplace learning and cognitive capitalism.

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Post-compulsory education – the re-engineering of education, the political economy of education, lived experience of learners and teachers, the re-visioning of professionalism.
  • Education, politics and questions of social justice.
  • Workplace learning, cognitive capitalism and emancipatory practice.


  • Teaching and Learning
  • Learning
  • Cultural Studies
  • Teacher Training
  • Lifelong Learning
  • Higher Education
  • Pedagogics
  • Economy
  • Teacher Education
  • Policy

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Vocational Education Social Sciences
vocational education Social Sciences
teacher Social Sciences
social justice Social Sciences
further education Social Sciences
education Social Sciences
labor Social Sciences
radicalism Social Sciences

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Research Output 2006 2017

Beyond Competence, Thinking Through the Changes: Economy, Work and Neo-liberalism

Avis, J. 1 Jan 2017 Competence-based Vocational and Professional Education:Bridging the Worlds of Work and Education. Mulder, M. (ed.). London, UK: Springer Verlag, (Technical and Vocational Education and Training: Issues, Concerns and Prospects)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther chapter contribution


Beyond cynicism, comfort radicalism and emancipatory practice: FE teachers

Avis, J. 4 Sep 2017 The Principal: Power and Professionalism in FE. Daley, M., Orr, K. & Petrie, J. (eds.). London: UCL Institute of Education Press, p. 95-202 8 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

public sector
educational institution


Avis, J., Mirchandani, K. & Warmington, P. 3 Jul 2017 In : Journal of Vocational Education and Training. 69, 3, p. 287-291 5 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

Race and vocational education and training in England

Avis, J., Orr, K. & Warmington, P. 5 Jun 2017 In : Journal of Vocational Education and Training. 69, 3, p. 292-310 19 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

vocational education
Vocational Education
national minority

The Digitalization of Work and Social Justice: Reflections on the Labour Process of English Further Education Teachers

Avis, J. & Reynolds, C. 20 Oct 2017 The Impact of Digitalization in the Workplace: An Educational View. Harteis, C. (ed.). Springer Verlag, p. 213-229 17 p. (Professional and Practice-based Learning; vol. 21)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

further education
social justice

Activities 2014 2018

  • 22 Invited talk
  • 20 Oral presentation
  • 8 Participating in a conference, workshop, ...

Crossing Boundaries: VET, the Labour Market and Social Justice

Avis, R. (Speaker)
25 Mar 2018

Activity: Oral presentation

Race, 'Warehousing' and Vocational Education and Training and the Training Market

Avis, R. (Speaker), Orr, K. (Speaker), John Preston (Speaker), Kalwant Bhopal (Speaker)
5 Jul 2017

Activity: Invited talk

Thinking About HIVE, Social Mobility and All That

Avis, R. (Speaker)
6 Jul 2017

Activity: Invited talk