Alastair Wilson

Dr, Dr

  • United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

Personal profile

Personal Statement

Alastair's work is focused on different aspects of inequality - identifying and challenging the processes that create and sustain it.  Along with Dr Katie Hunter he has led the development of an intergenerational mentoring programme that supports children and young people in terms of early literacy development and access to and progression through higher education.  This work has led to the creation of an independent social enterprise supporting different aspects of school and community development and focused on building relationships in and across communities. 

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In progressing these interventions Alastair's work has developed a focus on communities as the focus for change.  He is currently leading a research and development project aimed at developing local community projects that can address inequality in education. This work looks at the ways in which community development can occur alongside educational intervention to support and sustain change in communities.

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Related to this Alastair and Katie are collaborating with Dr Lio Moscardini at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland on research that is exploring access to music education for children and young people from working class or poor backgrounds.

Alastair is also working with Roseann Maguire and Professor Andrew Jahoda (University of Glasgow) on a new project Big Lottery funded project looking at the development of community based activities that can impact on the lives of people with learning disabilities. This work builds on previous research and development work that explored how to increase children and young people's understanding of learning disabilities.

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A 2020 research project funded by Scottish Government and partnered with Barnardo's has explored working with community projects and parents to find ways in which they can support their children's learning.   A recently completed project (with Lio Moscardini & Katie Hunter) has examined the impact of tuition fees in music provision in schools and the impact on children and young people from working class and poor households.

Current research projects include:

  • Developing long term community based programmes for children and young people from working class and poor backgrounds;
  • What’s Going on Now? An audit of youth music in Scotland. This project, commissioned by Creative Scotland, is designed to revisit and update on the issues highlighted in the What’s Going On? report of 2003 which was an audit of youth music in Scotland. It has a particular focus on inequality and music provision;
  • Creating school-based resources to increase understanding of people with learning disabilities;
  • Understanding local council understandings and responses to SAC and PEF funding initiatives;
  • Developing literacy support for young people in areas of social/economic disadvantage.


Alastair is interested in supervising PhD's in the above and related areas.  He has successfully supervised 5 PhD students (including 2 ESRC studentships) working in the area of education, employment and social justice. 

Alastair is also the course director for the MSc in Applied Educational & Social Research and currently teaches research methods on a range of postgraduate courses.  This course is taught in partnership with Farid Bardid and can be taken by students wishing to work towards a PhD. It allows the development of their ideas as well as exposure to research and as such is ideal preparation for a PhD.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action


  • Educational Technology
  • Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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