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Emma is a Reader with expertise in Geography, Sociology and Education. She is a member of the Institute of Environment, Health and Societies (Welfare, Health and Wellbeing theme) and was Director of the Centre for Human Geography (2012-15). Emma studied Geography at the University of Aberdeen and, after completing her PGCE (Secondary) at the University of Edinburgh and a brief foray into teaching, was awarded a scholarship by the University of St Andrews to undertake her PhD in Social and Historical Geography. Her broad research interests attend to: education, training and welfare-to-work; housing; family, parenting and care; embodiment, body work and emotional labour. Emma’s work has been funded through grants awarded by the ESRC, the British Academy, Barclays, the Learning and Skills Council, the Money Advice Service, and Brunel University London. Emma is currently a member of the ESRC peer review college (2010-2019), external examiner at the University of Herfordshire (2018-21), and acts as a regular reviewer for various academic journals. In 2006 Emma was awarded the Newbigin Prize by the Royal Scottish Geographical Society for her paper published in the Scottish Geographical Journal. Recent work has been published in Area, Sociology of Health and Illness, British Journal of Sociology of Education, Geoforum and an edited collection of papers on Women, Work-life Balance and Quality of Life in Gender, Place and Culture. Emma is currently an editor of the British Educational Research Journal.


PhD, Geography, University of St Andrews

PGC in Higher Education, Brunel University London

PGC in Secondary Education (Geography and Modern Studies), Moray House, University of Edinburgh

MA (Hons) Geography (1st Class), University of Aberdeen


Senior Tutor

University's British Academy review panel

ESRC Peer Review College (2010-)

External Examiner, BA/BSc Geography, University of Hertfordshire (2018-2021)

External Examiner, BA Geography, Newcastle University (2014-2018)

Newest selected publications

Wainwright, E., McHugh, E., Gilhooly, K. and Hills, L. (2018) 'What works? Evaluation of the DOSH financial capability programme'. Place of publication: Brunel University London.


Chappell, A., McHugh, E. and Wainwright, E. (2018) 'Successful Students: Exploring the factors that encourage and enable students from a widening participation background to stay the course'. Place of publication: Brunel University London.Open Access Link


Wainwright, E., Marandet, E. and Rizvi, S. (2018) 'The body-space relations of research(ed) on bodies: the experiences of becoming participant researchers'. Area, 50 (2). pp. 283 - 290. ISSN: 0004-0894 Open Access Link

Journal article

Aldridge, D., Biesta, G., Filippakou, O. and Wainwright, E. (2018) 'Why the nature of educational research should remain contested: A statement from the new editors of the British Educational Research Journal'. British Educational Research Journal, 44 (1). pp. 1 - 4. ISSN: 1469-3518 Open Access Link

Journal article

Wainwright, E. and Marandet, E. (2018) 'Housing Associations as institutional space: care and control in tenant welfare and training for work'. Area. ISSN: 0004-0894 Open Access Link

Journal article
More publications(33)