More about Sarah
Sarah has researched student transition, retention, and engagement, from the HEFCE funded HERE Project to smaller projects such as those on welcome week and the NTU Student Dashboard. Whilst working at Nottingham Trent University, Sarah supported research projects aimed at addressing differences in attainment, and ran staff events aimed at understanding how universities can support and value the differences that students bring to higher education. Sarah studied Religious Studies at Lancaster University, and continued this interest, focusing on traditional religions and their visual presentation on the web, for an MSc in Social Science Research Methods.
Sarah’s PhD research combines her love for the sociology of religion with her passion for improving the student experience.
Thesis Title: Exploring Lived Religion in Higher Education
Religion and belief is an important aspect of many students’ identity (Stevenson, 2013), but is an area that has been relatively underexplored in higher education.
Sarah’s PhD research aims to explore students’ everyday beliefs and practices, their ‘lived religion’, in order to inform the support of religion and belief whilst at university. By taking students’ everyday experience as its starting point, rather than an affiliation with a particular religion, it is hoped to capture a breadth of student experience including those from minority religious groups, and with non-religious beliefs.
Innovative methods will be used to engage students in conversation about religion and belief, and student feedback sought on the project methodology including the language used to describe religion and belief.
It is hoped that the research will be used to inform practice and policy, and will start new conversations about religion and belief on campus.
Director of Studies: Dr Michael Keenan