Charlie Sutton

BA (Lincoln) MSc (Leicester)

Charlie Sutton 2

Doctoral Student/Graduate Teaching Assistant

Contact Details

Room: GTA Office, Ground Floor, 107-111 Princess Road East, North Campus.



Dr. Patrick White (Sociology)

Prof. Emma Smith (Education)

Additional Roles:

Graduate Teaching Assistant (Quantitative & Qualitative Research Methods, Victims & Offenders and Society in Transformation)

Brief Biography:

After leaving school, I took a year in the ‘real world’ to take a break from the demands of exams, earn some money and follow my passion for travel. I believe that year shaped the choices I have made in life and developed my interest in the study of human behaviour. My Bachelor’s degree in Applied Social Science, helped me to build on the experiences I had in my gap year. I found I was forced to rely on my administrative skills to get a job. Whilst in employment, my degree gave me insight into the issues which affected people at work, and I believe that this helped me develop my roles in these organisations.

After I had my first child, I felt the divided loyalties of employment and motherhood. I also felt that I wanted to make more of a mark on the world than I was in business, so I pursued a career where I could help people change their lives. As a result I re-trained as a teacher, lecturing in A-level Psychology, Sociology and on an Access to HE course, for a few hours a week. To supplement my income, I also continued to use my administrative skills in the constituency office of a Member of Parliament (MP). As a Casework Manager, I helped constituents tackle a range of problems with government departments and other organisations. I believe this gave me a fantastic edge as a Social Science Lecturer, as I could easily link theories to the real-life problems I dealt with in the MP’s office. I also gained a detailed understanding of how policy impacts on lives, both from constituent and student experiences.

I particularly enjoyed teaching mature students on the Access to HE course, helping students to overcome significant barriers and develop their skills and knowledge (I.T and Social Science), to get them ready for entry into Higher Education. Although I was reluctant to stop teaching Access students, the impact of the government changes to educational policy prompted me to leave Further Education. I was also feeling increasingly passionate about getting involved in research, so I enrolled on a Master’s degree. The degree I planned to use as a means of getting out of Further Education turned out to be a sound investment, leading me into my current role at The University of Leicester.

Research Interests:

My research interests mainly revolve around the course of people’s lives. My early involvement in research looked at The effects of different school routes on undergraduate experiences (state v’s private education) and The psycho-social impact of motherhood on women’s attitudes to their employment.

More recently I have become particularly interested in the impact of age. I conducted interviews and analysed secondary data to explore Changing Definitions of the term ‘Old’. I also produced a Literature Review Report for QAA concerning Access to HE Students’ Labour Market Experiences on behalf of a small team of academics from the University of Leicester, University of Southampton and University of East London.

My current longitudinal research also follows a life-course theme, considering if Age Matters in HE, examining the views and experiences of different aged undergraduate students to see how motivations, adaptations and challenges differ.

In addition, I have an avid interest in most aspects of the criminal justice system and the armed forces, and hope to pursue research in these areas in the future.

Forthcoming Publication:

Sutton. C. E, (2018) Mature Students and Social Isolation: Feeling Excluded or Choosing to be Alone? in Boeren. E & James. N (eds) 'Being an Adult Learner in Austere Times’ London Palgrave.

Other Activities:

I still have a keen interest in travel and explore as much as I can (children/money and time permitting). I enjoy being involved in community group projects and events (heritage/school in the small amount of spare time I have, between teaching, researching and running a family. I am passionate about the benefits of living in a strong community so I work hard, alongside others, to try to develop the facilities in my local area.

I also love to socialise with friends and family. If I had more time I would read novels, play my saxophone, sing with a band and cycle everywhere.

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Contact Details

School of Media, Communication and Sociology

Campus based courses
T: +44(0)116 252 3863

Distance Learning Courses
T: 0116 252 3755

Research degrees (campus-based and distance learning courses)
T: +44(0)116 252 2785

University of Leicester
Bankfield House
132 New Walk
United Kingdom

University of Leicester
107-111 Princess Road East
United Kingdom

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