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Dr Edward Sosu



Personal statement

Dr Sosu is a lecturer in the School of Education. He has a strong interest in quantitative methods and in addressing educational issues from a psychological perspective. His current research is predominantly focused on exploring how  socioeconomic disadvantage influences educational and psychological trajectories from childhood.

Dr Sosu received his PhD from the University of Strathclyde in 2008, and studied for an MSc degree at Lund University, Sweden. His first degree is a BEd (Hons) Psychology (1st class honours) from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana, followed by a one and half year experience as trainee clinical psychologist. In addition he obtained a postgraduate diploma in psychology (distinction) from the Open University in 2011.

Between 2008 and 2013, he worked for the University of Aberdeen, first as a research fellow on the Scottish Teachers for a New Era (STNE) project and subsequently as a lecturer in Education. During this period, Dr Sosu examined the impact of initial teacher education experiences on students’ cognitive dispositions and the extent to which these dispositions influence their classroom competence.

Dr Sosu is the lead author of the influential Joseph Rowntree Foundation report on Closing The Attainment Gap In Scottish Education (, and the research on Widening Access to Higher Education for Students from Economically Disadvantaged Backgrounds: What Works and Why? ( ) funded by the Scottish Funding Council.

Dr Sosu is a Centre for Health Policy Fellow in the Centre for Health Policy at Strathclyde University. 



Renaturing science : the role of childhoodnature in science for the anthropocene
Gray Donald, Sosu Edward M.
Research Handbook on ChildhoodnatureSpringer International Handbooks of Education, (2018)
Economic deprivation and its effects on childhood conduct problems : the mediating role of family stress and investment factors
Sosu Edward M., Schmidt Peter
Frontiers in Psychology, pp. 1-12, (2017)
Effects of family income dynamics and cognitive outcomes in early childhood
Sosu Edward
18th European Conference on Developmental Psychology, (2017)
'Are all beliefs equal?' Investigating the nature and determinants of parental attitudinal beliefs towards educational inclusion
Sosu Edward M., Rydzewska Ewelina
Educational Studies, pp. 1-33, (2017)
Widening Access to Higher Education for Students from Economically Disadvantaged Backgrounds : What Works and Why? [Summary Report]
Sosu Edward M., Smith Lauren N., McKendry Stephanie, Santoro Ninetta, Ellis Sue
Widening Access to Higher Education for Students from Economically Disadvantaged Backgrounds : What Works and Why?
Sosu Edward M., Smith Lauren N., McKendry Stephanie, Santoro Ninetta, Ellis Sue

more publications


As well as supervising PhD and Masters students, I teach on the BA in Education, PGDE, MSc Early Years Pedagogue and  MEd Inclusive Education programmes. My contributions cover the following areas:

Poverty, Social Class and Educational Achievement

Learning Theories  


The Role of Social and Emotional Interaction in Child Development

Collaborative Learning

Development of Scientific and Mathematical Knowledge in Childhood

Educational Policy

Social Issues in Education

Research Methods

Research interests

My primary research focus is on the relationship between poverty and developmental outcomes. I am interested in understanding the mechanisms by which socioeconomic circumstances and experiences of poverty influence educational attainment and psychological outcomes across the lifespan. I harness the power of large longitudinal datasets to aid our understanding of these mechanisms. My goal is to undertake research that drives policies and practices which can improve outcomes for those experiencing adversity nationally and internationally.


Specific Research Interests:

  1. Childhood and Family–poverty and its effects on developmental outcomes; social mobility; parental beliefs (inc. aspirations)
  2. Methodology – quantitative methods; structural equation modelling; secondary data analysis; longitudinal designs; psychometrics; mixed methods
  3. Teacher Education –teacher effectiveness; teacher expertise; pedagogical innovations

Professional activities

Poverty and developmental outcomes: Understanding and supporting families to thrive
British Psychological Society Psychology of Education Annual Conference
Poverty and children’s educational outcomes: What do psychological theories have to offer? - Presentation of ‘Psychology in the Pub’ event
Child Development (Journal)
Peer reviewer
External Examiner (Ph.D.), Trinity College Dublin
Scottish Funding Council, Access and Inclusison Commitee (External organisation)

more professional activities


Nurturing School Ethos to Improve Educational Attainment
Cassidy, Claire (Principal Investigator) Holmes, Joanna (Co-investigator) Klein, Markus (Co-investigator) Sosu, Edward (Co-investigator)
Period 01-Aug-2017 - 31-Mar-2019
Cognitively Guided Instruction
Moscardini, Lio (Principal Investigator) Sosu, Edward (Co-investigator)
Period 16-Feb-2016 - 30-Jun-2016
Closing the poverty attainment gap in Scottish Education
Sosu, Edward (Principal Investigator) Ellis, Susan (Co-investigator)
Period 27-May-2014 - 27-May-2014
Widening Access to Higher Education -Research Dissemination Conference
Sosu, Edward (Principal Investigator) Ellis, Susan (Co-investigator)
Period 22-Jun-2016 - 22-Jun-2016
Research Dissemination - Supplementary Grant £4,250
Ellis, Susan (Co-investigator) Sosu, Edward (Principal Investigator)
Supplementary Research Grant to an earlier Joseph Rowntree Foundation grant of £4815
Period 15-Apr-2014 - 15-Jul-2014
Widening Access to Higher Education for Students from economically disadvantaged households: ‘What works’ and why?
Sosu, Edward (Principal Investigator) Ellis, Susan (Co-investigator)
In Scotland, there are significant social inequalities in regards to access to higher education. Students from the most disadvantaged households are less likely to enter higher education, and when they do, are more likely to go to college rather than university. Research suggests that several factors including poor academic performance and subject choice at secondary school account for this access gap. Over the last two decades there have been various attempts to tackle the educational access gap associated with poverty in Scotland. A recent flagship approach has been the signing of outcome agreements between higher education institutions and the SFC/Scottish Government. This agreement commits universities and colleges to widen access and increase the proportion of students coming from areas of high deprivation. Additionally, the SFC has funded the Schools for Higher Education Programme (SHEP) widening access initiatives to help quicken the pace of change. While modest progress has been observed with respect to the increase in number of disadvantaged students entering university and for those attending SHEP initiatives, it's not entirely clear what is facilitating this process. As far as we're aware, there's currently no systematic documentation of evidence on what makes these programmes successful. Additionally, a starting point to quicken the pace of progress in Scotland is to examine evidence from the wider literature on ‘what works and why’, in order to widen access for disadvantaged students. Funder - Scottish Funding Council Impact for Access Fund (£116, 314)
Period 17-Aug-2015 - 17-Aug-2017

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