Dr Edward Sosu



Personal statement

Dr Sosu is a Reader, and currently Research Director 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, 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.

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 (http://www.jrf.org.uk/sites/files/jrf/education-attainment-scotland-full.pdf), and the research on Widening Access to Higher Education for Students from Economically Disadvantaged Backgrounds: What Works and Why? (https://pure.strath.ac.uk/portal/files/55895221/Sosu_etal_2016_widening_access_to_higher_education_for_students_from_economically_disadvantaged_backgrounds.pdf ) funded by the Scottish Funding Council.

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

Ongoing funded projects include:

  • ESRC funded research into the role of school absenteeism in the poverty-attainment gap (with Dr Markus Klein, University of Strathclyde)
  • Adoption UK funded impact and implementation evaluation of TESSA (with Dr Christine Jones, University of Strathclyde)

  • SFC GCRF Institutional funded project on strengthening school-community engagement in disadvantaged schools: A pilot intervention to improve educational outcomes in Ghana and Malawi (with partners in the UK, Ghana, Malawi, and USA)




School Absenteeism and Educational Attainment - Evidence from the Scottish Longitudinal Study
Klein Markus, Sosu Edward, Lillywhite Esme
Changes in cognitive outcomes in early childhood : the role of family income and volatility
Sosu Edward M, Schmidt Peter
Frontiers in Psychology Vol 13 (2022)
School absenteeism and academic achievement : does the reason for absence matter?
Klein Markus, Sosu Edward M, Dare Shadrach
AERA Open Vol 8, pp. 1-14 (2022)
Socioeconomic status and school absenteeism : a systematic review and narrative synthesis
Sosu Edward M, Dare Shadrach, Goodfellow Claire, Klein Markus
Review of Education Vol 9 (2021)
Socioeconomic inequalities in learning opportunities, educational achievement, and mental health : impact of COVID-19 school lockdown in Ghana
Sosu Edward M, Pimenta Sofia M, Nyarko Nana Yaa, Mepenedo Isaac, Fleischer-Djoleto Diane
Podcast #21 Meet an academic : Dr. Edward Sosu and Dr. Markus Klein
Sosu Edward, Klein Markus

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

School absences and the poverty-related attainment gap
School of Education’s podcast series “Meet an academic”:
School Attendance and the Poverty-related Attainment Gap
British Psychological Society (The) (External organisation)
External Examiner – BSc Psychology in Education, University of Southampton
External Examiner for PhD Viva

More professional activities


Is school absenteeism harmful to education and labour market outcomes?
Klein, Markus (Principal Investigator) Sosu, Edward (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2022 - 30-Jan-2024
Proposal for Process and Impact Evaluation of the East Lothian Tutoring Initiative (ELTI)
Sosu, Edward (Principal Investigator) Cassidy, Claire (Co-investigator) Kennedy, Aileen (Co-investigator) Klein, Markus (Co-investigator)
06-Jan-2021 - 30-Jan-2021
Understanding the determinants of resilience in biological, adoptive and foster families living with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder
Jones, Christine (Principal Investigator) Sosu, Edward (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2020 - 30-Jan-2023
Understanding the Determinants of Resilience in Biological, Adoptive and Foster Families Living With Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Jones, Christine (Principal Investigator) Sosu, Edward (Principal Investigator)
ESRC Supervisor Led Collaborative Grant (Funders -ESRC & Adoption UK)
01-Jan-2020 - 29-Jan-2023
Strengthening school-community engagement in disadvantaged schools: A pilot intervention to improve educational outcomes in Ghana and Malawi
Sosu, Edward (Principal Investigator) Mtika, Peter (Co-investigator) Wilson, Claire (Co-investigator) Nyarko, Nana Yaa (Co-investigator) Maulidi, Felix (Co-investigator) Nyartsikor, Maxwell (Co-investigator) Milheiro Pimenta, Sofia (Researcher) Fleischer-Djoleto, Diane (Researcher)
SFC-GCRF Institutional Escalator Fund
01-Jan-2019 - 31-Jan-2020
Impact and implementation evaluation of TESSA - TESSA Families Study
Jones, Christine (Principal Investigator) Sosu, Edward (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 31-Jan-2024

More projects