Interim Head of Psychology, Sociology and Education Division

Psychology, Sociology and Education

Tel: 0131 474 0000

Dr Simon Hoult (PhD, MSc, DMS, PGCE, BSc (Hons) FRGS, SFHEA) is the Associate Head of Psychology, Sociology and Education at QMU and a Senior Lecturer in the Psychology, Sociology and Education Division.

I joined Queen Margaret recently to head up the new and fast-growing undergraduate and postgraduate Education programmes. Although originally a secondary school teacher of Geography, my move north of the border came after many years teaching and leading postgraduate teacher education and postgraduate taught provision at Canterbury Christ Church University as the director of Secondary Initial Teacher Education and most recently as the director of the Doctorate in Education programme.

The internationalisation of higher education has been a key element of my thinking and practice and I was fortunate in Canterbury to work with a large number of international PhD students as part of a co-convenor of the Culture, Language and International Education Research group. A further aspect of my international work has been the integration of study visits for primary and secondary-phase student teachers. I am intrigued how international study visits to the ‘Global South’ influence host and visiting students in terms of their identity and practice and the intercultural negotiation that takes place in order to learn in such contexts. Such study visits are, however, not uncontentious activities, and the challenge for them to be potentially life-changing events, rather than an extravagant jolly, needs to be paramount in our minds. This provoked me to draw on postcolonial theory and critical pedagogy to plan such visits and this has also informed the majority of my research and publications since then.

Affiliations to other organisations:

My research focuses on learning from intercultural engagements with the cultural 'Other'. It formed the basis of my PhD which used postcolonial theory and a post-structuralist approach to investigate student teachers' learning during a South Indian study visit. My most recent publications have drawn on these ideas to consider aspects of interculturalism and using a postcolonial lens to consider the bridges and barriers to learning from intercultural engagements.

Completed Doctoral Supervision

Paul Hunt: Seeking to find a place for spiritual transcendence through engaging with earthquake images in geography textbooks.

Sox Sibanda: In Search of Social Justice through Ubuntu: A Critical Analysis of Zimbabwe’s Post-colonial Education for All Policy.

I have examined four doctoral theses mostly around aspects of international education.

 Active research interests:

  • Learning from intercultural engagements
  • Postcolonial theory
  • Geography education
  • Teacher Education

 Research Methods:

  • Qualitative
  • (Critical) Ethnography

eResearch profile 

My subject expertise lies in the areas of learning from intercultural experiences, postcolonialism in education and geographical education. I will be contributing to the teaching across the range of education programmes at QMU. I am a member of the Geographical Association, Society for Research in Higher Education, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

My role oversees the following programmes in Education:

  • BA Education Studies
  • BA Education Studies (Primary)
  • PGDE (Home Economics)