Dr. Yan Zhu

Dr. Yan Zhu


BA Sociology, Wuhan University, China (2008-2012)

MA Sociology, University of Warwick, UK (2012-2013)

MSc Childhood Studies, University of Edinburgh, UK (2014-2015)

Ph.D. Social Policy, University of Edinburgh, UK (2015-2019)


  • MA Childhood Studies Programme Leader

Research interests

I have recently completed a project to explore the complexity and diversity of Chinese children’s understandings and practices of peer friendships in the context of a rural primary boarding school (funded by the University of Edinburgh and Chinese Scholarship Council). I am interested in researching:

  1. Children’s everyday lives and personal relationships;
  2. Intimacy and display in relationships;
  3. Children’s school experiences, with a focus on gender, sexuality, and power relations;
  4. Children’s rights, especially rights to protection and participation;
  5. Methods of doing researches with children and young people;
  6. Ethics in practices in China-based fieldwork;
  7. Childhood experiences in China.
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Professional memberships

  • British Sociological Association
  • Centre for Research on Families and Relationships

Student education

  1. I am a Teaching Fellow in Childhood Studies, teaching both undergraduate and postgraduate modules with a focus on children’s everyday lives and personal relationships.
  2. I look after both undergraduate and postgraduate students as a personal tutor;
  3. I supervise MA Childhood Studies students’ dissertations.