Emeritus Professor Audrey Osler

Emeritus Professor Audrey Osler


I work in the related but distinct fields of Human Rights Education and Education for Democratic Citizenship, and my research is interdisciplinary in nature, drawing on sociology, political science, and legal scholarship. I have a special interest in children’s democratic participation rights; teachers’ work and citizenship; and race, ethnicity and the experiences of minoritized groups, in both established democracies and post-conflict societies. I work transnationally, and so much of my research is comparative.  

I was Director of the Centre for Citizenship and Human Rights Education at the University of Leeds (2004-2009). Before this I held a Chair of Education and Director of Research in the School of Education, University of Leicester (1999-04) and a senior lectureship in education at the University of Birmingham (until 1999). At Leeds and Leicester, I was the UK partner in two large scale EU-funded research projects on Active Intercultural Citizenship and Teacher Empowerment in Citizenship Education (2004-2009). Since leaving full-time employment at the University of Leeds, I have held visiting professorships in the United States (Utah State University, 2010; University of Washington in Seattle, 2017), China (Beijing Normal University, 2012 and 2017; Hong Kong University of Education, 2009-10), and Latin America (UN University for Peace, Costa Rica, 2013 and 2014), as well as in the UK and elsewhere in Europe. 

I have researched and written extensively on social, ethical, political and policy matters in education. In 2016, I was awarded an Invitation Research Fellowship by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and have ongoing research and writing projects on human rights and care; child rights; and citizenship and identity in Japan. Several of my books and papers have been translated into various languages including French, German, Japanese, Mandarin, Norwegian, Slovak and Spanish. 

I have taught a range of Masters and PhD level courses on citizenship, rights, equalities and identities, as well as contributing to research methodology and ethics courses for postgraduate students, and supporting undergraduate programmes in my field. 

Career recognition

Council of Europe General Rapporteur: Human Rights and Democracy in Action - Looking Ahead Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education Conference 2012.

Presidential panel member: American Educational Research Association (San Francisco: 2005; New Orleans: 2011; Chicago:  2015; Washington DC: 2016) 

<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>


  • PhD Education (Birmingham)
  • Advanced Diploma in Religious Education (Goldsmiths, London) MA
  • MA Education and Local History (Leeds)
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Education with distinction (Leeds)
  • BA (Hons) in History with Sociology (Leeds)