Karen Hardcastle-Rad

Karen Hardcastle-Rad


My academic career as a mature student commenced part-time in 2010 with the Open University, graduating in 2016 with BSc First-Class Honours  in Combined Social Sciences (Sociology). In 2017 I graduated from the University of Leeds with an MA Distinction in Gender Studies (Research) where I focused on the policing of gendered toilet spaces by cisgender bartenders: regulations, perceptions and assumptions. My dissertation ‘A Study of Customer Service Where ‘Peeing’ is Political’ was the pilot study for my PhD research, commencing 2018, for which I have been awarded a full-time Doctoral Scholarship from the University of Leeds.

Research interests

My current research addresses the Equality Act (2010) and focuses upon questions of gender recognition and inclusion in public spaces. The research will speak to crucial questions of gender and citizenship as they are currently being debated in social, cultural, legal and policy spheres.


  • MA Gender Studies (Research), Distinction
  • BSc (Hons) Social Science, First-Class