Professor Mark Priestley

Professor Mark Priestley


I am currently on study leave for the rest of the year (writing for publication). I will continue to work on the DARE project and PhD projects during this time, as well as research impact tasks and advice to policy makers, but I will not be able to take on any new assignments this year

My teaching in the School focuses mainly on social policy and policy analysis, as well as disability studies. I was previously Head of the School of Sociology and Social Policy (2011-2014), and Pro-dean for Research in the Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (2004-2007). I am a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, adjunct Visiting Professor at the National University of Ireland Galway and administrator of the international online discussion forum disability-research. From 2008-2019 I was Scientific Director of the European Commission's Academic Network of European Disability experts (ANED). I am currently re-analysing data from this ten-year research programme on comparative disability policies in European countries, and working on the EU Marie Curie training network project ‘Disability Advocacy Research in Europe’ (DARE).


  • School research impact champion

Research interests

My research interests include international and comparative perspectives on public policy, particularly disability policy and notably in Europe, as well as issues of policy process, monitoring and governance, for example in relation to international human rights policies. I am particularly interested in research that links social, political and economic inequalities with the political claims of the disabled people's movement, and with methods of evidencing the progressive realization of rights in different societies. My current research involves mixed and comparative methods, often involving policy analysis and indicator development.

More information about the research programme and outputs of the Academic Network of European Disability experts is available on the ANED website.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • BA hons Philosophy and Politics (Leeds 1984)
  • MA Social and Public Policy (Leeds 1993)
  • PhD (Leeds 1997)

Professional memberships

  • Academy of Social Sciences
  • Higher Education Academy
  • Social Policy Association

Student education

I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and and have been teaching adults since 1986. I oversee the School’s programme coordination for the BA Social Policy, MA in Social and Public Policy, and the Masters in Public Administration. I often convene undergraduate modules in social policy and disability rights, as well as teaching on postgraduate modules in social policy analysis and disability studies. I supervise undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations.

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Disability Studies

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>The school welcomes enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>