Muir Houston

Muir Houston

Senior Lecturer (Social Justice Place & Lifelong Education)


  • Senior Lecturer (Social Justice Place & Lifelong Education)
  • Chair of the College of Social Sciences Ethics Committee
  • Member of the University Ethics Committee

Contact Details


Dr Muir Houston is a Lecturer in the School of Education and a member of the Social Justice, Place and Lifelong Education (SJPLE) Research Group at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, UK. He is also the Ethics Officer for the College of Social Sciences sitting on the University Ethics Committee and an Associate of both PASCAL and CRADALL networks. He has previously held positions in the Institute of Education at the University of Stirling and the Centre for Lifelong Learning at the University of the West of Scotland and has over 15 years experience in academic research. A sociologist by training, he has research interests in adult and lifelong learning, including the development and implementation of learning cities and regions; aspects of the contemporary student experience including access, retention, progression and performance, and issues of widening participation and inequality of opportunity. In addition, he has research interests in the career and educational motivations and aspirations of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

He is proficient in qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research often with an emphasis on advanced quantitative techniques including considerable experience of case study comparative research.

A number of coherent strands underpin his research interests as indicated in the list of outputs. The first and perhaps major strand can be said to encompass all aspects of the contemporary student experience - as evinced by my work on the SOMUL project - (built on interests in access, Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning), particularly issues of retention, progression and performance (Doctoral thesis and other outputs); and specifically entry to medicine. This is linked, through my involvement in the WHAN and JRF funded projects to research interests in the career and educational aspirations, motivations and choices of young adults particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Much of this is distinguished by the adoption of advanced quantitative analysis.

The second strand relates to Learning cities/regions and how they can be harnessed to address specific EU priorities in relation to civic engagement, social inclusion, education and training, employability and regional development. These issues relate to ongoing EU funded work and are the focus of current bids noted below.

Finally, he has been able to maintain research interests in Economic and Social History (Foster et al.). Their analysis of the relationship between class formation and sectarianism in Victorian Clydeside adopts a Marxist perspective and confronts conventional wisdom on the relative salience of class and religion; the effects of which are still felt today.