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Dr Michaela Brockmann 


Dr Michaela Brockmann's photo

Dr Michaela Brockmann is a Lecturer within Southampton Education School at the University of Southampton.

Michaela joined Southampton Education School in October 2012.

Michaela has worked on a wide range of international studies in vocational education and training (VET) with funding bodies including the Nuffield Foundation and the EU Leonardo-da-Vinci programme. Her current work includes an ERASMUS + project, which aims at developing a framework for dual learning at higher education level. She has recently completed a study on IT Technicians, funded by the Gatsby Foundation, which informs the government’s reform of technical education. Please follow the links to the relevant project pages for more information.

Michaela’s work encompasses a number of cross-national ethnographies to examine the construction of young people’s (learner) identities in different life domains and educational contexts. This included a British Academy study on the learner identities of young people on high-quality engineering apprenticeships in England and Germany which links in with her previous work on retail assistants and motor mechanics.

Her research interests are in the area of sociology of education and include: youth transitions; learner identities and the interaction with representations of class, gender, ethnicity and sexuality; the construction of learning cultures in general and vocational education; interdisciplinary approaches to understanding youth transitions and learner identities; and social inequality in education. Michaela welcomes PhD students in any of these areas.


Research interests

  • Sociology of education
  • Biographical and ethnographic approaches to understanding youth transitions and learner identities
  • Interdisciplinary approaches to understanding youth transitions and learner identities
  • Education and VET policy
  • Social inequality
  • Comparative vocational education and training
Current projects:

What do IT Technicians do? The roles and qualifications of IT professionals at intermediate level, funded by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation (April to December 2016)

A European cooperative framework for Dual Learning (EuroDuaLe), a European ERASMUS project to promote transnational cooperation for the provision of dual learning programmes in higher education (September 2015- August 2018).


Recent projects:
  • Learner identities and high-quality apprenticeships in England and Germany', an ethnography exploring the construction of learner identities of young people on engineering apprenticeships, funded by the British Academy/Sir John Cass Foundation (2013-2015).
  • Retail sector competencies, EU Leonardo-da-Vinci (2011-13)
  • Bricklaying Qualifications, work and VET in Europe, EU Leonardo-da-Vinci (2008-10)
  • A European skills framework: cross-national equivalence of vocational qualifications – Nuffield Foundation (2006-2009)

Affiliate research group

Centre for Research in Inclusion

Key roles:

Deputy Doctoral Programme Director and Academic Selector

Associations :

  • Associate Editor, Journal of Vocational Education and Training
  • Editorial Board Member, Nordic Journal of Vocational Education and Training
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
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Book Chapters


BSc Education
MSc Education Practice and Innovation

PhD and EdD supervisions

Dr Michaela Brockmann
Southampton Education School University of Southampton Building 32 Southampton SO17 1BJ United Kingdom

Room Number: 32/2031

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