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Durham University

School of Education

Staff Profile

Dr Cristina Costa, Ph.D

Personal web page

Assistant Professor in the School of Education

Contact Dr Cristina Costa (email at


I am an academic with a strong interest in educational and digital practices and inequalities. I am particularly interested in exploring – both in my research and in my teaching - the intersection of education and emergent social phenomena through different social theory lenses. I have conducted research on digital literacies and digital inequalities, curriculum innovation and digital scholarship practices in the last few years. For example, I was the UK co-coordinator of the ERASMUS+ project Digital Literacy and Inclusion of Learners from Disadvantaged Background. (2015-2017)

Currently, I am working on a project regarding Estranged Students’ Experiences of Higher Education with Professor Taylor.

I have supervised PGR students in a wide range of areas, including digital literacies and digital practices, internationalisation of curriculum, estranged students, gendered practices, etc.

I am co-editor of the Social Theory Applied blog/website

I am also a co-convenor of the BSA study group ‘Digital Sociology’

You can find me on Twitter as @cristinacost

I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Information for Prospective Doctoral Research Student Supervisions

I would be pleased to work with students interested in pursuing research in areas of inquiry related to student experience, educational and/or digital inequalities, curriculum innovation, critical digital practices and literacies, internationalisation and globalisation of education. I also have a strong interest in working with students wishing to engage with social theories as part of their research projects.

Indicators of Esteem

  • External Examining:

    I often examine Ph.D and Ed.D theses at different British universities. I have also served as an examiner for Ph.D theses and Master’s dissertations in mainland Europe (Portugal and Spain) and Brazil.

  • Invited Talks:


    • Guest Speaker: Digital Europe: Challenges and opportunities for education. Conversations for the future of Europe. European University Institute. (May 2020)


    • Guest Speaker: Addressing the policy issues surrounding estranged students in higher education. Stand Alone Event on Estranged Students for the Scottish Parliament.(September 2019)

    • Guest Speaker: Hybrid social theory and education research: working with conceptual interdisciplinary. BERA Social Theory SIG (July 2019)

    • Keynote Speaker: The impact and influence of digital cultures on curriculum design. Congresso Internacional de Ensino – CONIEN. State University of the North of Parana, Brazil. (May, 2019)

    • Keynote Speaker: Curriculum Innovation and Digital Participatory Practices. Aula Magna. State University of Ponta Grosssa, Brazil. (May 2019)

    • Invited Workshop: The application of social theory to educational research. State University of Ponta Grosssa, Brazil. (May 2019)

    • Guest Speaker: The experiences of estranged students in the strange space of academia. University of Bristol, UK. (March 2019)

    • Guest Speaker: Digital scholars: A feeling for the academic game. University of Strathclyde – Research Seminar Sessions (March 2019)

  • Peer reviewing:
    • Australasian Journal of Educational Technology
    • Critical Studies in Education
    • International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education
    • International Journal of Lifelong Education

    Editorial Board Member of The Curriculum Journal

    Editorial Board Member of International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education (ETHE)

    Editorial Board Member Book Series Social Theory and Methodology in Education Research, Bloomsbury Publishing

    Co-Covenor of the BERA Social Theory and Education SIG


Research Interests

  • Critical Digital Literacies
  • Digital Practices
  • Digital Scholarship Practices
  • Educational and Digital Inequalities
  • Higher Education
  • Social Theory
  • Student/ Family Estrangement
  • Widening Participation

Research Groups

Selected Publications

Journal Article

Edited book

Chapter in book

Other (Digital/Visual Media)


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