Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


Dr Hannah Walters

Dr Hannah Walters was an IAS Junior Research Fellow in Equity, Diversity & Inclusion in Early Career Research in Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences in 2020-21 and a Visiting Research Fellow in 2021-22

Hannah researches and writes about the intersections of class and gender in work, educational and cultural contexts. Her PhD research at the University of Glasgow focused on the educational and social experiences of working-class girls engaged in vocational beauty education, and until recently she worked for the University of Kent as part of the Social Care Regulation at Work team, a sociolegal project investigating care workers' terms and conditions of employment.

She built on these themes as part of her JRF project, and designed a piece of research which investigates the experiences of working-class and first-in-family women students at UCL. Building on her use of creative, participatory, feminist methods in her PhD and other projects, her work with IAS used lifeline methods and poster-making sessions to explore participants’ journeys through higher education, and the barriers they have faced as a first-generation woman in academia. A survey will also be used to generate statistics and qualitative insights.

In particular, Hannah investigated three key themes of:

  • Belonging, connections and social capital, including issues of networking, access to support services, and career guidance; 
  • Stereotyping and role models within the academy; and 
  • Broader and external factors including the material realities of working-class women's experiences as students.