Department of Political Science


Dr Cathy Elliott

Associate Professor (Teaching) and Vice Dean (Education) of the Faculty of Social & Historical Sciences

Room: 3.08, 29/30 Tavistock Square
Tel: 020 7679 4990
Email: cathy.elliott@ucl.ac.uk



My first degree was in French and Czech (with Slovak) from the University of Oxford. I subsequently obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in International Development from the Open University, an MSc in Democracy and Democratisation from UCL, and my PhD at UCL, with the support of a +3 grant from the ESRC. My Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education is from the UCL Institute of Education. I became a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2020.

Before completing my MSc and PhD, I spent seven years managing development projects for the British Council, including three years based in Islamabad, Pakistan. During that time I was responsible for the DFID-funded Gender Equality Project – a project worth £2.6 million to support civil society – as well as other projects aimed at supporting Pakistan’s education and health systems. I also worked on the British Council’s strategic approach to democracy promotion in Pakistan. My curiosity about, and frequent disillusionment with, this work was what led me to complete a PhD.


My research has two distinct strands. First, I write and think a lot about education in the discipline of politics in Higher Education. I am particularly interested in the micro-politics of classroom and curriculums and how they contribute to the subjectification of students and educators. I am also currently working on the politics and temporalities of the British ‘new nature writing’ and ideas about nature and place in narrative non-fiction.

More broadly, for a long time I have been interested in ideas about time, temporality and story-telling in politics and international relations. My current work on nature writing recapitulates these themes in new ways, but I have previously concentrated more on the stories that are commonly told about democracy and voting. I also find myself persistently returning to ideas about gender, race and sexuality in my writing. I am a Contributing Editor for Renewal Journal.


Book chapters
Journal articles

Edited special editions


Blog articles


I am currently Vice Dean (Education) of the Faculty of Social & Historical Sciences.

Teaching and personal tutoring have always been a central part of my work as an academic. I am particularly interested in creating inclusive curriculums and learning environments, and providing the tools and resources for students to critique existing forms of knowledge and the power structures that exist in, and are reproduced through, universities. I am also interested in engaging with students’ imaginations and emotions, as well as intellect, so I use sources like fiction, drama and art, as well as academic readings, as a core element of the learning experience. I also teach outdoors as much as possible – whatever the weather! 

I currently teach the undergraduate module, Politics of Nature, and in the past I have taught qualitative research methods and critical approaches to the politics of international development. I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.