Dr Rachel Higdon

Job: Associate Professor

Faculty: Health and Life Sciences

School/department: School of Applied Social Sciences

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH.

T: +44 (0)116 257 7761

E: rhigdon@dmu.ac.uk

W: https://www.dmu.ac.uk


Personal profile

Rachel is an Associate Professor in Education. Rachel supervises PhD and MA students’ dissertations, recently covering areas of creativity, children’s aspirations, gender stereotypes, professional identity, communities of practice, learning journeys, transitions and learning to work.

Rachel has a background in the arts and education. Her MA explored the use of drama interactions to develop organisational trust and her PhD investigated creative education and creative work. She has worked as a lecturer, teacher, teacher trainer and independent consultant in education from primary to university level. She has also worked in management consultancy as a facilitator working with professional actors within creative business leadership training.

She has managed research projects, published drama resources for schools, guest blogged about creative degrees for The Guardian, and regularly contributes to national and international conferences, papers and events.

Rachel researches in creativity and the creative transdisciplinary themes between the arts, education and business. She is currently interested in the transitions between and through play, education, compulsory and non-compulsory, to work.

Publications and outputs

  • Higdon, R. and Thompson, P. (2008). The Problem of Integration - Using Conceptual Models on Professional Degree Programmes for Inclusive practice, paper for International Conference of Experiential Learning, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.
  • Higdon, R. and Thompson, P. (2008). The use of conceptual models to investigate the relationship between policy and practice in Higher Education institutions, International Consortium  of Educational Development, University of  Utah, Salt Lake City USA.
  • Higdon, R. and Thompson, P. (2009.) The challenge of integration- Conceptual Models for Inclusive Practice. Institutional Research Conference, Sheffield Hallam University, UK.
  • Higdon, R. and Thompson, P. (2013).Developing a pedagogical culture in the Social Sciences. Research in action-working towards a conference: curriculum development on of a post-graduate certificate of higher education. Higher Education Academy Social Sciences: Teaching research methods, Liverpool, UK.
  • International Conference of Experiential Learning (ICEL) Research Seminar at Principia College, Elsah Illinois USA. July 2015.  ‘Complexability’ not employability – Creatour is co-produced and develops a philosophy for diverse graduate careers.
  • International Conference of Experiential Learning (ICEL) Research Seminar at Principia College, Elsah Illinois USA. July 2015.  Border crossings and creative practices In HE: Investigating an ‘ecological’ model.
  • SRHE Annual Conference December 2013 - Experiencing Employability – first and final year undergraduate perspectives of ‘The Employability Agenda’.
  • SRHE Annual Conference December 2012 - What is a degree for? – Using students’ contributions to explore meaningful models of employability for creative degrees, creative aspirations and creative work.
  • SRHE Annual Conference December 2011 - Student Voices- Are creative jobs closed to new members, or can employability be acquired through the undergraduate experience?
  • Education in a Changing Environment 6th International Conference. July 6 -8 2011 University of Salford. Creative Degrees and Creative Employability.
  • Higdon, R. (2010) I’ve got a creative degree. The Guardian. September 1
  • Higdon, R. (2014) Why do creative industries still favour the privileged? The Guardian. February 28
  • Higdon, R, (2018) From employability to ‘complexability’: Creatour – a construct for preparing students for creative work and life. Industry and Higher Education. Vol 32 no.1 pp. 33-46

  • Higdon, R and Stevens, J (2017) Redefining employability: student voices mapping their dance journeys and futures. Research in Dance Education. Vol 8 no. 3 pp. 301-320

  • Higdon, R. (2016) The Missing Voice. Power and EducationVol. 8 no. 2 pp. 176-195

Areas of teaching

  • BA, PgCert, MA and PhD programme


  • BA
  • PGCE
  • MA
  • PhD