Dr Tristan McCowan

    • BA, PGCE, MA, PhD
    • Senior Lecturer in Education and International Development
  • Department:
  • Summary:
    • My current work focuses mainly on higher education in the international context, addressing issues of access, curriculum, internationalisation and alternative models of the university. Research interests also include citizenship education, human rights and participatory approaches. I work largely in Latin America – particularly Brazil – but also elsewhere in the world, including Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Teaching:
  • Research:
  • Personal Country Knowledge:
    • Latin America - particularly Brazil
  • Languages Spoken:
    • Portuguese (advanced), Spanish (advanced), Italian (intermediate), French (intermediate)
  • Research Students:
    • Ivette Hernandez (PhD) - Education, capabilities and deliberative democracy in Chile: the Penguin Revolution
      Roussel de Carvalho (PhD) – Teacher selection in Brazil
      Suzana Andrade (PhD) – Teacher beliefs in Indian education
      Marika Tsolakis (PhD) – Youth, education and deliberative democracy in West Africa
      Laela Adamson (PhD) - Literacy, language and learning in Tanzanian secondary schools
Dr Tristan McCowan

Staff profile

Contact details


  • McCowan, T. (2013) Education as a human right: principles for a universal entitlement to learning. London: Bloomsbury.
  • McCowan, T. (2012) 'Is there a universal right to higher education? ', British Journal of Educational Studies 60 (2), 111-128.
  • McCowan, T. (2012) 'Opening spaces for citizenship in higher education: three initiatives in English universities', Studies in Higher Education 37 (1), 51-67.
  • McCowan, T. (2012) 'Human rights within education: assessing the justifications', Cambridge Journal of Education 42 (1), 67-81.
  • McCowan, T. (2011) 'Human rights, capabilities and the normative basis of 'Education for All'', Theory and Research in Education 9 (3), 283–298.
  • McCowan, T. (2010) 'Reframing the universal right to education', Comparative Education 46 (4), 509-525.
  • McCowan, T. (2010) 'The elusive notion of 'quality' in the Bologna Process: the case of England' In J. M. Paraskeva (Ed.) , Unaccomplished Utopia: Neo-Conservative Dismantling of Public Higher Education in the European Union. Rotterdam: Sense.
  • McCowan, T. (2009) Rethinking Citizenship Education: a Curriculum for Participatory Democracy. London: Continuum.
  • McCowan, T. (2009) 'A 'seamless enactment' of citizenship education', Journal of Philosophy of Education 43 (1), 85-99.
    Further information
  • McCowan, T. (2009) 'Towards an understanding of the means-ends relationship in citizenship education', Journal of Curriculum 41 (3), 321-342.
    Further information
  • All publications