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Professor Vikki Boliver


Professor in the Department of Sociology
Fellow in the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing


Member of the Higher Education and Social Inequality (HESI) research group

Member of the Durham University Evidence Centre for Education (DECE)

Member of the Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE)

Welcome video

Click here to play Vikki's welcome video for 2021-22

Vikki joined the Department of Sociology at Durham in September 2011. Before coming to Durham, Vikki studied Sociology at Leicester University (BA), Cambridge University (MPhil) and Oxford University (DPhil) and was a Departmental Lecturer in Sociology at Oxford, a Nuffield Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Visiting Lecturer at Harvard, a British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Oxford, and a Sociology Lecturer at Bath Spa.

At Durham Vikki co-teaches the second year undergraduate module, Sociology of Education, and the masters level module, Education an Social Inequality. Vikki is Programme Director for the MA in Social Research Methods and co-convenor of the university-wide First Generation Scholars Network.

Vikki’s research focuses on social inequalities of access to the most prestigious universities. She is a leading expert on the use of contextual data on the socioeconomic circumstances of prospective university students to inform more equitable admissions decisions. You can read about this work here and here.

Vikki welcomes enquiries about supervision from students who want to write an undergraduate, masters or doctoral dissertation on something to do with education and its relationship to social stratification and inequality.

Research interests

  • Educational inequalities, especially social class and ethnic inequalities of access to higher status universities
  • Social stratification and mobility, in particular patterns and processes of social mobility across multiple generations of family members
  • Quantitative research methods
  • Applied and policy-relevant research


Book review

Chapter in book

Journal Article

Newspaper/Magazine Article

Other (Digital/Visual Media)


Working Paper

Supervision students