Senior Lecturer, School of Education, University of Glasgow


Muir Houston is convenor for Advanced Educational Research with the Masters suite of programmes. He is is a senior lecturer in the School of Education and a member of the Social Justice, Place and Lifelong Education (SJPLE) Research Group. In additon he is Chair of the College of Social Sceinces Research Ethics Committee.

Research interests

Muir Houston is a sociologist by training, he has research interests in adult and lifelong learning; all aspects of the contemporary student experience including retention, progression and performance; and, issues of widening participation and inequality of opportunity. In addition, he has research interests in the career and educational motivations and aspirations of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. He has been involved with Mike Osborne in Scottish Higher Education Funding Council/National Health Service (Scotland) funded projects concerned with selection of students in Medicine, Veterinary Science and the Allied Health Professions (WHAP and WHAN); a major ESRC TLRP project on the Social and Organisation Mediation of University Learning (SOMUL); and, EC-funded LLL projects concerned with the quality of Grundtvig networks (GINCO) of Learning Regions (R3L+), and with access to HE for adults (THE-MP). He has also published work on the relative salience of class and sectarianism in Victorian Clydeside. He has expertise in quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods often with an emphasis on advanced quantitative techniques.


Houston, M., Krüger, K., Molas, A., Osborne, M. and Jiménez, L. (2016) Cooperation in work-oriented learning in higher education. PEOPLE: International Journal of Social Sciences, 2(1), pp. 685-705. (doi:10.20319/pijss.2016.s21.685705)

Houston, M., Osborne, M. and Rimmer, R. (2015) Private schooling and entry to medicine: a case study using matched samples and causal mediation analysis. BMC Medical Education, 15, 136. (doi:10.1186/s12909-015-0415-1)

Kintrea, K., St Clair, R. and Houston, M. (2015) Shaped by place? Young people’s aspirations in disadvantaged neighbourhoods. Journal of Youth Studies, 18(5), pp. 666-684. (doi:10.1080/13676261.2014.992315)

Mwaikokesya, M. J.D., Osborne, M. and Houston, M. (2014) Mapping lifelong learning attributes in the context of higher education institutions. Journal of Adult and Continuing Education, 20(2), pp. 21-36. (doi:10.7227/JACE.20.2.3)

Houston, M. and Osborne, M. (2012)  R3L+ Quality Framework For Learning Regions Background Report: Scotland, UK. Online:   

Kintrea, K. St Clair, R. and Houston, M. 2011. The influence of parents, places and poverty on educational attitudes and aspirations, Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Online:

Houston, M. Osborne, M. and McCune, V. 2011. Flexible learning and its contribution to widening participation: A synthesis of research. York: HEA. Online:

Brennan, J. Edmunds, R. Houston, M. Jary, D. Lebeau, Y. Osborne, M. & Richardson, J., 2010. Improving What is Learned at University: An Exploration of the Social and Organisational Diversity of University Education. London: Routledge.

Houston, M. ed., 2008 The Teaching-Research Interface: Implications for practice in FE and HE. Bristol: ESCalate.

Houston, M., 2008. Tracking Transition: Issues in Asynchronous E-Mail Interviewing [55paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 9(2), Art. 11,

Houston, M. Knox, H. & Rimmer, R., 2007. Wider access and progression among full-time students. Higher Education, 53(1), pp. 107-146.