Dr Patrick White

Associate Professor in Quantitative Research Methods

School/Department: Media Communication and Sociology, School of

Telephone: +44 (0)116 223 1450



I am a teacher and researcher who is passionate about developing students’ understanding and engagement with quantitative data and statistical analysis and who is committed to conducting high quality research that is relevant to policymakers and practitioners. I have specialised in teaching research methods and quantitative analysis to students in higher education for almost two decades. In that time I have written convened and taught on modules aimed at students from many different disciplines at various educational levels and in several institutions. I have also published key textbooks articles and chapters on methods and teaching statistics. My YouTube channel containing SPSS tutorial videos has attracted more than 750000 views. 


My research is primarily in the areas of educational and labour market participation and research methods. My key areas of research include:

The Career Trajectories of Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) Graduates
I used large scale secondary data to study the supply of STEM graduates following an award from the Nuffield Foundation.

Patterns of Participation in Lifelong Learning
This work was based on gaining access to large scale secondary data sets collected by the National Institute for Adult Continuing Education (NIACE).

The Teaching Labour Market
I have worked on secondary data analyses funded by both the Graduate Teacher Training Agency (TTA) and by the Universities Council for the Education of Teachers (UCET) looking into the issue of teacher shortages.

Educational and Occupational Choice
I have worked on an ESRC-funded project on school choice and segregation and my ESRC-funded doctoral research was on students’ post-16 educational and career choices.

Building Research Capacity and Teaching Research Methods
I worked on the ESRC’s first research capacity building project and on a study of research capacity in education in Wales. 



White, P. (under contract) Straightforward Statistics (Bristol: Policy Press).

White, P. (2017) Developing Research Questions (2nd Edn.) (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan).

White, P. (2009) Developing Research Questions: A Guide for Social Scientists (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan).

White, P. (2007) Education and Career Choice: A New Model of Decision Making (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan).

Gorard, S., See, B.H., Smith, E. and White, P. (2006) Teacher Supply: The Key Issues (London: Continuum).

Journal Articles

White, P. and Smith, E. (2021) 'Female STEM graduates in the UK labour market: from subject choice to career path', Oxford Review of Education.

Smith, E. and White, P. (2020) 'Moving along the STEM pipeline? The long-term employment patterns of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths graduates in the United Kingdom', Research Papers in Education. DOI: 10.1080/02671522.2020.1849374.

Smith, E. and White, P. (2019) 'Where do all the STEM graduates go? Higher education, the labor market and career trajectories in the United Kingdom', Journal of Science Education and Technology. 28, pp. 26-40.

White, P. and Gorard, S. (2017) 'Against inferential statistics: how and why current statistics teaching gets it wrong.', The Statistics Education Research Journal. 16(1), Special Issue on Statistical Literacy. Available online:

Gorard, S. and White, P. (2017) 'Still against inferential statistics: a reply to Nicholson and Ridgway', The Statistics Education Research Journal. 16(1), Special Issue on Statistical Literacy. Available online:

Smith, E. and White, P., (2016): 'A "great way to get on"? The early career destinations of science, technology, engineering and mathematics graduates', Research Papers in Education, 32(2), pp. 231-253. DOI: 10.1080/02671522.2016.1167236

Smith, E. and White, P. (2015) 'What Makes a Successful Undergraduate? The relationship between student characteristics, degree subject and academic success at university', 41(4), pp. 686-708. British Educational Research Journal. DOI: 10.1002/berj.3158.

White, P. (2014) A Response to Gorard: The widespread abuse of statistics by researchers: What is the problem and what is the ethical way forward?', The Psychology of Education Review, 38(1), pp. 24-28.

White, P. and Selwyn, N. (2013) 'Moving Online? An Analysis of Patterns of Adult Internet Use in the UK, 2002 to 2010', Information, Communication and Society, 16(1), February, pp. 1-27. DOI:10.1080/1369118X.2011.611816.

White, P. (2013) 'Who’s Afraid of Research Questions? The Neglect of Research Questions in the Methods Literature and a Call for Question-led Methods Teaching', International Journal of Research and Method in Education, 36(3), Special Issue: Teaching and Learning Research Methodology, pp. 213-227. DOI:10.1080/1743727X.2013.809413

White, P. (2012) 'Modelling the 'Learning Divide': Predicting Participation in Adult Learning and Future Learning Intentions, 2002 to 2010', British Educational Research Journal, 38(1), February, pp. 153-175. DOI:10.1080/01411926.2010.529871.

White, P. and Selwyn, N. (2012) 'Learning Online? Educational Internet Use and Participation in Adult Learning, 2002 to 2010', Educational Review, 64(4), November, pp. 451-469. DOI:10.1080/00131911.2011.626123

Smith, E. and White, P. (2011) 'Who is Studying Science? The Impact of Widening Participation Policies on the Social Composition of UK Undergraduate Science Programmes', Journal of Education Policy, 26(5), pp. 677-699, DOI:10.1080/02680939.2010.540676

Gorard, S., See, B.H., Smith, E. and White, P.(2007) 'What Can We Do to Strengthen the Teacher Workforce?', International Journal of Lifelong Education, 26(4), pp. 419-437.

White, P. (2007) 'Choosing at School: A Model of Decision-making Behaviour within Compulsory Education', Evaluation and Research in Education, 20(1), pp. 32-52.

White, P., Gorard, S.and See, B.H. (2006) 'What Are the Problems with Teacher Supply?', Teaching and Teacher Education, 22, pp. 315-326.

White, P. and Smith E. (2005) 'What Can PISA Tell Us About Teacher Shortages?', European Journal of Education, 40(1), pp. 92-112.

See, B.H., Gorard, S., White, P. and Roberts, K. (2004) 'Teacher Demand: Crisis, What Crisis?', Cambridge Journal of Education, 34(1), pp. 103-123.

White, P., Gorard, S., Fitz, J. and Taylor, C. (2001) 'Regional and Local Differences in Admission Arrangements', Oxford Review of Education, 27(3), pp. 317-337.

White, P.(2001) 'A Review of Educational Research in Wales', The Welsh Journal of Education, 10(2), pp. 105-110.

White, P .and Gorard, S. (1999) 'Ethnicity, Attainment and Progress: A Cautionary Note Regarding Percentages and Percentage Points', Research in Education, 62, pp. 66-69.

Book Chapters

White, P. (2016) 'Research Questions in Education Research: their neglect, role and development', in Wyse, D. et al. (Eds.) The BERA/Sage Handbook of Educational Research. London: Sage.

White, P. (2002) 'They Told Me I Couldn't Do That: Ethical Issues of Intervention in Careers Education and Guidance Research', in Welland, Trevor and Pugsley, Lesley (eds.) Ethical Dilemmas in Educational Research, Cardiff Papers in Qualitative Research (Aldershot: Ashgate), chapter 3, pp. 32-41.

Research Reports

Smith, E. and White, P. (2018) The employment trajectories of Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics graduates. Full Report. Executive Summary.

Smith, E. and White, P. (2012) A critique of DFE Research Report DFE-RR149 PISA 2009 Study: How big is the gap? A comparison of pupil attainment in England with the top performing countries (NASUWT).

White, P. and Smith, E. (2003) Teacher Shortages, Turnover and Morale: An International Analysis of their Perceived Impact on Student Learning (London: UCET). [Click this link to go to UCET]\

White, P. and Welland, T. (2003) The Ethnic Minority Population of Monmouthshire: Analysis of Secondary Data and Exploratory Fieldwork (Cwmbran: Monmouthshire County Council).

White, P., See, B.H., Gorard, S. and Roberts, K. (2003) Teacher Recruitment and Retention in Wales (Cardiff: General Teaching Council Wales).

Gorard, S., See, B.H. and White, P. (2003) 'Teacher Supply and Retention', submission to House of Commons Select Committee Inquiry into Teacher Retention.
Furlong, J. and White, P. (2001) Educational Research Capacity in Wales: A Review (Cardiff: Cardiff University/UCET).

Other Publications

White, P. (2019) ‘There’s no shortage of female STEM graduates, so why do most never work in science?’, King’s College London New Centre,

White, P. (2019) ‘Why good research always starts with a good research question’, Macmillan International Higher Education,

White, P. (2019) ‘Do STEM employers need female graduates more than women need careers in science?’ Women into Science and Engineering,

White, P. (2006) 'Crisis, What Crisis? Research and Education', Sociology Review, 16(2), pp. 8-11.

White, P. (2005) 'Heads Crisis Case Unproven', Times Educational Supplement, 30 September, p. 26.

White, P. (2004) 'Quality Counts: The Use of Numbers in Social Research', Sociology Review, 14(2), pp. 14-16.

White, P. (2004) 'Missing Comparators', letter to Significance, September 2004 issue.

White, P., Gorard, S., See, B.H. and Roberts, K. (2003) 'Review of Teacher Recruitment, Supply and Retention in Wales', School of Social Sciences Working Papers Series Number 41, Cardiff University. [101 pages, ISBN 1 904815 01 4]

White, P., Taylor, C. and Gorard, S. (2002) 'Building Research Capacity', Learning and Skills Research Nework, 5(3), Summer, p. 53.

Fitz, J., Taylor, C., Gorard, S. and White, P. (2001) 'Local Educational Authorities and the Regulation of Educational Markets: Four Case Studies', Occasional Paper 41, School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University. [48 pages, ISBN 1 872330 46 0]

White, P., Gorard, S. and Fitz, J. (1999) 'An Analysis of Local School Admission Arrangements', School of Social Sciences Working Paper Series Number 35, Cardiff University. [23 pages, ISBN 1 872330 26 6]

White, P. , Gorard, S. and Fitz, J. (1999) 'The New Legislation on School Admissions', School of Social Sciences Working Paper Number 32, Cardiff University. [17 pages, ISBN 1 872330 29 0]



I am interested in supervising postgraduate students in the areas of educational and labour market participation.

I have expertise in the following areas: Education and career choice; further and higher education; lifelong learning; and education training and the labour market.

I am especially interested in supervising studies using large-scale secondary data sources and mixed methods approaches and those that address issues of inequality.


I lead several undergraduate and postgraduate modules in data analysis and contribute to a wide range of other substantive and methods modules.

SY2008: Using Numbers in Social Research
SY1008: Interpreting Key Texts
SY3042: Undergraduate Research Project
MS2016: Media and Communication Research in Practice

SY7013: Collecting and Analysing Numeric Data
SY7014: Multivariate Analysis and Statistical Modelling
SY7044: Research Design Practice and Ethics
MS7400: Media Research Methods MS7012: Media and Communication Dissertation 

Press and media

I am happy to be contacted by media outlets for comment on the following issues:

  • The STEM labour market
  • Participation in higher education
  • Lifelong learning
  • Statistical literacy 


Editorial board membership:

  • Sociology. 07/15 to present Sociology (Associate Board). 06/10 to 05/13.
  • Educational Review. 05/11 to 10/12.
  • British Educational Research Journal. 10/08 to 09/14.
  • Research Papers in Education. 01/07 to present.
  • Evaluation and Research in Education. 10/04 to 04/12. 



  • 2014 University of Leicester Distinguished Teaching Fellowship
  • 2011 American Educational Research Association Exemplary Paper in Adult Literacy and Adult Education.

Invited Lectures Panels and Interviews

  • Interview ‘Where do all the STEM graduates go?’ Faculti April 2020.
  • Panelist ‘The Debate’ Women into Science and Engineering Annual Conference 14th May 2019.‘Developing research questions’ Bath Spa University. May 2018
  • ‘Who’s afraid of research questions? The neglect of research questions in social science’ Intrepid Researcher Series University of Leicester 16th January 2012.
  • ‘Developing Research Questions’ DCI 702 Interdisciplinary Research Seminar Arizona State University Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. February 2011. 


Smith E. and White P. (2018) ‘What happens to graduate scientists? A British perspective on the STEM skills shortage debate’ American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting New York 13th to 17th April 2018. (peer reviewed)

Smith E. and White P. (2015) ‘What makes a successful undergraduate? The relationship between student characteristics degree subject and academic success at university’ American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting Chicago 16th to 20th April 2015. (peer reviewed) 


  • 2002: PhD Social Science Cardiff University
  • 1997: Diploma in Research Methods Cardiff University
  • 1995: PGCE (FE) Cardiff University
  • 1993: BSc (Hons) Sociology (2:1) University of Bristol
Back to top