• Room 02.004 - 18-20 College Green - Block 20

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

- Digital Literacy, Language and New Media - TESOL, Language Education and Applied Linguistics - Epistemologies in online contexts


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Personal profile

Research Interests

I am Senior Lecturer in the School of Social Sciences, Education & Social Work.

Much of my research is at the intersections of applied linguistics and higher education. I currently have active research interests in writing and literacy as a social practice, and contemporary digital literacy and epistemology.

These interests emerge through recent work, including: The Epistemology of Deceit (2021) by Springer; a 2019 co-authored monograph Academics Writing: The Dynamics of Knowledge Creation; my 2017 monograph Assignments as Controversies (both published by Routledge/T&F); as well as various published research articles in these areas of interest.

I am the recipient of a Leverhulme Research Fellowship (2021-2022) for a project entitled 'Literacy & Harmony: A study of Sino-Muslim heritage literacies in modern China' which involves ethnographic fieldwork within the provinces of Ningxia, Shaanxi, and Yunnan. More on the project here.

Prior to joining Queen's University Belfast, I was a Senior Researcher on a 2 year ESRC project which investigated the changing nature of academic work, writing, and knowledge creation in English universities.

Prior affiliations include Lancaster University and the University of Bradford. I received my PhD from the University of Leeds (ESRC funded) for a thesis which investigated the impact of digital media on the literacy practices of adult learners.


I supervise doctoral projects on issues related to literacy and writing, digital literacy, language education, and digital epistemologies. Researchers and potential collaborators are welcome to contact me about working in these areas.

Between 2018 and 2021 I was the Director of the MSc TESOL at Queen’s University Belfast. I currently lead on the module Digital Literacy & Communication (EDU7273) and also contribute to the MRes Social Research Methods on the module Social Science Research Online.

I serve as External Examiner at the University of Edingburgh.

I have conducted Visiting Professor activities at Jilin University (China) in 2022, Diponegoro University (Indonesia) in 2021, and Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa University (Indonesia) in 2021.

I have not always worked in Universities. My career began in community learning and Further Education where I taught on and managed Adult ESOL and Literacy courses. It is from this context that my interest in literacy and language learning began to emerge: through observing how people who were otherwise marginalised and displaced could - through their digital literacies - become core participants of communities in digital environments, and thus radically transform their lives.


Trustee and Governing Council member for the Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE)

Executive Editor for the journal Teaching in Higher Education (T&F)

Co-convener of the SRHE's Digital University Network

Editorial Board member of the journal Post Digital Science & Education (Springer)

Member of the SRHE's Research & Development Committee

Online you can find me through:
Twitter: @ibrar_bhatt
Website: http://ibrarspace.net
WeChat official account: "语言 技术 社会" (Language, Technology & Society)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


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