• Room 02.002 - 6 College Green

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am open to PhD applications in the fields of:
- Religion and education
- Pedagogy and religious education
- Inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue in educational environments
- Shared Education
- Peace Education


Research activity per year

Personal profile


PGCE: Religious Education; Education and Professional Studies

Research Interests

My research interests fall within two broad areas: the role of religion in education and the possibilities for sharing education in divided societies.

Within the first area I have particular interests in the teaching of religious education as a curriculum subject as well as the role religion plays in the organisation of schooling more generally. I have undertaken projects that explore the teaching of religions and beliefs in Ireland, both North and South, and am a joint winner of the John Coolahan Award for research that investigated the experiences of non-religious teachers in religious schools. My research has also highlighted ways in which the teaching of religious education in schools can be influenced by policy, human rights frameworks, school ethos and teacher beliefs. 

Secondly, I am interested in understanding how education can be shared in divided societies. I have investigated teachers' attitudes to sharing education in Northern Ireland and continue to work with colleagues in the Centre for Shared Education at Queen's to investigate the value of sharing in education, including its potential for building peace and social cohesion. 


Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

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 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


Dive into the research topics where James Nelson is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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