Erik Cownie
  • Shore Road, Jordanstown Campus

    BT37 0QB Newtownabbey

    United Kingdom


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Current position: Erik is currently employed as a Lecturer in Community Development and is also involved in Ulster University's 'Taking Boys Seriously' research project - which aims to better understand and address:

  • The low attainment of young males from disadvantaged backgrounds; and
  • Thier low levels of participation in Higher Education

HE qualifications: Erik Cownie studied community development as an undergraduate at Ulster University. In 2012 he completed his PhD at Ulster which entailed a sociological study of social and educational disadvantage in Belfast.

HE career: Erik began his career at the University as a part-time Lecturer before becoming a full-time Lecturer in 2016. Prior to this, he was a research consultant at the School of Education, Queen’s University Belfast. During his time at QUB, Erik worked on several research projects including:

  • Community engagement around after-school provision and early literacy projects in the Dublin Area;
  • A post-primary education programme around contentious issues for the Western Education and Library Board (WELB);
  • Investigating Links in Attainment and Deprivation (ILiAD) - a three year-long study into community factors which impact educational attainment in seven deprived wards Northern Ireland.

Areas of research: Erik has two main areas of research:Educational disadvantage in areas of socio-economic deprivation; and Adult and community-based learning.

HEA status: In recognition of his teaching and research practice, Erik has attained Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).


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 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities


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