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Young people’s subject choices – influences and impact | Seminar

By Nuffield Foundation

Project overview

What influences students’ decisions about subject choice at school? And what impact do these choices have on their access to higher education?

The Nuffield Foundation is hosting a seminar to discuss what the research evidence can tell us about how students make decisions about which subjects to study, and the impact those choices have on their outcomes.

The seminar will bring together findings from three Nuffield-funded studies:

  1. Socio-economic status and subject choice at 14: do they interact to affect university access?

    Jake Anders, Senior Research Fellow in Education, Evaluation and Inequality, UCL Institute of Education

  2. What can we learn from studies of pairs of twins about subject and other study choices?

    Kathryn Asbury, Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader for the MSc Psychology in Education, University of York

Presentations will be followed by a panel discussion featuring:

The Rt Hon. David Laws, Executive Chairman of the Education Policy Institute

Dr Paul Newton, Research Chair, Ofqual

Professor Cristina Iannelli, Institute for Education, Community and Society at the University of Edinburgh


  • Professor Anna Vignoles
    Nuffield Foundation Trustee
  • The Rt Hon. David Laws
    Education Policy Institute
  • Dr Paul Newton
  • Professor Cristina Iannelli
    University of Edinburgh
  • Location
  • Nuffield Foundation
  • 28 Bedford Square
  • England
  • WC1B 3JS
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By Nuffield Foundation

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We improve people’s lives by funding research that informs social policy, primarily in EducationWelfare and Justice. We also fund student programmes that give young people skills and confidence in science and research.

We offer our grant-holders the freedom to frame questions and enable new thinking. Our research must stand up to rigorous academic scrutiny, but we understand that to be successful in effecting change, it also needs to be relevant to people’s experience.