Ms Mollie Bourne

Mollie Bourne

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Postdoctoral Research Officer in Sociology and Social Policy

Mollie joined the department as a Post-Doctoral Research Officer in Sociology and Social Policy in September 2015. She is currently working on a project funded by the Nuffield Foundation called 'Social Origins, Cognitive Ability and Educational Attainment: A Birth Cohort and Life-Course Perspective'. The project is headed by Erzsebet Bukodi (PI), with John Goldthorpe (Co-I) and Bastian Betthaeuser also part of the research team. 

Prior to this, Mollie completed her ESRC-funded PhD in Social Statistics at the University of Manchester. Her doctoral thesis, entitled 'Social-Class Inequalities in Educational Attainment and Participation in England', examined the usefulness of two dominant sociological theories - cultural reproduction theory and rational choice theory - for understanding how pupils from advantaged social backgrounds are consistently able to secure educational privilege. 

Previously, Mollie gained her ESRC-funded MSc in Social Statistics (distinction) and her BA in Economics and Social Studies specialising in Business Economics and Sociology (first class), both at the University of Manchester. 

Mollie has used a range of advanced quantitative methods in her research, and is particularly interested in the use of multilevel modelling with longitudinal data. She has experience in statistical analyses using a number of large-scale national survey datasets, including the Millennium Cohort Study, the British Social Attitudes Survey and the Crime Survey for England and Wales. The project in which she is currently engaged involves using data from the Medical Research Council National Survey of Health and Development, the National Child Development Study, the British Cohort Study, the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England and the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. 

Mollie has contributed to research on many different projects undertaken at the Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research (CMIST), Manchester, which have covered a diverse range of topics. She has also been involved in teaching activities at CMIST, predominantly on quantitative methods courses. During her time at Manchester University, Mollie worked as TA on a number of undergraduate courses.


Mollie's research interests surround social origin inequalities in educational attainment. Particularly she is interested in examining the very different ways in which parents can provide advantages for their children, and through her research hopes to contribute to a more egalitarian educational system. Mollie is also interested in educational inequalities along the lines of ethnicity and gender, and in particular, the ways in which variations in these charactersitics can moderate the influence of social class.