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Professor Denise Hawkes

Professor of Education Economics and Deputy Dean (Accreditations and Enhancement)
Faculty of Business and Law
Areas of Expertise:
Business, management and leadership , Economics
Research Supervision:

As Deputy Dean (Accreditations and Enhancement), Denise leads the faculty accreditation work through sustainable enhancement activities, experience and outcomes. She is also leading on the development and implementation of robust evaluation processes.

Denise is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and the Royal Economic Society Chair of the Education & Training Committee.

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Royal Economic Society Education & Training Committee


Denise’s research is focused on higher education transitions, equality, diversity and inclusion in higher education and the value of doctoral education. She has held research grants with various funders including ESRC, OfS and British Council.

Denise has published widely, most significantly in: American Economic Review, Journal of the Royal Statistical Series A, and Policy Reviews in Higher Education.

Prior to joining ARU, Denise was Professor and Head of Department of Economics and International Business at the University of Greenwich and previously Academic Head of Research, Consultancy and Knowledge Transfer in the Centre for Doctoral Education, UCL Institute of Education.

Spoken Languages
  • English (Native)
  • Swahili (Basic)
  • French (Basic)
Research interests
  • Economics of Education (focused on Higher Education transitions)
  • Economics Education (focused on Doctoral Education, Dissertations, and Ipsative Feedback)
  • Labour Economics (focused on Women and Graduates experiences in the Labour Market)
  • Education Evaluation (focused on Impact Evaluation of Learning and Teaching Initiatives in Higher Education)
  • Pay and Progression Gaps (focused on Gender and Ethnicity gaps in Higher Education)
Areas of research supervision

Denise is an experienced research degree supervisor with experience with both PhD and professional doctorates.  She has 10 doctoral research degree completions and is an experienced research degree examiner with 11 doctoral examinations undertaken.

She is interested in supervising students in areas related to:

  • Impact Evaluation of Initiatives in Higher Education
  • Removing Pay Gaps in Graduate Roles and the Labour Market
  • Closing Awarding and Continuation Gaps in Higher Education
  • Eliminating Academic Careers Progression Gaps
  • BSc Business with Economics
  • Applied Economics
  • PhD Economics, Queen Mary, University of London
  • MPhil Economics, University of Oxford
  • BSc (Econ) Economics, University College London
  • Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (PFHEA)
Memberships, editorial boards
  • Advisory Board Member for Transforming Access and Student Outcomes in Higher Education (TASO)
  • External Examiners National Directory based on completed Professional Development Course for External Examiners, Advance HE
  • Chair of the Education and Training Committee, Royal Economic Society
  • Steering Group Member of Conference of Heads of University Departments of Economics (CHUDE), Royal Economic Society
  • Advisory Board Member, Centre for Teaching and Learning Economics (CTaLE)
  • Member of the Management Board Economics Network (EN)
Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

Recent and Current Funding:

  • “Improving the Quality of Doctoral Supervisory Training: Capacity Building Workshops”, Research England, Universities UK, UK-Ukraine R&I Twinning Grant, Principal Investigator, Mar 23 – Aug 23 £86.8k
  •  “MEDiate - Multi-hazard and risk informed system for Enhanced local and regional Disaster risk management” HORIZON, European Research Executive Agency, Co-Investigator, Oct 22 – Sep 25, £5m
  • “Harlow Local Procurement Portal Evaluation” Harlow Council, Principal Investigator, Feb 22 – Dec 22, £9.5k
Selected recent publications
Academic papers

Cagliesi, G., Hawkes, D. and Smith, S. (2023) 'Narrowing awarding gaps: the contributory role of policy and assessment type', Studies in Higher Education. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2023.2209597

Cagliesi, G. and Hawkes, D. (2023) 'What shapes student intentions? The interplay between policy, social and personal factors in postgraduate education', Policy Reviews in Higher Education. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/23322969.2023.2201943

Cagliesi, G. and Hawkes, D. (2021) 'Are we all in this together? Alleviating the childcare constraint for women in economic crises', International Journal of Social Economics, 48(9), pp. 1245-1263. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSE-10-2020-0718

Maleeha, A., Cagliesi, G., Hawkes, D. and Rab, M. (2021) 'Tackling the gender biases in higher education careers in Pakistan: potential online opportunities post COVID-1', Emerald Open Res, 3(13). Available at: https://doi.org/10.35241/emeraldopenres.14256.1

Research reports

Paredes-Fuentes, S., Burnett, T., Cagliesi, G., Chaudhury, P. and Hawkes, D. (2023) 'Who Studies Economics? An Analysis of the Economics Pipeline in the UK', Royal Economic Society Report, UK.

Hawkes, D. (2022) 'Independent Evaluation Report for Harlow Council Community Renewal Funded project – “Harlow winning Business” local procurement project', Anglia Ruskin University, UK.

Recent presentations and conferences

Keynote Speaker at Queen Mary, University of London, School of Economics and Finance First International Conference in Education and Scholarship, UK, November 2022.  Presentation entitled “Metrics, metrics, metrics, but what do they tell us! The value of institutional data and econometrics in closing the BAME awarding gap”

Society for Research in Higher Education, UK, December 2022.  Poster entitled “The Forgotten Research Academics: The Academic Career Structures of Research Academics within Business Schools in Teaching Focused Institutions in the UK

Royal Economic Society Annual Conference, UK, April 2022.  Paper entitled “The Triple Hurdle BAME race to a good academic degree”

Media experience