Dr Erik Cownie

Lecturer in Community Development

School of Applied Social and Policy Sc.

Belfast campus

Room BC-07-118,
2-24 York Street,
BT15 1AP,

Institute for Research in Social Sciences

Lecturer in Community Development

Dr Erik Cownie


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.

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

Areas of research

Eric has two main areas of research:

  • Educational disadvantage in areas of socio-economic deprivation
  • Adult and community-based learning

In his role as a research consultant with the School of Education at Queens University Belfast, Erik has 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.


He currently teaches on the BSc Community Development course, and Ulster University’s Accredited Prior Learning (APL) and Unblocking Potential (UP) programmes.