Dr Deborah Osberg
Senior Lecturer (Critical Educational Studies)


Deborah Osberg has an interdisciplinary background, traversing both scientific and philosophical domains. She held a tenured appointment in the Zoology Department at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa before accepting a PhD studetnship in Educational Theory, at The Open University in the UK in 2001.  Following her PhD (completed 2005), which was largely epistemological in orientation, she has conducted research in Educational Theory that draws on ideas from biology, physics, philosophy, science studies and poststructuralist theory. She is co-author (with Gert Biesta) of Complexity Theory and the Politics of Education (Sense Publishers) and has written numerous articles which explore the notion of education from an 'emergentist' perspective. 

Osberg is the Co-lead of the Creativity and Emergent Educational Furures Network (CEEN) in the Graduate School of Education, and was Editor-in-chief of Complicity: An International Journal of Complexity and Education between 2007-2011. She is currently the Director of the MSc in Educational Research and Pathway Lead for the Professional Doctorate in Education. 


  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, UK
  • PhD (Educational Theory), The Open University, UK (2005)
  • MSc (Zoology), University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa (1988)
  • BSc (Honours) (Zoology), University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa (1983)


  • Sep 2010-present Senior Lecturer in Education: Graduate School of Education, University of Exeter, UK.
  • Sept 2007-Sep 2010 Lecturer in Education: School of Education and Lifelong Learning, University of Exeter, UK.
  • Sep 2006-Sep 2007 Postdoctoral Research Fellow: School of Education and Lifelong Learning, University of Exeter, UK.
  • Jul 2005-Jul 2006 Postdoctoral Research Fellow: Dept of Secondary Education, University of Alberta, Canada.
  • Jan 1992-Dec 2000 Senior Tutor: Dept of Zoology, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.
  • Jan 1986-Dec 1991 Lecturer: Dept of Zoology, University of Venda, South Africa.

Research group links

Contact details

Internal tel4888
Tel+44 (0) 1392 724888
AddressUniversity of Exeter
St Luke's Campus
OfficeNCCA 102
Office hours

I am available for 2 hrs a week for drop in appointments. However, as my office hours are varaible, please contact me by email to set up a mutually convenient time to meet. 

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