Professor Rob Freathy
Associate Dean (Education), College of Social Sciences and International Studies


PA for Associate Dean role: Helen Davey

Rob Freathy read Theology at the University of Oxford and completed his doctorate in Education at the University of Exeter. He is currently Associate Dean (Education) for the College of Social Sciences and International Studies, and Professor of Education in the Graduate School of Education.

For the University, he has been Associate Dean for Postgraduate Research and Deputy Director of the University of Exeter Doctoral College. For the College of Social Sciences and International Studies, he has been Director of Postgraduate Research and Director of Taught Programmes. He has also held a number of positions of responsibility in the Graduate School of Education, including Head of School, Director of Education, Director of Teaching and Learning, Director of Undergraduate Programmes, and Director of the BA (Hons) in Education Studies and Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice programmes.

His research interests include religious education, education for citizenship, the historiography of 20th century education and the application of historical methods in educational research. He is co-editor of History of Education Researcher and a member of the Editorial Boards for History of Education, British Journal of Religious Education and Journal of Beliefs and Values. He is co-editor of a series of books published by Peter Lang on the theme of Religion, Education and Values (Vol. 11, 2017). Previously he has acted as Reviews Editor for History of Education. He has also authored and edited numerous books, including Religious Education and Freedom of Religion and Belief (Oxford, 2012), History, Remembrance and Religious Education (Oxford, 2014) and Politics, Professionals and Practitioners (London, 2017). He has contributed articles to the following journals: British Journal of Educational StudiesOxford Review of EducationHistory of Education, History of Education Researcher,  Religious Education, British Journal of Religious Education, Journal of Beliefs and Values, Journal for the Study of Spirituality, REToday, REsource and Dialogue Australasia. He is also responsible for developing Exe Libris: The UK History of Education Society On-line Bibliography (see He is currently completing three research projects: ‘RE-flect: A programme to foster metacognition in the Religious Education classroom’ (funded by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation); ‘The Art of Narrative Theology in RE’ (funded by Bible Society/Westhill Endowment Trust) and 'RE-searchers: A Critical Dialogic Approach to Religious Education in Primary Schools' (funded by the Culham St Gabriel's Trust).

Please click here to watch a short-film of Rob Freathy introducing the RE-searchers approach.

Downloadable resources relating to the RE-searchers approach:

Alternatively in this film, Rob Freathy, Esther D. Reed, Anna Davis and Brian J. Turner introduce you to their narrative approach to Religious Education in schools.

Please click here for a copy of the project report emerging from the ‘Identifying Principles and Big Ideas for Religious Education’ project (funded by the St Luke’s College Foundation).



MA (Oxon), PGCE, PhD (Exon), FHEA

Research group links

Contact details

Internal tel4818
Tel+44 (0) 1392 724818
AddressBaring Court
University of Exeter St Luke's Campus
Heavitree Road

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