Browse/search for people

Dr Ben Simmons

Dr Ben Simmons

Dr Ben Simmons
BA (Hons) (Oxford Brookes), MEd, PGCE, MSc, PhD (Exeter)

Senior Research Associate

Area of research

Special & Inclusive Education for Children with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities (PMLD)

Office Room 3.07
Helen Wodehouse Building,
35 Berkeley Square, Clifton BS8 1JA
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 331 4285


Dr. Ben Simmons is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow and Senior Research Associate at the Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol. He is currently leading a three-year project (2014-2017) researching the social cognition, agency, and educational inclusion of children with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD). This work significantly builds upon Ben’s doctoral research (2010) and new book (2014) co-authored with Debbie Watson ("The PMLD Ambiguity: Articulating the Life-Worlds of Children with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities". London: Karnac). Prior to his fellowship, Ben held research posts in the fields of Health and Education at the University of Bristol, University of Oxford, University of Exeter, Plymouth University, and Bangor University. He also worked as a researcher or support worker for third sector disability organisations, including Scope and Mencap. He is a graduate of Oxford Brookes University (BA Hons 2002) and the University of Exeter (MEd, PGCE, MSc, PhD 2002-2010). His PhD was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Ben currently teaches several units. At the Graduate School of Education Ben teaches Controversial Issues in Special and Inclusive Education, and Responding to Diversity in Schools (for the MSc in Special and Inclusive Education). At the School for Policy Studies Ben teaches Education and Society, as well as Education, Schooling, and Diversity (for the BSc in Childhood Studies). Ben also supervises MSc, EdD, and PhD research, and is a member of the Graduate School of Education's Research Ethics Committee.

To keep up-to-date with Ben's research you can follow him on Twitter (@BenSimmons_PhD), email or read his blog:


  • Profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD)
  • Phenomenology (Maurice Merleau-Ponty)
  • Embodied cognition
  • Educational Inclusion
  • Interpretivist methodologies
  • Concepts of personhood



Graduate School of Education

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system


Dr Simmons currently teaches 1 courses:

Edit this profile If you are Dr Ben Simmons, you can edit this page. Login required.

PDF versionDownload PDF