Following a first-class joint honours degree in History & Sociology and MA (with Distinction) in Philosophy & Social Theory, both at the University of Warwick, Rob was awarded an ESRC grant to pursue a PhD in Sociology, again at Warwick, which combined his interests in the philosophy of social science, social theory and education policy. He started his academic career lecturing at the Universities of Birmingham and Bath. However, shortly after the publication of his first book Education Policy and Realist Social Theory in 2002, he left academia and entered the teaching profession.