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Jacob Fairless Nicholson is a PhD student in the Department of Geography, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) London Arts and Humanities Partnership. Previously, Jacob completed an undergraduate degree in geography at King’s and a MSc in Urban Studies at University College London.

Alongside his research, Jacob maintains a keen interest in film, photography and visual methods. Over time, these interests have amounted to a broad range of outputs, both academic and non-academic, including travel and everyday life photography, event photography, and film making and production. Some of this work can be viewed at


Thesis title: 'A cultural and historical geography of informal and alternative Black education spaces in London, 1969-1983'

Combining archival sources and oral history interviews with students, staff and educational organisers, Jacob's research focuses on a range of radical and alternative education spaces that operated in London from the 1960s to the 1980s including Black supplementary schools, adult education programmes and international youth exchanges.

The project traverses three sets of actors, black school-age children, adults and young people, exploring some of the spaces that shaped these groups' informal and alternative educational lives and contributes to recent work in human geography on the historical geographies of education, as well as work in history on the postcolonial Black presence in Britain.

PhD supervision

Further details

See Jacob's research profile