Dr Ioulia Bessa

Dr Ioulia Bessa



2008-2012: PhD, Cass Business School, City University, UK
(Title: Flexible Work Arrangements: theoretical perspectives and evidence from employers and employees)

2006-2007: MPhil, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, UK

2004-2005: MA, Steinhardt School/Stern business School, New York University, UK

1999-2003: BA, Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, Greece


2015 to date:  Academic University Fellow, University of Leeds 

2013 to 2015: Research Fellow, Work and Employment Divison, Leeds University Business School

2017-present  Visiting Lecturer, Departement of Business & Management, University of Cyprus

2011-present: Visiting Lecturer, Cass Business School, City University of London

I am a University of Leeds Academic Fellow (UAF), based in the Centre of Employment Relations Innovation and Change (CERIC) CERIC at Leeds University Business School. I joined Leeds after completing my PhD at Cass Business School, City University of London. Throughout my PhD I worked on the area of Flexible Work Arrangements (FWAs) and area I am still working on.

Since then, I showed an inetrest in other forms of non-standard employemnt, more closely connected to contigent employment and therefore(predominantky)  insecurity and lower job quality, such as zero-hour contracts. Towards that direction I worked with Professor Mark Stuart, Professor Chris Forde and Dr. Sian Moore on the Low Pay Commission project, where we are examining the job quality of domiciliary workers under zero-hour contracts in the UK.

I am now working on the connection between flexible work and precarity. I am also very interseted in looking at factors that change flexible working patterns, such as digital work and new forms of working pattrens, such as work in the platform economy. My research focus includes non-standard forms of employment and their connection to low pay, insecurity, employment/unemployment in insecure and recessionary contexts, using of quantitative instruments and methods to measure precarity, job quality and satisfaction among different European contexts. I have extended experience of using a range of secondary datasets, such as Understanding Society, Labour Force Survey, European Work Conditions Survey and the NMDS.

Research interests

  • In-work poverty and precariousness 
  • Flexible Working Arrangements (FWAs)
  • Contigent employment (e.g. zero hour contracts)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
  • Job security/insecurity
  • Job quality and satisfaction  
  • Precariousness and precarity measures 
  • Digital (flexible) working patterns
  • (Flexible) working arrangements in the platform economy.

I welcome PhD candidates in all the above areas.


  • PhD, Mphil, MA, BA

Professional memberships

  • British Sociological Association (BSA)
  • Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE)

Student education

In 2014-2015 I module led and have always been part of the teaching team in “Human Resource Management Research and Methods” (LUBS 5307M).

In 2018-2019 I module led  “Understanding Statistics in the Social Sciences” (LUBS 1185).

Representing University of Leeds Business School to the University of Cyprus, I also module led a postgraduate module (HRM 530), entitled “Principles of Management and Work”, hosted by the Department of Business and Public Administartion in 2018-2019.

In 2015-2017, I was also part of the teaching team for the “International Employment Policy and Labour Mobility” module (LUBS 5339M).

I supervise on average eight MA dissertations annually (LUBS5376M).

I currently supervise two PhD students.

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Employment Relations, Innovation and Change

Current postgraduate researchers