Dr Catherine Dilnot


Senior Lecturer

Oxford Brookes Business School

Catherine Dilnot

Teaching and supervision


Modules taught

  • Personal and Professional Development (UG)
  • Research in Accounting (UG)
  • Dissertation in Accounting (UG)
  • Research Project (PG)

Catherine teaches at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, specialising in professional development and research methods. In her long time at Brookes she has run a large variety of modules, particularly on introductory accounting, auditing theory, financial accounting theory and financial reporting.


Catherine's particular research interest is in fair access to universities and to leading professions, with a particular interest in the accounting profession and the role of subjects and qualifications taken age 16-19. She became interested in this topic through contact with students during her time running the undergraduate degree programmes, and through commissioned work for the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales on the recruitment of graduate women to the profession. 

She has devised a typology of A levels according to their efficacy in access to high status universities  and uses administrative datasets and anonymised professional firm applications data, working with major graduate employers, in her analysis. 

Her main current project is jointly with Lindsey Macmillan and Gill Wyness at UCL, investigating the relationship between 16-19 subjects and qualifications and adverse university outcomes, with emphasis on the gaps between students from different social backgrounds.  The project is funded by the Nuffield Foundation, who are also funding a three year project on access to elite occupations on which Catherine will be a co-investigator from 2022-25.

Research impact

Catherine's work on subjects, qualifications and outcomes as well as predicted grades has gained considerable press interest. She briefs the Department for Education on policy relating to level three qualifications reform.  The work with professional firms has resulted in changes to their application processes aimed at making recruitment more inclusive.

Centres and institutes


Projects as Principal Investigator, or Lead Academic if project is led by another Institution

  • Inequalities in access to elite occupations (led by University College London) (01/07/2022 - 30/06/2025), funded by: Nuffield Foundation, funding amount received by Brookes: £47,860


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Professional information

Memberships of professional bodies

Member of Insitute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales


  • Dilnot, C, McMillan, L,  Wyness, G. (2021). 'Choices at 16 and university outcomes: Qualifications, subjects and socio-economic background'. Paper presented at the British Education Research Association Annual Conference, Online, September.
  • Dilnot, C. (2018). 'The relationship between A-level subject choice and league table score of university attended: the 'facilitating', the 'less suitable' and the counter-intuitive.  Presented at the Royal Economic Society Annual Conference, Brighton, March.

  • Dilnot, C. (2016).  'How does choice of A-level subjects vary with students' socio-eonomic status in English state schools?'  Presented at the Society for Longitudinal and Life Course Studies Annual International Conference, Bamberg, October.

  • Dilnot, C. and Handley, K. (2011) 'Peering in to the future: final year students’ perceptions (and misperceptions) of accountancy careers'. Paper presented at the Oxford Brookes Business School - Burgundy Business School Joint Research Conference, Dijon, May.

  • Dilnot, C. (2010) 'Brookes ACES Accounting for Charities: Engaging Students'. Paper presented at the Brookes Teaching and Learning Conference, Oxford, UK, July.

  • Dilnot, C. (2008) 'Charity accounts users: Rhetoric or reality?'. Paper presented at the BAA South East Area Group Annual Conference, Oxford Brookes University Business School, September.

  • Dilnot, C. (2007) 'Who uses charities' accounts in England and Wales, and what do they use them for?'. Paper presented at the Financial Reporting and Business Communication Conference, Cardiff, July.