Educational Research

The Department of Education aims to improve the lives of learners in all settings and to enhance the wellbeing of communities in which they form part in education-related fields. A close relationship with experienced and ingénue education and child care professionals and partner institutions regionally and nationally underpins our research activity.

We provide a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes including initial teacher education (subject to the requirements of the Department of Education) and continuing professional development, which are informed by our research specialisms and expertise.

As part of an Educational Research Group (ERG), there are four Special Interest Groups (SIGs) focusing upon inclusion and social justice; science; mathematics; and Early Years.

Key research areas

A wide range of research projects have been undertaken and encompasses all sectors, from Early Years to further and higher education. Partnerships and networks within higher education, and between the Special Interest Groups and practice-based settings, continue to be central to our research, as do those that relate to professional development opportunities for teachers in the region and internationally.

We are very active in attending professionally relevant conferences and presenting papers which lead to published outcomes.

Educational Research Group

Our academic staff have developed research expertise within various contexts and settings across the education sector, from nursery to higher education; work-based and intercultural learning to the formation of inclusive and international curricula. A broad range of participatory and networking opportunities for experienced, early career and student researchers provides a strong foundation for rigorous, research-led pedagogy and praxis.

Special Interest Groups (SIGs) form the core of the Educational Research Group; acting as catalysts for the development of conceptual, theoretical and empirical-based knowledge generation with dissemination through a range of publications, including books, book chapters, journals in addition to conferences, seminars and workshops. Recognising the potential for multi and interdisciplinary perspectives, the SIGs actively seek to develop and extend networks within and beyond the University; crossing discipline-related thresholds and creating synergy between theory and practice.

With a strong and long-standing commitment to continuing professional development and practitioner research, the Department of Education offers an Education Doctorate (EdD) which is designed for educational professionals working in a wide range of settings.

Educational Research Group Lead

Educational Research Group Lead

Educational Research Group Lead

Dr Ruth Wood

Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

Early Years

Lead – to be confirmed. Please direct any enquiries to

The Early Years SIG is open to all colleagues who specialise in the Early Years and to those who may have interests which are relevant and contribute to the activities of the group.

Contemporary issues relevant to the Early Years will form the basis for designing and developing research opportunities individually and collectively. This SIG will encourage members to share expertise and interests in order to facilitate research activity culminating in publications.

Visit the Early Years SIG page >

Inclusion and Social Justice

Dr Paty Paliokosta

The Special Interest Group on 'Inclusion and Social Justice' was created with the following remit for colleagues at the Department of Education and across the Faculty and beyond: discussing teaching and learning issues in relation to inclusive education and special educational needs for different higher education courses; sharing expertise; discussing research and current or future projects; linking to wider organisations; peer mentoring and co-authoring; linking to wider academic forums; applying for research bids. 

Research and professional practice investigation has taken place on: 'reasonable adjustments and multi-professionalism'; 'preparing student teachers for 'inclusion'; 'debating outcomes from students' extended placement in specialist settings'; safeguarding vulnerable groups and lessons learnt from Serious Case Reviews; social marginalisation; transitions and mental health as a new SEN Code of Practice category; supporting student teachers with SpLD in HE and practice placements.

We would particularly welcome inquiries from prospective research students interested in any of the following topics.

  • Current issues regarding educating highly or exceptionally able students
  • Twice-exceptional students and issues relating to identification and educational provision in primary schools
  • Critical evaluation of school provision for highly and exceptionally able students
  • Investigating post-code lottery for inclusive education; implications for policy and practice;
  • Developing inclusive curricula in developing countries. Teachers' perspectives
  • Transitions for children with SEND
  • Reasonable adjustments and exclusions for children with Mental Health and other SEND
  • Parental involvement in interventions for children with SEND/ASD

Read more about the Inclusion and Social Justice Special Interest Group >

Mathematics Education (SIG-ME)

Dr Christos Dimitriadis

The SIG-ME is a special interest research group within the Department of Education that connects diverse research and disciplines within mathematics education, with a shared focus on improving mathematics teaching and learning. In a world which is rapidly changing socially and technologically, the group is interested in advancing the theory and practice for mathematics learning across educational levels and learning settings.

Read more about the SIG-ME >

Science Education

Lead – to be confirmed. Please direct any enquiries to

The group is open to specialists working in science subjects and others whose interests may cross over into this domain. Current areas of research include pre-school obesity and issues surrounding the initial training of secondary science teachers.

Technology and Pedagogy

Dr Ruth Wood

Technology and Pedagogy (TaP) is a special interest group, which aims to promote purposeful use of digital, virtual and social media technologies and platforms to enhance learning and teaching. The emphasis is on the enhancing property of the technology when appropriately and purposefully implemented.

The group is open to colleagues with interests in the enhancing and evaluating affordances of digital, online, networked, and simulated learning and teaching.

Current research ideas include:

  • Technology enhanced learning/reflection
  • Learning design
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Digital literacies
  • Technology enabled learning
  • Evaluation of technology-enhanced learning
  • The educational potential of new and emerging technologies

Upcoming research events

If there are no research-specific events listed here, please do check the University-wide events.

Faculty of Health, Science, Social Care and Education