School of Education

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  • Research

    The School of Education is home to a vibrant, inclusive, interdisciplinary research community. Our four research groups span diverse fields of learning and development across the life course, from the early years to higher education, to professional and lifelong learning. Internationally-recognised senior researchers and researcher-practitioners work alongside early career researchers and doctoral students in an environment that encourages inclusivity, collaboration and critical dialogue. We work across the rich disciplinary and methodological traditions of educational research, including the humanities, social sciences, life sciences, and health sciences. Funding comes from a variety of organisations, including research councils, government departments, international agencies and charities.

    Oxford Brookes University is home to world-leading research in Education across a variety of disciplines. In REF2021, The majority of research outputs were considered to be of internationally excellent or internationally recognised quality in terms of originality, significance and rigour. Internationally excellent outputs were found in the diverse areas of research specialism outlined below. Over 66% of research outputs were rated as world leading or internationally excellent. 75% of research impact was judged to be world leading or internationally excellent with case studies in supporting and mentoring student research, and in creative Science pedagogy that significantly improves outcomes for young learners.

    In 2021 we saw a 70% increase in research activity graded as either "world leading" or "internationally excellent" since REF2014. THES ranking shows that our research has risen 20 places since REF 2014. The above successes demonstrate an environment for research in Education at Oxford Brookes that is conducive to internationally excellent research. Our approach to research is interdisciplinary, inclusive, and impactful. We welcome prospective students and collaborators to join our thriving research community.


    Research Clusters

    Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEAM): Learning and Pedagogy developed from a focus on STEM subjects and integrates Art and Design, promoting intellectual and creative potential across subjects – in relation to learning and pedagogy across a spectrum of curriculum subjects. This cluster is home to the Thinking, Doing, Talking Science Project funded by the Primary Science Teaching Trust.

    Applied Linguistics and Language in Education (ALLIE) interests range from the science of phoneme articulation and language processing, to the politics and pedagogy of first languages in schools. Members share a common interest in the integral role of language in human development and social interaction. Work also includes engagement with language across the curriculum in schools, and the development of academic language literacies in Higher Education.

    Children and Young People (CYP) focuses on a diverse range of research exploring the experiences of children and young people. With a broad interdisciplinary scope including history, anthropology, sociology, economics, education, and health sciences, the CYP cluster encourages innovations in our understanding of the changing position of children and young people in society. The cluster is globally-oriented and closely linked to the wider institutional Children and Young People Research Network.

    Professional Learning and Leadership (PLL) bridges the gap between research and practice, linking academic and professional fields. The PLL cluster retains a strong focus on close-to-practice research in the context of schooling, while remaining a hub for research in other professional fields including health and law. Fields of inquiry include school leadership and management, international schooling, practitioner research, and subject areas of inquiry. This cluster is closely linked to our established and successful Initial Teacher Education programme.

    Higher Education and Lifelong Learning (HELL) brings together researchers across the university focusing on aspects of HE policy, pedagogy, and professional learning as well as to the broader field of lifelong learning. This cluster is closely linked with the Oxford Centre for Academic Enhancement and Development and the Healthy Ageing and Care Research Network.