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Research and Scholarship Groups

Our research is organised into 8 research and scholarship groups which meet regularly to discuss research projects and issues.

Explore our groups

Would you like to join one or more of these groups? Please contact us if you are interested in getting involved. Each group is led by a key member of the Observatory. You can find our profiles on the staff page.

Click the group name for details.

This group is led by Dr Zeta Williams-Brown

The Children, Young People and Families Research and Scholarship group includes academics from a wide range of disciplines including education, nursing and social work.  Group interests range from childhood (including early years) both educationally and developmentally to youth from adolescence into adulthood in an educational capacity or with families and communities. Specific areas of interest include language and literacy in childhood, parental support and multi-agency working, inclusive education and barriers to learning for children and adolescents.

This group is led by Dr Linda Devlin. Full details coming soon.

This group is led by Prof John Traxler

This group focusses on digital learning, interpreted broadly to include e-learning, mobile learning, distance learning and blended learning, both popular learning and institutional leaning, formal and informal. We have research students exploring blogging, social media, language learning, and digital literacy amongst other topics central to formal learning, have projects and missions in Europe, Middle East, Africa and South America and have contacts with a variety of international agencies such as UNRWA, UNESCO and USAID. The cluster builds on this very wide range of research and consultancy activities and now aims to:

  • Focus, consolidate and rationalise research and consultancy income
  • Raise the national and international reputation, visibility and impact of the University in digital learning
  • Support a core of interested practitioners, lecturers and researchers to grow output, and contribute significantly to the next research assessment exercise, the REF.
  • Support research-informed teaching and research-informed management across the University
  • Develop and contribute to relevant modules and courses

A specific priority is digital learning for / with disadvantaged, disenfranchised and disempowered communities and individuals

This area of research is crucial for teaching and learning since digital technologies are now ubiquitous, pervasive and intrusive in their different ways in different societies, communities and cultures around the world, not only supporting, extending and enhancing learning and teaching but fundamentally changing the nature of what we know, what we need to know and the ways in which we come to know it. In this sense, research in digital learning is not optional but absolutely necessary for informing teaching and learning at every level. It is however also imperative for researchers in digital learning to collaborate and engage critically with researchers in other disciplines to support the transformation of the delivery of their research into engaging, accessible and authentic educational experiences. 

This group is led by Dr Lydia Lewis

This group is concerned with mental health in the context of all forms of education and informal learning, including schooling, community-based learning and post-compulsory education. Its focus encompasses the relationship between educational inequalities and mental health inequalities, the influence of education and learning on mental health and wellbeing, education-based interventions and support for mental health and wellbeing, and critical reflection on policy and practice in the area of education and mental health.  The Group links to the British Educational Research Association (BERA) Mental Health, Wellbeing and Education Special Interest Group which Lydia also co-convenes.

This group is led by Dr Stephanie Brewster

This new group brings together a previous Research and Scholarship Group and the Inclusive Practice Special Interest Group. It shares the University of Wolverhampton’s commitments to valuing human diversity, promoting equality and fostering inclusive culture through our practice and research activity. The group aims to support the development and understanding of the causes of inequality and barriers to diversity in all areas of education and of society more widely.

The group welcomes all University of Wolverhampton colleagues with an interest in any aspect of the field. With a core membership of colleagues in the Institute of Education, we also welcome the involvement of those in other areas of the Faculty such as (but not limited to) those in various areas of health and social care.

Anticipated areas of interest will relate to any aspect of social disadvantage and marginalisation and their intersectionality, including inclusive education, special educational needs, disability, gender, ethnic diversity and so on. We hope that an initial key area of group activity might be research related to the newly formed Disabled Students’ Commission (Chaired by Geoff Layer).

Our aims include:

  • promoting collaboration on research and development projects, particularly where they support individual scholarly development
  • supporting our writing for publication and other outputs, including but not limited to those that are REFable
  • supporting bidding for research funding
  • supporting the development of research-informed inclusive teaching and learning in the University of Wolverhampton
  • raising awareness of equality and diversity within and beyond the University of Wolverhampton
  • supporting the development of members’ research interests and aspirations.

We aim to hold meetings at least once per term; anyone is welcome to attend. Meetings will include informal updates of members’ activities and interests, presentations from external and internal speakers including Masters and doctoral students, and a journal club. We also hope to support other events such as writing retreats. We recognise the many points of contact and interests shared with other groups, such as the Mental Health Research and Scholarship Group, and hope to coordinate our activities with theirs.


This group is led by Dr Brendan Bartram

The Higher Education Research and Scholarship group includes students and members of staff with wide-ranging interests in aspects of HE policy, practice and pedagogy. The group is a forum for all who share these research interests, all are welcome!

This group is led by Prof Michael Jopling and Dr Sean Sarr

The changing nature of leadership in schools and other parts of the education system and the pace and impact of reform have been the focus of critical examination for decades and remain at the forefront of both policy and practice. This group takes a holistic approach to research and scholarship around these key issues, exploring leadership across education and organisational reform in the broadest sense, including structures, processes, governance, and decision-making.

The group’s basic premise is both leadership and reform need to be shared and address a comprehensive array of interrelated factors, from curriculum and programme structure, teaching approaches and practitioner development to funding, evaluation and collaboration.

This group is led by Prof Alan Tuckett

We research policies and practice in post compulsory education locally, nationally and internationally – with a strong focus on participation in lifelong learning, what stops people taking part, and what can be done about it;  on the professional formation of staff in further education; and on learner voice.

Where next?

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Are you interested in getting involved in education research?

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