Research and Scholarship Groups

Our research is organised into 10 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.

Children, young people and families

This group is led by Dr Zeta 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.

Curriculum innovation

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

Digital learning

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. 

Higher Education: research and policy

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!

Equality, inclusion and diversity

This group is led by Dr Maria Tsouroufli

The EDI group brings together academics and practitioners with diverse interests including SEND, gender and education and widening participation.  It offers a platform for the exchange of ideas and development of internally and externally funded research, support for professional development and REF activities and the promotion of equality within and beyond the University of Wolverhampton.

Leadership and school reform

This group is led by Prof Michael Jopling and 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.

Lifelong learning

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.

Education and Mental Health

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.


Physical Education and Sports Studies

This group is led by Dr David Scott

The Physical Education and Sports Studies research and scholarship group welcomes anyone with an interest around the areas of physical education, physical activity, embodied pedagogies, and the sociology of sport. The group provides a supportive community for scholars at any stage of their career, with collaborative opportunities available to conduct research projects, write for research, bid for funding, and attend networking events.

Research and Inquiry into Preparedness and Professional Education and Development

This group is led by Dr David Matheson. Full details coming soon.

Where next?

Get involved

Are you interested in getting involved in education research?

There are many ways you can be involved with research. Contact us for details.