Educational Research

Education is one of the most fundamental human cultural practices; and Educational Research is the interdisciplinary field of enquiry focused on all of its aspects. The Educational Research pathway directly contributes to the ESRC strategic priorities ‘Influencing behaviour and informing interventions’ and ‘A fair and vibrant society’. The pathway brings together two leading institutions in the field: Lancaster University’s Department of Educational Research and the University of Manchester’s Manchester Institute of Education. The pathway provides a vibrant environment for doctoral training, encouraging doctoral participation in research networks and providing access to training programmes from both participating institutions.

Research at the Manchester Institute of Education is organised around four research themes: Critical Education Policy and Leadership; Critical Pedagogies and Maths Education; Disadvantage and Poverty; and Education and Psychology. Research at Lancaster’s Department of Educational Research is organised through three research centres: the Centre for Higher Education Research and Evaluation; the Centre for Social Justice and Wellbeing in Education; and the Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning. Applications to our pathway should explicitly state how they address at least one of the ESRC strategic priorities and fall under the remit of at least one theme or centre from a participating institution. We are particularly interested in receiving applications for joint supervision with one supervisor located in each participating department.

Programmes eligible for NWSSDTP funding

N.B. Master’s programmes can only be funded as part of a 1+3/2+2 Studentship

Lancaster University

University of Manchester

For information on how to apply for funding, please visit our How to Apply page.

Pathway Representatives

Contact details for Educational Research Pathway Representatives at each institution can be found here

Current Educational Research NWSSDTP students

SESofia Eleftheriadou (2017 Cohort)

Collaborative problem solving and science teaching and learning

My research project investigates the conceptualisation and measurement of collaborative problem solving (CPS) construct. Using data from PISA 2015 study, the validity of the CPS construct and its association with students’ background and attitudes are explored. Finally, the response processes of students when answering CPS assessment questions are investigated through cognitive interviewing to inform validity of the construct.


Eloise Symonds (2017 Cohort)

Reframing power relationships in higher education: An integrated understanding of conflicting power relationships and undergraduate subjectivities in the current university climate.

This study draws on 32 semi-structured interviews, 12 observations and 12 policy documents from two universities to elucidate the transforming power relationships in universities, through an exploration of the conflicting subjectivities that undergraduates are positioned within. It argues that the three irreconcilable subjectivities of traditional learner, partner, and consumer are encouraging conflicting behaviours and thus, transforming power relationships.

NWDTC-DTP Rose LogoVictoria Hirst (2018 Cohort)

Tackling educational disadvantage through an innovative cradle-to-career school design: the case of Berryhill Academy

A persistent issue in the field of educational disadvantage is that of schools’ limited capacity to tackle the web of social issues that many children face before they reach the school gates. Schools cannot tackle these issues on their own and in response, this project explores an innovative approach: a cradle-to-career school design.

IMG_20190903_155602322Rebecca Grant (2019 Cohort)

Lessons from ‘odds-beating’ schools: understanding how schools serving disadvantaged areas achieve good outcomes

I am engaging a triad of schools serving disadvantaged pupils in Greater Manchester. I documenting their understandings of factors that disadvantage pupils in secondary education, and disseminating findings on ways in which school systems can become more equitable.

IMG_20190903_155602322Rose Doherty (2021 Cohort)

An Exploration into The Spectrum of Online Misogyny: Developing Educational Resources for Young People in The Era of Social Media

This research will be focused on exploring the spectrum of online misogyny, from lad culture to inceldom, from the viewpoint of current university students using a mixed methodology approach. The overall aim of this research is to better understand the impact of online misogynistic subcultures in order to generate educational resources for young people and higher education institutions.

Laya Hooshyari (2022 Cohort)

How can Subaltern Refugee Women Create Social Movements?

This study aims to raise the voice of refugees who have the least power in the hierarchy of social systems; i.e., female subaltern refugees in Greater Manchester. The main aim of this project is to create a psycho-educational program that facilitates: a) the education of subaltern female refugees; b) the creation of their social movements; and c) collaboration between refugees and local people and organizations.

Educational Research NWSSDTP Alumni


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