We aim to lead the debate on the nature and future of education research, and contribute to the development of applied social research.

ESRI Brochure 2019

Research and Knowledge Exchange Groups

The Education and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in the Faculty of Education is one of the leading UK centres for Applied Educational Research and Evaluation with a thriving research community. 67% of our research was rated as 'internationally excellent' or 'world leading' in the REF 2014, with 100% of our research impact being rated 'internationally excellent' or 'world leading'.

One of our particular strengths is in the application of theory to research and practice, and the testing of theory through 'real-world' evidence.

The Institute has an outstanding portfolio of research grants and publications, regularly organises national and international seminars and workshops and other services to research, and offers several studentship awards annually. Our work includes a Biosocial lab and workshops on Arts Methodologies.

ESRI is part of the White Rose Doctoral Training Programme which involves a number of collaborative doctoral awards and programmes funded through the ESRC.

ESRI is led by a professorial team of international distinction, including Tony Brown, Liz de Freitas, Rachel Holmes, Gabrielle Ivinson, Cathy Lewin, Maggie MacLure, Ricardo Nemirovsky, Yvette Solomon, Kate Pahl (Director) and Harry Torrance.

Our research groups:

Our research groups comprise a wide range of research interests and are led by world leading researchers with a focus on theory and practice. Advancing theory and methodology in social research is a long-standing interest, alongside the ways in which knowledge is produced, used and controlled, and the complicated relationships that exist between research, policy, professional practice and the public interest.

Children and Childhood

This group engages with strategic, applied and interdisciplinary research and evaluation, as well as knowledge exchange projects. Our research interrogates the ways babies, children and their families are constructed and perceived in contemporary theory, policy and practice.

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Youth and Community

This group focuses on informal learning, learning between generations, social inclusion, and community development. We investigate how families and communities acquire and spread knowledge, experience and skills.

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Science, Technology and Learning

We are interested in understanding and developing science and computer science education, and the use of technology to support learning.

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Teacher Education: Leadership, Curriculum and Inclusion

This group brings together researchers with an interest in policy and practice in the field of professional learning, educational leadership and inclusive education.

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Theory and Methodology

This group is dedicated to developing new theory and methodology in education and social research. We not only work to develop better theory, but also put theory to work to do better research.

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Literacy and Language

This group produces a significant body of research, publications and impact activity in the field of language and literacy.

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Mathematics Education

This group explores relationships within mathematics, and between mathematics and the social, political and material world.

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Education and Global Futures

Group members conduct studies of schools and school systems, higher education and informal education settings. Our studies of education policy and practice emphasise global perspectives and emergent futures.

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Our Expertise