About Research in Education

The work of the School of Education at Ulster has always been underpinned by research and scholarship. In the REF2014 Fifty six percent of research output was world leading and internationally excellent.

Excellence is combined with supporting research across the discipline and in supporting early career staff and PhD Researchers, alongside the Ulster University Doctoral College. Over  students completed 12 PhDs in the period 2008-13 and over two and a half million pounds of research income was secured.


To undertake quality research in education that contributes to, and has an impact on, scholarly knowledge, professional practice, and society, at local, national, and international levels.


The academic, research staff and students in Education focus on three interconnected clusters of research that are driven by shared interest in themes that are of value to society to the economy.

  • Professional Education and Pedagogical Practice
  • Children, Youth and Adults: Educating for Inclusion
  • Education, Conflict and Peace-building

The Research Director has responsibility for the Research Institute including research strategy, resource allocation, staff development, attainment targets, dissemination of information, reporting performance and enhancement of the Institute's profile within the University and in the national and international research community.

The majority of researchers are based on the Coleraine campus.  All researcher staff teach on undergraduate and masters programmes and ensure that students learning is at the leading edge of subject research.

There is vibrant research student community in purpose built accommodation on the Coleraine campus. The University advertises a number of research degree studentships in the middle of December that align to our priority research work.  Listen to one of current PhD researchers talk about his research – Matthew Milliken

Watch video

Matthew Milliken, Ulster University

Education research is diverse and dynamic. Research is published and disseminated through academic formats of books, journal articles and conferences including all-important digital and web publication.

The UNESCO Centre at in the School of Education was founded in 2001 and is home to the longest continually operating UNESCO Chair in the United Kingdom, Professor Alan Smith is the current UNESCO Chair.  Over  the years, the Centre has built a national and international reputation. On the island of Ireland, work focuses on improving educational practice and policy, integrated education, and academic selection. In the international sphere, the UNESCO Centre has  partnered with major international institutions to deliver projects examining the role of education in peacebuilding, international development and conflict.