About Research in Education

Find out more 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.

The Impact of Ulster's Education research was judged to be 100% world leading and internationally excellent, in the top 6%.  Education research is diverse and dynamic.

The internationally recognised UNESCO Centre, founded in 2001 ,is home to the longest continually operating UNESCO Chair in the United Kingdom (Smith).

Our teacher education courses, which are the long-standing professional learning core of our work have been rated as ‘Outstanding’ by the Education and Training Inspectorate (2019), an accolade which reflects, inter alia, the innovative research underpinnings of this significant contribution to the future of Northern Ireland.

Education at Ulster has an established tradition of collaborative and innovative research and impact, reflecting Ulster University’s mission in relation to national and international reputation for excellence, innovation and regional engagement and making a major contribution to the economic, social and cultural development of Northern Ireland.

This ambition is intrinsic to the strategy and practice of research in the School of Education which aims to contribute research-based expertise to Education as an agent of change locally, nationally and internationally, focusing not only on impactful applied research, but also contributing to theory building.

Education researchers have also developed a range of interdisciplinary partnerships aimed at unlocking new understandings.

In the period 2008-13 over two and a half million pounds of research income was secured.

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

Excellence is also to be found in supporting early career staff and PhD Researchers, alongside the Ulster University Doctoral College.

Mission

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.

Clusters

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

Research Director

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.

PhD Researchers

The majority of researchers are based on the Coleraine campus.

All 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

Matthew Milliken, Ulster University

Play it

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

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.