The University is committed to research in education across its constituent disciplines, drawing on staff within two of the University’s three Institutes (Education and Humanities, and Management and Health). This supports focused areas of research in Pedagogy and Education Policy, Work Based Learning, and Education, Health & Wellbeing, and Physical Literacy and is organised in five research centres.
Centre for Research in Education and Pedagogy (CREP)
Work in CREP focuses on six education-facing research strands comprising groups of research active staff. These strands are defined thematically, include research activity currently underway and direct planning for future research activity. The main areas of research and knowledge exchange are in Arts, Creativity and Education, Curriculum and Progression, Early Years, Professional Learning and Pedagogical Enquiry, Languages, Literacy and Communication and Social Justice and Wellbeing. CREP also includes Canolfan Peniarth, one of the leading creators and publishers of Welsh and bilingual educational books and resources in Wales.
Centre for Education Policy Review and Analysis (CEPRA)
CEPRA was established in August 2018 to contribute meaningfully to the development and debate of education policy in Wales. The Centre offers considered and constructive commentary on policy developments that is supported by commissioned research (principally from Welsh Government), rapid reviews and consultancy on a range of topics, including professional learning in Wales, curriculum development and attainment gaps. The Centre’s knowledge-transfer activities add new depth to the discussion of education in Wales; currently this is informed by two international projects, one funded by the British Council, and one by Erasmus+ (Key Action 2), that bring together international voices to comment upon aspects of education policy pertinent to developments in Wales.
International Institute for Creative Entrepreneurial Development (IICED)
IICED was established to be an international focal point bringing together a distinguished group of international experts in entrepreneurial education to engage in high-level discussions and to consider global perspectives that can impact, or have impacted, on policy-making. The Institute researches and is actively engaged in developing international best practice in enterprise, entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial teaching, learning and evaluation.
The team are acknowledged experts in developing learning environments that enhance innovation and creativity capacity within learners. Research focuses on creativity and innovation in enterprise and entrepreneurship education, from primary school level to the HE sector, including work on pedagogy, andragogy, heutagogy, creative thinking, motivational constructs and the disposition of learners and educators which have impacts at Welsh, UK and European levels. This includes contributions to the Welsh Government’s National Curriculum for Wales Areas of Learning Experience (2020) and the European Union’s EntreComp Framework (2016).
The Wales Academy for Professional Practice and Applied Research
Work in professional learning and leadership is closely allied to work in the Wales Academy for Professional Practice and Applied Research (WAPPAR), which has become an established leader in the field of professional doctorates and work based learning. Work here centres on research into approaches to pedagogy and curriculum development for work-based learners and practice researchers from levels 4 to 8, approaches to change and development in work for the individual through coaching and mentoring progressing to organisation-wide coaching interventions. Theoretical and ethical aspects of practice-based studies including conceptualising change in work with innovative and responsive methodologies for practitioner-research.
Professional Learning for Educators and Doctoral Study
The Institutes and their research centres support a thriving postgraduate environment through innovative new profession-facing research programmes. Alongside traditional research degrees (PhDs and MPhil) we have a two professional doctorate programmes. A bilingual Professional Doctorate in Education (Ed D) had its first entry in 2017-18, specifically designed to address a proven gap in this area in Wales, while a second programme, the Doctorate in Professional Practice (DProf) integrates part-time doctoral-level study with continuing professional development and is designed for senior professionals to obtain a doctorate whilst maintaining professional commitments.
Wales Academy for Health & Physical Literacy (WAHPL)
WAHPL focuses on interdisciplinary research into physical literacy and its relationship to education and public health, drawing on early childhood development, education, physiology, psychology and health. The strategic aim is to understand how to support physical literacy across life and maintain health from policy to practice. Research spans the life course by working with parents, pre-schools and schools to support physical development in early childhood and maintain functional movement in old age.
For example, the impact of playful pedagogy on children’s physical development and the use of technology and gamification approaches with key stage three pupils to address the challenges of adolescent motivation and engagement in physical activity. Research also addresses the ability to maintain physical activity through injury prevention, which plays a small but not insignificant role in supporting physical literacy across the lifespan, as well as the epidemiology of obesity and physical activity and the identification of barriers to physical activity in socially disadvantaged people. The Centre for Healthy Aging, located within the Academy for Health and Physical Literacy, has a strong international profile for research in physical education and literacy at the later stage of the life course.