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Work and Learning Research Centre

Welcome to the Work and Learning Research Centre. Our research, engagement and knowledge exchange in work and learning is internationally renowned as leading in the production of knowledge in the field.

Our staff research sits firmly in the sphere of Education and has a pan-university remit. Since its establishment in 1997 our work has been influential in applying theoretical perspectives from education and practice theories to empirical studies in the creation, translation and use of knowledge and innovation.

Our research

Research in the theoretical and ethical aspects of practice-based studies, especially the spaces that connect higher education with work practices brings philosophical ideas to bear on professional development including transdisciplinarity, ethics, values, and epistemologies of change.

We have been particularly successful in research which informs professional learning through a cross-disciplinary higher education curriculum that acknowledges the transdisciplinary nature of work (paid and unpaid). For undergraduates this encompasses the work integrated learning of placements, other work-related learning and degree apprenticeships . For professionals undertaking part-time degrees we have researched and developed curricular and pedagogies appropriate for researching professionals who have existing expertise in their own professional practice.

Our research recognises the strong associations between Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, and how knowledge is conceptualised, conducted, and evaluated. Consequently we developed responsive methodologies for practitioner-research and engaged with the purposive role of experiential knowledge in the evaluation of research that gives relevance to change initiatives.

Postgraduate research

Our postgraduate researchers have a practice orientation, seeking to develop their own or their professional area of practice (see examples). Their transdisciplinary and multi-stakeholder engagement with academic and professional networks takes on challenges that cut across curricula and face current professional issues often to enhance the social good.

The Research Centre’s research and development in doctoral curricular relevant for professional learning (example) provides our Professional Doctorates and Practice-based PhDs with integrated, practice-based approaches, aiming to enhance the exchange and translation of knowledge with considered outcomes and engagement. The Centre’s international leadership and reputation is signified by our facilitation of the International Association for Practice Doctorates  and chairing the International Conference on Professional and Practice-based Doctorates.

Our doctorate pathways

Master/ Doctor of Professional Studies
Master/ Doctor of Professional Studies by Public Works

Practice-based MPhil/PhD in Work Based Learning
PhD in Work Based Learning by Public Works

The Work and Learning Research Centre works closely with and is a special interest group of the Centre for Research and Scholarship in the Education Department.

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