Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Research Opportunities for Taught Students

In the curriculum: Undergraduate

First year modules

In many ways all of our UG modules are designed to develop our students as researchers of education. The first-year core modules require students to hone their skills in identifying and debating educational issues as well as pinpointing the challenges, frustrations and opportunities facing key stakeholders involved in education, such as children, teachers, parents, educational leaders, politicians – and, of course, university students. First year modules also introduce students to many of the key academic skills educational researchers require. Our honours-level modules introduce students to educational research practices, provide students with opportunities to conduct their own research and provide forums for students to debate and interrogate the latest cutting-edge educational research. Students are encouraged in all of their assignments to reflect upon the impacts of educational research on theory, policy and practice and to identify areas of further enquiry and research they could develop in order to make their own contribution to the education research community.

Second year ‘Introduction to Educational Research Methods’ and the Third Year Dissertation

On our course all undergraduate Education Studies students complete two core modules entirely dedicated to developing and stretching their knowledge and experience of educational research. In the second year students complete an introductory research methods module where they complete an independent research project in to an area of education of their choice. In the third year students complete a 10,000 word dissertation, again on an area of educational theory, policy or practice that is of particular interest to them.

In the curriculum: Postgraduate

Research modules

Most Education Studies PGT students take the Foundation Research Methods (FRM), available face to face and online, to provide them with a foundation training in research methods in education (students on some courses may take a different research methods module more tailored to their subject eg Psychology or Drama. A key aim of the FRM to enhance both home and international students' learning experience with research methods in education. The module has two main ambitions. The first is concerned with enabling students to engage in understanding, designing and implementing research accounts. The second is concerned with equipping students with basic skills in a range of established research strategies and techniques, including data collection and analysis. This is intended to enable students to frame and refine research questions, to design and execute a mini research project and disseminate its findings, appropriate to their own research interests. This module can be taken as a ‘stand alone’ (which can lead to a post-graduate award) or as a part of a Masters or a EdD degree.

Dissertation

The dissertation is a substantial research project that PGT students undertake, guided by their supervisor and their course tutor. It involves an original piece of research presented in 20,000 words (for most courses). Research Methods modules are considered to pave the way to the dissertation. We would like students to think about Research Methods as offering them a platform to test their research ideas and methodological approaches before they start their dissertation. As part of the dissertation, students are expected to formulate their research questions and offer justification about the importance of their research topic and what they hope to accomplish; review existing, up- to -date and relevant studies in their chosen field of study; consider the ethics of intruding into the private life of their participants; decide on the most appropriate research design and methodology to address their research questions; collect and analyse data and write up their findings, drawing conclusions about theory, policy and practice in education.

Examples of CES UG student research projects

  • Grace Brooks Cain – ‘Characters I can relate to’ – A Case Study exploring Black and Ethnic Minority Key Stage 4 students attitudes to the representation of Black and Ethnic Minority young women in popular TV dramas.
  • Erum Ali – Higher Education Aspirations of students from deprived backgrounds

URSS Project

  • Rebecca Folan - Investigating the impact of changing education policies on value led education

Examples of CES PGT student research projects/dissertations

  • The impact of nuture: A case study in a cluster of rural primary schools in England.
  • Pupil perception of feedback:how can I alter assessment feedback to promote further learning?
  • Integrating play with learning: A case study of a preschool in China
  • Teaching handwriting skills to students with learning disabilities and autism.
  • Do perceptions of Religious Education vary by gender and how do RE teachers believe they should respond to any differing perceptions?
  • International students' motivations for undertaking Master's degrees.

Extra-curricular research opportunities

Visits to Centres of Educational Excellence

On our degree we have key educational partners who our students visit regularly and who attend our taught sessions and provide specialist guest inputs. These partners include local outstanding schools, nurseries, a forest school and local cultural and arts organisations. Students will visit these centres as part of core modules but students are also supported to establish their own work-based placements and research opportunities with these partners.

  • Example 1 – Warwick Arts Centre (WAC) – The Centre for Education Studies has an established partnership with Warwick Arts Centre, located at the centre of the University’s campus. WAC is happy to receive our students on work-based placement and to receive proposals from our students who wish to conduct Arts Education focused research. This year our student Alexa Ash completed a work-based placement with WAC. Read about her experience here . . .
  • Example 2 – Nelson Mandela Primary School – This outstanding primary school (insert website link) has accepted a number of research proposals from our students. This year two of our students have completed research projects in the school. Read about Aleesha Khaliq’s experience of conducting her second year research project on emotional well-being in Key Stage 2 (insert link). Read about Naz Khan’s research on effective teaching strategies with primary-aged EAL students (Insert link)

URSS in CES

The Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme (URSS) (insert link) gives students the chance to become directly involved in the research work of the University. URSS is a competitive scheme that provides living expenses (up to £1,000) and skills development training to support successful applicants who wish to carry out a summer research project as an addition to their undergraduate degree course. Read about Rebecca Folan’s URSS project on ‘Teaching British values in English Schools’ (insert link)

CES Book Club

Each term a contemporary educational text, that brings together the latest thinking, research (and sometimes controversy!) on an aspect of education, is selected to form the focus of the department’s book club. Our book club is open to any student or member of staff (from any department) who has an interest in educational matters. Recent book club titles have included ‘Seven Myths about Education’ by Daisy Christodoulou and ‘Betraying a Generation: How Education is Failing Young People’ by Patrick Ainley.

Work-based Placements

In their second year Education Studies students complete a core work-based placement. This placement can take place in any professional setting as long as a clear connection with the concept of education can be demonstrated. Many of our students use aspects of their work-based placements to plan and design their third year research projects. Read about Vicky Xue’s experience of working in a rural Chinese school and how this relates to her third year dissertation plans (insert link). Read about Sarbjeet Athwal’s experience of working in a Sikh faith school and how this relates to her plans for her third year dissertation.

Research Seminar Series

Research seminars are held regularly in Education Studies and undergraduate students are welcome to attend - please look out for announcement and in the Departmental Calendar.

Undergraduate research opportunities outside of the Department


The Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme (URSS) gives students the chance to become directly involved in the research work of the University, experience what it's like to be a member of a research team and take part in cutting-edge research. URSS is a competitive scheme that provides living expenses (up to £1,000) and skills development training to support successful applicants who wish to carry out a summer research project as an addition to their undergraduate degree course. Undertaking a summer research project via the URSS is more than just doing a project – it will give you dedicated skills training opportunities too. The Scheme gives you both a taste of research, invaluable for those looking to pursue postgraduate study, and also adds further value to your degree from Warwick. URSS has been in place since 2002, with students on the scheme having travelled to Europe and further afield to undertake the research.

Find out more on the URSS website.

The British Conference of Undergraduate Research promotes undergraduate research in all disciplines. The Conference meets annually every Spring in a different British university. Undergraduates of all levels are invited to submit papers, posters, workshops and performances to the Conference. Abstracts are peer-reviewed and those accepted will be invited to attend the conference. Conference fees are usually paid by the student’s own university. The call for papers is usually published in the autumn.

An undergraduate research conference is just like any other academic conference. There will be spoken papers, lectures, poster presentations and workshops — but each one will be delivered by undergraduate students presenting work they have done either as part of their course or as part of an internship. For two days, you will be able to talk to undergraduate researchers from your own disciplines, and you will also learn a lot about how other disciplines approach research problems.
If you are an undergraduate student, this is a great opportunity to meet students from other universities and share your work. Many courses include opportunities to develop independent research. You might be working on a dissertation, or you may have devised your own topic for an assessment. You might have worked with an external company, or worked with a researcher over the summer to help them with their research project. All research is welcome at this conference, in any discipline taught in Higher Education.

Find out more on the BCUR website.

Led and sponsored by the University of Warwick and Monash University, the International Conference of Undergraduate Research (ICUR) is an annual, two-day academic conference. Using video-conferencing technology, ICUR provides undergraduate researchers with a unique opportunity to present and discuss their own research – in any discipline in real-time, without having to leave their home university.

ICUR challenges undergraduate students to rethink their work in an international context. As a forum, it requires presenters to consider the perspective of students from different backgrounds, and to anticipate what may be shared across cultures and local contexts. This challenge translates to research questions as well, encouraging students to examine global and regional trends in their research field, and how these might conflict with local concerns and specificities.

Since its establishment in 2013, more than a thousand students from eleven institutions have presented at ICUR. At Warwick alone, 288 students have presented over four years.

Find out more on the ICUR website.

Since 2012, the Energy GRP have been supporting up to 5 Undergraduate Summer Placements, each with a bursary of up to £2,000. The Energy GRP bursaries are affiliated with the University's Undergraduate Research Support Scheme (URSS), and are to help with living costs and expenses associated with a research project and will be paid directly to the student. The project normally lasts between 4 and 10 weeks and supports energy research. Students from any department are welcome to apply and the Energy GRP encourage applications from both science and non-science disciplines.

The scheme is open to all Warwick undergraduate students, usually non-finalists.

The Energy GRP are particularly interested in projects that develop connections between departments and with external partners.

Find out more on the Energy GRP website.

The Materials GRP support up to eight Summer Placements, each with an award of up to £2,000. The Materials GRP bursaries are affiliated with the University's Undergraduate Research Support Scheme (URSS), and are to help with living costs and expenses associated with students’ chosen projects. The project lasts between eight to ten weeks and must involve the study of Materials. The level of support depends on the length of the project, based on a calculation of £200 per week, up to a maximum of 10 weeks, or £2,000.

Students from any department are encouraged to apply, but they must secure their own project before they apply.

Priority is given to (in the following order):

new collaborations (i.e. where the two academic supervisors have not previously worked together)
new projects (i.e. where there is an existing link between supervisors, but a new area of research is being explored)
existing collaborations

Find out more on the Materials GRP website.

Monash University and the University of Warwick have formed a strategic alliance that aims to enhance the experiences of students at both universities through the development of new models of education and research collaboration.

The Student-led Activity Scheme provides support for activities that seek to integrate the student bodies of both universities, develop ”globally-engaged students” through working as part of international teams, increase both the impact and profile of existing student-led activities at both universities, and transfer knowledge and innovation in student activities across both campuses.

Examples of activities which can be considered for support include academic-related events (e.g. summits, student conferences), cultural and intercultural activities, including sporting events, and skills development events.

The Student-led Activity Scheme provides support of up to a maximum of £15,000 (for expenses incurred by Warwick students).

Find out more on the Monash-Warwick Alliance website.

 

Reinvention is an online, peer-reviewed journal, dedicated to the publication of high-quality undergraduate student research. The journal welcomes academic articles from all disciplinary areas. All articles undergo rigorous peer review, based on initial editor screening and refereeing by two or three anonymous referees. Reinvention is published bi-annually and only houses papers written by undergraduate students or papers written collaboratively by undergraduate students and academics.

Reinvention is published through the Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning and is an open access journal. Students are encouraged to make their work as interactive as possible and to include tables, diagrams and links to films, photographs and other websites where appropriate. Papers should be between 2,000 and 5,000 words in length, not including the abstract, bibliography and any appendices. They receive thorough feedback on their paper, regardless of whether it gets published or not.

Students also receive training on writing for publications, learning about what a journal article is, how it’s structured, and how to critically revise one’s publications.


Find out more on the Reinvention website.

IATL's Student funding opportunities are in place to support innovative student projects under the following strands: Research, Collaboration and Performance.

IATL's Student as Producer (Research) funding is available to undergraduate students and taught Masters students only, who may apply for up to £1,000 for their project. Funded projects must be for research of students’ own devising, and work must be unrelated to anything they are required to do as part of their course.

IATL's Student as Producer (Collaboration) funding is available to undergraduate and taught Masters students only, who may apply for up to £2,000 for their project. The key criterion for this funding stream is that projects must be collaborative and student-led. IATL encourage students to consider the word 'collaboration' in a wide and innovative sense. Projects should always involve more than one Warwick student but students might also wish to work together with a wider interdisciplinary group of students, with members of staff, or with members of the local or international community. Their project must relate to at least one of IATL's key themes.

IATL's Student as Producer (Performance) funding is available to both postgraduate (PGR and PGT) and undergraduate students, who may apply for up to £500 for their performance project which must cover any technical costs, e.g. guidance from an approved theatre technician. Rehearsal and performance space in IATL's spaces is provided.

All IATL funding recipients need to submit a final report on completion of their project. This can take the form of a written report (1,500-2,000 words), films, podcasts, reflective journals or other resources.

Find out more on the IATL website.

 

The Student Ensemble is a trans-disciplinary group of Warwick students and an alumni network that facilitates learning through performance practice. Established at the CAPITAL Centre in 2009 (with funding from the Higher Education Academy), this group has since worked with international practitioners and local communities at the Emerge Festival and Laboratory as well as visiting professionals and graduate companies.


Find out more on the IATL website.

Postgraduate research opportunities outside of the Department

The Masters Skills Programme brings together several of the development opportunities that are offered to Warwick Master’s students in one place.

  • Organising yourself and your time
  • Planning and managing projects
  • Academic study skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Critical writing
  • Speed reading
  • Taking notes effectively
  • Planning and managing projects
  • Effective literature searching
  • Introduction to Masters Writing
  • On Track - dissertation workshops*

*Your school may also offer specific dissertation support - check with your personal tutor

There is also support available for group research projects:

  • Becoming more assertive
  • Working in a team
  • Intercultural training
  • Leading a group project
  • Planning and managing projects

For a full list of workshops visit the Programme page and sign up for the workshops that interest you and develop your skills!

Workshops run across all three terms and can be used towards the Warwick Skills Portfolio Award.

If you think the Programme is missing a workshop that you are interested in, please email the the Programme team the details at skills@warwick.ac.uk

Masters Academic Writing is the first step into research writing. Your examinations are mostly based on (module) written assignments, leading to your dissertation. Your writing should be able to demonstrate not only your ability to analyse, critically engage with material and develop complex arguments, but also aspects of originality. You can find a range of courses on academic writing, critical thinking and discipline specific literature reviews. Browse the courses and select those that suit you best.

Academic Writing Day is a full day writing workshop that runs from 10am to 4pm and include topics such as:

  • stages and requirements of writing
  • organisation and structure of assignments and essays
  • paragraph construction
  • language and style academic style
  • ethics in writing and research, referencing
  • reporting (paraphrase/summary)

The day covers all major aspects of academic writing for taught students, and is a combination of lectures and seminars. The topics aim to address in depth the challenges posed by essay/assignment writing. Check out the workshop page and book your place at the next Academic Writing Day.

After attending the Academic Writing Day you can continue developing your research skills at the Academic Writing Open Fora.

Your Academic Support Librarian provides targeted support in your subject area, helping you to develop information and research skills during your course.

Support and training is available in:

  • literature searching
  • finding, using, and evaluating information
  • referencing and avoiding plagiarism
  • reference management tools
  • using digital tools

Browse a full range of Library courses, visit and enrol on the dedicated Moodle learning page.

It is an excellent starting point for any student researcher. You can access subject support with dedicated discipline key electronic sources, contacts, resources, professional bodies, as well as guidance and other resources related to studying and conducting research in your faculty and discipline.

For interdisciplinary research and projects spanning your department and degree interests, please visit the full list of library subject support or contact the library at academicsupport@warwick.ac.uk or library@warwick.ac.uk

The Library can also buy materials for your subject. Contact the Library with requests for book purchase, skills training or for any assistance with your research at academicsupport@warwick.ac.uk

The blog is designed to connect students with information, support and their community. It’s contains posts offering tips and secrets on a wide range of study skills for example improving presentations, avoid plagiarism pitfalls, preventing library fines and much more. Posts are written both by Library staff and by students about their study experiences.

One other way the Warwick Library looks after a postgraduate research community is providing dedicated space for student researchers. Click on the links below to check availability, latest updates, support, and exclusive postgraduate and research events.

The Postgrad Hub (PG Hub) is a dedicated space for postgrads, enabling them to access support, work in a collaborative environment and socialise with peers.

The Research Exchange (REx) is a space for all Warwick researchers. Not only does it function as a space for study and group work, but it provides a forum for interdisciplinary collaboration.

EndNote is software which helps you to organise your references and to automatically format citations, reference lists and bibliographies in Word. It is an essential tool for any student researcher.

Useful downloads, videos, training material and support

Want to know more about managing your references, saving time and avoiding plagiarism? Sign up to one of EndNote Online Workshops.

The workshop will introduce you to your enhanced EndNote Online (formerly EndNote Web) account, enable you to add references to your library and use the Cite While You Write function in Microsoft Word to generate citations and bibliographies.

More support and help with Endnote endnoteweb@warwick.ac.uk (EndNote Online) or helpdesk@warwick.ac.uk (Endnote Desktop)

Explore online learning and skills development resources on Warwick's Skills Youtube channel.

You can also visit one of the drop in session with a Master's writing mentor or book a 1:1 academic skills appointment.

For more information visit Skills & Student Development or get in touch with the Skills team via skills@warwick.ac.uk.

Institude of Advanced Teaching and Learning (IATL) has a number of Master's student funding opportunities to support innovative student projects under the following strands: Research, Collaboration and Performance.

Visit IATL's student funding page to find out more information on these and other research and funding opportunities, requirements, and deadlines.

You are welcome to discuss any aspect of these research opportunities and your application with the IATL team. Please contact the team at IATL@warwick.ac.uk

The Institute for Advanced Teaching & Learning hosts a range of interdisciplinary postgraduate modules that encourage students from different departments and faculties to formulate relevant questions and propose novel ideas via independent and collaborative research. Some students are encouraged to further develop those ideas for publication.