Research Focus: Social Justice and Diversity

Institute for Research in Education

The focus of the Institute for Research in Education is Social Justice and Diversity in Education, which encompasses research covering all phases of education from early years through post compulsory and higher education to professional learning.

Our research is concerned to understand and address issues related to the following:

  • equitable experiences and outcomes for different groups including majority, minoritised and marginalised groups
  • individual/group empowerment, citizenship, democracy
  • widening participation
  • race, gender, class 
  • student attainment
  • parental involvement 
  • formal and informal educational settings
  • philosophy of education 
  • school improvement
  • exploring tensions and overlaps in lived experiences
  • examining how structural and individual constraints diminish educational opportunities
  • how democracy of education can analyse marginalised experiences and offer alternative models of education.
  • how digital technology enhances educational participation/experiences and identifies opportunities and challenges to democracy

IREd staff research expertise includes psychological, sociological, historical and philosophical frameworks. 

Central to our work is the interaction between theory and practice. IREd’s research is student and child centred and has links to policy and practice at local, national and international level. 

In the REF2014, more than half of our research outputs were rated as internationally excellent (3*) or world-leading (4*).

The Institute is also host to the Bedfordshire branch of the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain (PESGB) led by Dr Neil Hopkins who has been a member of PESGB for four years. The branch holds monthly meetings which are open to the public.

Enquire about research degrees

By telephone
During office hours
(Monday-Friday 08:30-17:00)
+44 (0)1582 489056

By email

How to apply for a research degree

For all the information you need on how to apply for a research degree and to make sure you fulfil the entry requirements visit our 'How to apply' page

You should have a good honours degree (2:1 or above) or masters degree or equivalent in the relevant subject area.

International applicants should be aware of our English language requirements