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Bartlett Global Centre for Learning Environments

The BGCLE draws on knowledge of pedagogy, learning, space and resources, to develop evidence-based guidance to shape great educational environments for the future.

About the centre

Educational demand is expanding globally, with extensive investment in expanded infrastructure – yet evidence-based guidance on the design, management and educational frameworks for learning environments is scarce. The Bartlett Global Centre for Learning Environments provides an holistic approach to filling this gap.

We promote research, teaching and consultancy, engaging with key issues to create affordable, efficient, comfortable, inclusive and sustainable learning environments. We forecast future changes such as the impact of AI and new digital and augmented technologies on education; and investigate what they mean for spaces of learning. We understand how learning environments can include and engage learners and their local communities, so as to better address contemporary challenges.

Through collaborative research, public events, short courses, publications, and policy briefings, the centre builds on strong links between UCL’s two world-leading faculties: The Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment and the Institute of Education.

A world of learning

We estimate the population of learners globally to be at least 1.4 billion people currently studying at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. Pre-school learning, apprenticeships, employer-based learning, continuing professional development (CPD) and lifelong learning, all add significantly to the learner population. Expanding global population, and increasing participation rates in education, bring further growth.

We use academic and applied knowledge to guide real-world investment in, and development of, educational environments, through integrated understanding of wider educational, management, design and technological issues. The centre collaborates with a broad selection of academic and non-academic partners and stakeholders. 

Find out about our MSc in Learning Environments


Study with us

The Bartlett Global Centre for Learning Environments offers a Master’s Degree,(MSc) in Learning Environments, as well as lecture series, symposia, short courses and summer schools.

Learning Environments MSc

This Masters’s of Science programme is housed in the Bartlett Real Estate Institute at Here East, UCL’s new base for innovative teaching and making, located next to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London.

The programme is one of a family of courses delivering cross-disciplinary, problem-based, stakeholder education across different specialist building types. This interdisciplinary programme covers the design, management, economics, pedagogies and outcomes of educational facilities at different life stages from early years, primary and secondary schools, to college, universities, learning on the job and lifelong learning.

It covers essential processes in procuring, creating, renewing, managing and evaluating learning environments, within different educational contexts across the globe. Multiple perspectives and agendas are explored critically to identify holistic solutions to contemporary educational challenges. The MSc Learning Environments has eight taught modules delivered in week-long blocks suited to full-time students completing in one year, and to working professionals enrolled part-time (two years) or on a modular/flexible route (up to 5 years). We also offer PG Cert. and PG Diploma routes, enabling participants to customise their learning to their own professional and personal needs.

Find out about the MSc in Learning Environments

Short courses

The centre offers a variety of events, short courses and summer schools for UK and international students and professionals from different backgrounds, including the built environment – architecture, planning, interior design, project management, facility and estate management – as well as educationalists, policy-makers, providers, bursars and governors.


Our research

The Bartlett Global Centre for Learning Environments provides a platform for research across The Bartlett and the UCL Institute of Education to benefit learners, educators, managers, planners, designers and policy makers in the UK and internationally.

We host innovative research investigating how the design, management and occupation of learning environments and education estates – both within and beyond formal educational settings - are shaped by, and contribute to:

•    contemporary educational challenges
•    adding value
•    equity and belonging
•    health and wellbeing
•    sustainability
•    digital and digital/spatial hybrid transformations
•    economics of capital investment and operational expenditure
•    local, regional and social impacts
•    community engagement

The centre promotes quantitative and qualitative research methods, design and text-based approaches. It draws on a variety of disciplinary perspectives and methodologies, from architecture and anthropology to population health and real estate.

PhD students and visiting academics

The Bartlett Global Centre for Learning Environments hosts a doctoral network on Learning Environments to support and promote the work of PhD students researching varied topics related to physical and digital learning spaces and education estates. We welcome visiting academics and research fellows to work with us on a short or longer-term basis. 

If you are interested in collaborations or further study, get in touch here

BREI research ambitions

Our research is shaped by the aims of the UCL 2034 Strategy:

  • To provide academic leadership grounded in excellence
  • To become a global leader in the integration of research and education
  • To address global challenges; and deliver global impact through a network of innovative international activities, collaborations and partnerships

Consultancy and partnerships

We undertake commissioned research, consultancy, and policy briefings, bringing together theoretical and practical understanding that is based on rigorous empirical investigation and analysis, communicated in clear, direct and accessible language.

The centre is committed to translating academic research into the public domain, working with academic and non-academic partners and stakeholders in the UK and abroad: educational institutions, businesses, charities, public sector and policy organisations.

The Bartlett Global Centre for Learning Environments aims to make a significant contribution to the design and management of high quality, sustainable and inclusive learning environments worldwide, to guide appropriate investment in education estates, and to highlight the possibilities of estates development for the wider society and communities.

To explore consultancy and partnerships, get in touch here


People

Professor Alexi Marmot headshot
 Professor Alexi Marmot – Director

Alexi Marmot is an internationally acknowledged expert in the design, management, and use of places for work and for learning.

Originally educated in architecture and town planning, Alexi has developed techniques for evidence-based consultative design, documenting what teachers and pupils desire, how people use space, how buildings and estates operate in practice, and how to create buildings that really work for their organisations.

At UCL, Alexi draws on her applied professional knowledge to inform teaching and research.


Dr. Jos Boys headshot
Dr. Jos Boys – Course Director MSc Learning Environments

Jos has worked for over 10 years as an independent Learning Spaces consultant and researcher.

Her background is in architecture and urban planning and she has written extensively about the complex and often contested inter-relationships between pedagogies, academic development, institutional policy and strategies, facilities planning and learning space design. 

Jos has also worked as a tutor in architecture and related disciplines; as an academic developer and instructional designer; and as a community-based design practitioner and activist. She is particularly interested in how to improve our understanding of everyday social, material and spatial practices, in support of the most disadvantaged in society. Her work explores how we can work across different perspectives and agendas to collaboratively discuss and improve learning environments both within and beyond the academy.


Dr. Clare Melhuish headshot
Dr. Clare Melhuish – Senior Research Associate

Clare Melhuish is an anthropologist specialising in architecture and the built environment, including Modern Movement architectural heritage and social identity, domestic space and cultures, ethnographic research, urban design and regeneration, and the ethnography of architectural design practice.

 

Affiliates

The Global Centre for Learning Environments is affiliated with experts in spaces of learning around the globe:

Peter Barrett

Honorary Research Fellow, Department of Education, Oxford University; Emeritus Professor, University of Salford; Founding director of Salford University’s Research Institute for the Built and Human Environment; Director of Clever Classrooms, a large scale study of the impact of classroom design on pupils’ learning.

Peter Goodyear

Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow; Professor of Education at University of Sydney; Founder of CRLI, the Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation; Founder of CoCo, the Centre for Research on Computer-supported Learning and Cognition; committed to strengthening the role of design knowledge in higher education.

Wesley Imms

Director, LEARN: Learning Environments Applied Research Network, and ILETC: Innovative Learning Environments and Teacher Change, Melbourne Graduate School of Education; Head, Visual Art and Design Education, University of Melbourne; Assoc. Professor of Spatial Pedagogies; ILETC