Short courses


Facilitated Action Research in the Early Years (Online)

  • 20 hours online
  • 10 months


This online course aims to help early years practitioners feel confident and empowered in using action research to make changes benefitting children in your setting.

There will be ten online sessions throughout the year, each exploring an aspect of the action research process. They're developed by experts who'll help you develop your own action research project.

Each session will provide opportunities for you to engage and interact within a community of other early years action researchers.

This course is run by IOE, UCL's faculty of education and society.

Who this course is for

This professional development course is aimed at early years practitioners working within early years settings.

Course content

The sessions will provide a mix of forum discussions, video and live collaborative debates. 

The topics are:

  • Session 1 - What is action research and why engage with it in your setting?
  • Session 2 - Identifying a focus and creating a research question
  • Session 3 - Collating information
  • Session 4 - Reflecting on your research
  • Session 5 - Exploring literature
  • Session 6 - Research skills
  • Session 7 - Planning and implementing a change
  • Session 8 - Reflecting on your project so far
  • Session 9 - Drawing conclusions
  • Session 10 - Considering the future

You'll be required to complete an action research project within your own context.

The online course platform will enable ongoing dialogue between learners and facilitators.

Learning outcomes

By completing the programme you'll be able to:

  • engage in facilitated action research activity within your own early years setting
  • plan, act, observe and reflect upon the influence of changes you make to your practice or provision
  • articulate and disseminate your research activity and its impact on your practice or provision

Course structure

The course is taught entirely online. A new session will become available each month.

It'll take approximately 20 hours of your time online, plus your commitment to completing an action research project.

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements, but you'll need to be working within an early years context. You'll need to be able to converse and engage in English.


The course is not formally assessed but you'll need to complete specific online tasks will need to demonstrate your engagement. You'll receive a certificate of participation for completing the course.


£650 per participant.

A 10% group discount is available for schools, colleges and institutions who want to register a group of five or more learners. This group discount will be calculated automatically if you use our credit/debit card booking facility (using the book now button).

How to book

Credit/debit card booking

You're strongly advised to pay by credit or debit card.

To do so, use the book now button which will take you to UCL's online store. You'll be asked to register your details and should follow the online booking procedures.

You'll initially be sent an automatic confirmation of your booking. You'll then receive further confirmation from the short course team when we've received your booking.


If you need to pay by invoice please send an email to: ioe.shortcourses@ucl.ac.uk with your full details and we'll handle your booking manually.

Course team

Eleanor Kitto

Eleanor Kitto

Eleanor is Programme Leader for the Early Years Initial Teacher Training programme at IOE, UCL's faculty of education and society. She's worked across primary and early years initial teacher education and MA programmes. Her research uses socio-cultural perspectives on development to explore practices in early years and primary education. She has particular research interests in cultural capital and educational trajectories, classroom dialogue, grouping practices, and the development of EYFS settings through practitioner research.

As co-authors of the book ‘A Practical Guide to Action Research and Teacher Enquiry: Making a Difference in the Early Years’, Eleanor and Amanda Ince share an interest in supporting practitioner agency through developing practice based upon systematic, reflective investigation, exploration and collaboration.

Amanda Ince

Amanda Ince

Amanda is Programme Leader for the MA Early Childhood Education and MA Primary Education (4-12) programmes at IOE. As an experienced tutor, Amanda works with schools and early years settings to develop practice through research and development and professional learning projects. In particular, she works with practitioners to develop early years practice and leadership through knowledge exchange and consultancy. Her research interests are cognitive dissonance in professional learning and leadership.

Course information last modified: 30 Nov 2022, 16:00