Short courses


Research Engagement, Participation and Impact (Online)

  • 8 hours per week (approx.)
  • 10 weeks


This online course will give you the knowledge and skills to ensure research addresses the concerns of the public, practitioners and policymakers.

You'll learn why and how to involve the public and other stakeholders in research creation, oversight, design, conduct and interpretation.

You'll also reflect on research from a variety of perspectives and explore strategies to help researchers and stakeholders work effectively together.

You'll learn from a course team with a track record of high-quality research examining impact and engagement.

The course runs over 11 weeks.

This course is run by the Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Co-ordinating Centre (EPPI-Centre), part of IOE, UCL's faculty of education and society. The EPPI-Centre is recognised worldwide for its work developing methods for diverse kinds of systematic review and for the production of policy-relevant research.

Who this course is for

This online course is for:

  • students at Master's level or above who are planning a career in research or policy
  • experienced researchers, policymakers and practitioners in public and voluntary service

Those taking this course have a wide range of interests, including health and social care, but also other policy areas such as education, international development, social work and criminology.

Course content

The course will cover the following topics:

  • Research, knowledge and power
  • Research and inclusive decision-making 
  • Introducing outsiders into the worlds of research - who, how and why?
  • Stakeholder involvement in the design and conduct of research
  • Stakeholder involvement in research at the institutional level
  • Evaluating stakeholder engagement and involvement

Course structure

You'll learn online using Moodle (a virtual learning environment). All learning materials are provided through this site.

In each week of the course, you'll receive video and reading resources. You'll have tasks to complete, sometimes individually, sometimes in pairs or small groups.

Feedback will be provided on activities through a mixture of peer-to peer-and tutor assessment.

Up to two real-time seminars may be run during the course. Times for these will be set near the course start date and they will be recorded for those unable to attend.

Typical activities include:

  • reading a journal article or book chapter and identifying key themes
  • drafting short summaries on a topic
  • posting comments and observations on your own reading and learning and providing feedback to other students.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course you should be able to:

  • identify the variety of perspectives, interests and types of expertise that different stakeholders, such as service users, practitioners and policy-makers might bring to a research project
  • identify a range of approaches to supporting such work, including stakeholder consultations and collaborations
  • apply this knowledge and understanding to your own interests and ways of working


You can request a certificate of attendance on completing the course. The course activities form part of a more complete Master's-level module. Please contact the administrator if you'd like further information about studying for credit at Master's-level.

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

Dr Gillian Stokes – Course Leader

Dr Gillian Stokes – Course Leader

Gillian is a mixed-methods researcher on health-focused systematic reviews and primary research on stakeholder engagement and diversity. Her research topics are wide-ranging. They include the impact of medical conditions on diverse demographic groups, and the health benefits of improved domestic services, and their policy implications.

Gillian is a qualified healthcare practitioner. As such, her research interests generally centre on medicine, public health and developing research methods in evidence-based health policy-creation and stakeholder involvement. She's particularly interested in research involving children and people from underrepresented communities.

Dr Rebecca Rees

Dr Rebecca Rees

Rebecca is a Senior Lecturer in Evidence Informed Policy and Practice. She's explored social research methodology in the fields of public health, education and complementary medicine, with a particular focus on equity and informing practice and policy decision making. She has focused on methods for producing policy-relevant research syntheses, which require different stakeholders to work together to identify, analyse and interpret multiple types of research as a step towards developing solutions.

Learner reviews

This [module] is extremely timely. Research impact is rising rapidly up the agenda across the world in many public service sectors. If the application of evidence is to lead to significant improvements in practice and better outcomes for citizens, many parties - in practice, policy and research - need to be engaged in joint ventures. [Dr Andrew Morris, Education Consultant]

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