Teaching & Learning Portal


Research-based education: guides and case studies

Introduction to research-based education

Bringing research and education together is mission critical for UCL. So what does that mean for teaching?

UCL is increasing opportunities for undergraduate students to get involved in research activities as part of their studies. This approach differs from research-led learning.

Whereas research-led learning means that tutors use their research to inform the content of their teaching, in research-based education, students are given the chance to play an active part in the research process.

What are the benefits?

There is a big appetite among students to get involved in the research process. It brings students closer to the edge of knowledge and teaches transferable skills such as teamwork, problem-solving and analysis.

Encouraging students to conduct original research is beneficial to teaching staff as well as students. For example:

  • It improves the quality of students as they gain confidence and motivation
  • Students give higher scores to teaching quality in satisfaction surveys
  • High-quality teaching of research-led projects is encouraged and recognised through grants and awards
  • UCL's commitment to research excellence attracts and retains the very best teachers and international academic staff, exposing teaching staff to a high-calibre network group.

How do I get started?

Contact CALT for advice and take a look at some of the examples of research-based education that are already being trialed at UCL.

Case Studies - Research-based education

Can first-year undergraduates become researchers?

From designing experiments to writing papers, Dr Hazel Smith explains how first-year Biology students took on the challenge of completing an intensive research project.

Published: Sep 18, 2014 3:32:00 PM

'Mystery specimen' project

Dr Helen Chatterjee, Senior Lecturer in Biology and Deputy Director of Museums, explains why there are so many puzzled-looking students in the Grant Museum of Zoology.

Published: Aug 9, 2014 3:13:00 PM