Access and Widening Participation


Teacher research projects

The work of the UCL Access and Widening Participation Office is rooted in evidence and research, which is used to inform practice across the department and shape the projects and activities that we run. As a team we are involved in different types of research that includes partnerships with external organisations and working with academic departments across UCL. 

Engaging in research and supporting sector-wide research initiatives is crucial in helping us deploy our funding and support effectively, enabling us to contribute to the national picture around university access and student participation. UCL’s Access and Widening Participation work is focussed on the entire student life-cycle, from pre-entry to post-qualification, and our relationships with schools, colleges and teachers are key to ensuring that we continue to improve access and target support towards under-represented groups. 
We recognise the value that school-based research has in terms of informing teaching and learning, understanding barriers to higher education, and also raising academic attainment. As an institution, and particularly through the UCL Institute of Education, we are well-placed to support teachers who wish to engage in projects designed to improve outcomes for their students and ultimately share these findings so that all schools are able to benefit from the research.     

Our Teacher Action Research Project is now in its second year and is designed to support teachers in developing and leading action research projects that focus on raising attainment at Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5. The Verbal Feedback Project was a two-term action research project that examined the impact of this approach on student engagement at Key Stage 3. You can read more about each of these projects below, which includes details of participating schools and our project partners.

We are extending our research programme through the development of the Key Stage 2 Attainment Project, which is a two-year programme designed to raise attainment and introduce students to higher education and associated career pathways. The project will be in development throughout 2019/20 and pilot in September 2020/21.     

We will be hosting a series of events showcasing the evidence and outputs from each of our research projects, including an opportunity to hear directly from the teachers and facilitators involved. If you are interested in attending these events, or learning about future research opportunities please email wp.teachers@ucl.ac.uk.