School of Education and Sociology


SECS student undertaking research

The School of Education and Sociology offers a dynamic environment for the study and research of issues relating to all phases of education, from early years to higher education. The diverse professional backgrounds of the School’s academic staff lead to research in areas such as teacher development, mental health, gender and race, and pedagogy.

Research projects undertaken by academics are local, national and international.

Locally, we are working with Portsmouth City Council and with local charities focusing on young careleavers, cyberbullying, mental health and wellbeing in childhood and education. We are also collaborating on projects relating to social and emotional aspects in relation to learning in schools and early years settings.

National projects include collaborations with the Education & Training Foundation for further education teacher development as well as being the lead provider for the Further Forces programme which seeks to develop armed forces service leavers into further education teachers.

Internationally, our academics are working on a variety of projects, which include working with schools in North America to understand how evidence-led teaching practice can improve classroom attainment, and investigating women’s access to education in some African countries.


Chris’ research interests centre on how teachers, schools and school systems can innovate and create new knowledge and how those innovations and that knowledge can spread so that we can improve teaching and learning. Within this Chris’ current areas of focus include: school leadership; evidence-informed practice and practitioner enquiry, teacher professional development, the roles of networks in educational improvement and the impact and scale up of educational change. Read more: Professor Chris Brown.


The department is home to three research clusters. Each cluster is open to new membership and for more information and who to contact please click on the appropriate cluster’s link.

Global Education Children and Outreach (GECO)

GECO’s research engages with education and childhood with a focus on social justice and the right of the child, especially the right to education. Read more: Global Education, Childhoods and Outreach

Higher Education Forum

The Higher Education Forum was established to bring together higher education researchers across the University of Portsmouth in order to strengthen our capacity to engage in world-leading research that is measurably excellent; distinctly innovative; collaborative in nature; focused on diversity; and has demonstrable impact on higher education policies and practices. Read more: Higher Education Forum

Mental Health in Childhood and Education (MICE) Hub

The MICE hub has been established to promote research and projects in the field of mental health in childhood/education. The Hub brings together researchers across the University of Portsmouth and beyond with a specific interest in this highly topical and constantly developing area. Read more: Mental Health in Childhood and Education hub


If you are considering starting a research career and are interesting in joining our research network you may wish to consider completing your research degree via the School of Education & Sociology. We offer excellent postgraduate research supervision at both Masters and Doctoral level.

More about applying for a research degree with us

See our current PhD candidates.