Director: Professor Harry Torrance

The Education and Social Research Institute is one of the leading UK centres for applied educational research and evaluation, and a thriving research community. 67% of our research was rated as 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent' in REF 2014, with 100% of our research Impact being rated 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent'. We have an outstanding portfolio of research grants and publications, regularly organise national and international seminars and workshops and other services to research, and offer several studentship awards each year. We are members of the ESRC-funded White Rose Doctoral Traiuning Partnership including the universities of Sheffield, Leeds, York, Sheffield Hallam, Bradford and Hull. We have particular research strengths in Early Years, Children & Childhood; Youth and Community Studies; Maths and Science Education including ICT; Teacher Education, Leadership and Curriculum; and the Theory and Methodology of Educational and Social Research. The Institute is committed to producing the highest quality, theoretically-informed empirical research, coupled with advancing theory and methodology in social research.

Our aims are:

  • to lead debate, nationally and internationally, on the nature and future of education and educational research;
  • to contribute to the development of theory and methodology in applied social research;
  • to promote research-based understandings of policy and practice in education and the professions;
  • to support practitioners and professionals in researching their own practice and contexts of work;
  • to work closely with the users of social research at all stages of the research process;
  • to provide first-class research training and support for new and developing researchers.

Recent doctoral graduates include university lecturers, head teachers, teachers, local authority advisers, youth workers, charity workers, health educators, nurse educators, and A&E consultants.