Research methods

We undertake a range of research, evaluation and consultancy projects for a varied client base. Team members are also involved in delivering undergraduate and postgraduate teaching on research methods. We enjoy developing appropriate and innovative methodologies to meet the needs of our clients, and to extend the boundaries of existing knowledge.

A high proportion of our research projects draw on both qualitative and quantitative data.

Our expertise and methods

  • A range of qualitative methods, including in-depth interviews and focus group discussions.
  • Creative approaches using photographic and/or arts-based research methods.
  • Extensive range of approaches to case study research that actively seek to understand the importance of context – the specific design of each case study is dependent on the scope of the research, for example the PSHE mapping study.
  • Design, analysis and evaluation of randomised control trials within educational settings.
  • Design and analysis of online, postal, face-to-face and telephone surveys.
  • Analysis of large-scale datasets including the National Pupil Database and the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England.
  • Economic analysis, especially social return on investment.
  • Engaging with young people of different ages in a variety of formal and informal settings, using a variety of approaches such as discussion-based group work, individual interviews and visual research methods.
  • Child-centric, participatory methods designed to facilitate young children's engagement in research. Recent examples include the use of persona dolls for the phonics screening check evaluation and the creation of a range of bespoke methods devised for the Early Years Foundation Stage research.
  • Desk-based literature reviews and documentary analysis, including reviews of 'grey' and academic literature using systematic review and other methods.

We work closely with you to ensure we design and deliver services tailored to match your requirements, and we are always willing to discuss ideas and options.

Find out more

Email Mike Coldwell at m.r.coldwell@shu.ac.uk or phone 0114 225 6054.