Teaching and Supervision

The Research Centre for Learning and Teaching aims to act as an intellectual and organisational focus for PGT and PGR students. We are currently developing our scope from a core in the Education Section, which is obviously where our field of subject knowledge is based, to the rest of the School and Faculty where our expertise and capacity in research methodology is recognised. For example, the HASS PGT Graduate Skills Enhancement Programme is now run by Centre members and aims to supplement the skills of taught postgraduate students within the Faculty. It is designed particularly to provide skills updating and enhancement for those students who are new to the UK academic environment. In addition, three members of the Centre contribute to the HASS Research Training Programme.

In the last two or three years we have targeted increased student membership as a way of further developing the research culture of the Centre. There is a resource bank, meeting space and work space for students established in the Centre base (see image below), Events and activities organised by the Centre (such as our Research Teas) are open to students working in the field and this has provided the opportunity for them to expand their research horizons. In that we use a similar model to that in place across programmes and modules this supports the students in transferring their thinking between a practice, research and policy perspective.





Alongside increased student membership, CfLaT is taking an increasing role in the programmes and modules offered in the School. We now have members of the Centre who have influential roles related to PGT and PGR provision and this is having an impact. Innovations such as a CfLaT M level module, Investigating Learning, which builds on ‘live’ research projects, and the affiliation to particular courses such as the MA in Education Research, are all providing increased opportunity for synergy across our work. These kinds of crossovers have been established in a practical sense, but also in a way that encourages and develops further thinking about the teaching, learning and curriculum based approaches we use. It has also helped develop theoretical constructs, such as pedagogic innovations, project brokerage, pragmatic tools, the role of enquiry and the need for thinking and social spaces in innovation, which we use when opening up dialogue with students, colleagues and the wider practice community. This is a recognised expertise which we believe can be diversified and employed to further develop our role within the Faculty’s and University’s approach to teaching and learning.

CfLaT has been instrumental in supporting the introduction of an M Level PGCE which leads neatly into the Practitioner Enquiry Masters and the Professional Doctorate of Education programmes. In addition a text based on work across a number of research projects run by Centre members over the last six years, Baumfield, E. Hall and Wall (2007) Action Research in the Classroom, has now become the course text for the MEd Practitioner Enquiry and the EdD. It is also recommended on the Primary and Secondary PGCE courses.

Within the Education Section and CfLaT there is a strong overlap between theory, policy and practice, indeed the students are assessed according to this structure which is included on assessment sheets, see triangle diagram. Module leaders and contributors are encouraged through teaching and learning away days, through ECLS Research Seminars and through Research Centre for Learning and Teaching research teas to keep up to date on educational thinking in these three areas and to incorporate this into their own practice.




Academics are keen to ‘practise what they preach’ and the same model of reflective practice and professional enquiry through action research recommended to students is used and modelled across all modules.

Graduate Skills Enhancement Programme

This is a programme of linked and independent sessions run by the Research Centre for Learning and Teaching with additional input from a range of specialists. All international Master’s level students in the Faculty are invited to attend (sessions are, however, open to and appropriate for overseas PhD students). There are sessions in several key strands:

• Postgraduate learning at Newcastle University
• Academic communication: reading, writing and presentation
• Research design and management (with qualitative and quantitative sub-strands)

The programme is intended to supplement skills training that students receive during their studies here at Newcastle. Students are welcome to attend all the sessions or to select those they find most relevant to their needs. The full programme and timetabling information is available here.


Primary and Secondary PGCE

Since 2005 the Postgraduate Certificate in Education at Newcastle University has been provided at Master’s level. PGCEs can be taken through both university core routes (students apply to the university) and School Direct routes (where students are recruited by lead schools). Both routes share common module and university teaching. The PGCE courses sit firmly within the Practitioner Enquiry model. The newly qualified teachers that leave us at the end of the PGCE year are equipped with the skills and competencies that will enable them to become successful classroom practitioners as well as having an appreciation of the productive relationship between theory, research and practice. The credits gained at PGCE can be used towards our Master’s provision and students continuing or returning to study have a number of routes they can follow. This enables continuous and coherent professional development from the status of beginning teacher to experienced teacher including senior leadership roles. A number of PGCE tutors are also members of CfLaT and their research in areas of professional development, such as the use of video, productive mechanisms of lesson observation and feedback, and the role of action research, continue to inform the development of the programme.

For more information, please click here.


MA in Education Research (full time and part time)

The Research Centre for Learning and Teaching provides a base for students studying on the MA in Education Research. This is a course recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) that can be studied either full- or part-time. It draws on expertise within the Centre, the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences and the wider Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS) to support students in acquiring an integrated set of generic and subject-specific skills, giving them a firm basis for embarking on a doctoral programme.



The course is affiliated to the Centre to give the students experience of real life educational research and support them in acquiring knowledge of research techniques and issues relevant to the subject in action. Students on the course are invited to participate in research events held in the Centre, including seminars, research teas and research project dissemination events. They are encouraged to become integrated into the education research culture which has been developed and to communicate with Centre members regarding their own research interests and experiences. For students this means that they are invited to research teas and centre events and their supervisor and personal tutor are often chosen from CfLaT members.


Part-time Masters’ Level Courses

Members of CfLaT lead and teach a range of part-time courses which draw on our research expertise and contextualise that within a wider current policy, practice and research base. These courses are popular with teachers, lecturers and other educators. The teaching and assessment of these courses draws on what is known about effective and transformative professional learning. They locate the learning securely in the work places of our students, who develop case studies, action research and reflective practice based around their own contexts. Students are encourages to undertake systematic enquiries, to develop innovative practice and investigate this outcomes of professional practice development. By doing so they are able to make practical sense of theory, policy and underlying research in a way that enables them to understand and develop their own practice, support professional development of colleagues and create a capacity for improvement through enhanced leadership. Our current part-time programmes are:

M.Eds / MAs which are integrated with the PGCert routes and primary and secondary PGCE

Doctorate in Education (part-taught & part-research, students can transfer from the PGCerts and Masters)

1 year PGCerts in

 Innovative Pedagogy & Curriculum
 Coaching and Mentoring for Teacher Development
 Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
 Educational Research in Practice
 Educational Leadership

Supervision of Dissertations

Completion of all Masters’ courses is through a research dissertation or research portfolio. Many CfLaT members supervise these dissertations. This research stage allows students to consolidate and integrate the professional and academic learning fostered by the taught stages and support them in developing teaching and leadership practices which are evidence-based and research-informed. Themes explored through CfLaT research, such as teacher coaching and mentoring, innovative curriculum and pedagogy development, and supporting school improvement are often explored through the dissertation.

Master of Education, MA (full time)

The MEd programme is a full time, one year modular programme aimed at home and international students with an interest in further study around education. Students include experienced professionals and new graduates interested in furthering their understanding in the field. The programme aims to familiarise students with current theoretical and practical developments in education and related fields. Students are encouraged to identify key areas of practice and/or management and policy and to develop their specific professional interests. These will relate to their immediate contexts and offer national and international perspectives. Students are supported to select an individual learning programme that enhances their potential to make an effective contribution to the development of education. The programme offers International Studies in Education with local, national and international perspectives on key issues in education and education related topics. The programme encourages students to reflect upon the implications of the theory and research underpinning policy and practice developments for their own context. The diversity of the student cohort is key to assisting the exploration of culturally situated knowledge and intercultural understanding.



The programme promotes and fosters educational leadership and teaching as evidence-based, research-informed practices. As such students engage with, and in, research activity. The MEd full time programme is compatible with the aim of Newcastle University to promote research-led institution curriculum innovation, teaching and assessment. Taught by a range of staff from the Research Centre for Learning and Teaching (CfLAT) and the EG West Centre, the research methods components of the programme explores a range of research methodologies. Other modules develop understanding in areas such as learning to learn, pupil voice, teaching thinking, innovative curriculum development, assessment for learning and counselling are then investigated through students’ research studies and dissertation writing.

All MEd pathways are thematically linked to learning and teaching, and for some of them in particular Developing Thinking Skills is a core module: Inclusive Education; Pedagogy and Learning and the Generic Route. CfLaT Executive Director, Professor David Leat is MEd Pathway leader for the Pedagogy and Learning strand and many other members contribute as module leaders. MEd students also participate in the Graduate Skills Enhancement Programme that is run by CfLaT. The programme offers a suite of alternative, closely related pathways leading to different named awards:


MEd (Educational Leadership and Management)
MEd (Information, Communication and Entertainment Technology)
MEd (International Development and Education)
MEd (Pedagogy and Learning)
MEd (Inclusive Education)

Most pathways through the MEd have close links to the Research Centre for Learning and Teaching, led by Professor David Leat, the Pedagogy and Learning strand is particularly pertinent; but the leadership and management pathway and the inclusive education pathways are also closely related. As such students undertaking these programmes are encouraged to get involved with Centre activities in a similar way to the MA (res) students.

Professional Doctorate of Education (EdD)

The Professional Doctorate of Education (EdD) aims to provide a thorough grounding in the theory and practice of educational research. Taking practitioners’ professional knowledge and experience as a starting point it supports the developing of new thinking through research. The EdD is primarily designed to appeal to experienced professionals (this experience can be in the formal sector, community learning or within education-based activities more generally), who wish to undertake doctoral level study closely linked to this practice. The programme begins with a taught phase that combines core research modules with optional modules to reflect students' interests. There are three specific EdD modules - EDU8010 Practices of Inquiry; EDU8011 Practices of Enquiry and EDU8207: Critical Thinking about Research Methodology - which have been specifically designed for EdD students based in CfLaT’s knowledge of innovative methodologies and pragmatic understandings of epistemology. These courses aim to support EdD students in developing their skills and understandings of research. Other modules may introduce concepts related to epistemology and ontological approaches, but this module will support you in thinking about your own stance and where your research fits into the research literature.

Students on the EdD are encouraged to become student members of the Centre. This means that they are invited to Centre events and they can use the CfLaT base as a work space and a resource to support their studies. EdD support groups are all held in the Centre base to encourage familiarity with what the Centre can offer. Examples of current student members include:


Thesis Title
Caroline Gibby Simon Gibbs and Jill Clark What are the necessary and sufficient skills and knowledge for teachers of paralegal programmes in Further Education and Higher Education?

Education MPhil and PhD degrees

The Research Centre for Learning and Teaching provides a base for students studying the MPhil and PhD degrees which are “by research” only, i.e. they are awarded on the basis of satisfactory theses. For the MPhil degree, candidates must submit a thesis of 40-60,000 words. For the PhD, candidates submit a thesis of 80-100,000 words. Candidates also take research methods modules. These degrees are suitable for candidates who have a clear idea of a particular research area, which they wish to research in depth. For further information, please click here

Examples of the types of research we are currently supervising are:


Thesis Title
Lisa Clark Pam Woolner and Jill Clark Extending Learning Transfer Theory by investigating the influences of individual dispositions and social, cultural, economic and symbolic capital on workplace learning

Education & Communication, IPhD

The Research Centre for Learning and Teaching provides a base for students studying the Integrated PhD in Education. This aims to help students achieve a critical conceptual understanding of practice, thought, evidence and theory relating to recent developments in education. Students will then be in a position to apply this understanding to their own professional context. Students will take compulsory modules, which help them to gain the skills, knowledge and understanding to engage with and evaluate research and theory in education. These modules will also enable students to prepare a research proposal, and carry out a significant piece of research. This research study leads to a thesis, which can answer questions about an issue of professional concern or interest. In addition, students will take optional modules related to their professional situation. Further information about our Integrated PhD programmes can be found on the Integrated PhD website. A flier containing further information can be downloaded here.

Examples of IPhD students supervised by Centre members include:

Thesis Title
Tania Watson Pam Woolner and Jill Clark Discrimination within disability by type and its application to education and alligned institutions


Doctorate in Educational Psychology (DEdPsy)

The Research Centre for Learning and Teaching provides a base for students studying the DEdPsy, which aims to develop critical and conceptual understanding of the most recent developments in educational psychology, as well as high-level practice by integrating recent developments in issues and research into everyday educational psychology activities. For further information, please click here

Examples of the types of research we currently supervise in the DEdPsy include:


Thesis Title

Doctorate in Applied Educational
Psychology (D.App. Ed.Psy)

The Research Centre for Learning and Teaching provides a base for students studying the D.App. Ed.Psy, which provides professional training for work as qualified educational psychologists in Local Authorities and other educational and community settings. This course is aimed at people who want to become qualified to work as educational psychologists and welcomes psychology graduates who are teachers or who have had a range of jobs involving work with children. For further information, please click here

Examples of the types of research we currently supervise in the D.App. Ed.Psy are:


Thesis Title