The Social Psychology of Education Research Group was formed to share research and good practice amongst a wide range of academics from across Education and Psychology. We have partners in a number of professional fields and third sector organisations as well as in local government. Our research is organised around four interconnecting themes:

  • Educational identities
  • Classroom behaviours and interaction
  • Individual differences
  • Adult-child and peer relationships

 This page gives an overview of the Research Group, the type of research activities with which we are engaged, and potential research student opportunities.

About us 

A group of students are sitting together outside the Hive drinking coffee


Our research focuses on the importance of social and learning relationships across all phases of education, in both formal and informal settings, and how these impact on the effectiveness and retention of practitioners, and the quality of children’s learning experiences, mapping onto the University’s Areas of Challenge: Professional Education, Human Health & Wellbeing; and Sustainable Futures. We are united by our interest in how social psychology can be applied to teaching, learning, and other experiences in educational contexts, producing research which is cross-disciplinary in its theoretical and methodological approaches, which not only contributes to knowledge generation within the academic community, but also informs policy and practice.


We have a call for papers for a special issue of Education Sciences Journal called "The Nature, Quality and Dynamics of Teacher-Pupil Relationships in the Classroom". To find out more and to submit a paper, follow this link.



Our research appears in a range of international peer-reviewed journals including:

  • British Journal of Educational Psychology
  • British Journal of Educational Research
  • Cogent Education
  • Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties
  • Environmental Education
  • European Journal of Educational Research
  • European Journal of Educational Studies
  • Evaluation and Research in Education
  • Frontiers in Psychology
  • International Journal of Development Education and Global Learning
  • Impact: The Journal of the Chartered College of Teaching
  • Journal of Early Childhood Research
  • Journal of Mixed Method Research
  • Journal of Professional Capital and Community
  • Journal of Education Policy
  • Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs
  • Management in Education, Pedagogy, Culture and Society
  • Research Papers in Education
  • Practice: Contemporary Issues in Practitioner Education
  • Review of Education
  • School Leadership and Management
  • Teaching and Teacher Education
  • Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice

 We also write for academic and student audiences in edited volumes published by Bloomsbury Academic, Cambridge Scholarly Publishing, Critical Publishing, Nova Publications, Open University Press, Routledge, and Springer. 


Our research has been funded by:

  • Economic and Social Research Council
  • Education Development Trust (formerly CfBT)
  • National Institute of Education, Singapore
  • Stoke-on-Trent Local Authority
  • Higher Education Authority
  • Nottingham City Council
  • Department for Education
  • University of Worcester Postgraduate Award Fund


We work in partnership with academics at several UK Universities including: University of Oxford, University of Nottingham, University of York, University of Liverpool, Open University, University College London, University of Gloucestershire, and Newman University.

Internationally, we work with academics from: University of Groningen, National Institute of Education, Singapore, The Education University of Hong Kong, and The Islamia University of Bahawalpur.


Our research has had impact in policy, practice and public arenas. This is evidenced through our work with the following organisations and bodies:

  • Cabinet Office Open Innovation Team
  • Education Select Committee Enquiry into the impact of COVID-19 on education and children’s services
  • Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology
  • British Psychological Society
  • Education and Skills Strategic Education Board
  • Education Development Trust Schools Partnership Programme (SPP)
  • UW Leadership Development Programme
  • UW Early Career Teachers Development Programme
  • Stoke-on-Trent Local Authority
  • Worcestershire Teaching Schools Alliance (WTSA)
  • Worcestershire Children First Service
  • Early Years leaders network
  • The Hive

 For more information, please contact the research group lead, Professor Alison Kington at

Information for prospective PhD students


We welcome proposals from prospective students with interests in any areas aligned to our Research Group.  Please see the Research School pages for details on how to apply. The following provide details of self-funded studentships currently offered by the Social Psychology of Education Research Group:


 The Role of Staffrooms in Early Career Teacher Interactions, Relationships and Wellbeing

Follow us on Twitter: @SocialPsyEd