Institute of Education, University College London (UCL)


Founded in 1902, the Institute of Education, University College London (IOE) has a distinguished history of teaching and research across all aspects of education, and is one of the world’s foremost centres for teaching and research in the social sciences. The IOE is the largest university centre of education research in the UK, undertaking around a quarter of the education research carried out in UK universities and is also the second highest recipient of social science research funding among higher education institutions. In the most recent UK Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), the IOE had the highest proportion of world leading research in the field of education. At any one time, staff at the IOE is engaged in over 250 research and consultancy projects, funded by research councils, charities, government departments and international agencies. It is usual for the IOE to be working with over 100 countries on a broad range of teaching, research, development and consultancy activities, including designing, developing and delivering programmes and accredited courses.
The Institute has extensive experience in recent years of providing consultancy services for major projects commissioned by a wide range of funding agencies, such as the EU, World Bank, UNESCO and bilateral agencies (e.g. DfID, British Council). This includes participation in and support for an extensive range of projects aimed at improving gender inequalities in education systems round the world. The IOE is the largest provider of postgraduate courses in the field of education in the UK with around 5000 graduate teacher trainees and MA students each year. The IOE is lead partner in an accredited and prestigious ESRC Doctoral Training Centre with local universities and has 26 studentships: placing IOE in the front rank of social sciences doctoral training in the UK.
The Institute has extensive experience of setting up and delivering innovative, ground-breaking and bespoke programmes. The combination of teaching and research excellence ensures that IOE delivers appropriate and high quality training and provides our clients with a flexible and bespoke training offer.
Since 2010, the IOE has secured approximately 50 awards from the European Commission, and received income amounting to 6.8m euros. The majority of these awards span across a range of FP7 schemes, including Marie Curie, Science in Society, collaborative research projects in Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities and ICT, as well as the Lifelong Learning Programme (now known as Erasmus+). In the final year of FP7, the IOE secured its first ERC Starting Grant, along with 14 other awards which included FP7-ICT, Marie Curie – IRSES, Science in Society, the Lifelong Learning Programme and Tempus.
The project is based in the department of Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment (CPA), a multi-disciplinary department focusing on postgraduate teaching and research. The team is based in CPA.

Prof. Shirley Simon leads the IOE team. She is a full Professor of Education at the Institute of Education, University College London and has managed a range of research projects including those funded by the UK research council. Her doctoral research focused on the implementation of new assessment practices for a range of students, including low achievers. Prof. Simon has since undertaken over 20 years of funded research in science education, focusing on scientific inquiry, cognitive acceleration, teacher learning and professional development. Her current research focuses on argumentation in science and attitudes to science, and she is involved in a new project funded by the Royal Society of Chemistry on widening participation in chemistry. This project is linked to UK university providers of school intervention programmes aimed at enhancing participation in chemistry. Prof. Simon supervises doctoral students working in many aspects of science education in secondary and elementary school contexts. She is also editor for the international journal Research in Science and Technological Education and has links with Umea University, Sweden, IPN at Kiel University Germany, and Waikato University, New Zealand.

For more information, please visit UCL homepage and Institute of Education.