Research-based curricula

Research-based curricula are short tutorial courses based on real research in key subject areas. Each one has an individual coursebook, written by a PhD researcher and expert in that topic, accompanied by an answer booklet. They are designed to be independent learning courses: either teachers can assign these to students, or students can use them for self-guided study. There are six 1-hour modules and a final assignment in each course book.

Top tips
  • Teachers can take lesson and activity ideas from the courses, or suggest them as extracurricular assignments
  • Research-based curricula is specifically useful for years 12 and 13 students to gain the confidence, expertise and explicit subject experience universities will be looking for 
  • The courses are also a great inspiration or precursor for any students completing an EPQ (Extended-Project Qualification)

Intended outcomes

  • Promote intellectual curiosity through exposure to academic research
  • Build skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, data analysis and long-form writing
  • A chance for pupils to gain 'stretch' experience and build independent research and learning skills beyond the confines of the curriculum
  • Provides Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) on pursuing subjects at undergraduate level
  • Aims to replicate the work required for a university course or module, so this is a great activity to mention in UCAS applications as an example of subject interest and being university-ready


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