Centre for the Study of Literacies

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Our Research

The Centre comes from a perspective that literacy practices are embedded within everyday life. The Centre is designed to support and enable research that draws on that perspective. The Centre engages with interdisciplinary research, including material cultural studies, cultural geography, sociology and the humanities to look at literacy in everyday life and learning contexts. The Centre addresses issues such as post-colonialism, diaspora identities, migration and new emerging identities within contemporary society in relation to texts, practices and communication.

Our Practice

Literacy Key

Key themes that are explored in our work include:

  • Interdisciplinary research
  • Literacy in everyday life, communities, homes, schools
  • Methodological innovation
  • A vibrant research culture with doctoral and post doctoral researchers
  • Making a difference in educational contexts

What kind of research do we support?

The Centre aims to support research that centres on cultural aspects of literacy. This might mean, for example, a focus on identities in relation to texts. The Centre has plans to focus through its research activities and seminars, on a set of key research questions or problems. The Centre aims to bring in theory from diverse disciplines to enable research on literacy practices to be situated within a broader inter-disciplinary framework. The Centre brings in students who are interested
in this framework and would like to work in an exciting and stimulating research context.


The Centre explores qualitative and quantitative methodologies including ethnography, visual methodologies, interviews and questionnaires, participatory research, collaborative research, action research, online methodologies, linguistic ethnography, linguistics, narrative and life history and auto ethnography, and post-modern and post-structuralist epistemologies.


The Centre involves the following activities:

  • Active support for research ideas and funding bids
  • Active support for research students
  • Regular seminars including outside international speakers
  • Regular reading group discussing key ideas and papers
  • An annual conference in July

Current Projects


The digital literacy and multimodal practices of young children (DigiLitEY)

Young children are growing up in highly technologized societies across Europe. The aim of this COST Action is to develop an interdisciplinary network that enables researchers to synthesise existing research and identify gaps in knowledge in this area.

More information on DigiLitEY

Classroom 2

Nurturing Slovak Roma Children at Secondary School: A Longitudinal Study

A five-year longitudinal study provides us with an excellent opportunity to begin to understand more about the impacts of migration and settlement in a new country with a new language and culture, and to do so in the context of a changing Europe.

More information on the Slovak Roma Children Study

Mapping the Music - a potential space: music as a catalyst for improved community cohesion

More information on Mapping the Music

Makerspaces in the early years: Enhancing digital literacy and creativity (MakEY)

More information on MakEY

Taking Yourselves Seriously

More information on Taking Yourselves Seriously

Recent Research Achievements

'A Leap of Faith': how can research shape the practical ways communities build their futures

More information


Investigating the design and use of a new form of screen-less digital technology in relation to young children’s literacy practices

More information