Technical and Vocational Education and Training Research Cluster

What we do

Our Technical and Vocational Education and Training Research Cluster (TVET) is a collaborative group of inquiring professionals. We work in and around professional, technical and vocational education. We carry out research and development work in these areas. We seek to build research capacity among educators in the University’s post-14 and college partnership. We welcome collaboration with others researching post-compulsory education and related fields in colleges and other work-related settings.

The aim of the cluster is to develop and deepen understanding of policy, practice and context in professional, technical and vocational education, both in the UK and internationally. Our interests centre on vocational education and such institutions as Further Education Colleges but extend to other educational settings, including schools and workplaces, and to other areas and phases of education provided in these settings. We seek to develop understanding of educational practice, as well as the institutions, policies and industrial organisations that shape these practices.

Research with us

We supervise doctoral students researching Technical and Vocational Education and Training and related fields. We are interested in discussing further proposals in this area. Contact Professor Liz Atkins at or Dr Bill Esmond at

Seminar series

Our TVET researchers offer opportunities to connect with international research of relevance to policy and practice in the UK. Policymakers in Britain make frequent reference to international systems for vocational education and skills formation. In this series, we draw on the empirical evidence and theoretical perspectives of leading international researchers.

Dr Ann Karin Sandal visited our Institute of Education to lead the latest of our international seminars on post-14 education. Dr Sandal's important study of the experiences of Norwegian students in the workplace has attracted international attention.

This seminar addressed some of the latest complexities in changing higher education systems, and their potential to provide meaningful opportunities for progression.

The first of our seminar series on international perspectives on education, skills and employment. Professor Matthias Pilz of the University of Cologne talked about his research into the application of the European dual training system in the international operations of German multi-national business.