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Pedagogic quality and inequality in university first degrees

Project: Funded ProjectResearch

1/11/08 → …

The Pedagogic Quality and Inequality in University First Degrees Project was a three-year longitudinal investigation of sociology and related social science degree courses in four UK universities, which were given the pseudonyms Prestige, Selective, Community, and Diversity Universities in order to reflect their different reputations. The departments at Prestige and Selective have been regularly rated in the top third of UK higher education league tables for their research and teaching in Sociology, while those at Community and Diversity have been regularly rated in the bottom third. Three years’ intensive fieldwork produced rich data sets, including: in-depth interviews with 98 students eliciting biographical stories and their perceptions and experiences of higher education; 31 longitudinal case studies following students throughout the three years of their degree programmes; a survey of over 700 students; interviews with 16 staff; analysis of video recordings of teaching in each institution in each year of the degree (12 sessions); analysis of students’ assessed work (examples from each year); a focus group discussion with tutors from all four institutions about students’ assessed work; as well as documentary analysis and the collection of statistical data relating to the four departments.