Departmental projects

"My belief is that giving students ownership of the researching and writing process is an effective way of encouraging learning and this belief has been confirmed and consolidated through my experience of working on this project". Guy Westwell

Broadly defined, ‘research-based’ contexts are those in which students learn through inquiry-based activities by ‘actively pursuing an answer to a question’ (Neumann, 1992: 169). Such research based learning experiences have been reported to benefit students’ intellectual and personal development and stimulate their interest in the chosen discipline.

In this section you can find out about a number of research-based learning initiatives developed at Queen Mary since 2010, in collaboration with Thinking Writing.  Each 'mini-project' has involved an evaluation designed to help students and teachers make sense of their experiences of research-based learning and to feed into further iterations of the module or teaching. 

"Through the lenses of the focus group, questionnaire responses and simply talking to students, this mini-project has provided a fascinating insight into student learning processes." Judith Bara

"We hope that a more inventive and diverse approach to student writing within the Department (particularly in the case of assessed work) will be one long-term outcome of the project" Richard Coulton and Matthew Mauger  

Read more about projects in six departments by following these links:

Biology - Global Change Biology      English - Connect-Criticise-Construct      Film - Mapping Contemporary Cinema    History - Exhibiting WW1    Medicine - Writing for Publication     Politics - Using parliament and government as research resources         

Several of these projects were funded by Queen Mary’s Student Experience Investment Fund, 2010-11, for which Dr Nadya Yakovchuk was the Thinking Writing project officer. To get in touch with her, please contact us

For descriptions of other research-based learning activities at Queen Mary go to the page on RBL and your teaching.