School of Education and Social Work

What is CSPACE?

The Centre for the Study of Practice and Culture in Education (CSPACE) is an inclusive research collective that draws its membership primarily from staff in the School of Education and Social Work but also from faculty and university colleagues, as well as a vibrant Doctoral Research College. Our research members work across subject areas and education phases from early years to higher education, which brings a strong interdisciplinary, inter-sectoral culture to the work we do. A distinguishing feature and commitment of CSPACE’s work is our focus on participatory practitioner research. Practitioner research is the ‘golden thread’ that connects our research groups, specialisms and projects. CSPACE is committed to work that serves social justice aims by enabling the communities we work with to become research-engaged, knowledge-producing, self-transforming and sustainable. CSPACE is directed by Professor Matt O’Leary, supported by Dr Fadia Dakka as Deputy Director. 

Research groups

Birmingham Music Education

B-MERG brings multiple faculties together to research music-based teaching and learning under one umbrella. The group is concerned with all styles, genres and traditions of music.

Explore B-MERG

Children, Families and Communities

ChiFCo aims to empower children, young people and families by increasing understanding and provision of health, education and social services in the wider cultural context of their lives.

Explore ChiFCo

Practitioner education

The core research mission of PERG is to interrogate and challenge dominant ideologies, practices and discourses in the field of teacher education/teacher learning.

Explore PERG

Social Work Education, Policy and Practice

SWEPP aims to promote social justice, human rights and emancipatory practice through its research activities and the dissemination of its findings.

Explore SWEPP

Space, Time and Everyday Life

The Space, Time and Everyday Life Research Group (STERG) aims to explore the attenuation between space, time and everyday life and society.

Explore STERG

Research Environment

Find out more about our research environment and what it's like to work as a researcher in education at BCU. You can also find out more about PhD opportunities.

Research Projects

We are currently working on a number of projects within CSPACE. View them all on our project page. You can also see our  past projects or view our individual research groups to see a filtered list of projects aligned to our specialisms.

Opportunities and Staff

PhD Opportunities

We are making major investments in growing the quality and volume of research. Read more about PhD opportunities in education and social work. 

See PhD opportunities

Members and Partners

Birmingham City University is home to a wealth of knowledge and our staff have considerable experience of working within an education and social work setting.

View staff


The CSPACE blog will offer insight into our inventive and creative approaches to research, as well as promoting our work on inclusion and social justice across a range of educational fields.

News and Events

The  Centre for the Study of Practice and Culture in Education  runs a variety of research seminars, conferences and more across the centre. View our latest events and news to see how our research impacts the wider world.

Contact Us

  • Email us

    If you have any questions about our research, current projects or research events feel free to get in touch.

  • Call us

    Want to speak to a member of our research team? Call us on the number below.

  • Research Collaborations

    Interested in a research collaboration or consultancy? Contact our team and we'll attempt to link you with an academic who's aligned with your interests.

  • PHD Enquiries

    Thinking about studying a PhD in the School of Education? Our team will be happy to answer any questions you have. First, take a look at the  PhD section  on the website and your course page for more information.