Teaching Participatory Research - 2004

The aim of this project was to introduce students to ideas of working with or working in partnership with, community organisations, as early as possible in their degree courses, though the medium of a work placement. This also complemented a new lecture, focusing on Participatory Research.


Participatory Research means a professional researcher facilitates and enables people to carry out their own research. Organisations identify the research question, decide on the methods, carry out the research and record and take forward the findings with assistance of the 'professional' researcher.

The project was led by the Health & Social Policy Research Centre at the University of Brighton and included the development of an additional lecture in an existing module for second year students. HSPRC worked together with the Trust for Developing Communities to facilitate student workshops along with overseeing student placements and providing supervision.

Project partners

Trust for Developing Communities

The Trust delivers community development work across Brighton & Hove and Sussex, devises work-led training schemes in community development and provides consultancy and research services.

Former HSPRC - now SSPARC at the University of Brighton

In order to reflect the breadth of the centre's research interests they changed the name from Health and Social Policy Research Centre (HSPRC) to the Social Science Policy and Research Centre: SSPARC.The SSPARC research still includes health and social policy but now also encompasses criminology, sociology, psychology, psychosocial studies, public policy and politics. The centre runs professional courses in social work, counselling and psychotherapy, and applied interests in other areas of social practice such as work with substance misusers and community development.