Registration is closed for this event
July 5th, 2021 10:30 AM through  1:00 PM
Online event - link will be provided
(Members must login to book their free place)
Event Fee(s)
Member Price £ 0.00
Guest Price £ 75.00

This online workshop invites participants to explore the use of spatial research methods in higher education research and the diverse range of critical questions these methods might be used to answer.  When situated within a broad theoretical framework informed by social geographies, spatial methods can be used to consider how spaces are occupied and by whom; movements across space and time; im/mobility and access and experiences of being inside or outside a space.  A spatial approach therefore raises and responds to questions of power and positionality. 

To maximise the participative dimension of the workshop, participants will be asked to complete a task beforehand.  This will involve drafting ideas for a ‘research design’ using spatial methods to investigate how lockdown has been experienced in the context of higher education. The research design participants bring to the workshop can be for a project large, small, entirely hypothetical or linked to ongoing work, on any aspect of higher education. It can be brought to the workshop as a set of notes, images or any other form that will allow you to share your planning process with others.

During the workshop itself these research designs will provide the starting point for discussions of practicalities, challenges and the kinds of data analyses stemming from a spatially-informed methodological approach. Participants will work in small groups, supported by the tutors, to identify key themes, issues and questions which have arisen and these will be discussed in plenary in the final session. 

The workshop is open to both new and established researchers, and might be particularly relevant to those in the early stages of planning a research project. Those who are new to spatial research methods, as well as those who are willing to share their experiences of using them, are equally welcome.  Selected pre-reading and resources will be supplied.  Numbers will be limited to facilitate interaction and active participation.


Workshop aims:

  • to offer participants the opportunity to explore the use of spatial research methods in higher education research through a project-based approach’.
  • to facilitate discussion of practicalities, challenges and the kinds of data analyses stemming from a spatially-informed methodological approach.
  • to further participants’ understanding of the ways researcher positionality and power dynamics can be interrogated through the use of spatial methods


1030-1045:  Welcome, introductions, workshop outline.

1045-1130:  Session 1: reviewing research designs

1130-1140:  Comfort break

1140-1220:  Session 2: identifying key themes, issues and questions

1220-1225 Comfort break

1225-1255: Session 3: plenary discussion

1255-1300:  Concluding Remarks and Close




Dr Kate Carruthers Thomas

Dr Kate Carruthers Thomas is a Senior Research Fellow at Birmingham City University, UK.  She specialises in interdisciplinary enquiry into contemporary higher education, inequalities and gender; in spatial methods and analyses.  Kate also uses poetry and graphics as methods of disseminating her research in these fields

Dr Holly Henderson

Holly Henderson is an Assistant Professor in Education at the University of Nottingham. She has previously held positions at the University of Birmingham and began her career teaching in Further Education in London. Her research and teaching focus broadly on sociological issues of inequality in education. In particular, she is interested in access to and experiences of post-compulsory and higher education. Her research is theoretically informed by social geographies, which enable analysis of the ways in which place, space and mobilities structure educational possibility. She is also interested in narrative and its relationship to subjectivity.

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