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The purpose of the Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment (CPA) research centre is to bring better understanding to the increasing complexity and challenges of teaching and learning at all levels from early years through to higher education. We aim to promote a rich and rewarding intellectual environment in which staff, students and partners feel motivated and supported to develop their ideas and advance their thinking and practice. The staff in the CPA research centre are engaged with different aspects of educational practice at local, national and international levels. The research generated from the centre is aimed at making a valid contribution towards practice, policy and theory.


Centre Activities


Research & Impact
Fundamentally, the work of the CPA research centre aims to support the professional development of teachers who in turn will improve the quality of learners’ experiences. We work with a range of local, national and international partners as part of our long-term strategy to develop research capacity within the centre. In particular, we work closely with our local school communities to ensure that our work has direct relevance to the professional practice of teachers with a view to affecting improvements in pupil learning. We believe these close partnerships are mutually beneficial and help us to ensure that the research knowledge we develop is meaningful and accessible and has direct impact in advancing educational improvement, promoting social justice and influencing social change.


Public Engagement
Through their close associations with the local school community, key stakeholders and policy makers, the staff in the CPA research centre are committed to ensure that their work is utilised by practitioners in school and classroom settings and has an influence on educational policy and practice.


Educational Activities
The members of the CPA research centre work across all programmes at St Mary’s University College catering for BEd primary, BEd post-primary, the PGCE (IME), Liberal Arts and M-Level students. The centre also works with partners in mainstream and special primary and post-primary schools across Northern Ireland, other local, national and international third level institutions, key stakeholder groups and organisations and policy makers.


Centre Members


Mr Martin Hagan

(Centre Director)

Ms Teresa Cash
Mrs Claire Connolly
Ms Deirdre Cree
Mrs Catherine Gilliland
Dr Brian Hanratty
Mrs Donna Hazzard

Dr Geraldine Magennis

Dr Matthew Martin
Mr Jonathan Worley
Dr Tracey McKay
Dr Elaine McLaughlin
Mrs Orla Nugent

Missing from photographs: Mrs Mary Flanagan, Mr Peter Stevenson, Mr Ciaran Walsh


Centre Research Themes


The work of the CPA research centre is focussed on five key themes:

Teacher education and professional development

Literacy, language and literature

Diversity, inclusion and Special Educational Needs

Values in education

Curriculum and pedagogy for effective learning


The CPA research centre welcomes enquiries from prospective students, visiting scholars and interested organisations. For any queries related to the centre’s activities, please contact Martin Hagan (m.hagan@smucb.ac.uk)