Our research provides impactful answers to impactful questions. From arts interventions to support those with dementia, through supporting international investment in Africa, to recovering lost voices and communities in Spain, our research targets the issues and questions most relevant to the communities, sectors and industries we serve, locally, nationally and internationally.

Our recent submission to the Research Excellence Framework included impact that collectively benefitted multiple of millions of people, including 1.1million young people supported to become newly physically active, 1.3 million young people benefitting from new curricula in Church of England Schools, and 1.5 million health professionals benefitting from new clinical guidelines and training to support pregnant and post-partum women. More importantly, these impacts derive from systems changes, that will benefit not just the millions of people experiencing them now, but future generations. 

Canterbury Christ Church University started out in 1962 as a teacher training college to address a national shortage of teachers for Church of England schools.  Now all 4,700 of those schools in England and Wales are inspected against a curriculum framework underpinned by research by our National Institute for Christian Education Research (NICER), and our work on teacher education in Palestine won the Times Higher Education (THE) Award for International Impact in 2018.

Building on our heritage in public services, our research in health, clinical psychology and criminal justice has:

  • Shown that arts-based interventions improve health outcomes and life experiences for those with dementia and respiratory conditions, supporting more than 30,000 patients across the UK, and leading to their recommended use in national clinical guidelines.
  • Improved delivery of prison mental health services, reducing both repeat offending and the call on NHS acute mental health care.
  • Demonstrated that the use of Justice Support Dogs to support the victims of crime enhances the quality of evidence and leads to more secure convictions, leading to their use being commissioned throughout criminal justice systems in the UK, Canada and all 52 US states.
  • Led to the development of the first UK national physical activity recommendations and clinical guidance for pregnant and postpartum women, and developed supporting standards and training for health professionals. 
  • Developed a new assessment framework for registered firearms dealers and gun owners which has been adopted by all 43 police forces across England, safeguarding communities and leading to the closure of multiple criminal enterprises. 

Underpinned by our belief in the transformative power of education, our research to widen opportunities available to young people has:

  • Changed approaches to delivering sport and physical activity for the least active, increasing physical activity levels among 1.1million young people, and supporting over half a million young people to newly achieve activity levels exceeding national guidelines.
  • Supported an enhanced professional status for carers of babies aged 0-2 years, and underpinned new specialist training focusing on engagement, non-verbal communication and interaction that has improved wellbeing and developmental outcomes for babies. 

Working internationally, our commitment to global engagement has delivered research that has:

  • Unearthed silenced voices of the Spanish Civil War, supporting communities in 68 towns and villages to challenge state-sponsored narratives and to re-capture memories of the 144,000 ‘disappeared’ victims of oppression.
  • Supported investment regulation in Africa, developing a new arbitration code for treaty negotiation and, in Uganda, informing legislation to combat organ trafficking.
  • Developed new eligibility protocols that facilitated the inclusion of athletes with Intellectual Disabilities in the Paralympic Games and other elite global sporting competitions.

These examples illustrate the breadth and reach of impact that research and Canterbury Christ Church University has delivered for multiple millions of people. But perhaps more important is the significance of the impact for the people who experience it: people with dementia or long-term health conditions helped to live more fulfilling lives, vulnerable people in the criminal justice system supported through the most challenging of circumstances, those safeguarded from the devastating consequences of exploitation or oppression, and those supported and enabled to fulfill their potential and to live long and healthy lives.

Case studies

The following case studies provide detailed examples of our the way our research has an impact at a regional, national and international level.