Dr Nadine Schaefer

Dr Nadine Schaefer

Educational Developer

Educational Development - Academic Development (Library and Academic Development)



I am an Educational Developer at the Educational Development Team with a strong interest in student voice and participatory research approaches. I am particularly interested in the theoretical, practical and pedagogical dimensions of research methodologies and methods and issues of quality and impact in HE contexts. 

I have been involved with a range of projects including:

  • a HEFCE funded project exploring the value of using research methods learning as a proxi measure for Learning Gain. As part of this we developed a learning toolkit for HE and FE contexts to support staff and student learning in this area. For further information, please have a look at: 
  • research identifying the education development needs of elected sabbatical officers to inform policy and practice in the area of student voice and student engagement.
  • evaluations of the impact of the Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Education (PGCert ClinEd) and PGCAP at the University of Plymouth on participant's pedagogical understandings, practice and professional careers.
Currently, I am involved in a study exploring the impact of a buddy scheme on international students' (and their buddies') learning and well-being via a mixed method approach. Findings from this study aim to inform further research and practice.


Awarded Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (2011)
Awarded Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (PCAP, Exeter University 2010)

PhD University of Plymouth, 2009. Thesis title: “Young people’s daily life and future prospects in rural east-Germany”. 
My thesis focused on young people’s socio–spatial identity construction, post–socialist transformation processes, processes of individualisation as well as on methodological and ethical considerations in researching young people’s lives. The research followed a participatory approach and employed methods such as mental mapping, focus group discussion as well as research training for young people to enable them to develop their own projects and conduct for example peer–led interviews. 

Magister Artium, Potsdam University (Germany), Sociology 1st Class. Dissertation Title: Relations between East and West. An empirical research on the present day life of German–German couples. Specialisation in: qualitative research (life–history research), gender–studies, transformation research. 

Roles on external bodies

I am acting as reviewer for academic journals such as 'Journal of Geography in Higher Education'.



Teaching interests

My teaching focuses in particular on:

Educational research - theory and practice

Quality assurance in HE environments

Student voice within (and beyond) HE contexts

I am particularly interested in ethics, voice and empowerment, students as agents/partners, creative and participatory pedagogical approaches.

Staff serving as external examiners

I act as Subject External Examiner for the Postgraduate Research in Education, Community and Society (PGRECS, 2016-2020) and the MA Social Research (2018 onwards) at Manchester Metropolitan University.



Other Publications

Turner, R., Sutton, C., Muneer, R., Gray, C., Schaefer, N. & Swain, J. (2018) Exploring the potential of using undergraduates’ knowledge, skills and experience in research methods as a proxy for capturing learning gain, Higher Education, Pedagogies, 3:1, 110-136, DOI: 10.1080/23752696.2018.1449127

Passy, R., Georgeson, J., Schäfer, N. & Kaimi, I. (2017) “Evaluation of the impact and effectiveness of the National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination”. Report for the Department for Education.

Schäfer, N. (2012a), “Finding ways to do research on, with and for children and young people”. Geography, 97 (3), 147-154.

Schäfer, N. (2012b), “Using video in a participatory, multi-method project on young people's everyday lives in rural East Germany. A critical reflection”. In Heath S., and Walker C. (eds) Innovations in Researching Youth. Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Schäfer, N. (2010), “The spatial dimension of risk: Young people's perceptions of the risks and uncertainties of growing up in rural East Germany”. Forum Qualitative Social Research 11(1)

Schäfer, N. & Yarwood, Richard (2008), “Involving young people as researcher: uncovering multiple power relations among youth”. Children's Geographies, vol. 6, 1, pp 121-135

Also published in: Schäfer, N. & Yarwood, R. (2009) Involving young people as researchers: Uncovering multiple power relations among youths. In van Blerk, L., Kesby M. Doing Children's Geographies. Methodological Issues in Research with Young People (pp. 114-128). London: Routledge.

Duffy, M., Schäfer, N., Coomber, R., O'Connell, L. & Turnbull, P.J. (2008), “Cannabis supply and young people. 'It's a social thing'.” Final Report of research on cannabis supply and young people which is part of the 'Drug and alcohol research programme' series funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. London: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Schäfer, N. (2007), “I mean, it depends on me in the end, doesn’t it?” Young people’s perspectives on their daily life and future prospects in rural east-Germany. In. Panelli, R., Punch, S. and Robson, E. (eds.) Global Perspectives on Rural Childhood and Youth: Young Rural Lives. Routledge: New York.

Hörschelmann, K. & Schäfer, N. (2007), "‘Berlin is not a foreign country, stupid!’ – Growing up ‘global’ in eastern Germany", Environment and Planning A, vol. 38, 8, pp. 1855-1872.

Nemes, G., High, C., Schäfer, N., Goldsmith, R. (2007), “Using participatory video to evaluate community development”. Paper for Working Group 3, XXII European Congress of Rural Sociology, Wageningen.

Hörschelmann, K. & Schäfer, N. (2005), "Performing the global through the local -globalisation and individualisation in the spatial practices of young East Germans", Children's Geographies, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 219-242.

Schäfer, N. (2005), “Zusammengewachsen sind wir [Ost- und Westdeutsche] noch nicht – ausser die Paare”. Zur Selbstpositionierung ost-westdeutscher Paare im vereinigten Deutschland“ in Irritation Ostdeutschland. Geschlechterverhältnisse seit der Wende, E. Schäfer et al. (eds) Verlag Westfälisches Dampfboot, Muenster.

Schäfer, N. (2003), “Familienbilder in Ost- und Westdeutschland. Ein Einblick in den Lebensalltag ost-westdeutscher Paare“, Potsdamer Studien zur Frauen- und Geschlechterforschung, Vol 7.