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REF 2021 impact case studies


REF2021 Impact Case Studies

Computer Science and Informatics interdisciplinary research is driving significant beneficial and enduring changes for society and individuals. The following impact case studies are being submitted as part of REF 2021. More information about some of these can be found above. 

  • Improved Interoperability and Data sharing on the Internet of Things 
  • Embedding Trauma Informed Care in the NHS to improve practice 
  • Transforming STEM and digital literacy education for under-represented groups: improving user behaviour, skills, and aspirations
  • Reducing the risk of cybercrime through human-centred cybersecurity
  • DIGISTEM: Developing Digital Education Skills in Ekiti State, Nigeria, and Maintaining Teaching Through ICT During COVID-19 Lockdown

These impact case studies form part of a larger picture of impact within the Unit which extends across multiple sectors. Our Unit is also committed to ensuring that computing science overcomes educational challenges within society, such as the digital divide. By using topics from within our applied research (e.g., health, cybersecurity) we are preparing future generations with the skills they need to compete in the global digital economy. 

To read all impact case studies in full, please click here.

Improving education and STEM outreach  

The Unit is committed to ensuring that computer science overcomes educational challenges within society such as the digital divide. Northumbria’s research on digital literacy engagement has positively influenced educational practices and the aspirations of young people.  

As part of NUSTEM, researchers in the Unit were part of an investigation examining the gap in academic progression for certain groups of young people in STEM subjects. Researchers developed and published a new theory of change to increase the diversity and number of young people pursuing a career in STEM. This research has helped provide new insights about how to improve digital resources and the accessibility of online educational portals. This has helped inform practice for 48 schools in the North East, amounting to over 43,000 students.  

Researchers have delivered interactive workshops to over 90,000 children from less-affluent areas in the North East in partnership with Newcastle City Council, libraries and Your Homes. As part of the DIGISTEM project, Northumbria is working with the Ekiti state government in Nigeria to provide digital literacy skills and innovative computer science tools to transform studying practice for young people. 

Institute of Coding (IoC)

Northumbria is part of a consortium of Universities, businesses and professional bodies that have formed a National Institute of Coding to address the digital skills gap. The Institute aims to increase employability of digital specialists and bring in more people from underrepresented groups.


The Institute of Coding (IoC) at Northumbria University from Northumbria University on Vimeo.

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