Project archive

The Subject Centre project archive contains details of all the projects we have supported or in which we have collaborated since our establishment. Browse through the list of projects below, or search the archive by theme.

Projects funded by LLAS

A comprehensive list of projects and people funded by LLAS is available to download: Research and development projects, 2000 - to date (Word doc, 171Kb)

Evidence-informed practice

Projects from the LLAS and other subject centres can be found on the Higher Education Academy EvidenceNet website. It contains a searchable database of resources, networks and events to promote and support evidence-informed practice in learning and teaching in higher education.

Completed projects:

A model for collaboration between HE and non-HE institutions in developing an Islamic Studies module (Qur’anic Arabic)

A wealth of expertise in teaching Islamic Studies (IS) exists in non-HE Muslim colleges. This project aims to help universities with little or no provision in IS to tap into this wealth by establishing mutually beneficial ties with such colleges. A model for cooperation between the University of Westminster and a London-based Muslim college in the area of Qur’anic Arabic could be replicated in this or other branches of IS by other universities. The partner college would gain prestige and good practice, while the university would benefit from the college’s expertise as it expands its IS provision.

A Web-as-Corpus approach to populating Wikiversity for teaching about Islam and Muslims in language, linguistics and area studies

Wikiversity is an online open-source public repository for University-level teaching and learning materials, based on the Wikipedia architecture for “crowd-sourcing”: it relies on volunteers to collaborate by actively contributing their knowledge for the common good. Undoubtedly a wealth of learning resources exists on the WWW, but scattered on individual websites, in a wide range of formats and structures. Individual lecturers prepare online teaching materials to support their own teaching, but few know of Wikiversity, and few have time or inclination to take on the extra step of formally registering and uploading their materials to Wikiversity. This project aims to organise and semi-automate the harvesting of these scattered resources, by adapting Web-as-Corpus techniques from Corpus Linguistics.

Action research projects

The Subject Centre invited bids for £1,000 for practitioners wishing to undertake small scale action research projects in languages, linguistics or area studies in UK higher education.

AHRC Review of research in modern languages

During 2006 the Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies, in partnership with the University Council for Modern Languages, undertook a review of research in modern languages which was commissioned by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The review was completed in September 2006.

Arabic language and Islamic Studies: who studies Arabic and how can these skills be used at university and beyond?

Learning a modern foreign language in UK has declined, yet the learning of Arabic is rising. We hypothesise that there is more Arabic language competence among Islamic Studies students than is currently apparent in the university sector: this represents missed opportunities for Arabic as a career enhancing skill. A small mapping exercise will aim to sample relationships between students’ prior Arabic competence and Arabic language courses in Islamic Studies departments within UK universities. The study will also investigate Arabic language studies that students undertake in Muslim institutions such as Darul Ulooms, Madrassahs, and Muslim schools and colleges. There are possible correlations between classical Arabic (including that of the Qu'ran) and modern Arabic; ways to enhance the uptake of degree level Arabic courses amongst students who have prior knowledge of Arabic; and enhancing undergraduates’ career possibilities involving Arabic.

British Sign Language: Quality Embedding of the Discipline (BSL:QED)

The main aim of this project is to establish a new on-line curriculum for the teaching of British Sign Language (BSL) at HE level.

Career destinations of modern languages graduates in Northern Ireland 2005-2009

The project is employing a researcher to track the career destinations of modern languages graduates from Northern Irish universities from the academic year 2005-2006 to the current academic year. By compiling an authoritative and informative database the project will make proposals in relation to the marketing of languages at university and also the career guidance given to students of modern languages. It is also anticipated that the data compiled will assist in course planning in both HEIs in Northern Ireland, not least in relation to combined degrees involving a link between the study of language and other subjects.

Collaboration programme in Modern Languages in higher education

In October 2001, the Subject Centre and the University Council of Modern Languages were awarded £482,950 from HEFCE's Restructuring and Collaboration Fund for a three-year programme. The programme consisted of 10 pilot projects involving a series of collaborative and cooperative developments in modern languages.

Community Café Project

The project will address a particular problem: the scarcity of up-to-date, online resources for community languages. The aim of the project is to work together to co-create a community collection of online language and cultural materials which will significantly enhance existing materials to support community languages.

Discover American Studies: free CD-ROM

Funded by the Embassy of the United States of America, Discover American Studies is a free interactive CD-ROM designed to promote American Studies to students in schools and further education colleges in the UK. The CD was launched in Edinburgh at the annual conference of the British Association for American Studies on 29 March 2008. Based on the Why Study Languages? CD it contains presentations, essays, video clips and interactive features to demonstrate the benefits of studying for a degree in American Studies. The CD is being distributed to American Studies departments and members of the British Association for American Studies.

Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)

The Subject Centre received funding via the Higher Education Academy to explore ways in which our subject communities may be able to contribute towards HEFCE's Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) agenda. Each participant submitted a short article on what ESD means to his or her experience of teaching languages, linguistics or area studies.

English Language at undergraduate level: its identity as a subject in UK Higher Education in the 21st century

During 2007, LLAS funded a mini-project on English Language at undergraduate level. This study reviews the current place of undergraduate English Language in Higher Education institutions in the UK in light of a rapid expansion of the subject. It is based on the analysis of documents available from universities (e.g. prospectuses, brochures, e-mails) and on the web. It provides an overview of 49 single honours English Language programmes considering the ways they are labelled, their relationship with other disciplines, their rationale, content and structure. It also identifies and discusses the preferred teaching and learning methods, and assessment procedures in these programmes. Finally, it explores marketing procedures and recruitment trends for these degrees.

Extending good practice in less widely used less taught (LWULT) languages

This project worked with language practitioners to disseminate and transfer innovative practice in LWULT languages through workshops and number of funded mini development projects. Collaboration across languages and between institutions was a key feature.

HumBox Project

HumBox is a collection of more than 1000 humanities teaching resources that have been uploaded to the web for lecturers to use freely. You can browse and download from the collection without creating an account, however, if you would like to take advantage of a number of productivity tools built into the design, then register using the simple form, create a profile of yourself... and away you go! You can also upload your own teaching materials to the collection from your profile page.

Integration of university careers and volunteering services, curriculum provision and local voluntary organisations

This project aims to identify the opportunities for students to develop sustainability skills (promoting community cohesion, environmental sustainability and organisational social responsibility) in volunteering activities and work placement, as well as in aspects of the curriculum that support and accredit the development of these skills. The project will involve partnership working between the London Met student volunteering service (‘Reach’), the Department of Applied Social Sciences and local voluntary organisations in the social and environmental sectors. It aims to produce a report analysing the sustainability skills valued by voluntary sector employers, and best practice guidelines on how to develop these skills.

Interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning Group

The group was set up in 2005 to explore all facets of interdisciplinary teaching and learning. This includes investigating the student experience, examining the ways in which institutions encourage or discourage cross-disciplinary collaboration (in teaching), exploring how Subject Centres can support staff teaching on interdisciplinary programmes and supporting staff who do not have an obvious Subject Centre home.

International approaches to Islamic Studies in higher education

The Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies (LLAS), in partnership with the Subject Centre for Philosophical and Religious Studies (PRS), has prepared a report for HEFCE on international approaches to Islamic Studies. The report examines the historical development and current state of Islamic Studies in eight countries: the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the United States, Australia, Malaysia and Turkey. It also presents perspectives on recent developments in Islamic Studies and the responses of governments, policy makers and funding bodies; interactions between institutions of higher education and faith-based organisations and communities; and case studies that highlight examples of innovative practice in relation to Islamic Studies in higher education. The report was commissioned by HEFCE to inform its activities relating to Islamic Studies, which was designated a Strategically Important Subject in June 2007.

Investigating longer-term employability in the humanities

LLAS worked in collaboration with the Subject Centres for English, and History, Classics and Archaeology to carry out a piece of research into the longer-term employability of graduates of these discipline areas.

Islamic Studies provision in UK higher education

Working in partnership with the Subject Centre for Philosophical and Religious Studies, a team based at LLAS has carried out research funded by HEFCE on the provision of Islamic Studies-related modules at all UK Higher Education Institutions. The research showed that Islamic Studies is located in a wide variety of disciplines and departments, but that the bulk of provision is concentrated in a small number of pre-1992 universities. However, some provision was found at the majority of universities investigated. This research will inform further work to support academics working in Islamic Studies by providing clear data on the breadth and scope of current provision.

Join the Club

LLAS was a partner in this Lingua 1 project, which established a network of community based language learning clubs

Language Café

This European Commission funded project built on the concept of café culture to provide informal, social settings for people to get together, practise languages and share cultural interests.  We developed a multilingual website which includes downloadable materials offering advice on setting up and joining a Language Cafe, publicity and sponsorship, and ideas for activities (

Language Network for Quality Assurance (LanQua)

The Subject Centre is coordinating a three-year project under the European Commission's Lifelong Learning Erasmus Network programme. The LanQua project is developing a Language Network for Quality Assurance and involves 60 partners across Europe.

Links into Languages

Links into Languages aims to build a learning community for language practitioners and provide high quality professional development courses that address current national priorities for languages. Based in each of the nine English regions, Links offers a nationally co-ordinated network of support centres, which house a training and drop-in centre for meetings, networking and access to resources.

Materials development project

The Subject Centre's Materials Bank has been set up to encourage and facilitate the sharing of teaching materials in Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies. The Subject Centre is currently seeking to expand and develop this resource and has made funds available for the development of additional materials for the Bank.

Opening the Door to Language Learning (OdLL)

Opening the door to language learning (OdLL) was a three-year project funded by the European Community Socrates Programme, which sought to develop and test strategies for increasing access to language learning. We worked with partners in Belgium, Hungary, Ireland, Lithuania, Spain and Sweden.

Pedagogic Research Fund 2002/03 (Phase 1)

A total of six small-scale pedagogical research projects were commissioned and the project reports were published in January 2004. Two workshops focused on research methodology were organised to support the projects.

Pedagogic Research Fund 2005/06 (Phase 2)

During the 2005-2006 academic year, LLAS funded six pedagogic research projects. Practitioners were able to bid for up to £4,000 to undertake an investigation into a facet of learning and teaching in languages, linguistics or area studies. Reports were submitted in January 2006 and are available to download.

Pedagogic Research Fund 2007/08 (Phase 3)

The Subject Centre is funding a third phase of pedagogic research projects from January 2007. Successful bidders will deliver their reports in April 2008.

Promoting and evaluating the use of the European Language Portfolio (ELP) in Higher Education

The Nuffield Foundation and the University of Southampton funded 10 partner institutions to run mini-projects whose aim was to implement and evaluate the European Language Portfolio in Higher Education.

Subject Centre Mini-Projects (2007/8)

The Subject Centre funds a small number of mini-projects every year on a number of topics. Details of the latest phase of mini-project funding are given below.

Subject Centre Mini-Projects (2008/9)

The Subject Centre funds a small number of mini-projects every year on a number of topics.

Subject Centre projects 2010

The Subject Centre funds a small number of projects every year. The reports from the projects funded in 2010 are now available

Thematic Network Project (TNP)

This is the document repository for the Socrates Erasmus Thematic Network Project reports. The Subject Centre was a partner organisation in the Thematic Network Projects coordinated by the Freie Universität Berlin.