Research literacy for the Welsh Baccalaureate – a scoping study.

Principal / Lead investigator
Co-investigators / research team
Type of study

Qualitative study


From September 2015 changes to the Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification have introduced greater rigour in the Individual Investigation element that contributes 50% of the Core component for the Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced qualification. Teaching staff have previously requested support with research literacy teaching for the qualification.  This seed corn project involves a new collaboration between the PRIME Centre Wales, Institute of Primary Care & Public Care and DECIPHer to deliver an 11 month scoping study to explore what resources are already available for the Individual Investigation for the Welsh Baccalaureate and to run focus groups with students and teachers about their training needs to complete this element of the qualification.

The engagement of the young people through ALPHA, a trained public health research advisory group, established through DECIPHer will provide lay knowledge of the Welsh Baccalaureate qualification before materials are scoped and will inform focus group topic guides. This project will focus on understanding the qualification requirements and the research literacy needs amongst 16-18 year in Wales but can have future impact on public health with a better informed cohort of school leavers making informed decisions about research participation.

Aim: To scope the existing landscape for the Welsh Baccalaureate qualification requirements and the research literacy needs amongst 16-18 year olds in Wales.

Research question:

  1. What resources are already available for the Individual Investigation for the Welsh Baccalaureate?
  2. What are the training needs to complete the Individual Investigation for:
    a) teachers
    b) students?
Lay involvement

Initially a scoping exercise will ensure that all research literacy literature and training materials used in Wales with 16-18 year olds are accessed and reviewed by the study team to establish the current landscape. This will be done through contacting post-16 education providers that offer the Welsh Baccalaureate, the WJEC who are qualification providers and ALPHA who are young people who have been through the qualification.

Following this scoping exercise a total of 4 focus groups will be undertaken (2x focus groups with 16-18 year olds and 2x focus groups with teachers). Each focus group will aim to have 7-10 participants.

Who is the study sponsor?

Cardiff University


Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund (Cardiff Uni) (Populations Pilot call)

Total grant value


Start date


End date


How could this research potentially benefit public?

This work will most immediately impact on young people, by considering if and how research literacy programmes might be integrated into school programmes, thus enabling greater awareness and understanding of scientific research. However, over time, the broad aim would impact on improvement of research literacy among the general public and on public engagement with science.

The project will allow new collaborative work to ensure effective review of the current landscape in research literacy amongst 16-18 year olds and the needs of students and teachers undertaking the Individual Investigation.

This project will inform a full application for funding to design and deliver a training module to students undertaking the Individual Investigation. We would also seek to evaluate this module. This module would be a training resource, which could be delivered by teachers to the students or by researchers to the teachers and students.

Further information (e.g. related web link)

The Centre for the Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement (DECIPHer)

Outputs generated (Reports / Publications / Impact)

Poster - Helping students deliver their individual Projects for the Welsh Bacc: What do teachers say they need?