Desk Research

Shift Learning run desk research projects in both educational and medical sectors and have worked with a number of major universities, publishers and awarding organisations in order to help them better understand their market. Our education research clients include the prestigious establishments of Oxford Brookes and Pearson College.

Desk research can be particularly useful when explaining the context of a particular education research question and can highlight gaps or solutions to particular problems in the market. Additionally, the tool can be valuable for a range of different research options, whether this be helping an awarding organisation identify skills gaps in the jobs market or assisting universities in determining niches for new courses.


  • Desk research is extremely cost effective, since it does not require extensive fieldwork and can be conducted by a small team.
  • Our team can quickly gain a broad understanding of a research question problem, making sense of the economic, social and political factors that may be impacting it.
  • Desk research can be completed within a shorter time period than qualitative and quantitative work involving surveys or interviews.

Our Services

Our education research incorporates a mix of sources including Google analytics, public and economic databases, newspapers and industry journals in order to build a detailed and balanced picture of the concerns affecting a particular industry.

PEST Analysis

This involves identifying the political, economic, social and technological factors affecting a product, service or organisation in order to help clients make informed decisions about their products. This form of education research can be especially helpful to universities and other educational organisations looking to develop their business strategy or qualifications.

SWOT Analysis

This established, strategic desk research planning method is used to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats involved in developing a new product such as a qualification, course, book series or digital service.

Search through our comprehensive list of education research case studies for more information.