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21 July 2021

New King's online course provides free peer and community research training

The new course, led by the ESRC Centre for Society and Mental Health aims to support and empower people to conduct their own research to initiate positive social change.

A woman sits with her laptop by a window.

A new online course, Research Methods: A practical guide to Peer and Community Research has been launched by the Centre for Society and Mental Health at King’s College London. The free course is 10 weeks long and hosted on the Future Learn Platform.

The course has been designed to make research more accessible to anyone who is interested in learning more about community research methods. It integrates concepts of diversity and inclusion into research methods and introduces participants to different ways of doing research. Those enrolled will be encouraged to think critically about issues they may find in their own communities and how to approach them through research.

Led by Dr. Annahita Ehsan and Dr. Charlotte Woodhead from the from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience and the Centre for Society and Mental Health, the course helps bridge community interests with academic research methods that can help answer research questions in a rigorous way.

We strongly believe that knowledge should be co-produced to benefit the communities we work with. We want to include community members as an active part of our research team, but recognize that how to do research isn’t always taught, and that it’s a real barrier to getting involved. That’s why we designed this course: to remove barriers to participation and to make research much more inclusive than it already is.

Dr. Annahita Ehsan, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Centre for Society and Mental Health

Over ten weeks, the course introduces practical material that is pivotal to doing community research, from critical perspectives, power dynamics and methodology to data analysis and ethics. Participants will also hear reflections from peer researchers and different community organisations that have contributed to the course content, such as Toynbee Hall, Thrive LDN, Black Thrive Global, and the McPin Foundation.

By the end of the course, participants will be equipped with skills to design their own community research project, and demonstrate an understanding of equity, diversity, and inclusion in the research process.

Participants can enroll on the course at any time by following this link:

For more information about the course, please email