The Centre on Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance (SKOPE) is multi-disciplinary, with staff and associates from most branches of the social sciences.

Its central aim is to examine the links between the acquisition and use of skills and knowledge, production and product strategies and economic performance – be it of individuals, organisations or countries.

Established in 1998, SKOPE was originally one of the ESRC’s designated research centres. Initially it was based jointly at the Universities of Oxford and Warwick. In 2006 the Warwick operation was moved to the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University. The Centre builds on existing strengths at both institutions and attempts to extend them into areas that are of major theoretical and policy concern.

In addition to its core staff, the Centre maintains a network of research associates in the UK and abroad. Some of these associates receive SKOPE funding to work on its research projects.

SKOPE is currently involved in a suite of six research projects focusing on Developing Vocational Excellence, based on groups of individuals involved in skills competitions.

Find out more on the SKOPE website.

Or Follow us on Twitter: @SKOPEOxford

Selected Publications

  • Keep, E (2018). Scripting the future – exploring potential strategic leadership responses to the marketization of English FE and vocational provision. FETL
  • Payne, J (2018). In the DNA or missing gene- Devolution, local skills strategies and inclusive growth in England. SKOPE Research Centre.
  • Chankseliani, M., Keep, E., & Wilde, S. (2017). People and Policy: A comparative study of apprenticeship across eight national contexts.
  • Keep, E. (2017). English exceptionalism re-visited: divergent skill strategies across England and Scotland. Journal Of Education And Work, 30(7), 741-749. doi: 10.1080/13639080.2017.1380755
  • Findlay, P., Warhurst, C., Keep, E., & Lloyd, C. (2017). Opportunity Knocks? The Possibilities and Levers for Improving Job Quality. Work And Occupations, 44(1), 3-22. doi: 10.1177/0730888416689813
  • Dixon, M (2017). Engineering graduates for UK Manufacturing: Further confirmation of the evident minimal impact of possible workforce-planning policy responses to sectoral shortage reports. SKOPE Research Centre
  • Keep, E. (2017). Current Challenges: Policy Lessons and Implications. In J. Buchanan, D. Finegold, K. Mayhew & C. Warhurst (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Skills and Training. Oxford University Press.
  • Chankseliani, M, Relly, SJ, Laczik, A (2016) Overcoming vocational prejudice: how can skills competitions improve the attractiveness of vocational education and training in the UK?. British Education Research Journal.

Study with Us

Taught courses
Examples of current DPhil projects
  • Imogen Casebourne, Mobile devices and workplace learning
  • Tom Martin, The role of teaching in communities of practice: An auto-ethnographic exploration of learning in through apprenticeship
  • Gary Morris, Learning Through Knowledge Exchange: Case Studies from the University of Oxford
  • Nuzha Nuseibeh, Getting your money’s worth : How fees affect employability and learning
  • Ashmita Randhawa, STEM and the Studio: Understanding the role of Studio Schools
  • Joseph Thiel, 2 and 4 year HE institutions in Montana – pathways, progression and transfer decisions
  • Hendrickje Windisch, Turning informally and non-formally acquired skills into currency on the European labour market
  • Laura Brace, Manufacturing aspiration at an elite girls’ school: Exploring how a school, its students, and its parents collectively navigate the university applications process
Examples of past DPhil projects
  • Jennifer Allen, Going Higher, Going Further? Student perspectives on Higher Education at Further Education colleges and universities in England
  • Ghia Osseiran, Higher education expansion and graduate labour market outcomes: overqualification and its discontents