The Brilliant Consulting Unit specialises in research and evaluation, strategy development and digital transformation, and curriculum development and quality assurance.

Brilliant Consulting

Brilliant Consulting stems from The Brilliant Club’s sector-leading university access and success work. For over a decade, we have invested in programme delivery, evaluation and technology to build the UK’s largest university access charity.

Bringing together a range of specialisms, we now use our expertise to support other organisations who want to ensure better outcomes for future generations. Specifically, we specialise in fairer education and university access and success outcomes. We can help you to strategically plan for success and evaluate your impact. Get in touch today to discuss how we can help.




Meet the team

Our Brilliant Consulting team has a wealth of experience across the charity, education and technology sectors. You can find who will be supporting you to achieve your strategic aims here.

Types of support offered

Research and evaluation

  • Data analysis and impact reporting: We support organisations to make the best use of their data by providing data analysis (for example, descriptive and inferential statistics) and impact reporting services.
  • Economic evaluations: We support organisations to articulate the monetary value of their impact. This includes cost-benefit analysis, Social Return on Investment, breakeven analysis, quasi-experimental design, and wellbeing valuation.
  • Evaluation training and resources: We run customised training and coaching sessions to teams to build their evaluation skills and knowledge. We also offer practical and user-friendly evaluation toolkits which include resources such as templates, guides and protocols for evaluation, and outcome measurement.
  • Programme evaluations: We can run robust impact and process evaluations of programmes and interventions, using a range of quantitative methods (including pre-post designs and comparator group analysis) and qualitative methods (for example, thematic analysis). The outputs of these evaluations include external-facing impact reports and recommendations for future practice.
  • Outcomes measurement and survey validation: We support organisations to develop robust ‘Theory of Change’ models using the latest research evidence on the intermediate outcomes that drive long-term impact. As part of this, we can develop and validate survey measures for a range of cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes that underpin education outcomes. For our latest research in this area, please see this sector-wide Access and Success Questionnaire that we helped develop for the Centre for Transforming Access and Outcomes in Higher Education (TASO).

Strategy development and digital transformation

  • Access and Participation Plan strategy development: Our team can support universities with the development of their Access and Participation Plans, including evaluation and intervention strategy development and research to support the identification of areas of opportunity for the Equality of Risks Register.
  • Evaluation strategy development: We work with organisations to design and implement robust evaluation frameworks that align with their strategic goals and objectives. As part of this, we can conduct stakeholder consultations to understand how different parts of an organisation come together to evidence impact effectively.
  • Theory of change workshops: We can support you to develop theory of change models for your impact and strategy work, so you can clearly articulate the key inputs, outputs and outcomes that underpin the work of your organisation. An example of one of our own theories of change can be found here.
  • User experience and digital innovation research: We’ll use our toolbox of agile and user-centred approaches to support you with your research and operational challenges. From discovery to delivery, we’ll employ techniques such as journey mapping, ideation and prototyping, to help your team achieve outcomes-based solutions.

Curriculum development and quality assurance

  • Curriculum design and development: We support organisations to create a new programme or curriculum that would benefit from support on constructing an effective curriculum to meet their aims and increase impact.
  • Quality assurance processes workshop: We run customised workshops that enable organisations to consider the key elements of effective quality assurance in their context covering the principles and purposes of quality assurance and how to embed quality assurance into the planning, design and delivery of programmes and activities.
  • Quality assurance reviews: For organisations that would benefit from an external quality assurance review of their work, we are an experienced outside eye to identify areas for improvement, and our reviews are designed to increase the impact of the programme.

We have worked with a range of organisations, including:

Get in touch

We welcome all conversations about the evaluation of education programmes. If you are interested in research and evaluation consultancy, please contact Dr Katie Jones, Research and Evaluation Manager, via the button below.


Demonstrating the impact of transition work is multifaceted and The Brilliant Club have provided us with comprehensive, iterative and formative evaluation, to measure our pupils’ self-efficacy, at every stage of the project. Thanks to them, we are constantly monitoring how the project is working, what effect it is having on participants, and how it is influenced by numerous factors. Ultimately, they will provide a summative impact evaluation, to determine whether the university readiness outcomes we measure are linked to our goal of improving underrepresented students’ transition to highly selective higher education institutions.

We were interested in quasi-experimental design (QED) evaluation and the different techniques that could be used to create a comparison group. However, we didn’t know where or how to start. It was a pleasure to work with The Brilliant Club, they were extremely helpful and flexible throughout and we were very impressed with their QED and wider evaluation expertise. As well as providing the case study, recommendations for how we could improve the quality of our data and a practical toolkit, they also delivered two tailor-made QED workshops, one for colleagues involved in programme delivery and another more technical workshop for data analysis colleagues. I would not hesitate in using the evaluation services of The Brilliant Club again - in fact, we have already commissioned our next project with them!

It has been a real pleasure working alongside The Brilliant Club in relation to our Underrepresented Group Projects (Strategic Outreach) at Go Higher West Yorkshire. Over the past year, this project has gathered momentum and established a real presence within the team. We are grateful to the team for supporting us to map out key barriers related to disadvantaged students from an evaluative perspective, upskilling our team to better understand key concepts and frameworks (such as Theory of Change) to further enhance the work we do. We are now utilising the reports to inform our Strategic Outreach approach for the 23-24 academic year.

It was refreshing to work with The Brilliant Club and their team of staff. Positive relationships were developed rapidly and clarity around the purpose and outcomes of the review piece were quickly established. It was immediately clear that the approach, processes and timelines reflected their knowledge of higher education and its many demands. The result is a clear implementation guide – which we are actively working through. We have also contracted with the team to provide some specific support on evaluation and monitoring as a direct result of the positive experiences of working with them on this review piece.