Everything that The Brilliant Club does, we do in pursuit of consistent and reliable outcomes for pupils. Our Research and Impact Department brings together a team of social scientists who work to understand the impact of our programmes on pupil outcomes. We use this evidence to widen participation to highly-selective universities, and to measure and improve curriculum enrichment.
We evaluate our two university access programmes, The Scholars Programme and Uni Pathways, using both quantitative and qualitative methods, and by adopting a range of statistical techniques. Below we demonstrate how we evidence the impact of our programmes.
Between 2018 and 2020, we commissioned researchers from the University of Cambridge to evaluate the impact of The Scholars Programme. The evaluation had two phases. Firstly, the University of Cambridge carried out a desk-based review of the charity’s research and impact work to date. Secondly, the University of Cambridge conducted a randomised controlled trial (RCT) to assess the impact of The Scholars Programme on pupils’ cognitive outcomes. You can find out more about the RCT, including the results, here. The results from the RCT will also be published in a peer reviewed journal in the future.
For the fourth year in a row, independent analysis by UCAS showed that pupils on The Scholars Programme are significantly more likely to apply to, receive an offer from and progress to a highly-selective university than pupils with similar socio-demographic background and GCSE attainment. Read the details of this evaluation, and those from previous years, here.
Our Annual Impact Reports offer an overview of the charity's work during the academic year. You can find out more about our programmes, our scale, how we evaluate our impact, and our plans for the year ahead.
In 2018/19, The Brilliant Club worked with 13,993 pupils across our programmes and special projects, and partnered with 843 schools and over 40 universities.
The Scholar is The Brilliant Club's academic journal of outstanding pupil work! It is published termly and showcases some of the excellent work produced by pupils on The Scholars Programme and Uni Pathways.
All assignments nominated for publication are reviewed by an expert panel of PhD researchers and only the highest scoring are published.
Based on academic research, we designed an outcomes framework that details how we support pupils to progress to highly-selective universities. This framework is built upon cognitive and non-cognitive skills that academic research shows are linked to attainment and university progression.
Research and Impact Consultancy: With increasing focus on the outcomes and impact of university participation and outreach interventions, it is more important than ever to conduct high-quality and robust evaluation work. At The Brilliant Club, we provide research and impact consultancy services to universities and other third sector organisations to support their work in this area. We specialise in providing support that draws on robust research, but is also practical for organisations to engage with. Our areas of interest include:
You can read about a recent research consultancy project that we undertook for Cardiff University here.
If you would like to find out more about our research and impact consultancy, please email Dr. Katie Jones (Research and Evaluation Manager) for further information.
We produce research publications on topics related to university access and outreach.
Our publications include research reports about our own programme evaluations, as well as thematic case studies and rapid reviews about wider issues and key topics impacting the university access sector.
We host research seminars that bring together researchers and practitioners to discuss key issues in university access and outreach.
To date, we have partnered with Cardiff University, the University of Sheffield, the University of Strathclyde and UCL to host the seminars.