Research Overview

Research Overview

A Postgraduate-style level of enquiry

At Bader College we place an emphasis on primary research, an academic possibility most students do not get to experience until their postgraduate studies. We set up opportunities for primary research for both first year and upper year undergraduates; because we believe it fosters active learning and independent thought.

Some of the primary research-based projects take advantage of the riches of our immediate vicinity, such as archaeological digs of Medieval and World War Two sites in the castle grounds, investigations into the castle’s very own archive or exploration of the biodiversity of our 600-acre estate. Current research projects include the digital exhibition 1920s Herstmonceux: The Colonel and the Party Palace, Bader Beekeeping and Twittering Trees. There are also plenty of opportunities for students to get involved with the SSHRC-funded Environments of Change project which looks at digitizing nature, climate change and the human experience in Late Medieval Sussex.

Student in an archivePrimary-research projects can be based at local archives, museums and galleries such as The National Archives, the Wiener Library, the British Museum, Bexhill Museum and the Courtauld Gallery, while others can focus on practical lab-based work including research into venomics and dendroclimatology. Students are frequently given opportunities to engage with our faculty’s research which ranges from sea urchin gut microbiomes and lunar clocks in marine invertebrates to the social and cultural impact of the Black Death in Medieval Britain, Russian literature in the 19th and 20th centuries, the life and music of Jimi Hendrix and representations of superheroes in modern cinema. Please explore our faculty pages further to see the full range of research being carried out by academics at Bader College.

Students are given the opportunity to showcase their research through Bader College’s research blog Castle Curiosities, and as part of nationwide research events including the Being Human Festival and British Science Week.

Primary research has proved a key element of the Bader College program that motivates our first years to high achievement as they continue their degree, while upper years will head towards graduate school and employment with enhanced resumes.

Bader College has a first-class program of visiting speakers to give students access to the latest directions and arguments in key contemporary academic and artistic fields. These sessions are free of charge, open to all, and take place in the evenings, or at lunchtime. After the talk or performance, students have a chance to discuss the issues raised with the visitor in an informal Q&A session. We invite a wide range of academics, professionals, and performers.

Previous speakers have included:

  • Victoria Iglikowski-Broad (Diverse Records Specialist at The National Archives).
  • Steve Brown (Former captain of the Great Britain wheelchair rugby squad and TV presenter)
  • Gemma Wolfes (Anti-Slavery International)
  • Dr. Elaine Keillor (Distinguished Research Professor Emerita, and former Co-director of Research Centre, CIRCLE (Centre for Indigenous Research, Culture, Language and Education))
  • Manuel Hassassian (Palestinian Ambassador)
  • Giles Duley (Photographer)
  • Dr. Chunxia Shao (School of Politics and International Relations, Tongji University, Shanghai)
  • Don Paterson (Poet, Winner of the TS Eliot Award)
  • Henning Wehn (TV and Radio Comedian)
  • Dr. Sheila Whiteley (Emeritus Professor of Popular Music, author of Sexing the Groove)
  • Dr. Leanne Proops (Postdoctoral fellow conducting research in the field of equine cognition.)
  • Sean Silcoff (Author of Losing the Signal – the untold story behind the extraordinary rise and spectacular fall of BlackBerry)
  • Spencer West (Motivational Speaker and ME to WE Ambassador)
  • Dr. Adam Slavny (Investigating the basis of equality and asking, What Makes People Morally Equal?)
  • Dr. Alice Leonard (Institute of English Studies, Université de Neuchâtel)
  • Dr. Peng Bo (School of International and Public Affairs, Shanghai Jiao Tong University)
  • Dr. Relli Shechter (Ben-Gurion University)
  • Rick Villeneuve (Lead Animator at Ethel and Ernest Productions)
  • Kevin Le Gendre (Journalist and Broadcaster)
  • Stuart Freedman (Photographer and Blogger)
  • Dr. Tom Attah (“The Living Bluesman”)
  • Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer (Chap-Hop Musician

Scholars, professionals or performers wishing to explore the possibility of speaking at Bader College should contact Dr Claire Kennan, Research Coordinator, at:

Visit of Summer RSCH 594 page