Make Your Own Sociological Research Game

Monday 11th March 2019, 09.30-16.30
Salford, UK

A workshop funded by The Sociological Review Foundation and facilitated by Dr Alke Gröppel-Wegener (Staffordshire University) and Dr Katy Vigurs (University of Derby).

Building on the success of this workshop which first ran as a shorter version at Undisciplining: Conversations from the Edges, BALTIC, Gateshead, 2018, TSRF is funding a full-day version! This workshop will practically explore the board game format as an everyday concept to visualise research processes and outcomes specific to a particular project. The creation of your own research-based board game will allow you to innovatively illustrate the process of designing and conducting a sociological research project.

Using as a basis your knowledge and experience of a specific social research project, we will explore three building blocks in putting a board game together: visualisation of research processes (for example the flow chart or the timeline), the everyday concept of board games we are all familiar with (simple game mechanics, such as random events happening), as well as visual metaphors to represent an appropriate research context or setting in an illustrative way.

This workshop is for people who are conducting social research projects themselves, or who are teaching how to conduct them to novice researchers. If you are at the research planning stage, this will help you think about your planning in a visual way and assist you in organising your thoughts. If you are in the middle of carrying out your project, this will help you keep track of what you have already done, and what is still to do. If you have completed a project, this can become a creative output that will help with the dissemination of the project – a fun way of sharing the process with a wider audience.

This is a hands-on participatory workshop open to researchers and lecturers across career stages with sociology, social anthropology or a cognate discipline. No matter what stage of the research project you are at, designing your own board game will help you to think about the different steps that comprise the research process and to identify both your strengths as a social scientist and the issues you currently find challenging.

Workshop Facilitators

Dr Alke Gröppel-Wegener (Staffordshire University)

Alke is an Associate Professor of Creative Academic Practice at Staffordshire University, where she teaches Animation Studies. Alke moved to England to study Performance Design at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. Based on this she developed a particular interest in not only the design of experiences (further explored through her MPhil), but also how creative practice is externalised and shared. Alke has worked in the theatre environment designing shows, conducting evaluative research and teaching Design for Performance. Since joining Staffordshire University in 2008, Alke has developed a creative and innovative teaching approach called ‘Tactile Academia’, which is based on the exploration of the links between academic and creative practice. Her main aim is to make academic conventions accessible to students, by utilising visual analogies and metaphors, and incorporating object-based learning, thinking-through-making and exploratory writing tasks, some of which she has collated in Writing Essays by Pictures: a workbook (2016). In 2015 she was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship. You can find out more about this work at:

Dr Katy Vigurs (University of Derby)

Katy is an Associate Professor of Career and Higher Education at the University of Derby. She has published on a wide range of educational and methodological issues and undertaken research across a number of education sectors, including primary and secondary education, community and adult education, and further and higher education. Katy is a sociologist of education and has a particular interest in researching policy and practice relating to inequalities in higher education, including the related area of student finance reform and its impact on the stratification of higher education. Katy is currently working on several externally funded educational research projects for organisations such as the Office for Students, the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, and the Department for Education.

Allocation of Places:

This workshop is free to attend but you must register. Places will be allocated on a first come first serve basis. There will be a limited 22 places available for PGRs, researchers and lecturers across all career trajectories.

*Please remember that this workshop is for people who are conducting social research projects themselves, or who are teaching how to conduct them to novices. You will be expected to undertake essential preparation and will be invited to share your finished boardgame on The Sociological Review Website for others to use as a resource.

As places are limited you are advised to register early to avoid disappointment.

Registration to open 22nd November 2018, 10.00am GMT. To be the first to receive the registration link, please subscribe to The Sociological Review’s mailing list:

Once this workshop is fully booked a waiting list will be open. You can add your name here:

Eligibility for Bursary

As with all of our events, we are making a number of bursaries available on a competitive basis to facilitate the attendance of those who might otherwise struggle to meet the costs of attending.

Bursaries are available for unfunded postgraduate research students, unfunded early career researchers, ECRs in receipt of a part-time wage only and others on the grounds of need. Bursary support available to apply for includes; travel funds (limited to £100.00), one-night overnight accommodation (organised by TSRF), and support with childcare (£50.00 per day).

Application for bursaries are available via the registration form. Deadline for bursary application is December 17th 2018, 17.00 GMT. Decisions will be communicated in mid-January. Should the workshop become fully booked before the bursary deadline, then applications for bursaries will also close.

*Please note, bursary awardees are also expected to stay for the entire workshop.

Venue Information and Directions

This workshop will take place in Salford. Further details will be sent to delegates.

*Please note due to limited room capacity only those who have registered for the workshop will be permitted entry to the workshop.

The venue is fully accessible as is the room where the workshop will take place. For more information please contact Jenny Thatcher

Situated in Salford’s Mediacity UK, the venue is really easy to get to from Manchester City Centre either via bus or tram with parking also available.

Train, Tram & Bus

If travelling nationally, you can get a train to Manchester Piccadilly. Trams take approximately 15 minutes from Manchester city centre. Use the Eccles line and the MediaCityUK line. Eccles line: alight at Harbour City stop and walk for approximately 10 minutes. MediacityUK line: alight at MediacityUK stop and walk for approximately 5 minutes.


Please note there is no facility to pay for parking at the venue itself. Car parking nearby is located in the Lowry Outlet:

Blue Badge Holders: Spaces are in the Lowry Outlet. The venue also offers two Blue Badge parking spaces available on a first come first served basis. They cannot be booked in advance and we accept no responsibility for vehicles parked in these spaces.


Manchester Airport, a 20-minute drive from MediaCityUK, offers a choice of more than 200 destinations worldwide. Additional overseas connections are available at nearby Liverpool John Lennon Airport.


If you require a visa to enter the UK for this event, it is your responsibility to check visa requirements and organise one within sufficient time to attend the event.

If you require a letter of proof of event registration and/or bursary awarded, please allow a minimum of two weeks’ notice for TSRF to produce this.

For more information on UK visas, please see here:


There are a number of hotels for all budget located near the venue:

The below hotels are within a 10-minute walk of the venue.

Budget Hotel:

Premier Inn, Manchester Salford Quays hotel, 11 The Quays, Salford Quays, Manchester. M50 3SQ

Mid-Range Hotel:

Holiday Inn Express Manchester Salford Quays, Waterfront Quay, Manchester, M50 3XW. This hotel has accessible rooms (including wheelchair accessible rooms) listed, but please check directly with the hotel if you require an accessible room to ensure its suitability.

Contact Details

For enquiries related to workshop including queries on registration and applications for bursaries, please contact Jenny Thatcher

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: