The professional activities of the school are grouped into three specialised departments with a number of associated research centres.

Disability Inclusion and Special Needs (DISN)

This department has over 30 academic staff and some 130 doctoral researchers engaged in promoting inclusion through multi-disciplinary working, researching the role of mainstream and special schools and pedagogies, and educational achievement. It is home to the Autism Centre for Education and Research (ACER) and the Vision Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research (VICTAR).

Education and Social Justice (ESJ)

ESJ, is an interdisciplinary group focusing on social justice and critical enquiry in education and whose members share a common interest in researching the inequalities that persist in society. Research centres include the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, the Centre for Research in Race and Education (CRRE) and DOMUS, which is a research centre dedicated to Interdisciplinary Research in Histories of Education and Childhood. The Department also hosts the MOSAIC Group for Research on Multilingualism and the Caroline Benn Society.

Teacher Education

The Department of Teacher Education consists of over 25 academics involved in teaching, research and knowledge transfer within the field of teacher education. The group focuses on national and international agendas in teacher education.