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Cambridge Centre for Teaching and Learning



This guide aims to support staff in working with students as partners for research or educational enhancement projects. It briefly introduces the concept and some ways of understanding students-as-partners work and how this might manifest in practical terms. To do this, the guide provides support on setting up your own partnership project and opportunities to explore case studies of practice from existing small and large-scale student partnership initiatives.

We also explore some key considerations for starting student partnership work to help you decide how best to ensure the success of your project. The guide will offer an understanding of the roles of both the student and the staff partner and a step-by-step example of how you might begin your student-staff partnership project work.

This guide is also available in PDF.


In what ways can you work with students as partners?

  • Co-develop teaching resources
  • Co-develop reading lists
  • Students as teaching observers / evaluators
  • Co-create assessment criteria
  • Learning and teaching co-researchers
  • Disciplinary co-researchers
  • Curriculum development consultants
  • Peer-assisted support schemes
  • Student experience evaluations and improvements


Why work with students as partners?

Benefits for staff Benefits for students
  • Work directly with students who have expertise in their learning experience
  • Leads to more sustainable change
  • Students test assumptions and norms
  • Improves staff and student understanding of learning
  • Enhances students' motivations towards learning
  • Learning from and with students
  • Potential to research and publish in educational development journals with students
  • Developing students
  • Egalitarian view to educational development
  • Leadership and project management development
  • Experience and development of skills such as problem-solving, interpersonal skills, communication, organisation, research
  • Recognition through payment, certificate or references
  • Experience in initiating enhancement through research
  • Employability development: portfolio and demonstrable experience for applications
  • Initiating change and, often, improving the student experience



  1. Introduction
  2. Roles
  3. Considerations
  4. Starting a partnership project
  5. Case studies
  6. Networks and journals
  7. References and resources


Contact and support

Should you have any questions or require further support with your project, please do not hesitate to contact Dr Cassie Lowe.