Skip to main content

An Evidence-Based Approach to Embedding Resilience Within the Curriculum

Realising Resilience: An Evidence-Based Approach to Embedding Resilience Within the Curriculum

Lydia Bleasdale & Sarah Humphreys (School of Law)

Project overview

This report considers the findings of a year-long research project into the ‘resilience’ of undergraduate students at the University of Leeds. Focused upon second year undergraduates in six disciplines (Biological Sciences, Geography, Law, Mechanical Engineering, Medicine, and Music), the project sought to understand more about existing levels of student resilience, and how their resilience might be supported within Higher Education Institutions.

To that end, 35 members of staff and 55 students were interviewed, alongside 185 students completing a survey designed to measure existing levels of resilience.


There has been significant internal impact and dissemination from this research.

  • “Feeling at Home in Leeds online guides” – Bleasdale and Humphreys were invited to be co-authors on the basis of the research’s recommendations about how to support students through transitions.
  • Mechanical Engineering Academic Board (invited speakers), January 2018. This School is establishing a Task Group to implement the Report’s recommendations.
  • Leeds Institute for Medical Education (LIME) Learning and Teaching Forum (Bleasdale, invited speaker), November 2017. LIME is trialling a revised approach to personal tutoring on the basis of the research.
  • Bleasdale’s Full University Student Education Fellowship (2016) is being used to further embed the resilience findings within the School of Law curriculum.
  • The Careers Centre is currently in discussion with the Alumni Office regarding diversifying the Alumni banners around campus – a key message from the report was that we need to consider who we celebrate, and what messages that sends out to our students about versions of ‘success’.
  • Wrote blog on 'Building student resilience'

There has also been significant external impact and dissemination from this research.


  • Bleasdale and Humphreys ‘Well-Being Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes’ in Strevens and Field (eds) Educating for Well-Being in Law: Positive Professional Identities and Practice (Forthcoming)
  • Leeds Law Society commissioned research from the Law School on ‘Millennial Lawyers,’ seeking to better understand some of the anecdotal generational differences between senior and junior lawyers. Bleasdale (along with colleague Prof. Andrew Francis) has conducted surveys and four focus groups with members of the profession, and will be producing a final report (with recommendations) in September 2018

Press coverage

  • Times Higher Education (January 30th 2018) ‘Generation snowflake? What’s that? say students’

Resilience workshops

  • Leeds Law Society Resilience Workshop (Bleasdale and Humphreys, invited convenors), May 2018
  • Newcastle University Law School Resilience Workshop (Bleasdale and Humphreys, invited convenors), April 2018
  • Socio-Legal Studies Association Annual Conference: Postgraduate Researchers Resilience Workshop (Bleasdale and Humphreys, invited convenors), April 2018
  • Leeds Junior Lawyers Division Wellbeing Workshop (Bleasdale and Humphreys, invited convenors), Squire Patton Boggs, November 2017

External recognition

  • ‘Contextualising Undergraduate Student Resilience’ (Bleasdale), Stan Marsh Best Paper Prize at the Association of Law Teachers Annual Conference (March 2017)

If you want to find out more details about this fellowship or what the next steps were upon completion please read the executive summary (PDF) or contact Lydia (