We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

School of Education

Research Projects

Publication details

Dobson Waters, Sharon & Torgerson, Carole J. (2020). Dyslexia in higher education: a systematic review of interventions used to promote learning. Journal of Further and Higher Education

Author(s) from Durham


This systematic review assessed the effectiveness of published inventions, of an experimental design, used to promote learning for learners with dyslexia on HE programmes. Historical observations suggest that a notable number of learners with dyslexia express concern at the levels of support they receive and that support plans provided to their departments are not implemented fully.

To be eligible for inclusion in this systematic review studies had to evaluate interventions aimed at improving outcomes for students with dyslexia. Data was extracted from the studies using specially developed data extraction templates, one for studies of experimental/quasi-experimental design and one for systematic reviews to ensure a systematic and transparent approach to data collection. The included studies were quality appraised for internal validity, external validity and relevance. A thematic narrative synthesis was carried out on the studies’ data. Evidence from the included studies was limited in terms of the number and rigour of studies which met the inclusion criteria. This impeded the review’s ability to establish strong evidential conclusions. Findings suggest a scarcity of high quality, experimental research that tests the effectiveness of dyslexia support interventions in HE. Pockets of good practice exist which may prove useful but these require further investigation.

School of Education