Welcome from the Dean

Professor Shane O’Neill
PVC and Executive Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Professor Shane O Neill Thank you for your interest in our vibrant and multi-faceted Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, the largest of the three Faculties at Keele University. Our research and teaching focus on many and varied dimensions of human experience and on the full range of cultural, economic and social challenges we face in a fast-changing world. We draw on our progressive heritage to promote theoretically inventive scholarship that has the potential to transform the ways in which we engage with one another as human beings in contexts ranging from the local to the global. Through our commitment to innovation and critical independence, and our interdisciplinary collaborations with colleagues in medical, natural and physical sciences, our work is helping to transform the research and education landscape and it is having a positive impact on all the communities we serve.

I am proud to lead a Faculty in which we constantly seek to integrate our educational and research activities so as to encourage all students to fulfil their individual potential by becoming increasingly independent learners in whatever field of study they have chosen, and by preparing for a wide variety of professional careers. We try to ensure that our students maximise their potential to contribute positively as engaged citizens in local contexts and beyond. All of our graduates leave us with highly developed communication skills and a sharpened capacity for critical analysis and wise judgement, equipping them to think through the ambiguity and complexity of difficult problems that defy technical solutions. They have well-honed research skills combined with a critically engaged and enterprising attitude and a readiness to learn that make them adaptable and flexible in tackling a wide variety of tasks and problems. They also have a cosmopolitan outlook, a positive appreciation of difference and an attitude of respectful confidence in all their interactions.

We have four Schools: HumanitiesLaw Social, Political and Global Studies and Keele Business School. The University’s Language Centre is also an integral part of the Faculty and it offers a wide range of support and study opportunities in English and other modern languages. Our subjects are consistently highly ranked in the National Student Survey and this is reflected in our high position in various league tables. Politics and International Relations, for example, is currently ranked 4th in the Guardian University Guide 2020. In the 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, Education was is in the top 300 globally and in 2020 Keele University has been ranked in the Top 500 for Arts & Humanities subjects. In the Research Excellence Framework 2014 Politics and International Relations was ranked first nationally for its research impact, with Philosophy ranked first for world-leading impact. Community Legal Outreach Collaboration Keele (CLOCK) is an innovative and exciting initiative which enables Keele Law students to provide vital help and support to disadvantaged communities, whilst further strengthening key employability skills.

The Faculty hosts the Keele Institute for Social Inclusion (KISI), which is one of Keele’s three high-profile interdisciplinary centres of excellence. KISI, along with the interdisciplinary Institutes for Sustainable Futures and Global Health, are focused on delivering transformative research in response to United Nation Sustainable Development Goals, both in the UK and elsewhere in the world. KISI’s work has been organised into the three priority themes focused on: tackling inequalities; supporting communities; and interrogating democracies. Within each theme we bring together researchers from across the university along with external partners to address a range of problems related to the marginalisation, under-representation and disempowerment of various social groups. The collaborations we foster aim to draw on our world-class research on these issues so as to stimulate positive and practical interventions that can address these social problems of exclusion and injustice.

I have referred here to just a small sample of the many exciting programmes of activity that are ongoing in the Faculty. I encourage you to explore these web-pages further so as to learn more about the ways in which our work is making a positive difference. We look forward to interacting with you further.

Professor Shane O’Neill
PVC and Executive Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences