The Centre for Social Policy

Centre for Social Policy 

Head of Centre: Professor Farzana Shain

Associate Postgraduate Research Director: Professor Ronnie Lippens/Dr Mark Featherstone

The Centre for Social Policy   brings together more than 40 staff and over a 100 doctoral students working within and across Criminology, Education,  Health and Public Policy, Human Geography, Social Gerontology,  Sociology and Social Work.  Our research is marked out by a collaborative ethos and a sustained commitment to: interdisciplinarity; theoretically informed research that engages with policy and practice; and methodological diversity and expertise.    The Centre includes social scientists working in all three faculties within the University.  

In the latest national Research Excellence Framework (REF2014), 74% of our research was judged by the Social Work and Social Policy panel (UoA 22) as either ‘world leading’ (4*) or ‘internationally excellent’ (3*). We were ranked 1st in the sector for our research environment.  

Research in Social Policy is organised in five main research themes or clusters:

  • Ageing and Intergenerational Relations
  • Children, Families and Society    
  • Communities, Identities and Mobilities   
  • Crime, Social Justice and Policing  
  • Public Policy  

The Centre offers exciting opportunities for postgraduate research whether you wish to study full or part time.  We welcome students from all over the world to be part of a growing and exciting research culture where postgraduate students are encouraged to fulfil their potential through the provision of outstanding guidance and support.   Please visit our Research Clusters pages to see details of our innovative research, funded projects and supervisory research expertise. We also offer a number of specific pathways across our established and successful PhD and professional doctorates programmes.  


PhD/MPhil pathways 

Professional doctorates pathways

 The Centre welcomes visiting academics to join our Research Clusters. For further details on how to apply can be found here.