Research

The School of Social Science and Public Policy is committed to socially-relevant, interdisciplinary and critically-informed research in Criminology, Education, Sociology and Social Work that engages with policy and practice. This commitment has been recognised in REF2014: the latest national assessment of research quality with 74% of our research being judged by the Social Work and Social Policy panel (UoA 22) as either world leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*). We were also ranked 1st in the sector for our research environment. We work in partnership with a range of local, national and international organisations – on substantive issues such as, for example, food safety, access to education amongst migrant groups in Lebanon, higher education policy, parenting, material culture, roads policing, media depictions of asylum seekers, policing practice, vulnerability and much more.

We are one of the university’s largest providers of Doctoral training with over 90 PhD students, via our traditional PhD by research routes and our large taught Professional Doctorate programme which services pathways in Education, Criminology, Social Work and Health. Our 1+3 ESRC-recognised (for Social Policy) MRes in Social Science Research Methods forms the core of other MA and PGR training programmes in a broad range of social science related subjects across the university, readying students for postgraduate research.

Our academics are actively involved across a range of disciplines, including Criminology, Education, Human Geography, Nursing, Social Work, and Sociology, and inter-disciplinary fields, such as Public Policy, Health Policy, and Social Gerontology.

Apart from traditional PhD programmes in core social science disciplines, the School also hosts Professional Doctoral programmes in Criminology, Health Science, Education, and Social Work and houses a dynamic community of professional doctoral students who provide an interface between academic research and professional practice in criminal justice, health, education, social work, and a number of other social institutions.