The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology undertakes research of the highest academic quality, much of which is internationally focused, and underpinned by a concern for informing public debate and contributing to public policy formulation.

Click to open Research for the real world pdf (1.2MB)With over 90 academic and research staff, the School is the powerhouse of social science research at Newcastle University.

Since 2005, the School has generated £10 million of research income and has been awarded close to 300 externally funded research grants (over 50 of them from the UK’s research councils).

Including a community of postgraduate researchers which itself exceeds 100 in number, the School has almost 200 active social science researchers.

20 of the School’s academic and research staff are from countries other than the UK, as are over 50 of the School’s postgraduate researchers. Research is currently being undertaken in more than 20 countries of the world.

Research Strengths

The main inter-disciplinary research strengths are:


The School also has particular research strengths in each of its three constituent disciplines – geography (human and physical), politics and sociology. All three subject areas were submitted to the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise.

Leading-edge research is being undertaken in:

  • Geography - research in Geography at Newcastle focuses on quaternary environmental change, earth surface processes, new economic geographies, geographies of social change, and questions of power, space and politics. A long standing specialisation in urban and regional development is given particular expression in the world-renowned Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS).
  • Politics - research in politics at Newcastle focuses on political philosophy, international politics, and governance and political organisations. The last of these themes is given particular expression through the Jean Monnet European centre of Excellence, a Politics-led university-wide initiative promoting an understanding of EU institutions.
  • Sociology - research in Sociology at Newcastle focuses on the changing nature of identities in society, understanding contemporary social transformations and the sociology of health and the life sciences. The last of these themes has particular expression in the Policy Ethics and Life Sciences research Centre (PEALS), a highly successful cross-disciplinary centre based in the University.

12 short vignettes of a selection of our school research activity are contained in Research for the real world (PDF: 1.2MB)