The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Staff Profile

Dr Ruth Graham

Senior Lecturer in Sociology



Following doctoral studies and a period working in Newcastle Medical School (Research Associate; Public Health tutor), I joined the Sociology subject area as Lecturer in Sociology in 2005. My research interests are informed by an approach that draws on sociology, social policy and law, as applied to health, illness and disability. I have a particular interest in understanding both lay and professional experiences of health care provided in the context of reproductive loss.

Roles and Responsibilities

Current roles:

Associate Dean Teaching and Learning, HaSS Faculty (2015-)

Member of Faculty Learning, Teaching and Student Experience Committee (2012-)
Member of the Programme Data Working Group (2013-)                                                                                   Member of the Student Experience Committee (2014-)                                                                             Elected member of the Faculty Promotions Panel (2013-2015)

Previous roles:

- in the Sociology Subject Area:
Degree Programme Director, BA Politics and Sociology (2005 - 2009)
Combined Studies Liaison (2005 - 2008)
Subject area Careers liaison (2009 - 2011)
Member of school ethics panel (2008 - 2010)
Lead Convenor, Health and Life Sciences Research Cluster (2010 - 2012)
Senior Tutor (2010 - 2012)

- for the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

School Director of Excellence in Learning, Teaching and Student Experience (2012-2014)                              Chair, School of Geography, Politics and Sociology Teaching and Learning Committee (2012-2014)

- at Faculty or University level:
Member of Programme approval panel (2009 - 2010)
Member of the Evasys Implementation Group (2012-2014)


PG Dip Medical Law, 2011. Distinction.
Northumbria University 

Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice, 2005. Distinction.
Newcastle University

Ph.D in Social Policy, Sociology and Law, 2002.
Newcastle University (ESRC Scholarship)

BA (Hons) in Social Policy, 1996. First.
Newcastle University




Research Interests

My research activities include work in socio-legal studies, medical sociology and qualitative research, and involve the study of topics such as reproductive loss and disordered eating. A key strand that runs through my research is a focus on aiming to understand how distressing life events are conceptualised, experienced and responded to.

Researching these topics can involve using multiple methods, but my portfolio of work to date contains a strong focus on qualitative research methods that cuts across my non-fieldwork based and fieldwork based projects, such as:

- Generative Thematic analysis
- Discourse analysis
- Conceptualisations of sensitive phenomena

Current Work

The central strand of my current research programme centres around reproductive health and reproductive loss. This programme involves research across several areas of reproductive loss, such as:

- termination of pregnancy for fetal anomaly/feticide,
- neonatal care
- miscarriage
- viability thresholds and the fetus

Postgraduate Supervision 

Doctoral level supervision:
- Applied Health Policy (Allison Farnworth)

Recent supervisions

- Danna-Mechelle Lewis (2012) 'The risk factor - an exploratory study into the assessment of risk within criminal justice practice' (supervised with Dr Elaine Campbell) 

- Liz Turner (2012) 'Reimagining criminology's public role: an inquiry into the relationship between criminological expertise and the democratic public sphere' (supervised with Dr Elaine Campbell) 

- Benet Reid (2014) 'The discourse of evidence-based healthcare (1992-2012). Power in Dialogue, embodiment and emotion' (supervised with Prof Peter Phillimore)

- Lisa Crowe (2014) 'Termination of pregnancy for non-lethal fetal anomaly: professional perspectives' (supervised with Prof Steve Robson and Prof Judith Rankin) 



Esteem Indicators

Co-editor of the journal Social Theory and Health

Peer reviewer for:
Social Science and Medicine
Qualitative Health Research
Journal of Social Policy
Human Fertility
Open University Press
Palgrave Press

The paper 'Male rape and the careful construction of the male victim' [Social and Legal Studies, 15 (2): 187-208] was the most accessed article for the journal SLS in the year May 2006-April 2007, with 1,675 total accesses.


2011 NIHR EME Programme, £1.5 million
(co-applicant, PI S Robson, Newcastle University) 

2010 Department of Health, £35k
(PI, with S Robson, J Rankin and N Embleton)

2010 Tiny Lives (UK charity), £110k
(co-applicant, PI J Rankin, Newcastle University)

2010 NIHR HTA Programme, £1.4 million
(co-applicant; PI P Griffiths, Sheffield University)

2010 Knowledge Transfer Partnership, £164k
(academic lead; co-investigator S Robson, Newcastle University)

2006 Knowledge Transfer Partnership, £120k,
(academic support; PI E Campbell, Newcastle University)

2005 Tiny Lives (UK charity), £52,949 + £10,000 (in 2008)
(co-applicant, PI S Robson, Newcastle University)

2002 Wellcome Trust, £80K
(named collaborator, PI C May)

1997 ESRC Doctoral Scholarship


Module teaching

SOC3097 - Dissertation in Sociology