Medical Sociology

Leads: Catherine Exley & Tim Rapley

The Institute of Health & Society’s Medical Sociology research discipline group is a theoretically and methodologically broad ranging group, whose members work with all research themes within IHS. We provide subject expertise to a diverse range of applied health research across a diverse range of clinical specialities and health and social care settings.

Our research interests are wide ranging from individual patients’ and carers’ experiences of health and health care, to the organisation of health care work, to the implementation of health care technologies, global health and health policy analysis As medical sociologists we provide qualitative and quantitative research methodological expertise to different and diverse studies. We apply different theoretical sociological approaches dependent upon the subject under research. We engage in all aspects of the research process: protocol development and writing; the research ethics process; conducting and overseeing fieldwork and disseminating findings.

As experts in designing and delivering applied qualitative health research we also run CPD training for other researchers and postgraduate student: Qualitative Interviewing in Health Research. Members of the group also participate in, and lead undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and assessment in the Faculty of Medical Sciences. Individual members of the group lead the MSc in Public Health and Health Service Research and the MSc in Social Science and Health. In addition, there is a thriving community of postgraduate students drawing on medical sociology perspectives and our supervisory expertise.

IHS leads the Social Science and Health Pathway in the Durham-Newcastle ERSC Doctoral Training Centre and we welcome enquiries from graduates who wish to apply social science perspectives to health research as part of a doctoral training programme.

Selected Projects

Further information: