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Sociology Research

Sociology Research

We explore core sociological areas of contemporary and real-world importance.

Sociology Research at Newcastle

We explore core sociological areas of contemporary and real-world importance. We also embrace the benefits of interdisciplinarity through cultivating exchanges in areas such as social anthropology and bioethics, alongside developing interests in the sociology of crime.

Our research agenda prioritises research aimed at making a real difference and in particular focuses on addressing inequality, disadvantage, exclusion and social injustice.

Our department at Newcastle comprises:

  • more than 30 members of staff
  • a growing community of postgraduate researchers
  • many distinguished visiting fellows

Research clusters and groups

Our research clusters and groups highlight our key areas of research. We can also offer PhD supervision across the following clusters:

REF 2021

Sociology at Newcastle has produced a strong showing in REF2021.

We're pleased to see that 30% of our activitieshave been classified as world leading across:

  • publications
  • our research environment
  • the societal impact of our research

Our research power has also increased by 40%. This is the total rating of our research, multiplied by the number of colleagues who submitted.

We're very pleased to see that 43% of our research publications have been classified as world leading. This is double the proportion that was identified in this way in the last REF exercise in 2014.

87.5% of our research environment has been assessed as supporting research of an internationally excellent quality.

67% of the societal impact of our research has been classified as having outstanding and considerable reach and significance.

Since our REF2021 submission in March 2021, we've continued to build our research activity and culture. New grants are already underway with funders such as:

  • ESRC
  • AHRC
  • Leverhulme
  • NIHR

New monographs are being published, including those by new colleagues who have recently joined us. Undertaking research that aims to contribute to the worlds around us in multiple ways remains at the heart of what we do.

Find out more about our REF 2021 submission.

Research expertise

Our research focuses on addressing inequality, disadvantage, exclusion and social injustice. We sustain and develop a research environment that nurtures research of the highest quality, values diverse forms of excellence, has social impact locally and globally and which makes a substantial mark in both sociology and interdisciplinary exchanges.

We are committed to producing research with a policy, practitioner and social and cultural purpose, to pursue work that is for the public good, locally, nationally, and internationally.

Examples of the kinds of impact our work is having include:

  • Impacts on creativity, culture and society. Several colleagues work with creative industries and the third sector, including local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with creative arts organisations and with educational organisations for adults and for young people.
  • Impacts on social welfare and public policy. This is a central impact activity pursued by different members of staff in close collaboration with both users of welfare services and organisations that advocate for, as examples, welfare reform, disability rights, and migrants’ rights and well-being.
  • Impacts on practitioners and delivery of professional services, enhanced performance or ethical practice. Ongoing partnerships with practitioners and policymakers are embedded in the research of several colleagues. This includes for example in the fields of health and clinical evaluations, provided training to NHS Trusts, and working with national advocacy groups.

We are also part of two important research units that are vital components to our agenda of contributing to society by the work we do.

Research-led teaching

We offer some of the most wide-ranging teaching programmes in the sociology subject in the country as part of both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. We are a diverse and international community of researchers and teachers.

Collaboration and interdisciplinary connections

We embrace the benefits of interdisciplinarity through cultivating exchanges in areas such as social anthropology and bioethics, alongside developing interests in the sociology of crime.

Collaboration sits at the centre of our research activity, in particular collaboration with non-academic individuals and organisations who are equal partners in the research we undertake. We have over 50 research relationships with non-academic groups across the policy, practice, NGO, and civil society spheres.

Many of these collaborations are long-standing and provide the foundation for our impact and engagement activities, which are fully integrated into all aspects of research development and activity

Our research funding

Our research is supported by funding from a broad range of bodies including: