Students Staff

Our research

Postgraduate study

Postgraduate student

We are a leading centre for Sociology postgraduate study at both Masters and PhD level. Become part of our active research community and benefit from the expert teaching and supervision of our academic staff.

Shaping sociology and society

We were rated top 10 in the UK for research quality with more than three-quarters of our research rated 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent' in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014).

We work with departments across the University and around the world, collaborating on cutting edge research. Our students become part of this community and learn how to understand and challenge the world.

We shape society today advising the UN, government departments, think tanks and public bodies around the world on issues as diverse as the rights of indigenous peoples, the regulation of the building industry, and organised crime and terrorism.

Our academic staff are experts in their fields, developing new theoretical and methodological approaches to understand the dynamics of social life.

Research groups

Our research falls under five broad groups, all reflecting our strengths.

  1. Social divisions and economic life: key themes are structured inequality, the changing nature of work, advertising and commercial culture, and migration and minorities.
  2. Culture, identity and subjectivity: key themes are identity and subjectivity, oral history and personal narrative, and the culture industry.
  3. Criminal justice and public policy: key themes are health and healthcare, environmental issues, criminology, ageing and pensions.
  4. Transnationalism, nation and rights: key themes are citizenship and human rights, international migration, multi-culturalism, indigenous rights, and reconfiguring the nation.
  5. Sociological foundations - theory and method: key themes are advanced qualitative and quantitative techniques, social structures, the micro-dynamics of social life, and social theories.

Research showcase: Advertising in the 1950s and 60s

An example of our research is by Professor Sean Nixon who explored the antipathy and criticisms made of advertising in Britain, alongside responses of the industry’s more articulate spokesmen.

Research seminars

We run a regular programme of seminars, providing a forum to present and discuss the latest research.


Our academics are often featured in the press and broadcast media, giving their views on a range of topical subjects from the working women's charter to the psychological impact of World War One.

New research grants