Humanities and Social Sciences research

In the Research Excellence Framework 2014, we were awarded world-leading status for research submitted under three categories: History; English Language and Literature; Communication, Cultural and Media Studies.

The School of Humanities and Social Sciences is a lively and friendly community of research students, practitioners, and academic researchers - many of whom are world leading in their field. We have three units of assessment entered for REF2021: History, Sociology and English Language and Literature, with many research outputs judged to be of very high (world-leading) quality. We work closely with our affiliate Research Institutes, PIER and StoryLAB and GSI on a range of projects. We also have smaller specialist areas of research concentration that encourage and support staff and research students to explore new topics and interdisciplinary connections.

Broadly speaking, our School has a commitment to address the theme of 'social inclusion and marginalised communities'. This theme links to our research focus in addressing the lives of marginalised peoples of the past and present; seeking social inclusion and social justice; examining migration and heritage (including language, literatures and communication) and also finding creative and collaborative ways to explore, celebrate and commemorate the experiences of a variety of communities. The impact of our research focusses on innovative and interdisciplinary responses in relation to the pressing challenges facing communities today, and public engagement in policy and education, to better understand and address such challenges.

Below is a quick summary of our work and current research specialisms.



Sociology (Social Sciences, including Sociology, Criminology and Politics)

Faculty research team

For advice on applications, funding and training

Selected research student profiles

Recent thesis titles


Our research clusters:

We particularly welcome cross-disciplinary research in:

For information on individual supervision offered by our academics, please view our staff pages.

We also offer Professional Doctorates in Policing and Pastoral Theology (in partnership with Cambridge Theological Federation). Professional Doctorates allow you to expand your knowledge and achieve a doctoral qualification while working.