Our teaching brings social theory to the study of pressing social issues such as migration, work, welfare, crime, health, gender and power. We challenge our students to pursue a real purpose in their studies, exploring the inequalities, injustices and inter-dependencies that pattern our social lives. We believe that in order to change the world, students must see their studies as transformative: what will you go on to do with your degree?
Our staff are experts in their fields, and experienced and creative teachers, placing the student learning experience at the heart of everything we do, from seminars to webinars to workshops. As a department, we nurture a collaborative and collegiate environment that encourages both staff and students to express themselves.
We take regular opportunities for observation as part of ethnographic study because, in truth, sociology and policy can only partly be taught in the classroom. Our goal is to enable students to see possibilities in their studies and actively define and develop their own research projects – giving them the tools to identify an issue or problem that they can engage with and explore in a unique and personal way.
Across our sociology and social policy degree programmes, we explore how social structures such as class, gender, race, religion and identity impact on our lives, and we examine how they intersect with the discourses, ideas, interests and organisations of the powerful. Important to sociological analysis is to trace how personal problems relate to collective social issues, and how these social issues are and can be addressed through public policy.
Through our teaching and our research, we seek to understand, critically analyse and challenge the social, political and corporate forces which influence decision-making and give rise to conflict between the achievement of economic, environmental and social objectives.