The School of Sociology and Social Policy is a vibrant, diverse and exciting centre for social science teaching and research, which builds on an established history dating back to 1948 and the creation of the Department of Social Administration. That year also saw the appointment of the first UK professor in this field, Professor David Marsh, who joined a team of just 5 other staff. At that time Sociology was taught in a separate department of Philosophy, Psychology and Sociology under Professor Jack Sprott.
In 1964 Philosophy and Psychology were given their own professors and departments. Sociology, with the appointment of Professor Julius Gould, initially became a sub-department of the Department of Social Administration. In due course a separate Department of Sociology was established, by which stage the Department of Social Administration had been renamed the Department of Social Policy.
Having delivered social work programmes since the 1950s, the Centre for Social Work appointed its first professor in 1984, Professor Olive Stephenson. In 1987 the two departments, with the Centre for Social Work, merged to form the School of Social Studies with Professor Stephenson as Head of School until 1991, when Professor Robert Dingwall took over. The School obtained its current name whilst Professor Nick Manning was Head of School. The School grew to around 30 academic staff under the leadership of both Professor Julia Evetts (2001-2006) and Professor Elizabeth Murphy (2006-2008).
The School’s research interests have expanded significantly in the last 30 years to cover not only sociology, social policy and social work, but also public policy, medical sociology, trauma studies and cultural sociology. Today, we are taking forward our research expertise and thriving culture through the work of our research groups and networks. We seek to undertake world-class research that contributes to the advancement of theory and debate, and where possible makes a meaningful contribution to society at the international, national and local levels.
We are host to the Ann Craft Trust, which works to combat abuse of people with learning disabilities and we have strong links to local, national and international communities including: