Research Areas

Children, Young People and Families

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Children, Young People and Families

Better understanding lives and relationships

Multidisciplinary research in this area examines the everyday lives and experiences of children, young people, parents and carers. This work has a particular focus on emotions, conflict, childhood adversity, coping strategies, and experiences of family lives and relationships.

Conflict and Social Change

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Conflict and Social Change

Explaining division and co-operation

Research in this area examines the causes, experiences and consequences of social conflict, as well as the complex dynamics of change, across a range of international arenas. Ethno-nationalism, religion, gender, sexuality and migration provide the substantive focus for much of this work.

Social Inequalities

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Social Inequalities

Understanding patterns and processes

The broad range of inequalities at the heart of social life are examined by work in this area. Research focuses on poverty, social exclusion, sexism, racism and other forms of social marginalization and stigma.

Disability, Ageing and Health

Belfast city hall in Summer

Disability, Ageing and Health

Building pathways to social impact

The role of the state and social policy in shaping experiences of disability and ageing is examined by those working in this area, with the specific aim of improving key institutions and services. Research on health and illness explores the breadth of social forces which influence embodied social life.

Criminal Justice

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Criminal Justice

Thinking critically about crime and punishment

The ways in which the criminal justice system operates, and the consequences for those who come into contact with it, are the focus of research in this area. The relationship between social power and ideas about conformity and criminality are a particular focus of attention.

Drugs and Alcohol

Drugs and Alcohol Research Network

Drugs and Alcohol

Understanding the impact of substance use

Researching the use and impact of substances on individuals and society.

Trauma, Violence and Abuse

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Trauma, Violence and Abuse

Addressing the harm caused in interpersonal relationships

Multidisciplinary research exploring the impact of abuse, violence and trauma across the lifecourse, and the effectiveness of professional responses in preventing and addressing these issues.

Pedagogy, Learning and Curriculum

four early years children colouring-in around a table in a school setting

Pedagogy, Learning and Curriculum

Improving the learning and teaching environment

Our multidisciplinary research comprises a variety of methodologies, such as randomized control trials; ethnographic, art-based, children’s rights-based, projective and constructivist; and large-scale attitudinal surveys. Innovations in methodology and developing innovative practice are key drivers of our research activity.

Human Rights, Equality and Social Cohesion in Education

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Improving Educational and Social Outcomes

Focusing on the role of education in upholding children’s rights, promoting social justice and reducing societal divisions, our research is based on interdisciplinary theoretical perspectives, employs innovative methodologies and has an applied and policy-oriented focus.

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