Who will win the Premier League this coming season?

Who is 'The Definite Bet' to win the Premier League this coming season? Hear about the research conducted by Professor Roger Penn and Damon Berridge. Their paper discusses the probabilities that various teams will win next season's Premier League title, based upon research that Professor Roger Penn has been undertaking on 'The Determinants of Top Tier League Position in English Football between 1888 and 2010: Structural Continuities and Conjunctural Change'.

This paper will form the basis of an upcoming conference presentation Professor Roger Penn will give at the 'Social Stratification Conference' in Edinburgh on the 12th September 2014.

Find out more about their exciting research here.

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Football, Globalization and Nationalism

Football, Globalization and Nationalism: A comparison of the Premier League and Serie A. by Professor Roger Penn is now published on the Sporting Metrix site.

The article exlores the trajectories of football in England and Italy since 1930. The analysis is situated within the debate about the relative strengths of nationalism/nationality and processes of globalization. It involves an examination of patterns of national origins amongst football players, managers/coaches and owners in the two countries during the ‘longue durée’ of high modernism.

The article reveals that these trajectories differ significantly between the two countries. Italy is far less ‘globalized’ than England today. There was strong evidence that the proportion of foreign coaches in Italy has declined significantly since the 1930s and also that there were large numbers of overseas players in Serie A in the 1930s.

The paper concludes that there is no evidence of an overarching, unilinear trend towards the globalization of football in England and Italy. National templates and contexts continue to have salience, albeit to a greater degree in Italy than in England.

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Professor Penn on dangers of attending World Cup

Professor Roger Penn's research into the dangers of attending the World Cup in Brazil this summer was highlighted on James Phillips's 'Football Show' live from Sixfields (BBC Radio Cumbria 18th February). In the interview Professor Penn drew on the research that was summarized on the School site last week and which was published by Sporting Metrix. He talked about the high homicide rate in Brazil, particularly in Manaus and Belo Horizonte, where England face their first two opponents in June. He also talked about the high levels of deaths in police custody and the endemic failure of the Brazilian police to control football games in Brazil over recent years. When asked if he would tell fans to stay away he replied that England fans should certainly go if they can afford it but should be very careful in Brazil, particularly after dark.

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MRes student wins Science Shop award

Catherine with supervisor Dr Karamichas

Catherine with Pro-Vice Chancellor Prof. Tony Gallagher

As part of her Masters in Social Research Methods in the School, Catherine Ward worked with Dr John Karamichas, her supervisor, and Pol Mc Cormack from St John Bosco GAA in Newry conducting research into the role of positive coaching in retaining players post 18 years of age in the GAA.  She concluded that positive coaching was important to maximise player potential and ensure that players continue to engage with the club longer term.  She recommended that GAA clubs might consider developing further training resources for their volunteer coaches and using student placements to help bring in fresh ideas and give students hands on experience.  She also suggested online training for coaches as a way of enabling volunteers to carry out this training at a time to suit them. 


Catherine received her award at a celebratory event at City Hall on 23rd January, hosted by Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, who said: “The work carried out by the Science Shop projects is fantastic and has such a positive impact on our local communities. Not only do our communities benefit from the projects, the students also benefit from implementing the skills they have learnt during their degree studies. The Science Shop should be immensely proud of their achievements over the last 25 years.”


The Science Shop at Queen’s University is funded by the Department for Employment and Learning through their Higher Education Innovation Fund.

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Social Work Awards

Joe Duffy and David Hayes, both lecturers in the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, received a prestigious Northern Ireland Social Work Award at a ceremony held at the Guildhall, Derry/Londonderry on Friday 20th September.

The Awards, this year hosted by the Western Health and Social Care Trust, are organised in partnership with the Health and Social Care Board, the Northern Ireland Social Care Council and the local Health and Social Care Trusts.  They promote and celebrate excellence in social work with awards being made in seven categories (four team awards and three individual awards) and an overall winner being selected from the seven award winners.

Duffy and Hayes received the Learning and Development Team award for an innovative teaching project which engages service users and carers in a meaningful way to assist first year social work students with their understanding of the complex and contested topic of social work values.  The project involves small groups of students visiting service user and carer groups in their own community settings with a set of pre-agreed questions designed to prompt discussion of how values are translated into practice.

Results from an evaluation of the project were published in the international journal 'Ethics and Social Welfare' in 2012. As the following quotes evidence, the project had a positive impact on both students, in terms of their understanding of social work values, and the participating service user and carer groups in terms of enabling them to make a meaningful contribution to the education and practice of future social workers:

"Hearing first hand accounts of the impact of both positive and negative social work practice on service users had a huge influence on my understanding of the importance of good values" (Student)

"We feel that we played an active role in helping the students understand values and to relate them to real life and working with young people" ( Young People's Group)

"It had a huge impact on me and raised issues about things like respect that I will never forget" (Student)

"We helped the students a lot.  They stopped seeing us as learning disability people and saw us as equals...they learnt that a person with a learning disability is an individual" (Learning Disability Group)

The project has been running since 2006 and has benefitted some 550 students and involved 14 different service user and carer groups.  It is supported by annual funding from the Northern Ireland Social Care Council to facilitate service user and carer involvement in the social work curriculum.

Duffy has developed this project internationally and has completed a DVD production in which service users and carers from Spain, Slovenia and Northern Ireland, in discussion with students, share their thoughts about social work values and how these are demonstrated in practice.  Duffy and Hayes have also transferred this model of learning into the next stage of the social work programme in order to help students with their understanding of empathy as a core social work skill.  They are also involved in a longer term project evaluating the impact of service user and carer involvement in social work education on subsequent professional practice.

For further information contact:

Joe Duffy:  Tel. 028 9097 5909

David Hayes:  Tel. 028 9097 5971

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