Staff in the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work publish world-class research which has local and global impact.
Research in the School is organised around five interdisciplinary research themes. Our academics work across traditional boundaries sharing expertise, to address some of society’s most pressing social issues.
Dr Anne Campbell leads this theme where research focuses on the health and wellbeing of children, young people and adults in schools, the community and in institutions such as prisons.
Our research relates to issues as diverse as substance abuse, socio-economic inequality, disability and inclusion, social emotions and the formation of identity, as well as undertaking evaluations of interventions programmes designed to improve health and wellbeing outcomes, and the inclusion of people marginalised by inequality and injustice.
Research under this theme explores the development of children and adolescents into young adulthood in their full social and structural contexts.
A particular focus of our work in this area is improving social policies and social work interventions into the lives of families and young people. This multi-disciplinary research draws on a range of theoretical and methodological traditions with an overarching social justice ethos. Dr Lisa Bunting leads research under this theme which explores the development of children and adolescents into young adulthood in their full social and structural contexts.
Professor Tony Gallagher leads this research theme which seeks to understand the sources, manifestations and impact of ethno-religious, national and social divisions in divided and transitioning socie
Our particular interests relate to underpinning theories of conflict, the role of religion in divided societies, the impact of growing up in a divided society, the role of education and schools in promoting more positive intergroup relations in deeply divided societies, shared education, and issues relating to identity, culture and inclusion.
Professor Shadd Maruna leads research exploring the antecedents of offending behaviours across the life course with an emphasis on the impact of traumatic life events and structural inequalities.
The research also seeks to better understand the behaviours of criminal justice and other systems for their role in controlling or exacerbating this offending. The overarching social justice perspective that characterises this work situates these questions in the wider socio-political contexts in which they occur.
Dr Alison MacKenzie leads research under this theme which focuses on education in schools, further and higher education, and on how to improve educational opportunities and outcomes.
Our research encompasses issues relating to curriculum, pedagogy, assessment inclusion and identity and includes, for example, the effectiveness of literacy and numeracy programmes, peer tutoring and cooperative learning, teacher education, the nature of identity and authorship in higher education, teaching English to speakers of other languages, digital literacy studies, applied linguistics, children's rights and Applied Behaviour Analysis. As in other strands, research is informed by a diverse and innovative research methods and methodologies including random control trials, interventions and programme evaluations, participatory action research, writing practices and knowledge, and systematic reviews.
Key to the delivery of research in SSESW are our interdiscplinary School Research Centres, Networks and Institutes:
- Centre For Behaviour Analysis
- Centre For Shared Education
- Centre For Children’s Rights
- Disability Research Network
- Drugs and Alcohol Research Network
- Centre for Evidence and Social Innovation (CESI)
- Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice.