Our research

At the School for Policy Studies, our research:

  • Examines policy areas that affect us all in day-to-day life ranging from housing and neighbourhoods to health care, family policy to social justice, health inequalities to domestic violence, child welfare to social care for older people, poverty to social work, governance to criminology.
  • Influences and challenges policies implemented by governments and institutions by looking at issues such as how we organise services for children and families, provide housing and health care for older people, develop our cities and neighbourhoods, and how effectively we provide social care and services for the vulnerable.
  • Investigates the issues, factors and attitudes underlying the social concerns that make our headlines every day: the ever-widening gap between rich and poor, migration, domestic violence, forced marriage, out-of-hours GP services, mental health services, how we apply criminal justice, the rise in obesity and less active lifestyles.

Browse our research projects for more detail about our work.

Main areas of research

The main areas of our research include:

  • adoption and foster care,
  • ageing,
  • cities, housing and neighbourhoods,
  • child and family welfare,
  • criminal justice and social harm,
  • determinants of nutrition and physical activity,
  • disability studies,
  • health and social care,
  • inter-professional practice,
  • international social and public policy,
  • mental health,
  • poverty and social exclusion,
  • social work practice and education,
  • violence against women and gender-based violence.

Our funders

At any one time the school has some 40 individual projects and consultancies in progress with a monetary value of around £1.5m per annum. We have an extensive programme of externally funded research and attract funding from local to international level. Our funders include:

  • Big Lottery Fund
  • British Academy
  • Charities
  • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
  • European Commission
  • European Union
  • Government departments
  • Joseph Rowntree Foundation
  • Local and regional authorities
  • Medical Research Council
  • National Institute for Health Research
  • NHS Health Technology Assessment
  • NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children)
  • Nuffield Foundation
  • Social Care Institute of Excellence
  • UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund)
  • United Nations
  • US National Institutes of Health
  • Voluntary agencies and trusts
  • World Health Organisation.


For further information about our research and consultancy services please contact:

Professor Angie Page
(Research Director)

Professor Esther Dermott
(Head of School)

Lucy Hicks
(School Manager)

Our staff

Our team of policy experts include economists, sociologists, historians, social policy analysts and human geographers all with specialist expertise across a wide range of policy areas. Find out more about individual staff research interests on their staff profile pages or download a summary of research interests for all staff.

How good is our research?

The results of the 2014 Research Exercise Framework (REF) confirms the excellence of research in social policy and social work in the School for Policy Studies. 80 per cent of of our research was rated as 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent' and the School was rated tenth overall in the country.

The results of the 2014 REF rate the Centre for Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences (ENHS) as the leading centre of international research excellence within the field of physical activity, nutrition and health research. ENHS was rated first in the UK. In addition 100 per cent of its evidence research impact was judged to be of the highest level.

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