School of Social, Political and Geographical Sciences


Our research strengths:

Communication and cultures

We are renowned for the breadth of our research across interpersonal and small-group communication, social media, political communication, media education, and mainstream communications.

Spotlight: Professor Elizabeth Stokoe and Dr Rein Sikveland are co-investigators on a £1.1M Conversation Analytic Roleplay Method (CARM) project, funded by the Norwegian Research Council, called CAiTE (Conversation Analytic innovation for Teacher Education).  Working with the project lead, Dr Karianne Skovholt from the University College of Southeast Norway, Liz and Rein have been working to develop the profile and capacity of conversation analysis in Norway.

Migration, identities and governance

Our expertise is at the forefront of understanding today’s globalized society and the interconnections between nationalism, racism, citizenship, militarism and right-wing movements, identities, and migration.

Spotlight: Professor Helen Drake has been awarded an ESRC grant worth £300,000 to research “28+ perspectives on Brexit: a guide to the multi-stakeholder negotiations”.  Helen and a team of co-investigators, drawn from across the University, will conduct new research designed to inform the UK’s Brexit negotiations in real time. 


Environmental processes and management

We are world leaders in the investigating, modelling and management of hydrological, ecological and geomorphological processes, and the environmental processes that characterize the world’s cold places.

Spotlight:  Professor John Anderson, a Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award holder, was awarded the highly prestigious King Carl XVI Gustaf Professorship in Environmental Science (Sweden) in 2017.  This is a highly prestigious award which is offered to one prominent international scientist per year, and the King himself is involved in the final decision.  John has recently delivered a prestigious lecture to the King as part of his birthday celebrations

Families, young people and children

Our research excellence is shaping social policy on the family, young people and children, as well being internationally leading on how lives are shaped and reshaped in diverse geographical contexts in the Global North and South.

Spotlight:  Dr Helena Pimlott-Wilson and Dr Janine Coates (SSEHS) research on Forest Schools has been generating media attention.  A recent BBC news article draws on their research which shows how forest nurseries develop children’s teamwork skills.

Democracy, crisis and security

Our multidisciplinary research leads debate about diplomacy and international governance, peace and conflict, crisis and emergency governance, and political theory.

Spotlight: : Dr Phil Parvin has been appointed Senior Research Associate at Balliol College, and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Social Justice, Oxford