SCPS is a world-leading centre of excellence for applied research that examines complex policy and service dilemmas facing post-conflict societies.
Social Policy, Criminology, Public Policy and Social Work (SCPS), is a substantial multi-disciplinary, cross campus research unit with members working on a range of methodological, theoretical, empirical and policy related issues. It is distinguished by its applied, interdisciplinary research that draws on national and international comparative methods, to develop innovative and significant impact centred work which pushes the disciplinary boundaries and promotes important changes within society.
SCPS has developed an international reputation for:
Pioneering theoretical ideas that change the way in which policy, governance, criminology and social work are conceptualised.
Developing cutting-edge research methodologies which produce unique, internationally significant data-sets.
Designing a range of innovative analytical tools that help reform and guide social practice.
Disseminating research outputs to a range of stakeholder groups in order to strengthen, and critically reflect upon, policy and practice.
The University welcomes applicants interested in researching social policy, criminology and justice, policing, prisons, public policy, social work, poverty, disadvantage, migration and welfare.
The strength and rigour of SCPS research has been registered in successive research assessment exercises. In the most recent research assessment exercise, REF 2014, seventy percent of SCPS research has been graded world-leading or internationally excellent, with a 160% increase in world-leading research since the 2008 assessment exercise. SCPS ranks 12th in the UK for outstanding research impact (4*) and 20th for world-leading research (4*).
SCPS distinguishes itself through a long-standing commitment to researching and shaping governance, policy, and practice in divided societies dealing with the legacies of violence and conflict. This focus is being expanded and enriched through strategic diversification into new applied research streams that inquire into, and confront, challenges presented by racism, inequality, economic marginalisation, institutional reform and the crimes of the powerful. Furthermore, the unit aims to address blind-spots and lacunas in governance, policy and service delivery which conflict and transition can create, in areas such as gender, disability, ageing, health, criminal justice, and ethnic minorities. These streams are enhanced through transnational research that draws on growing international linkages to better understand how regional and global distributions of power, wealth, infrastructure, resources, and knowledge, impact on governance, policy, and practice on a variety of scales.
The units research priorities are supported by a vibrant, aspirational culture that supports scholars to develop and pioneer innovative methodologies, analytical tools, and theoretical concepts that can sensitively and rigorously build evidence based, conceptually rich understandings of the complex processes that shape reform, accountability and service delivery. We embrace interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research that harnesses diverse tools and approaches to enhance our response to field-specific challenges.
The unit aims to formulate and execute our research collaboratively, and share our findings through innovative mechanisms that cater to the precise needs of diverse user-group. SCPS has also demonstrated a preparedness, when needed, to confront injustice and significant failures in policy and governance in a robust manner, often with significant effect. This distinctive research agenda is operationalised through four research groups: criminology and justice, social policy, public policy, and social work.