Doctor taking a patients blood pressure

Health, Social Care and Embodiment

Research in the areas of health, social care and embodiment represents a major focus of work within the School.

Research in the areas of health, social care and embodiment represents a major focus of work within the School and comprises work in specialised research units and among numerous academic staff, working individually or in partnerships.

This work is extremely diverse in terms of theoretical approaches, with a range of sociological, economic, historical and political science perspectives deployed, and equally so in relation to research methods and subject areas. This diversity offers a very wide range of opportunities and supports for those interested in post-graduate research and we are happy to consider any applications that fall within this broad field.

Health-focused research within the School encompasses a range of policy-related studies (with project funding from various government bodies and the EU) to more theoretical work informed by the sociology of risk or psychoanalysis. The Centre for Health Services Studies is a designated NHS research and development support unit and a public health institute. CHSS is a major contributor to the University’s overall strategy in relation to training, research and innovation.

Particular areas of interest across the School include:

  • health care organisation and policy;
  • risk assessment and management;
  • primary care;
  • public and user views of health care;
  • health inequalities;
  • social exclusion;
  • occupational therapy;
  • care work;
  • bodywork;
  • mental health;
  • race, ethnicity and health;
  • reproductive health.

The extensive social care research carried out within the School is similarly wide-ranging in terms of its diverse approaches and a spectrum of work from the policy focused to the theoretical, and of course, often overlaps with health research. In addition to major research units working in this field, key areas of staff interest include: ageing (with links to mental health and dementia); child welfare (safeguarding, looked after children, adoption and foster care) charities and the third sector (The Centre for Philanthropy).

An important context for research in health and social care is provided by cutting-edge work on embodiment within the School. A focus on embodied subjects, and the social and cultural forms, relationships, institutions and structures that both shape and are shaped by these actors, offers crucial insights into the identities and experiences of those working within and receiving health and social care services and the complex intersections of the ‘public’ and ‘private’ domains.

The Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU) has an international reputation for its work on the performance and functioning of social and health care, on costing and the organisation and delivery of services. Particular interests include economic evaluation of health and social care, theoretical approaches to the evaluation of community care, measuring outcomes of social care, cost estimation, and costing informal care.

The Tizard Centre has broadened its original focus on learning disabilities to include work relating to mental health and ageing. Recent and current work has focused on areas such as challenging behaviour, care standards, costs and outcomes, family caring, early diagnosis of dementia, & abuse of vulnerable adults.