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Sarah Connelly

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Lecturer in Criminology, FHEA

I joined the University in 2020 and I teach across the School of Social Sciences at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. I primarily work across Criminology and Sociology, teaching on modules such as social research methods, working with vulnerable populations, conceptualising vulnerability, and the practical application of social science degrees.

My interests are primarily focused on researching into how marginalised groups interpret and navigate their identities. This includes identity politics around gender fluidity, the sociology of diagnosis and the interplay between diagnosis and identity, the governing of bodies (specifically in police custody), and the reification of binary coding in medicine. I am currently interested in the term vulnerability and how this term can be defined, experienced, understood depending on space and time, as well how the term can be patholigised and navigated within the criminal justice system and health care sector.

I am the Scheme Manager for the Northumbria Local Appropriate Adult Scheme, and I work with current and postgraduate students to provide and maintain 24/7 coverage across local police stations for adults who are identified as vulnerable.

Prior to my role at the University, I achieved my BA (Hons) in Sociology here at the University (2013-2016), and my Masters in Sociology and Social Research at Newcastle University (2016-2017). I then moved on to work in practice and I have experience in working in national and multinational research organisations in research roles and diversity and inclusion representation. I have been active in the third sector since 2017 and have worked closely with support work agencies, human rights organisations, and appropriate adult provisions. I am also experienced in creating educational resources, training, and support in relation to developing organisational structures and cultures to encompass a diverse and inclusive working culture. 

I am a member of the British Criminological Society, the DISCRIM network, and the National Appropriate Adult Network.

I gained my FHEA status in July 2021.

Teaching and supervision

I am currently the module lead for:

  • SOC232 Researching Society: Private, Public and Third Sector Organisations 

I teach on the following modules:

  • SOC232 Researching Society: Private, Public and Third Sector Organisations 
  • SSCM25 Inequalities, Diversity and Intersectionality: Theory and Practice

I also supervise dissertations across BSc (Hons) Sociology, BSc (Hons) Criminology, and BSc (Hons) Health and Social Care degrees. 

Research interests for potential research students

My research interests revolve around how identity can be navigate, negotiated, and constructed. Specifically, how marginalised groups navigate identity politics within public spaces. Interests include:

  • The medicalisation of the bodies and how people negotiate labels and diagnostic categories 
  • The role of the Appropriate Adult: safeguarding practices for supporting vulnerable adults in custody
  • I also specialise in quantitative research methods. 


I have had the opportunity to work and supervise across multiple disciplines, leading to my research interests being quite broad in terms of supervising dissertations. I have supervised students (undergrad and postgrad) with many different topics ranging from: attitudes and perceptions on ending FGM/C in the UK, relationships between working class status and masculine identities, the association between socio-economic status and educational background of students and HIV/AIDS awareness, the role of appropriate adults and safeguarding practices on supporting vulnerable adults in custody, and more. 

Current research:
Nightstop [ongoing]: Working as a research assistant on a project to support a third sector organisation. Role includes designing an data collection tool which will explore awareness, service usage, and procurement processes.

Social Sciences Project [ongoing]: Working as a research assistant to gather data on social science degrees in the UK. Role includes data collection and producing a database ready for quantitative analysis. 

Previous research interests:
My Masters dissertation explored the ways in which medical diagnoses reinforce heteronormativity. Using the sociology of diagnosis, this body of work analysed the reification of binary coding upon bodies and the nosological approaches cast upon social identities.


Number of items: 4.


Reveley, Samantha, Connelly, Sarah and Peacock, Donna (2021) Northumbria Local Appropriate Adult Scheme Annual Evaluation 2021. Other. Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria, Newcastle. (Submitted)

Conference or Workshop Item

Reveley, Samantha, Connelly, Sarah and Peacock, Donna (2022) COVID-19 AND POLICE CUSTODY: �COMPOUNDING VULNERABILITY AMONG APPROPRIATE ADULT SERVICE USERS. In: EUROCRIM Conference Malaga 2022, 21-24 September 2022, Malaga.

Reveley, Samantha, Connelly, Sarah and Peacock, Donna (2022) COVID-19 and Police Custody: Compounding Vulnerability Among Appropriate Adult Service Users. In: British Society of Criminology Annual Conference, Reimagining Criminological Futures: New Criminologies in a Changing World, 29th June-1st July, 2022, University of Surrey. (Unpublished)

Quaid, Sheila and Connelly, Sarah (2021) Visual Research Practice and Sociology Teaching: Sociology Theory and the Use of Cinematic Film. In: Professions-Facing 3rd Annual Faculty of Education and Society Staff Research Conference, 14 Jun 2021, University of Sunderland. (Unpublished)

This list was generated on Mon Mar 20 01:39:44 2023 GMT.
  • Gender studies
  • Exploring the construction of 'normal' 
  • Sociology of diagnosis
  • Quantitative Research Methods
  • Practical application of social science degrees

Last updated 23 September 2022