Jump to accessibility statement Skip to content

Dr Wendy Podd

Home / About / Academic staff profiles / Social Sciences / Wendy Podd

Senior Lecturer of Social Sciences

Before 2006, I worked across various settings as a Youth and Community Worker, focusing on devising innovative approaches to practice that promoted young people's personal, social, and enterprise skills development. In 1998 I became a sail training volunteer with Ocean Youth Trust and have organised numerous voyages for young people in Sunderland, which includes Sail-Rally 99. Between 2003 and 2005, I was the coordinator of the Hendon Keyfund Initiative, a strand of the National Keyfund; and served as a New Deal for Communities board member in Hendon. In 2005 I played a pivotal role in setting up a homelessness outreach unit in Sunderland.

I graduated in 2005 with a BA (Hons) in Community and Youth Work and began my funded PhD in 2006. I commenced teaching at the University of Sunderland in 2006 with the Community and Youth Work team. Since that time, I have contributed widely to teaching and learning across BSc (Hons) Criminology, BSc Sociology, and BSc (Hons) Health and Social Care. This has included module leadership of shared core modules eg Social Problems, Social Policy, Qualitative Research Methods, and Dissertations. I have also contributed to master-level teaching at Sunderland and Durham universities focusing on my specialist areas: Young People, Participation, Pedagogy and Social Policy. In 2018, I became Programme Leader for BSc Sociology for four years and attained Senior Fellowship status of the Higher Education Academy in 2019.

In 2021, I won the Vice Chancellor's Teaching Fellowship Award in the individual category, for a staff/student lead project titled: Sociology NORTH. Sociology NORTH is a collective of individuals who are passionate about putting Sociology into action. The project aims to support students in developing their own Social Action projects eg Dig, Seed & Feed, while also hosting a successful nontraditional academic global blog.

Teaching and supervision

I have contributed in a broader capacity to teaching and learning across the Social Studies Team eg the development of a 'fair marking scheme' adopted to ensure parity in the marking of group presentations; embedding 'employability' into the curriculum, module descriptors and inform assessments; utilising Problem-Based Learning (Cambell & Norton, 2007) to design, structure, implement and evaluate modules.

Between 2019-2020, I played a pivotal role in bringing up to date our approach to teaching and learning through the revalidation of BSc Criminology, BSc Sociology, BSc Health and Social care undergraduate courses. These changes were informed by student feedback, existing/ growing demands on students outside of the University, and the increasingly competitive labour market. In response, student timetables were streamlined consisting of two and half days on campus per week, four-hour workshops in place of traditional lectures and seminars, and a reduction in summative assessments in favour of an increase in formative assessments.

Research conducted into the impact of the changes, with the first two cohorts shows that these changes have enabled them to plan their lives around university more efficiently. Moreover, it has allowed those students who previously thought university was not an option for them to come and study.

Research interests for potential research students

PhD title Mechanisms and Opportunities for Participation: Local Authority Practice and Youth Forum Activities in the North East of England.

Research interests:

  • Young people
  • Participation
  • Regeneration
  • Pedagogy
  • Social policy

    Potential areas of supervision:

  • The Social Construction of Young People in Society
  • Social Problems and Inequalities
  • Homelessness
  • Youth and Community Work
  • Informal Education
  • Critical Realism
  • Sociology Based PhDs
  • Qualitative Based PhDs


Number of items: 4.


Peacock, Donna, Macdonald, Stephen J, Cosgrove, Faye and Podd, Wendy (2022) We capture their comments before we leave the station’: Service User Involvement in the Delivery of Appropriate Adult Schemes. Social Work and Social Sciences Review. (In Press)

Macdonald, Stephen J, Peacock, Donna, Cosgrove, Faye and Podd, Wendy (2020) ‘The Silence’: Examining the missing voices of disabled people in police custody. Disability & Society. ISSN 0968-7599

Book Section

Podd, Wendy (2010) Participation. In: What id Youth Work. Sage Publishing, London, pp. 20-32. ISBN 9781844454662

Conference or Workshop Item

Peacock, Donna, Macdonald, Stephen J, Cosgrove, Faye and Podd, Wendy (2021) Examining the missing voices of disabled people in police custody. In: BSC Annual Conference 2021 Crime and Harm: Challenges of social and global justice, June 28th - July 1st, Virtual Conference. (Unpublished)

This list was generated on Mon Mar 20 01:39:26 2023 GMT.

Last updated 15 March 2023