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Social Sciences

Social Sciences research at the University of Sunderland is delivered primarily through the Centre of Applied Social Science (CASS). CASS creates a space to develop new ideas and collaborations both within and beyond academia. Research in the Social Sciences focuses on making a positive difference to the lives of all communities in the region, across the UK and around the world.


The CASS research mission is to engage in research and practice-based collaborations that aim to improve living conditions, address inequalities and social exclusion, promote social justice and social policy developments. Social Sciences Research at Sunderland comprises of staff who are from the School of Social Sciences and the Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries. We carry out pioneering research concerning domestic violence, disability and inequality, mental health and medicalisation, gender and social policy, crime and technology, police culture, early modern crime and the law, and the politics of suicide. We focus on social issues affecting the region and beyond.

The CASS team has developed a strong research base in the areas of crime and law, disability and women’s activism, regional cultural history, transnational history, and ethics.
Social Sciences academics also contribute to the University’s research culture concerning disability studies, gender studies, and regional history as staff are founding members of cross-faculty research networks such as SUNGEN (University of Sunderland Gender Network), DISCRIM (Vulnerability and Criminal Justice Research Network) and RaCE (Race, Class and Ethnicity interdisciplinary research network).
As members of this research group consider themselves as interdisciplinary social scientists, they typically have disciplinary associations to Criminology, Childhood Studies, History, Politics, Social Work, Sociology, and Youth Work.

What unites academics from across the social sciences is the Centre of Applied Social Sciences (CASS).
CASS has four themes that unite research and foster collaboration between academic staff.
These consist of: Communities, Health and Social Exclusion; Crime, Victims and Social Justice; Children, Young People and Families; and, Social Histories.

For more information about CASS please contact Dr. Donna Peacock: Donna.Peacock@sunderland.ac.uk

Social Sciences research sub themes

We conduct further research in the following areas: