The Department of Sociology at the University of Surrey has an international reputation as a centre of excellence in research. In the recent 2014 Research Excellence Framework exercise the Department was 12th in research activities rated as 4* (world leading) and 8th in its outputs (publications). This reflects our excellence in research and publications, and the high quality of our research environment. A particular area of strength is research methodology and research training.

Research Groups

Research in the Sociology Department is organised into five research groupings which reflect contemporary concerns.

The Department of Sociology hosts several Research Centres and there are strong research links with the Digital World Research Centre.

In addition to the Research Groupings, there is a wide range of individual scholarship in different fields of sociology. The latter can be traced by looking at the individual interests of particular members of staff. Please browse the brief descriptions of staff interests. These embrace a variety of topics including sociological theory, gender, employment, culture, ethnicity, ageing (Centre for Research on Ageing and Gender) language and communication, the sociology of organisations, sociology of childhood, sociology of sleep, the study of religion and values, sociology of development, the voluntary sector, the history of sociology, and the sociology of social policy.

Activities relating to the advancement of research methodology include:

  • CAQDAS - the national centre for the advancement of methods for the qualitative analysis of data by computer, which has included QUIC, an ESRC Research Methods Node.
  • CRESS - a multidisciplinary centre bringing together social science, computer and software engineering to use and to promote computer modelling in social science research, which has included SIMIAN, an ESRC Research Methods Node.
  • The secondary analysis of large and complex datasets.
  • A programme of Day Courses in Social Research.
  • Holding regular international workshops on theory and methods.
  • Publishing the quarterly Social Research Update to improve methodological awareness within the research community.
  • The Visiting International Fellowship scheme, which is aimed at supporting advanced development in the state of the art in social research methods by supporting international scholars to meet with members of the Department on methodological projects of mutual interest.

Journals edited from the Department include:

Ethnic and Racial Studies
Sociological Research Online
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation (JASSS)
Popular Culture: International Journal of Media and Culture

Staff in the Department are on a wide range of Editorial Boards.

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