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Durham University

Department of Sociology

Academic Recruitment

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A thriving community of scholars

The Department of Sociology has a thriving community of scholars engaged in research on a broad range of sociological issues from a multi-disciplinary base. We teach courses in CriminologySociologySocial PolicySocial Work. We have a large and vibrant postgraduate research community, with our research training delivered as part of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) recognised NINE Doctoral Training Partnership.

Working at Durham University - So Much More

Working at Durham University - So Much More

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Our Strategic Vision
Our Research
Our opportunities
Our people


Our Strategic Vision

Growth & Investment

We have a significant opportunity for growth over the next five years, as we invest in our research themes, move from a School into two separate Departments (of Sociology and Sport), and plan a move to new premises. Although we will be investing in pre-existing strengths, there exists a large degree of scope to shape and be centrally involved in the development of these research themes.  

Sociology and Social Policy at Durham has a long and distinguished history. In 2014 we celebrated our 50th Anniversary.

Find out more about the history of our department


Our Opportunities

Research excellence and high-quality teaching

We are seeking to recruit outstanding academic staff who will develop world class sociological scholarship, and we encourage work that develops theoretical, conceptual and/or methodological approaches. Applications will be particularly welcomed from individuals with research and teaching experience in two key areas, namely Higher Education and Social Inequalities, and Violence and Abuse.

However, we do welcome applications that relate to any of our five research themes. As we embark on an ambitious programme of investment to expand our research capability, there has never been a more exciting moment to join us.

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Our Research

Sociological and Sport, Exercise and Physical Activity themed

The Department has recently undergone an exercise to identify its core research themes which we consider to be both areas of established excellence and distinctive research and potential areas for growth and expansion.

The five sociological themes we wish to invest in are:

  • Communities and Social Justice
  • Health and Social Theory
  • Higher Education and Social Inequalities
  • Transgressive Leisure 
  • Violence and Abuse

Cutting across the Department and the wider Faculty and institution, colleagues in the Department are actively involved in Interdisciplinary Research Centres, notably Violence and Abuse, Social Justice and Community Action, and in Institutes including the Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience and the Institute of Advanced Study and the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing.


Staff in the School are engaged in a range of major externally funded research projects including:

  • Innovation and the application of knowledge for more effective policing (HEFCE)
  • Mapping and exploring services for children and young people who have sexually abused (NSPCC)
  • Evaluating the use of contextual data in undergraduate admissions (ESRC)
  • Fair admission to universities in England: understanding & improving policy & practice (Nuffield Foundation)
  • The social, historical, cultural and democratic context of civic engagement: imagining different communities and making them happen (ESRC/AHRC)
  • Step Up to Social Work Longitudinal Evaluation (DfE)



The Department is home to a vibrant community of researchers from across the career span working individually and collaboratively on a range of sociologically oriented research projects. High quality research is supported in a number of ways including one full day a week of protected research time throughout the teaching year; an application for one full term of sabbatical leave every two years to enable full-time engagement with research free from teaching and administrative responsibilities; regular Writing Oasis days providing time and support for academic writing; an internal peer review process providing constructively critical feedback on draft publications and grant applicants; and guidance from a research mentor on research profile and career development.

Sport at Durham is a key part of the University’s Estate Strategy which includes a significant programme of investment at Maiden Castle. The facilities will include state-of-the-art sports laboratories which will facilitate the transfer of elements of the Sport, Exercise and Physical Activity undergraduate degree programme to Maiden Castle and underpin the successful development of this programme.


Our People

As a multidisciplinary Department, Academic Staff teach, research and undertake postgraduate supervision across the disciplines that they research. 

For details of our current academic staff please see the following link: