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Research in Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies

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STaCS is a UK leader in the fields of professional development and widening participation.

STaCS draws on research synergies between three inter-related areas: Social Work, Community and Youth Work, and a range of therapeutic disciplines. These draw variously on sociology, social policy, psychosocial studies, politics, community development, counselling and psychology.

Research and knowledge paradigms are used creatively across and between areas to provide dynamic, change-oriented research. STaCS also has an internationally leading specialism in contemporary religion and belief in the public sphere. This has pioneered the fast-growing area of religious literacy, emphasising the interface, not between people of different faiths, but between a secular-minded public sphere and a religiously diverse public.

Research clusters

The department has three key research clusters developed to maximise its interdisciplinary strength:

  •     Community Engagement and Faith Communities
  •     Diversity and Marginalisation in Professional Education
  •     Professional Interventions for Empowerment


Research Centres and initiatives

The department has two research centres, and two initiatives, designed to engage a range of stakeholders, from academics to politicians and policy makers; and to develop partnerships with National and Local Government and Third Sector organisations.


Research students

The department regards research students as integral to its strategy of change-oriented research and practice. Alongside full-time research students, the majority are part-time, being drawn from professional backgrounds and continuing in their careers with the aim of creating change.

  •     Research opportunities
  •     Current research students