Impactful research

The School of Society and Culture (SSC) is home to a diverse collection of researchers working in the social sciences, humanities and creative arts.
We’re dedicated to advancing knowledge for public benefit, driving meaningful change in our society and enriching communities (be they near us or an ocean away). In line with research in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business, our School's research speaks to 5 major themes:
  • Place, Community and Creativity
  • Heritage, Culture and Digital Innovations 
  • Health, Communities and Well-Being 
  • Environment and Sustainability 
  • UK in A Changing World
Visit the SSC digital repository of staff research to watch short videos from academics working in the School’s disciplines: Anthropology, Art History, Creative Writing, Criminology, Education, English, Environmental Cultures, Heritage, History, International Relations, Law, Politics and Sociology.
The School’s disciplines are grouped into five research units to correlate with the UK REF (Research Excellence Framework). We are especially proud to report that the most recent REF 2021 exercise demonstrated the strength of our research, with the majority of our ‘outputs’ (books, articles, performances), ‘impactful activity’ (for public benefit), and ‘environment’ (including our PhD graduates, and externally-funded grant awards) rated at 3* or 4* (internationally significant or world leading).
Professor Anthony Caleshu
Associate Head of School: Research, Knowledge Exchange, Enterprise
Image descriptions:
1. Professor Annika Bautz (Head of School of Society and Culture), presents her research into Jane Austen and 19th century reading culture at Plymouth’s ‘Festival of Words’.
2. Lecturer in Music, Dr Nuria Bonet, researches Catalan folk instruments from an organological perspective, and prepares for a gig with students at The House, the University’s bespoke performance space.
3. Professor of Early Modern History, James Daybell, alongside Research Fellow, Dr Sam Willis, bring their internationally-lauded podcast, Histories of the Unexpected, to the stage.
4. Professor Anthony Caleshu (Head of Research in the School of Society and Culture), presents findings from his AHRC-funded project, ‘Poetry and Covid-19’, during the European Research Festival.
5. Associate Professor of Criminology, Julie Parsons, partners with LandWorks, an award-winning independent charity providing a supported route back into employment and the community for people in prison or at risk of going to prison.

Research units

Rainbow colourful image of person walking in data, connectivity and innovation. Getty image 1148091270.