Skip to main content

School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school

Search

Supervisors and Topics

PhD researchers in Sociology are allocated a supervisor and a co-supervisor, who will advise on the entirety of the research process, from reading and assembling ideas, to fieldwork, to analysing empirical or theoretical materials, to writing up chapters, to completing the thesis, to the viva which rounds off the process. First supervisors are often experts in the field of study and take responsibility for the day-to-day aspects of supervision. Second supervisors may specialise in aspects of the project, such as the methodology, and usually take a more back-seat role.

There is a regular progress review, to discuss ideas, review progress and provide help and support where necessary. There are also two Postgraduate Advisors in Sociology, who are available to provide advice and deal with any problems, including, very occasionally, concerning the relationship between supervisor and supervisee. The supervisors and the Postgraduate Advisors are there to facilitate the existence of a supportive framework and to promote an active and sustaining research culture for our PhD students.

You are encouraged to contact staff with similar interests to yours and discuss ideas prior to application, but the PG Convenor is happy to comment on draft proposals and suggest supervisors too.

Supervisor Topics Interested in Supervising
Angus Bancroft

Angus Bancroft

I am keen to supervise PhD students in the fields of: illicit drug use and regulation, the darknet, smart drugs, cybercrime, cryptoculture, illicit markets, digital sociology, alcohol, smoking, and policing.
Ross Bond

Ross Bond
Ethnicity & 'race', Scotland, higher education, national identity, migration

I would welcome PhD proposals relating to nationalism and national identities; migration; race and ethnicity; Scottish society and politics; and higher education. Methodologically, much of my research is based on social surveys, both through the analysis of secondary data and the design and implementation of survey questions and questionnaires. I am therefore interested in projects that aim to make use of secondary or primary survey data. I also have wide experience in the conduct and analysis of in-depth interviews, hence proposals centred on a broadly qualitative approach are equally welcome.
Michaelagh Broadbent

Michaelagh Broadbent

Julie Brownlie

Julie Brownlie
Personal lives and social change, sociology of emotions, Researching the everyday, Documents of Life, trust, Document analysis

I would welcome research proposals from students in the following areas: sociology of emotions; everyday lives and researching and conceptualising ‘the ordinary’; globalisation and emotional and personal lives; emotions, policy and politics; digital mediation of emotions and relationships; trust; archival and documentary analysis; researching emotions.
Photo placeholder

Frances Burgess

Shruti Chaudhry

Shruti Chaudhry

Nathan Coombs

Nathan Coombs
Sociological Theory, Financial Markets, Social Studies of Finance, financial regulation, History of Political Thought, Economic Sociology, Social theory

Graham Crow

Graham Crow
Research methods, Interdisciplinary Research, Research Ethics, Research methods and methodological innovations, Comparative, historical, and theoretical sociology, Sociology of families, households and domestic life, Sociology of communities

Karen Dargo

Karen Dargo

Isabelle Darmon

Isabelle Darmon
Sociology of food, sociology of music, Marx, Weber, Cultural Sociology, Environmental Sociology, Sociology of Sustainability, Dynamics of capitalism

I would welcome proposals from research students with interests: - in the sociology of food and everyday consumption practices; - in critical perspectives on sustainability and sustainable lifestyles and in the politics of sustainability; - in the sociology of music and theoretical developments in cultural sociology; - in Weber, Simmel, and the beginnings of German sociology.
Emma Davidson

Emma Davidson
Youth participation, Children's Geographies, ethnography, Youth Justice, Antisocial Behaviour, Public libraries, civil society, child and youth studies, childrens rights, Nvivo, Qualitative Research Methods

I can act as a supervisor or in an informal mentoring role on projects concerning youth transitions, class and inequality; youth work; youth justice; public libraries; as well as students with interests in particular methodologies, including participatory research and collaborative ethnography, computerised qualitative data analysis and use of secondary qualitative data.
Holly Davis

Holly Davis
Sex & Gender, Feminism, Feminist Research, Sociology of Deviancy, Sex Work, Sex workers' rights activism, violence against women, Prostitution, Pimps

Vernon Gayle

Vernon Gayle
Social Stratification, Social statistics, Sociology of youth, Sociology of Education, Migration studies, Fertility, Sociology of Sport, Large and complex datasets, Social surveys, Administrative Data

Hugo Gorringe

Hugo Gorringe
Dalit Politics, Policing, Protest, Social movements, Social Violence, Political Economy of India, Caste, Indian Politics

I am interested in supervising project in 2 main areas and several specific ones: 1. The dyanamics of caste and politics. My interests in particular focus on Tamil politics, Dalit politics across India and the world, and contemporary manifestations and understandings of caste. 2. Social Movement activism and its contexts. I am especially interested in Protest Policing here. Beyond these two I am interested in Social violence(particularly collective violence in India); International Development (NGOs, politics and Social Movements); and social space.
Radhika Govinda

Radhika Govinda
Identity politics, Feminism, Social movements, Gender and Development, intersectionality, Marginality, Indian Politics, South Asian Studies

I welcome the opportunity to supervise research on issues of gender and development, identity politics and and women's activism in the Global South, especially though not exclusively focused on South Asia, and on decolonising (feminist) knowledge production. In the past, I have supervised research on marriage and migration in rural north India. I am currently supervising research on the following topics: - women in the sugar industry in Malawi - women's education and empowerment in Rwanda - women, environment and sustainable development in north-eastern India - women, transnational migration and gated communities in South India - Romani women, intersectionality and nationalist discourses in Central and Eastern Europe - politics of knowledge production - power and social transformation in rural western India
Karen Gregory

Karen Gregory
Digital Sociology, Digital Labor, Gender and Technology, Social media, ethnography, Mixed methods research in social sciences, Sharing Economy, Platform Society, Algorithmic Society, Supply chains and digital infrastructure

I am interested in supervising PhD students in the fields of: digital sociology, digital labor, studies of social media, work and technology, and affective and emotional labor studies.
Tod Van Gunten

Tod Van Gunten
Economic Sociology, Political Sociology, Comparative/Historical Sociology, Social network analysis, International development, Globalization, Sociological Theory, Quantitative Methods, Qualitative Research Methods, Mixed methods research in social sciences

Claire Haggett

Claire Haggett
Sustainability, Environmental Sociology, Community energy, Environment, Participation, renewable energy, energy politics, energy security, discourse analysis

I welcome enquiries about supervision of research on social responses to renewable energy developments (particularly wind farms, wave power, and solar). I am also interested to supervise work from a discourse analytic perspective (from discursive psychology) on a range of topics, but particularly energy, climate change, sustainability, and the media.
Jonathan Hearn

Jonathan Hearn
Theories of social power, the origins and nature of liberal society, social change and evolution, Nationalism and National Identity, The Sociology of Scotland, sociology of competition, Classical sociology and Scottish Enlightenment thought

I am interested in four broad areas: (1) the dynamics of social power (domination, authority, legitimacy) in a variety of social contexts; (2) issues in nationalism and national identity; (3) macrosociology, social evolution and social change; (4) the nature and dynamics of liberal society. More specific topics of recent interest, connected to the above, include: competition, the public/private dichotomy, banking and the economic crisis.
Emma Hill

Emma Hill
Immigration, Politics of Immigration, Scotland, Decolonising approaches, Gender, Communication, Ethnography, Somali Diaspora, Cultural theory, Ethnicity and Race

Mary Holmes

Mary Holmes
Feminism, Social movements, gender, Gender Theory, emotions, Sexuality, friendship

I would be happy to supervise research in any of the following areas: 1. Intimacy and Relationships, especially couple relationships, distance/commuter relationships, friendship, relationality 2. Sociology of emotions, especially emotional reflexivity 3. Gender and Sexuality, especially heterosexuality, feminist theory, gendered embodiment, gendered identities 4. Political Sociology, including social movements (especially Feminism), political dissatisfaction 5. Mobilities and transnationalism, especially transnational relationships
Rachel Howell

Rachel Howell
Sustainability, Promoting lower-carbon practices and lifestyles, Framing and communication of sustainability issues, Responses to energy technologies and policies, Education for Sustainability, Social movements for sustainability

Lynn Jamieson

Lynn Jamieson
Families, personal life, european identity, Social change, oral history, Globalizationsation and personal life, gender, Environment, intimacy, Transgender, transnational families, care chains, friendship, Cosmopolitanism, Memory, identity, gender based violence

Globalisation and social change in personal life and/or in doing gender. This could include transnational families, families and migration, care chains, international adoption, sex tourism, mail order brides, prostitution etc. Any aspect of personal life, intimacy, gender and generational relationships, friendships, family, sexual relationships, sexuality and/or social change. 'Greening of families', anything to do with personal relationships and practices consequential for climate change or sustainabillity, environmental issues, biodiversity and orientations to the natural world. Have also done socio-legal work on rape and can supervise on gender violence. I have also have a more general interest in identity and have done work on European identity and try to keep an eye on debates about global citizenship & cosmopolitianism and would be happy to supervise in this area but perhaps as a second supervisor.
Alexander Janus

Alexander Janus
Family Eldercare, Long-Term Services and Supports, Quantitative Methods

Family Eldercare, Long-Term Services and Supports, Quantitative Analysis, Survey Methodology, Sociology of Aging, Social Gerontology, Social Demography, Sociology of Family, Long-Term Care Policy, Family Policy
Patricia Jeffery

Patricia Jeffery
South Asia, Gender and Development, Communal politics, Muslims in South Asia, Reproductive & child health, Reproductive rights, Childbearing, social demography, Ethnicity & 'race'

I'd particularly welcome the opportunity to supervise PhD students who want to pursue projects that relate to my broad interests in gender and development, especially childbearing, women's reproductive rights, reproductive and child health, social demography; and in aspects of South Asian society, especially gender and communal politics, education and the reproduction of inequality; race and ethnicity. Recently I have supervised theses on education in Nepal, women’s health in Uganda, transnational marriages in Britain and Pakistan, sex workers in Senegal and nurse migration from Nepal. I am currently supervising students working on reproductive health among refugee women in Kenya, early-years provision for children of Bangladeshi origin in Scotland, family violence and women of Pakistani origin in Scotland, long-distance marriage in India, forced marriage in Scotland, children’s participation in India and Scotland and nurse migration from India.
Roger Jeffery

Roger Jeffery
Health policy, Emerging economies and global health, Health systems and global health, Political Economy of India, The Sociology of Scotland

I am now accepting very few new graduate students. I am currently supervising PhD students in the following areas: Child waste-pickers and schooling in Delhi; Female Dalit pradhans in Maharashtra; Indigenous knowledge and crop patents in India; Forest management and carbon in North-East India; nationalist politics in India. Recently completed theses include: On-line activism and the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh; Caste and guru pujas in South India; Gendered spaces in Dooars tea gardens; Old age homes in Goa; Fertility change in Pakistan.
Stephen Kemp

Stephen Kemp
Social theory, the structure/agency problem, actor-network theory, Feminist Theory, rationality, explanation, complexity theory, Risk, epistemology and epistemic justification

I would be very happy to supervise research in any of the following areas: (1) Social theory: including ontological arguments about discourse, performance and structure, debates about the complexity of the social world, the interpretation of social action, and rationality in scientific and everyday contexts. (2) Philosophy of social science: including investigations concerned with the links between theory and research, the impact of politics, power, and values on knowledge, and analyses of progress, explanation and theory testing in social science. (3) Risk: including research addressing Beck's Risk Society thesis, extreme risk-taking, expertise and lay-expert relations, and the gendered aspects of risk perception and action. (4) Sociology of knowledge: including debates around the social character of knowledge, science and gender, and approaches such as the Strong Programme and Actor-Network Theory
James Kennedy

James Kennedy
Comparative/Historical Sociology, Political Sociology, Nationalism and National Identity, Civil Society and Democratization, Liberalism, Scotland, Canada/Quebec

I am keen to supervise research from either a comparative/historical or political sociological perspective. I particularly welcome research proposals on questions of nationalism, civil society or democratization. To date, my supervision has focused around examinations of civil society and nationalism in a range of contexts.
Gëzim Krasniqi

Gëzim Krasniqi
Nationalism, identity politics, State building, Ethnic conflict, Citizenship, Globalization, the Balkans, Kosovo

I would be happy to supervise students working on Nationalism, Nationalist Movements, Ethnic Conflict, Citizenship, Identity, State-Building, Contested States, South East Europe/Balkans, among others. Current and recent Masters and Doctoral supervisions include postgraduate research on: Investigating the (in)visibility of Romani women in Central and Eastern European nationalist discourses; European integration, socio-political behaviours and memory transmission of the Istrian expats in Italy; Integrated or mono-ethnic education in Bosnia and Herzegovina?; Estonian Collective Memory and its Integration into a European Memory; The use of bilingual education policy in constructing nationhood in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region; National Identity of the Chinese Diaspora in the UK; Disciplinary Methods in Schools in Nuwara Eliya; Chinese Nationalism in the Online Gaming World.
Giulia Liberatore

Giulia Liberatore
Islam in Europe, gender, politics of multiculturalism, Somali diaspora, public religion, Islamic authority and leadership, subjectivity, sociology and anthropology of Islam, sociology and anthropology of Britain, migration

Alice Dias Lopes

Alice Dias Lopes
Social Stratification, Social Mobility, Education, inequality and social mobility, Sociology of Education, Latin America, Brazil, Quantitative Methods

John MacInnes

John MacInnes
Quantitative Methods, Research methodology, Social statistics, social demography, Population ageing, Fertility, Mortality, Gender Theory, Work-Life balance, Labour Market, National Identity, Scotland, Catalonia, Spain, Malawi

I welcome enquiries about supervision of research on any aspect of social demography and gender change in contemporary societies, and more generally any topic that uses quantitative methods, espeically the secondary analysis of existing data, to study contemporary social change. I am currently supervising projects on the social participation of older people; gender in karate; the history of the use of statistics in UK sociology and social mobility and education in Scotland.
Donald MacKenzie

Donald MacKenzie
Financial Markets, Sociology of Science and Technology

I'm keen to work with PhD students who have innovative project ideas in fields ranging from the sociology of science and technology to economic sociology (especially the social studies of finance, on which several of my current students are working).
Lisa McCormick

Lisa McCormick
Cultural Sociology, sociology of music, Social theory, civil society, performance theory, death

I would be most helpful to students interested in culture (broadly conceived), music sociology and sociology of the arts; other areas in which I have expertise are microsociology (self, identity and interaction) and the sociology of death. I am most interested in working with postgraduate students pursuing theoretically-driven projects who want to use qualitative methods in their research.
Liz Mcfall

Liz Mcfall

Nasar Meer

Nasar Meer

I would be happy to supervise students working on theoretical, empirical or public policy approaches to the study of Race and Ethnicity; Citizenship, Multiculturalism and Interculturalism; Identity; Religion and Society, Muslim Identities, Media and Public Discourse, and Education, amongst others.
Niamh Moore

Niamh Moore
Feminist theory, ethics and research practices, Feminist Research, Sustainability, women's movements, ecofeminism, archives, Research methodology, oral history, community-based participatory research, Queer Theory, interdisciplinary research, transdisciplinary research, narrative research

I am keen to supervise students interesting in working on ecofeminism, feminist histories, community food growing, sustainability, activism, grassroots and community archives, as well as students with interests in particular methodologies, including oral history, archival research, visual methods, community-based participatory research, more-than-human approaches to research
Kate Orton-Johnson

Kate Orton-Johnson
Digital Culture, New Media, Digital Ethnography, Digital Leisure, Blogging and mediated parenthood, Social media, digital methodologies

I welcome enquiries about supervision of research in the areas of Digital Culture. I have expertise in culture / technology, Digital Leisure, Internet research and innovative methodological uses of web technologies, cultures of learning and e -learning. I have supervised projects relating to these research interests with students working on gaming, gender and web 2.0, humour, gender identities and roller derby, Queer e-perzines and blogs, Blogging fatherhood and HE in South Africa.
Nick Prior

Nick Prior
Popular culture, popular music, digital culture, cultural theory, new media, Pierre Bourdieu, urban sociology, Japanese culture, Hatsune Miku

My research interests span the broad field of culture but I have a particular interest in popular music, contemporary media, including the relationship between digital technology and popular music production, changing forms of cultural expertise, technological mediations and everyday practices. I would welcome proposals from research students with interests in the sociology of culture, but particularly in the following four fields: 1) Popular music, technology and contemporary sonic cultures. 2) Digital culture, media and "new" media. 3) Cultural theory, particularly the cultural sociology of Pierre Bourdieu. 4) Japanese popular culture and music.
Liliana Riga

Liliana Riga

Michael Rosie

Michael Rosie
The Sociology of Scotland, Secularisation, nationalism, Religious Identity, national identity, Nationalism and National Identity, Sectarianism, Politics and Religion, Loyalism, unionism

I welcome proposals from prospective research students with interests in political and historical sociology, particularly as relates to identity, nationalism, religion, ethnicity, belonging, and the politics of 'intolerance'. Areas in which I have a particular interest include nationalism and national identity; the political sociology of Scotland; (ir)religious identities in secularising societies; national and localised identities; the politics of prejudice and 'sectarianism'; Scottish Loyalism; and policing and political protest.
Emilia Sereva

Emilia Sereva
Process Sociology, Norbert Elias, Social theory, Long-term processes, Family businesses

Taylor Spears

Taylor Spears
Social Studies of Finance, Derivatives Markets, Economic Sociology, Sociology of Organisations, Fair Value Accounting, Mathematical Modelling

Jeroen Spijker

Jeroen Spijker
Demography, Population research use, Sociology of social groups (Family, kinship and marriage), Population Characteristics, Population health, Population ageing

PhD and MSc in Sociology in the field of social demography and ageing.
Liz Stanley

Liz Stanley
Historical sociology, feminist theory, sociological theory, social change, narrative & auto/biographical methodologies, South Africa, 'Documents of life', in particular letters and diaries, everyday life sociology, Norbert Elias & figurational sociology

* Historical sociology - any aspect of theory & research * Feminist theory, in particular by Dorothy Smith, Simone de Beauvoir & Olive Schreiner * Norbert Elias & figurational sociology * Intersectional theory & research - gender, class, 'race' * South Africa, both the post-1994 period & any aspect of its past * Narrative theory & methodology * Documents of Life and everyday sociology. I've supervised over 85 PhDs to successful conclusion and welcome inquiries and proposals for doctoral research in any area of sociologial research that connects with my research interests and publications.
M. Angélica Thumala Olave

M. Angélica Thumala Olave
Cultural Sociology, Sociology of Religion, Consumption, Gender and Development, Catholicism, Secularisation, Elites, Culture and society in Latin America, Sociology of reading and writing

Cultural sociology, culture and society in Latin America, elites, religion, narrative identity, morality, the sociology of reading and writing.
Gil Viry

Gil Viry
Spatial mobility, Family relationship, space and spatiality, Social network analysis, life course research, Quantitative Methods

I welcome inquiries and proposals for doctoral research, in relation to any area of sociologial research that connects with one or more of my research interests: All forms of spatial mobility (travel, migration, commuting), Family in space, Distance relationships, Family and personal networks, Social network analysis, Life course research.
Janette Webb

Janette Webb
Sustainability, economic sociology, energy and society, cities, European heat and energy efficiency policy and practice, energy governance

I welcome enquiries about research on energy and society, sustainable cities, local energy governance and organisation (LEGO) and climate change.
Sophia Woodman

Sophia Woodman
Citizenship, human rights and social movements; contemporary China; law and society; regional autonomy frameworks; migration and translocality.

I am interested in supervising students doing research on topics in political sociology, including citizenship, human rights and social movements, particularly those that have ecological or gender angles, or seek to analyze welfare regimes. I welcome projects using innovative methodologies, such as action research. I'm especially open to projects that have transnational engagements and/or relate to China or other parts of Asia.
white image