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The Department of Social and Political Science is located in the Faculty of Social Science at the University of Chester.

There is a vibrant research culture in the department with staff engaging in research of both national and international significance. Research and scholarship has developed and flourished around a number of key areas in the department including: Criminology, Sociology, Politics, Economics, International Relations, Counselling and Psychotherapy, and Psychological Trauma. MPhil/PhDs are offered in these areas and a Doctor of Professional Studies (DProf) programme is also available.

The Department is also proactive in developing and disseminating research through a research seminar series. Doctoral candidates are encouraged to present at national and international conferences, and to publish their work as part of the doctoral process.

Research Areas

Within the department there are a breadth of skills and research interests specifically in the following areas:

Division of Counselling and Psychotherapy

Counselling Practice; Metaphor in Therapy; Trauma and Attachment; Suicide and Self Harm; Managing Transitions; Gender Dimensions in Counselling; Spirituality in Counselling; Social and Cultural Context of Counselling; and Bereavement.


Mental Health and Criminal Justice Convergence; Crime, Harm and Victimisation; Crime, Continuities and Change; Gender, Sexuality and Violence; Age and the Criminal Justice System; and the Coronial Process.

Politics and International Relations

Globalisation and Neo-Liberalism; Complexity Theory; International Relations; Contested Concepts of Security; Politics in South-East Asia; Corporate Social Responsibility; Political Communication and Marketing; Politics of sustainability; Anarchism; and Security Studies.


Sociology of Health, Disease and Disability; Migration; Care Related Technologies; Family and Kinship; Sociology of Gender Identity; Sociology of Occupations and Work; Mobilities, Sustainability and Transport; Sociology of Cycling; Social Movements; Sociology of Emotion; Globalisation and ‘Hoodies’.


Environmental Economics and Policy (including natural resource economics, energy economics and climate change); Behavioural and Experimental Economics; Sustainable Development; the Green Economy (green jobs, green budgets); Public Expenditure; European Union Economics; and International Trade and Growth.

Centre for Research and Education in Psychological Trauma 

The Centre for Research and Education in Psychological Trauma (CREPT) is based within the department and actively engages in research in areas related to psychological trauma. Current areas of interest are: The Use of Mindfulness and Compassionate Mind Training in Working With Traumatic Responses; Mindfulness as Stress Inoculation; Supervising Trauma Therapists; and Trauma Within the Context of Child Physical Healthcare. Recent and on-going research projects in the department include studies of:

  • Knitting and new craft
  • Street gang identities
  • Young people with complex neurodisability and technology dependence
  • Participatory visual ethnography
  • Homophobic hate crime
  • Managing risk and suicide in Counselling
  • Self-inflicted death, care practitioners and coroners’ courts
  • Conflicts over road use
  • Complexity theory and international relations
  • Leaky bodies
  • Same-sex parenthood and family life
  • Gender roles and public space
  • Clergy wellbeing and support

As well as expert supervisors, students have access to study space, are able to make full use of the library facilities, have access to specialist software for both quantitative and qualitative analysis, and are encouraged to attend regular departmental and faculty level research seminars and workshops.

Entry Months

These Research Degrees usually commence annually in October, February and May.


The Department warmly welcomes enquiries from potential research students interested in any of our research areas. Initial enquiries can be made to the Head of Department, Dr Paul Taylor, who will be able to assist in the application process, and to ensure availability of appropriate supervision. Professor Peter Gubi is able to deal with enquiries relating to the DProf or MPhil/PhD.