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We are committed to the principles of human rights and social justice, and aim to promote the health and wellbeing of disadvantaged children and adults in everything that we do.

Many of the staff in the department came into the academic world after many years working in education or welfare services for individuals, families and communities provided by local authorities, health trusts and voluntary sector organisations across the UK and further afield. We are committed to the principles of human rights and social justice and aim to promote the education, health and wellbeing of disadvantaged children and adults in everything that we do.

Our internationally recognised research, which aims to make a positive difference to the lives of disadvantaged individuals, groups and communities, is based on the belief that understanding their lives and circumstances, as well as how to overcome any challenges that they face, is best developed by working collaboratively. Much of our research is undertaken in partnership with local communities and those who provide them with support, including carers, professionals and volunteers. It aims to give a voice to those who are otherwise likely to go unheard in order to evaluate existing provision and services and co-produce insights into social problems and how to address them.

Areas of research expertise

Childhood and Early Years

We conduct research into the protection, welfare and development of children and young people, and the practitioners who work with them.

Community Health and Wellbeing

Our research focuses on the needs of vulnerable groups and how they are being addressed through a variety of community-based initiatives and agencies. We also conduct research on mental health and disability. Much of our work has a particular focus on participatory ways of engaging with diverse groups.

Education and Lifelong Learning

We undertake research into all areas of education and lifelong learning, including schools, post-compulsory and higher education. We have particular expertise in school collaboration, vocational education, education policy and assessment for learning.     

Social Work and Social Care

Our research examines mental capacity, advocacy, safeguarding and working in the best interests of a wide sample of vulnerable groups.

Postgraduate Research

Current postgraduate students are conducting research in a range of areas including mental capacity, advocacy, safeguarding, school readiness, and professional learning.

Discover more about Postgraduate Research Degrees



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Research at Northumbria

Research at Northumbria

Research is the life blood of a University and at Northumbria University we pride ourselves on research that makes a difference; research that has application and affects people's lives.


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