Established in 1990, the Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC) is an interdisciplinary, cross-departmental centre, initiating and supporting high quality research of national and international standing. We aim to investigate and raise awareness on a range of social and public policy issues, with a particular emphasis on social justice. Using innovative methodologies, we produce evidence and provide cutting-edge analysis in order to contribute to academic debates, inform policy-development and make a real impact on local, national and international practice. Our key areas of work are:
- Inequality and discrimination. Our expertise relates to equality as a human right and to all forms of discrimination, including those on the grounds of gender, age, class, race, religion, disability and sexual orientation. We also investigate intersections of discrimination grounds at international comparative level.
- Community engagement and activism. We work on the changing needs of diverse communities, including access to the labour market and to public services such as advice, care, health and education. We explore the role of community groups, social movements, feminist movements and minority organisations in promoting change and social justice.
- Migration and citizenship. Our work covers theoretical, sociological and policy aspects of migration at local and global level. Areas of long-term focus include diasporas, migrant communities and integration, which we combine with an active engagement with major current issues such as intra-EU migration and ‘refugee crises’ and more generally migration and global challenges.
- Research methods and data analysis. Members of the SPRC have expertise in mixed methods and innovative approaches to research, including visual research, GIS, Social Network Analysis, photo elicitation, narrative interviews and large scale surveys. We offer expert advice on data handling and project evaluations.
Teaching and Employability
The SPRC actively promotes the development of social and public policy and research methods teaching at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. One of our priorities is to ensure that the research and knowledge transfer activities we undertake feed directly into Middlesex University programmes and offer opportunities for academic and professional learning for our students. In order to achieve this, we:
- support the development of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes;
- work in collaboration with colleagues to regularly update teaching materials;
- organise visits to and guest lectures from our national and international partners;
- provide internship opportunities at the SPRC and NGOs and other organisations;
- offer CPD courses to our students and practitioners, including bespoke courses. This is also achieved through undergraduate and postgraduate modules, including the ‘Work Integrated Learning’ and the ‘Practicum in International Organisations’;
- build on existing Erasmus partnerships to offer international opportunities to our students and attract students from abroad.
In addition, the SPRC supports postgraduate research students through supervisions and the delivery of masterclasses and workshops on research methods and subject specific issues.