Department of Sociology

Our research

A row of old looking library books

Robust research shaping sociology and society

We are one of the top 20 Sociology Departments in the UK for research excellence (REF 2014, mainstream universities, THE 2014). Our academic staff are experts in their fields, developing new theoretical and methodological approaches to understand the dynamics of social life.

We work with Departments across the University and around the world, collaborating on cutting edge research. When students join the Department they become part of this lively research community, as they learn how to understand and challenge the world. Our research helps to shape society today; our work has helped to inform the UN, government departments, think tanks and public bodies around the world on issues as diverse as the rights of indigenous peoples, the regulation of the building industry, and organised crime and terrorism.

Our Department houses four research centres and five research clusters. We work particularly closely with the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER); a multidisciplinary research institute featuring world-leading expertise in quantitative analysis, survey methods and a strong portfolio of work on social policy. Our close working relationship with ISER provides our students with a unique and valuable research resource and unrivalled postgraduate study opportunities.

Use the links below to visit our cutting edge research structures and learn more about the exciting research which is taking place within the Department.


Our research centres

 Our research centres focus on specific areas of interest, whilst collaborating on research across the University and around the world: 

Our research clusters

 Our research falls around five broad categories which are reflective of the strengths of the Department:

A row of old looking library books
Explore our research

Discover cutting edge research from the University of Essex. Browse our site to find relevant publications, projects, groups, centres, postgraduate opportunities for research supervision and wider areas of interest. Simply search our site to find information relating to your subject.

Search our research

Highlights of our research


Our academic staff regularly publish books on a wide range of topics. Their most recent work includes:


Our academic staff regularly publish work in leading journals. Examples of their most recent work include: 


Our academic staff frequently feature within the wider press and media. Below are some examples of their latest appearances:

Research projects

Our academics are actively working on many exciting research projects:

Research showcases

Research from the Department of Sociology examines key issues which help to shape our society. Read the research showcases which highlight the prestigious work of our academics:

Contact us
Contact us
Departmental Director of Research Dr Neli Demireva
University of Essex
Department of Sociology University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, CO4 3SQ
Telephone: 01206 873275