Sociology and Social Policy


Postgraduate studies in Sociology and Social Policy will enhance your understanding of contemporary society, emerging social issues, and national and international developments in social policy.

Sociology is the study of human behaviour and patterns of social interaction in their institutional, organisational and cultural settings.  Sociological research at the University of Sydney emphasises both an historical and comparative approach to understanding the modern world and contemporary social issues. Staff in the department of Sociology and Social Policy have expertise in a large number of research areas and are currently working on a range of specific research projects, commissioned consultancies and publications.  The department encourages a culture of research and debate, and fosters research through individual and collaborative research development amongst staff, and through the development of a strong postgraduate research degree program.


Professor Danielle Celermajer, Associate Professor Salvatore Babones, Dr Craig Browne, Associate Professor Catriona Elder, Dr Amanda Elliot, Dr Fiona Gill, Professor Michael Humphrey, Professor Karl Maton, Dr Rebecca Scott Bray, Associate Professor Fran Collyer, Associate Professor Melinda Cooper, Professor Robert van Krieken, Dr Susan Banki, Dr Jennifer Wilkinson, Dr Greg Martin, Dr Elisabeth Valiente-Riedl, Professor Nicola Piper, Dr Dinesh Wadiwel, Dr Karen O'Brien, Dr Sonja van Wichelen, Dr David Bray, Professor Mike Michael, Associate Professor Jean Jonathan Bogais, Professor Sujatha Fernandes, Dr Nadine Ehlers

Research Location

Department of Sociology and Social Policy, School of Social and Political Sciences (SSPS)

Program Type




The Department of Sociology and Social Policy has research strengths that result from team and collaborative work undertaken by senior and emerging scholars as well as postgraduate students. These dynamic research clusters engage with many of the key issues in contemporary society, as listed below. For a full description of these research strength areas, and current research projects, see Research Clusters. The supervisor links above will take you to more information for each researcher.

Migration and Globalisation
Researchers: Stephen Castles, Nicola Piper, Catriona Elder, Christine Inglis, Susan Banki, Salvatore Babones, Sonja van Wichelen.  
See also: Multicultural and Migration Research Centre, Social Transformation and International Migration

Health and the BioSciences
Researchers: Nadine Ehlers, Mike Michael, Fran Collyer, Melinda Cooper, Beatriz Carrillo Garcia, Kirsten Harley, Deborah Lupton, Sonja van Wichelen.
See also: Biopolitics of Science research network, Charles Perkins Centre

Social Theory
Researchers: Craig Browne, David Bray, Karl Maton, Jennifer Wilkinson, Robert van Krieken, Melinda Cooper, Fran Collyer, Danielle Celermajer, Michael Humphrey, Deirdre Howard Wagner, Nadine Ehlers.

Human Rights, Democratisation and Justice
Researchers: Susan Banki, Danielle Celermajer, Michael Humphrey, Deirdre Howard-Wagner, Dinesh Wadiwel, Nicola Piper, Elisabeth Valiente-Riedl, Karen O'Brien, Sonja van Wichelen, Jonathan Bogais.
See also:The Sydney Social Justice Project, Master of Human Rights, Master of Human Rights and Democratisation

Socio-Legal Studies and Criminology
Researchers: Robert van Krieken, Rebecca Scott Bray, Greg Martin, Deirder Howard Wagner, Michael Humphrey, Karen O'Brien, Sonja van Wichelen.
See also: Sydney Institute of Criminology

Social Policy, Inclusion and Inequality
Researchers: Amanda Elliot, Gyu-Jin Hwang, Salvatore Babones, David Bray, Beatriz Carrillo Garcia, Dinesh Wadiwel, Karen O'Brien, Nicola Piper, Jonathan Bogais.
See also: Social Policy Research Network, China Studies Centre

Identity, Belonging and Culture
Researchers: Catriona Elder, Fiona Gill, Jennifer Wilkinson, Amanda Elliot, Rebecca Scott Bray, Greg Martin, Robert van Krieken, Karen O'Brien, Sonja van Wichelen.

Sociology of Knowledge and Education
Researchers: Fran Collyer, Karl Maton, Karen O'Brien.

Additional Information

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social policy, social interaction, social movements, law and justice, religion, gender, sexuality, colonialism, social theory, migration and globalisation, race/ethnicity and migration, transnationalism, health and medical sociology, biopolitics, health policy, theories of knowledge and culture, human rights, democratisation and justice, refugees, Indigenous social and legal justice, gender and rights, socio-legal studies and criminology, terrorism, inclusion and inequality, identity, belonging and culture, Feminism, popular culture, quantitative and qualitative methodologies

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 463

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