Friday, 19 July 2013


The graduation ceremonies for finalists in sociology and crimonology took place earlier this month.  Here is a lovely picture of the day, sent to us by Sarah-Nicole (pictured with staff from our school).  A number of other images of graduation have been posted on our facebook page.

Add caption

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

PhD studentship opportunity in Criminology

We are pleased to announce that Keele University, along with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner Staffordshire are funding a PhD studentship to run from three years from October 2013.

The successful candidate will research the effectiveness of an educational alternative to a fixed penalty for the offence of driving whilst using a mobile phone. In December 2003 a law came into force to prohibit drivers using a hand held mobile phone while driving. The principal hazard of phone use while driving is that it distracts the driver, taking their attention away from the task of driving. Research has found that drivers' reaction times were 50% slower when using a mobile phone.  The reactions of a mobile phone user are worse than those of a drunk driver.

Most drivers caught using a mobile phone whilst driving are dealt with by way of a £60 fine and receive three penalty points on their licence. However, drivers caught in Staffordshire may be offered the chance to attend ‘Crash Course' as an alternative to paying the fine and receiving penalty points. Preliminary analysis of reconviction data for this offence suggest that diversion may be a more effective way of changing driver behaviour. Thus, whilst early indications of the effectiveness of the course are good, a thorough, longitudinal evaluation is needed in order to explore the effectiveness of the scheme in a robust fashion, as well as the processes by which any change is achieved. The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner Staffordshire and Keele University are jointly funding this studentship to carry out this research.

Duration and eligibility:
This studentship, which it is hoped will begin towards the end of September 2013, is for three years in duration.  Applicants should hold an honours degree in a relevant subject and have experience of carrying out and analysing quantitative research.  A postgraduate degree and/or knowledge and awareness of road traffic enforcement or educational interventions would be desirable.

The successful application will work under the guidance of Dr Helen Wells (Lecturer in Criminology), Dr Clare Griffiths (Lecturer in Criminology), and Dr Alex Lamont (Senior Lecturer in Psychology), as well as benefitting from input from Staffordshire Police.

The studentship funding for 3 years and includes a fee waiver (at UK/EU fee levels - £3,905 for 2013/14) and stipend of £13,726 per annum.  Full details and the online application form are available here. The closing date for applications is Monday 5th August 2013 and interviews will take place on 19th or 20th August 2013.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Excellent results for Sociology and Criminology at Keele

Sociology and Criminology at Keele continue to achieve excellent scores in national league tables. For example, in the Complete University Guide for 2014 Sociology was placed 16th of 92 Departments across the UKThis score including a ranking of 11th in terms of students satisfaction, 12th in terms of research, and 15th where student prospects are concerned. Criminology fared even better in the Social Policy category, ranking overall 9th of 58 Departments. 

This rating includes a position of 8th in the UK for student prospects. These are overall excellent results and we are pleased that we continue to rank so highly in national league tables in both teaching and research.

This week we will also be celebrating the achievements of our final year students at the graduation ceremonies. We will post some images from the graduation days as soon as we can.  Old, new, and prospective students can keep in touch with us via our Facebook page and Twitter account.  Our school website is here.  

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Muslims in the UK Media

Dr Siobhan Holohan (Sociology) and Dr Elizabeth Poole (Media, Communications and Culture) attended the International Association for Media and Communication Research Annual Conference held at Dublin City University last week. The conference was opened by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, who addressed the conference theme, Crises, ‘Creative Destruction’ and the Global Power and Communication Orders, by talking about the impact of the global financial crisis on media and public communication. In addressing this this issue Holohan and Poole presented work from their recent British Council funded Muslims in the European Mediascape Project. Unpacking the extent to which the current climate of austerity adds to tension between communities in the UK, they considered how far the production and use of alternative channels of communication can challenge mainstream media narratives. In their papers they noted that despite the existence of an alternative media, narratives produced by the mainstream media continue to dominate the discursive landscape. They argued that such narratives problematise Muslim communities and closely follow political accounts that speak to the failure of multiculturalism, while at the same time promoting a cohesive community agenda that seeks to impose dominant 'British' values.

Siobhan Holohan convenes the Ethnicities and Migration Research Group at Keele.