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Psychosocial Research Unit

We provide psychosocially informed research and evaluation services to socially engaged arts organisations, museums and others. We also research policies, practices and histories of public mental health, care and prison systems, and the third sector. We are founding members of the Association of Psychosocial Studies.

PRU’s work for its partners cuts across four of UCLan’s research themes:

Farrier, Alan; Dooris, Mark T; and Froggett, Lynn (2019) Five Ways to Wellbeing: holistic narratives of public health programme participants. Global Health Promotion, 26 (3). pp. 71-79.

Froggett, L; Muller, L; Bennett, J. (2019) The work of the audience: visual matrix methodology in museums. Cultural Trends 28 Issue 2-3 pp.162-176

Froggett, Lynn, Kelly-Corless, Laura and Manley, Julian Y (2019) Feeling Real and Rehearsal for Reality: psychosocial aspects of Forum, Theatre in care settings and in prison. Journal of Psychosocial Studies, 12 (1-2). pp. 23-39.

Bennett, J, Froggett, L, Kenning, G, Manley, J, and Muller, L, (2019) Memory Loss and Scenic Experience: An Arts Based Investigation. Forum: Qualitative Social Research Sozialforschung, 20 (1). ISSN 1438-5627

Carr, S. Spandler, H. (2019). Hidden from history? A brief modern history of the psychiatric “treatment” of lesbian and bisexual women in England. The Lancet Psychiatry. 11th February 2019. 1

Dooris, M. T, Farrier, A, and Froggett, L. (2018) Wellbeing: The Challenge of ‘Operationalising’ an Holistic Concept within a Reductionist Public Health Programme. Perspectives in Public Health, 138 (2). pp. 93-99. ISSN 1757-9139

Froggett, L. (2018) Participant Experience in Art-Sport: Additive? Interactive? Transformative? in Sport in Society, Published online: 21 Feb 2018.

Manley, Julian and Roy, Alastair Neil (2017) The visual matrix: a psycho-social method for discovering unspoken complexities in social care practice. Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society, 22 (2). pp. 132-153. ISSN 1088-0763

Muller, L., Froggett, L., Bennett, J. (2018) Emergent knowledge in the third space of art-science, Leonardo 0, Vol 0, pp. 1-11.

Roy, Alastair Neil (2016) Learning on the move: exploring work with vulnerable young men through the lens of movement. Applied Mobilities, 1 (2). pp. 207-218. ISSN 2380-0127

Roy, Alastair Neil and Buchanan, Julian (2016) The Paradoxes of Recovery Policy: Exploring the Impact of Austerity and Responsibilisation for the Citizenship Claims of People with Drug Problems in Social Policy & Administration. ISSN 01445596

Spandler, H. Mckeown, M (2017) Exploring the case for truth and reconciliation in mental health services. Mental Health Review Journal 22.2: 83-94

We are currently working with three ‘Creative People and Places’ arts-based projects and three national portfolio organisations, all in the north west of England and funded by Arts Council England:

The Harris Museum, Art Gallery and Library (Preston)
F.A.C.T. (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) in Liverpool
St. Helen’s Council Library Service
Heart of Glass, St. Helens
Super Slow Way, Pennine Lancashire
LeftCoast, Blackpool and Wyre

Please follow us on Twitter for news and information about forthcoming events.

We provide Masters and PhD supervision. Please use the contact details above if you are interested in supervision.

We provide teaching on the following modules:

  • SW3074 - Psychosocial Studies, Level 6 (20 credits) on BA (Hons) Social Work
  • To develop research capacity in psychosocial studies, in health, welfare, the cultural sector, social innovation and organisational dynamics
  • To develop practice-congruent research in collaboration with regional and national health and social care providers, the socially engaged arts and organisations concerned with innovation in the public realm
  • To develop a distinctive profile in psychosocial research in health, welfare, social innovation and the arts through a coherent portfolio of funded research and evaluation projects, publications, seminars and workshops and research degrees
  • To provide research-based input into postgraduate and undergraduate teaching programmes in areas of research expertise
  • To contribute to research degree supervision and training substantively and methodologically.
  • To develop international links, networks and research collaboration in health, welfare, the arts and the study of organisations
  • To become a recognised national centre of excellence in psychosocial research in health, welfare, the arts and organisations
  • Community and Public Sphere: We aim to produce critical research which challenges the status quo and provides people, organisations and institutions with an evidence base that supports participation in community and society
  • Health and Wellbeing: Our research projects are directly focussed on mental health and general states of wellbeing in health, social care and community settings. Our research contributes to a greater appreciation of the factors which successfully underpin initiatives designed to enhance mental health and well-being.
  • Policy: Our research directly influences policy making forums through the dissemination of results to national, regional and local policy makers, and our targeting of key groups who put policy into practice
  • Practice Development: We work in partnership with the agencies that provide the sites for our research to co-produce knowledge, feed back results and develop recommendations.
  • Publications: We aim to publish our research in a range of formats and forums which are accessible to the public and to academic audiences. Reports for commissioners of research are uploaded onto relevant websites and findings are published as articles in peer reviewed academic journals.
  • Seminars: PRU runs a monthly seminar series during the academic year called Imagination & Inquiry. The impact of the seminars is emphasised through their inter-disciplinary nature, their dual experiential and academic modes of communication, their wide and varied audience, from within and outside the university, and by regular visits from academics, artists and practitioners to share knowledge in different ways.
  • Conferences and Networks: Researchers in PRU regularly give papers to colleagues in other academic settings nationally and internationally. We have played a key role in building a number of cross-disciplinary networks and consortia out of which have come funding applications and publication programmes. PRU is organising and hosting the 1st Conference of the Association for Psychosocial Studies in 2014.
  • Teaching and learning: PRU supports research informed teaching by feeding research methods and expertise into teaching programmes and post-graduate supervision in the university. It leads the core Psychosocial Studies Course for Social Work Students.
  • Workshops and training: PRU offers different levels of dissemination. Our workshops are designed to develop the applications of our research in dialogue with practitioner communities. In some cases, we create and supply training in new methodologies that have been developed for practical applications.
  • Knowledge Transfer: PRU has developed the first Knowledge Transfer Partnership within the School of Social Work. This three year project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council is using innovative methods to develop new knowledge about recovery oriented models of care in the field of substance misuse.
  • Our work with the socially engaged arts provides a means of linking the development of assessing emotional and aesthetic appreciation to community building and urban economic regeneration. We are also developing research in the third sector.
  • Procedures: PRU creates resources for consultancy and training in its areas of research.

PRU is always looking to expand its interdisciplinary work with other Schools and Faculties. Psychosocial Studies is inherently multidisciplinary.

Other UCLan Research Centres: