Citizenship, Society and Justice

Our research explores and addresses the problems of citizenship and social justice.

With a range of expertise across many fields, we work with our community, private and public services, and policymakers. Together, we carry out transdisciplinary research into the causes of social polarisation, inequality, disadvantage and exclusion. Using innovative methodologies, we’re developing solutions that positively contribute to our community, our country and our world. Our UCLan Research Institute of Citizenship, Society and Change leads some of our most influential research. Working in civic renewal, sustainability and culture we explore where violence and exploitation meet public systems of regulation and protection. As part of our commitment to social justice, our Criminal Justice Partnership produces research in mental health, policing, prisons, youth justice and violence and aggression.

Areas of Research Strength

Green wheat growing in a field

Applied Public Health

Research in applied public health covers elements of health protection and health promotion. This research also links with the UCLan Research Themes for Sustainability, Business and Enterprise and People, Place and Environment. It spans nutrition and food safety and the promotion of improved health and wellbeing.

Applied public health research
Crime scene investigation: dusting for prints

Criminal Justice

Research in relation to criminal justice encompasses a broad range of disciplines across the university, including cybercrime, policing, forensic psychology, forensic science, criminology, nursing, social policy, social work and law. Much of this research falls under the remit of our Criminal Justice Partnership.

Explore criminal justice
Business apprenticeships groupwork

Economics, Business and Society

Our research explores the impact of economic and business activity upon the wider society. This includes enhancing supply chain efficiency and the enhancement of business performance, alongside the evaluation of local economic development initiatives such as the ‘Preston Model’ of community wealth building, and the economic impact of Brexit.

Explore this research strength
Abstract artwork depicting a web of connections between different people

Ethics and Justice

Justice, equity and fairness are values that humans have aspired to throughout the ages and across the world. Yet, how to make research itself and societies at large fairer and more ethical requires sophisticated interdisciplinary work and sustained, long-term engagement with research beneficiaries. Our reputation in this field means we are invited to work with the World Health Organisation, UNESCO and many international government advisory bodies.

Ethics and justice research
Two people consult a chart at an archaeology dig site

Field Archaeology and Forensic Taphonomy

Research in this area has a firm emphasis on scientific analysis and encompasses work in archaeology, forensic anthropology and forensic genetics. Our academics undertake exciting global archaeological activity, in places such as world-renowned sites from Orkney to California, working with the police and pathologists, and DNA profiling.

Find out more
UCLan Harris Building

International Law

This includes the studies of maritime law in the South China Seas, laws on piracy and smuggling, as well as new research into cybercrime, linking with our Criminal Justice Partnership and Law. Our research influences law, policy and practice at national and international levels, such as the World Health Organisation and the European Court of Human Rights.

Explore international law
Police officers on patrol


The strategy for this area is to provide evidence-based policing research by combining our academic strength and expertise with outcomes that directly impact real-world policing within the UK and across the world.

Discover our policing research
Psychology researcher wearing test equipment while working at a computer


This area has a focus on both theory and evidence-based research and multidisciplinary collaboration. Key research strengths relate to the three broad topics of Perception, Cognition and Neuroscience; Forensic Psychology and Quality of Life, including the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience (DCN) Research Laboratory. We have national and international links including NHS Trusts, allied health professionals, police forces, and Local Education Authorities.

Explore our psychology research
Social workers smiling at a conference event

Social Work and Social Policy

Our research in social work and social policy is innovative and benefits from expertise across many fields, with a strong commitment to reflecting the realities of people’s lives and providing a foundation for development of policy and practice. We work with arts organisations, museums and public institutions of health, welfare and security. We aim to inform policy and practice and are also closely involved with our Criminal Justice Partnership, leading in the area of Youth Justice.

Read more

Related links