Researching the Health and Human Sciences

Our researchers are continually working to tackle the challenges facing the health and social care system across the full range of areas, from biomedical studies, service organisation, workforce practices and public health through to policy and ethics.  Our findings are crucial in identifying how best to make the changes and adaptations necessary for these services.  As forerunners in our field, the College is well placed to respond rapidly to changes in the delivery of care, whilst also establishing links with the main service providers in Wales, such as the NHS.  In addition to training the next generation of researchers, our research also directly informs the studies of our undergraduate students ensuring the next generation of practitioners has the latest knowledge at their fingertips.

Like all Universities across the UK, the quality of our research was assessed in 2014.  The Research Excellent Framework/REF exercise carried out in 2014 highlighted the research expertise both across the College and also Swansea University, as well as recognising its robust research culture.  Swansea University has long been known for the excellence of its Science and Engineering, but the REF outcome shows we are now amongst the leaders in the UK for the excellence of our research in the Arts and Humanities and the Social Sciences.  The results were a huge endorsement of Swansea University’s development and investment plans over the past few years, and among the research-intensive institutions, Swansea University made the biggest leap, from joint 52nd position to joint 26th.

Across the whole College our research consistently rated as being of the highest quality, with almost 80% of papers and articles capturing world-leading or internationally excellent research. This was particularly evident for our researchers in ageing studies, social work and social carework, who were the best in Wales for the originality, significance and rigour of their research, while also being ranked 14th in the UK.  Psychology also demonstrated excellence, being ranked in the UK top-30 in its field and the first in the UK for the impact of its research.  While our nursing and health sciences research could be seen to demonstrate that all of the impact from its research was of world-leading and internationally excellent quality. Visit the University web pages for further information on the REF2014.

All research is delivered through our discipline focussed research centres covering fields such as child research, ageing, psychology, social care, social policy, allied health professions and nursing.  In doing so, we have secured funding from a number of prestigious funding bodies in recent years such as the Welsh Government, NHS Wales, Health Foundation, Research Councils, British Academy, Leverhulme Trust, Wellcome Trust, Ministry of Defense, the pharmaceutical industry, Tenovus, Multiple Sclerosis Society and the National Institute for Health Research.

Ensuring service users and carers inform, and benefit from, research is a priority for all our researchers, and the Service User and Carer Involvement Group was created with this ethos in mind.  We also strive to exploit research findings to bring about real-life benefits, and examples of areas in which we have improved health and well-being can be found here

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Collaborative Links

Collaborative links and partners are highly important to our research, and have been fostered throughout the Welsh policy, voluntary, and healthcare sectors at all levels.

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Professor David Hughes is co-editor of Sociology of Health & Illness.