Department of Public Health, Policy, and Social Sciences


The Department of Public Health, Policy, and Social Sciences includes staff from a wide range of professional and occupational backgrounds.

The skills, knowledge and experience of all staff members are evident within their portfolio of collaborative research, service innovation and practice development.

The Department of Public Health, Policy, and Social Sciences has 54 full and part time members of academic staff. The diverse expertise of the staff is widely recognised as contributing to a range of courses at all levels across the university. This includes meeting the Welsh Government’s strategic needs in developing services for public health, primary care and social care. 

The Department's research activity is focused on:

1) social policy

2) service delivery and organisation (improvement science and mental health services)

3) maternal & infant health

In addition there are other staff including honorary lecturers, consultant nurses, clinical seconded teachers, practice teachers and academic support staff who contribute to the work of the department through teaching, consultancy or research.

Our teams

Health and Social Policy

The team are responsible for the supervision of postgraduate research students studying for the award of PhD. Staff expertise includes Children and Young People, Health Sciences, Health Care Management, Health Economics, Public Health, and Social Policy. This team also offers teaching in the social sciences; management, public health, research methods, psychology, social policy and health economics. It is responsible for the BSc in Social Policy which runs as both a Single Honours and Joint Honours programme with Criminology, Social History, Geography and Politics. The team is also responsible for MSc in Health Care Management, MSc Public Health and Partnerships in Care, MA Childhood Studies and MA Developmental and Therapeutic Play. These courses attract both UK and international students providing an extremely valuable resource for collaborative international research and expertise in comparative health policy.

Public Health and Primary Care

This team offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees that would develop knowledge related to public health, health promotion and primary care practice. These include MSc Public Health and Health Promotion, MSc in Social Research Methods, BSc (Hons) in Public Health and Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (Health Visiting and School Nursing), BSc (Hons) in Community Health Studies (District Nursing, Community Children’s Nursing and Community Psychiatric Nursing). There are a variety of modules that focus on developments in primary care and public health practice, as well as developing Practice Teachers to meet Nursing and Midwifery Council Standards. There is collaboration between the University Team, community and public health staff in the Local Health Boards throughout mid and West Wales, to ensure an excellent student experience. Staff expertise includes public health, health promotion, education/teaching methods, research and community nursing.

Social Work

This team offers teaching in all aspects of social care and social work. The staff are responsible for the BSc Social Work and modules for the continuing professional development of social workers. It is delivered in partnership with the Local Authorities in South-West Wales (Carmarthen, Ceredigion, Neath/Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire and Swansea). Programme delivery is overseen by the Programme Management Committee, comprised of the representatives from the statutory and voluntary sector employers, staff representatives and representatives of service users and carers. A service user and carer involvement group funded by the Care Council for Wales comprises of representatives of service users and carers that are involved in all aspects of course management, including teaching and learning activity.

Our social work programme was elected one of the top ten in the UK by The Complete University Guide 2010, based on our research achievements, student satisfaction and graduate prospects.

Research Activity

Funded Research

Department staff are currently collaborating with service users and colleagues from City University on a NISCHR-funded research into care co-ordination in community mental health care; a NISCHR-funded project is a collaboration with service users and colleagues from Cardiff University and Hafal which will be examining shared decision making in mental health; local government funded research into the role of kinship with looked-after children; and Welsh Government funded work on the integration of health and social care.


Staff have recent published work on...

  • The Social Construction of Mealtimes in Residential Care Homes;
  • The Meaning of Independence for Older People Living in Different Residential Settings;
  • Living with Chronic Low Back PainHousing Needs and Ageing Populations;
  • Breastfeeding Duration and Early Parenting Behaviour: The Importance of an Infant-Led, Responsive Style.

Student publications

Several students have had their work published. Recent examples are...

  • HIV and depression in Eastern Nigeria (in AIDS Care);
  • Implementing Large-Scale Healthcare Information Systems (Book).

PhD Students

Many staff in the Department are supervising PhD students. Current topics include...

  • Experiences of childbirth and infant behaviour;
  • Nutrient and energy intake in infants weaned using a baby-led or traditional feeding style;
  • Housing adaptations to facilitate 'Ageing in Place' policy;
  • Implementation of Regional Health Plans in Oman;
  • Promoting emotional well-being in secondary schools in Wales; and
  • Forecasting demand and modelling patient flow in unscheduled care