Centre for Psychological and Sociological Sciences

  • Postal addressShow on map

    University Drive, Waterside Campus, Learning Hub

    NN1 5PH Northampton

    United Kingdom

Organisation profile

Organisation profile

The Centre for Psychological and Sociological Sciences (CPSS)  reflects research excellence across the social sciences in the specialisms of: diversity, community and identity; exceptional experiences and consciousness studies; and health education and behaviour change. Ongoing research has national and international reach, drawing on funding from a range of external partners to produce work that has a direct impact on the health and wellbeing of individuals and their communities. The Centre supports a balanced and sustainable team of committed researchers working collaboratively within a nurturing research culture that gives rise to world-class research in target areas of specialism. For example, the Centre  promotes Applied Sociology which is current priority for the British Sociological Association. Staff in the centre are contributors to the Applied Society Global Network, based at Purdue University. Research in the centre  is clearly aligned with the government’s Wellbeing and Health Policy, particularly reflecting developing well, living well, and aging well stages. CPSS activity is linked to national policies around Ageing Generations and improving access to services and community integration and reflects a collaboration with Northampton Borough Council that has led to a Future High Street Bid. Additionally, research has informed the University’s new Sexual Harassment, Misconduct and Violence Policy and has been included in the HEFCE/ Office for Students final report on this issue to the UK Parliament’s Women and Equalities Select Committee. Work around preventing alcohol misuse and harmful drinking forms part of the National Union of Students’ Alcohol Impact project. Another line of research builds on the Department for Education (DfE) statutory guidance to schools for relationships education (RE) to be taught as part of Personal Social and Health Education (PSHE). This work aligns with the BPS Policy Statement concerning Early years care and support.

The CPSS has also developed a research interest in cognitive decline in older adults, particularly to identify ways of mitigating adverse effects through targeted intervention. CPSS is cultivating a growing expertise in the IAPT and CAMHS teams to develop research activity that responds to the BPS Briefing on Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing.

Since it was established in 2018, the Centre has made a significant contribution to these priorities. Centre staff have been involved  in externally funded projects that have generated over £1,500,000. These reflect a variety of national and international funding sources, including: NIHR; e-Nurture; ESRC; Perrott-Warrick Fund, University of Cambridge; Templeton Foundation; Horizon 2020; Bial Foundation, Porto; and Salvia Foundation, Geneva

Projects highlights (2019-2024):


EYLBID is a strategic partnership of 5 higher education institutions and one social enterprise. It focuses on one of the European horizontal priorities: social inclusion. Particularly, it focuses on linguistic and intercultural mediation and interpreting performed by teenagers. Children and teenagers take an important role in migratory processes. Schooling and linguistic immersion in the new society help children learn the official language(s) of the new country faster than their parents might do. For this reason, these bilingual young people are the ones in their families who carry out the hard work of interpreting and translating to mediate communication between themselves and the outside world, between minority and majority communities.


CCoM  (Caring Children on the Move

CCoM sits against the backdrop of rising numbers of children who have been separated from primary carers during migration and conflicting state rhetoric: protecting children on the one hand and immigration control on the other. ‘Care’ is ambiguous in this context because children may receive care because of their ‘child’ status or be excluded from provision because of their ‘migrant’ status. Placing separated children at its heart, CCoM asks: How do separated migrant children, and those involved in the care of separated children, make sense of and value care relationships and caring practices?  How do separated child migrants build, sustain and navigate care relationships and caring practices in the immigration-welfare nexus? What economic, social and political factors shape the priorities of relevant stakeholders and institutions, and how do these affect the treatment of separated children?  


Children Hybrid Integration - Learning Dialogue as a way of Upgrading policies of Participation (CHILD-UP)

Horizon 2020 CHILD-UP researches different levels of hybrid integration of migrant children in Europe with the primary aim of proposing an innovative approach to improve their social condition and to disseminate the project outcomes by involving relevant national and international stakeholders. CHILD-UP focuses on migrant children with the aim of fostering the understanding and their active participation within schools for a successful hybrid integration. This objective is achieved through an innovative research approach focused on the concept of children agency.


Spatial Practices in Art and ArChitecture for Empathetic EXchange (SPACEX)

The aim of Spatial Practices in Art and ArChitecture for Empathetic EXchange (SPACEX) is to realise a cross-sectoral and European-wide knowledge exchange and scoping exercise that enables researchers to test, map, analyse and communicate the ways in which spatial practices effect public exchange and opinion formation in urban spaces, and promote empathetic and inclusive ways of living together.

  • How do spatial practices effect public exchange and opinion formation in urban spaces, and enable more empathetic and inclusive ways of living together?
  • How can transdisciplinary and cross-sector research methodologies help us better analyse and understand the role that spatial practices play in re-invigorating democratic processes within civil society?
  • In what ways can the new knowledge generated through the SPACEX action shape future spatial practices as well as cultural and social policy and the practice of urban planning to promote inclusionary practices?
  • How do the pedagogic strategies employed by spatial practices effect and contribute to the transformation and construction of subjectivity? What forms of knowledge are produced, and what types of subjects are supported? 
  • What role does the archive play in understanding how historical and concurrent spatial practices address issues of democratic exchange and conflict? What are the limitations of extant archiving models and how can the archive be reimagined and reconfigured as a common, centralised shared resource?


Research Cluster: Supporting intervention for Health Promotion and against  Alcohol Misuse, Sexual Violence and Space-Related Barriers

There are three applied and impactful strands of research which will be related to this policy-related funding opportunity. The first strand focuses on constructing healthy contexts and preventing alcohol misuse within the nightlife economy, with interventions around alcohol-free spaces. The second strand highlights the importance of on-campus spaces for preventing sexual violence and interventions for creating safe campus communities. This strand of research has informed the University’s new  Sexual Harassment, Misconduct and Violence Policy and has been included in the HEFCE/Office  for Students final report on this issue to the UK  Parliament’s Women and Equalities Select  Committee. The third strand focuses on community space-related barriers, providing key recommendations for ageing populations access enablers. All of this work builds on the University’s continued vision to do purposeful and impactful research, while linking to the priorities outlined in the University’s Research Plan for 2020-2025.

Our Class

Our Class is a series of educational resources to help teach primary school children in Key Stage 2 about friendships and peer relationships.

Building and maintaining friendships can be difficult, as can negotiating some of the trials and tribulations of these relationships and recognizing when they are healthy/unhealthy. This is an area where children are particularly likely to benefit from support. These areas are sensitive, and tricky for educators to tackle in an authentic and meaningful way. Providing advice and guidance to teachers is therefore important to help them address this new area of the curriculum effectively.

The resources feature a series of stories, each introducing a character facing a difficult situation with their peers. Each story has associated discussion questions and lesson plan that can be used as part of Personal Social and Health Education (PSHE) classes to help children explore the complexities of friendship.  They have been quality assured by the PSHE Association, and awarded their Quality Mark – as best practice in safe and effective PSHE Education.



  • BF Psychology
  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • HM Sociology
  • HX Socialism. Communism. Anarchism
  • RJ101 Child Health. Child health services
  • L Education (General)
  • RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
  • HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
  • HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
  • GN Anthropology
  • GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
  • HT Communities. Classes. Races


Dive into the research topics where Centre for Psychological and Sociological Sciences is active. These topic labels come from the works of this organisation's members. Together they form a unique fingerprint.