Personal profile


Prof Farini's (Ph.D. Sociology) academic background is rooted in Social Sciences, with a Ph.D. in Sociology of Intercultural Communication (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, 2008), MA in Social Anthropology (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, 2005) and a second MA in Social History (University of Bologna, 2002).

He leads the Centre for Psychology and Sociological Sciences at the University of Northampton. He worked as a Researcher and Lecturer in Sociology of Education, Childhood Studies, Youth Studies, and Intercultural communication at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (2005-2013) and as a Research Fellow at the University of Urbino (Sociology) and the University of Bologna (Early Modern History).

Between 2013 and 2015 Prof Farini worked as a Research Fellow and Lecturer in Education at Middlesex University in London, where he was a founding member of the Centre for Educational Research and Leadership. Before Joining the University of Northampton, Prof Farini worked as a Senior Lecturer in Sociology of Early Childhood at the University of Suffolk. Prof  Farini is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. 

Research Interests

For nearly 20 years, several successful research bids have made it possible for Prof Farini to apply knowledge and skills to empirical investigations. He has been researching professionally through national and international projects in the fields of Sociology of Intercultural Communication, Cultural Sociology, Globalization Theories, Social Theory, Communication Studies, Sociology of Education, Youth and Childhood studies, Policy evaluation, and the sociolinguistic analysis of interaction. Other areas of expertise concern Equality and Social Justice in access to education and healthcare, Sociology of Conflict, and Peace Studies. 

Prof Farini takes pride in the commitment to a positive impact on communities that characterises his research and teaching. Since 2003, he has been researching and developing training opportunities within projects supported by European and national Agencies, and regional and Local Authorities. Prof Farini’s research concerns the inclusion of migrant children and young people in education, youth subcultures, and cultural studies, migrant-friendly services, conflict management, intercultural education, client-centered interpreting in healthcare and education, and the role of digital media in the diffusion of knowledge. 

In 2020 the volume he had edited with Angela Scollan (Middlesex University), 'Self-determination of children in Early Childhood Education and Services', published by SpringerNature, was recognised as a top publication committed to promoting the UN Sustainable Development Goal 4, 'quality education' with more than 11,000 downloads as for 29.9.2023.

Prof Farini also had an important role in planning and managing the Centre for Educational Research and Scholarship (CERS) at Middlesex University, leading the Special Interest Group Network (SIGN), ‘Childhood and Society’ for two years, optimising resources and expertise while securing the active involvement of academics, professionals, students, and stakeholders.

Prof Farini has authored numerous successful research bids (for an estimated amount of £530,000 directly attributable to him). The most recent successful bids consist of three EU-funded research projects. The first project is 'Children Hybrid Integration: Learning Dialogue as a way of Upgrading Policies of Participation' (Child-UP, Horizon2020,  MIGRATION-05-2018). Child-UP is a complex project including a review of existing, national integration policies and legislation across all partner countries; a survey of migrant children and their parents to gauge their experiences of schools, interviews with parents and teachers about how they perceive the education relationship and practice observation looking at the teaching styles, and programs of activities to support migrant children’s integration in schools.

The second project, SPACEX (led by Andrew Hewitt) is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie action to transform urban space in places of democratic participation through public art and sees the participation of 27 partners in 9 EU countries and 1 Third Country, Palestine.

The third project, ‘Shared Memories for Dialogues’ (SHARMED, Erasmus+ KA3) was completed in December 2018. SHARMED aims to promote the inclusion of migrant-background children in the classroom, linking to both intercultural education and the use of digital technology. Using visual material and digital technologies, SHARMED encourages children to work on their personal and cultural memories, promoting children’s participation in telling and negotiating stories.

In 2015, Prof Farini worked with the London Borough of Waltham Forest towards the development of Leyton Jubilee Park as a meeting place for a multicultural community. Earlier in his career, Prof Farini was the principal investigator and advisor within an EU-funded project under the program ‘Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, 2007-2013’. The Project (‘Local Forums for Participatory Democracy’) offered the opportunity to research the impact of digital media on social participation and in the dissemination of knowledge(s) among children and adolescents.

Prof Farini is currently a member of European Research Networks such as  Trust Dynamics in the governance of children and youth (Roskilde University, Denmark) and Laboratory for the Analysis of Interaction and Mediation (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy) In 2014 he was elected as vice-president of the International Sociological Association Research Committee 25, Language in Society and editor of its peer-reviewed journal, ‘Language, Discourse and Society’. Some of his professional memberships include the British Educational Research Association, British Sociological Association, European Sociological Association, International Association of Dialogue Analysis, International Pragmatics Association, and Society of Science and Technology Studies.

In 2014 Prof Farini was appointed by the Swiss Government as a reviewer for research projects under the COST European Co-operation in the Field of Science and Technology framework. He is currently serving as a reviewer for UNESCO, the European Commission, the Indian Government, and the Italian Government. 

Prof Farini is a Visiting Professor at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, where he is also a member of the PhD School. He collaborates with the International  Post-Doc programs at the University of Venice 'Ca' Foscari'.

For the  REF2021 exercise, Prof Farini coordinated the Unit of Assessment 21, Sociology, at the University of Northampton. 

Prof Farini leads the Centre for Psychology and Sociological Sciences at the University of Northampton.

Teaching Interests

Prof Farini’s expertise in social research is a resource for his teaching. He has taught Research Methods on modules across all undergraduate and postgraduate levels while supervising undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD dissertation projects. Prof Farini has rich experience in teaching research methods to students who are not (yet) familiar with the epistemology of social sciences.

Prof Farini has taught 34 modules across all undergraduate and postgraduate levels in English HE institutions, taking responsibility as co-leader or leader for most of them. He has developed several new modules and has been involved in the re-validation of BA and MA programmes. In 2019, he led the design and validation of the MSc Public Sociology, the only Public Sociology program offered by English HEIs. Prof Farini’s profile as a professional educator is further reinforced by his experiences as an external examiner for BA programs at Manchester Metropolitan University, St. Mark and St. John University in Plymouth, and Sheffield Hallam University, as well as external examiner for MA programs at St. Mark and St. John University in Plymouth and Liverpool John Moores University.

Prof Farini’s contribution to the research capacity of his institutions also includes supervision of doctoral students, following Director of Studies Training at Middlesex University, and recognition of qualification as a Primary Ph.D. supervisor granted by Essex University,  University of East Anglia and the University of Suffolk.


PhD Supervision (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia)

Natacha S.A. Niemants, Supervisor, 2009-2012, PhD in Translation Studies

Chiara Ballestri, Supervisor,2011-2013, PhD in Sociology

PhD Supervision (Middlesex University)

Amira Ghaffour, First Supervisor, 2015-, PhD in Intercultural Education

Evelyn Corrado, Second Supervisor, 2014-2019, PhD in Sociology of Education

Angela Scollan, Second Supervisor, 2014-2021, PhD in Children’s Rights

PhD Supervision (University of Suffolk in partnership with University of Essex and East Anglia University)

Kate Sida-Nicholls, Principal Supervisor, 2016-2022, PhD in Organisation Studies

PhD Supervision (University of Northampton)

Jacqueline White, First Supervisor, 2017-

Melissa Symonds, Director of Studies, 2018-

James White, First Supervisor, 2019-

Rosie Robson, Director of Studies, 2020- 

PhD Supervision (Regents University in partnership of University of Northampton)

Mehari Fissera, Director of Studies, 2018-2024

Karen Woodhall, Director of Studies, 2020-



University of Suffolk, PhD Primary Supervisor Qualification, 2016

University of Essex and  East Anglia University, PhD Primary Supervisor Qualification, 2015

Middlesex University, PhD Director of Studies for Qualification, 2014

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

Education/Academic qualification

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Higher Education Academy

Award Date: 11 Mar 2015

PhD, PhD in Sociology of Intercultural Communication , University of Modena and Reggio Emilia

Award Date: 19 Mar 2008

Master, MA in Social Anthropology, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia

Award Date: 2 Apr 2005

Master, Early Modern History, Universita degli Studi di Bologna

Award Date: 17 Jul 2002

Bachelor, Italian&Philosophy, Universita degli Studi di Bologna

External positions

Visiting Professor, University of Rome La Sapienza

Mar 2024 → …

trustee, Centre for the Advancement of Interprofessional Education (CAIPE)

Jan 2024 → …

Member of the Doctoral School Committee , University of Modena and Reggio Emilia

2023 → …

Visiting Professor, Universita Degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia

2022 → …

Expert Reviewer for COVID-19 recovery projects , Italian Government, Ministry of Education, Universities and Research

2020 → …

Member of REPRISE (Register of Scientific Experts), Reviewer for Research Projects, section ‘Fundamental Research’, Ministry for University and Scientific Research

2018 → …

Reviewer for the Newton Prize, UK-based project in partnership with South-American countries, UNESCO

2018 → …

International member of the PhD Studies Committee for the School of Human and Social Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia

2017 → …

Reviewer for Coopération européenne dans le domaine de la recherche Scientifique et Technique (COST, European Co-operation in the Field of Science and Technology) framework, European Commission

2014 → …

, Reviewer for Research Projects , Swiss National Science Foundation SNF

2014 → …


  • HM Sociology
  • HT Communities. Classes. Races
  • LC5201 Education extension. Adult education. Continuing education
  • GN Anthropology
  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
  • PC Romance languages
  • PQ Romance literatures
  • GT Manners and customs


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