Professor John Playle - Dean of School
As Dean, I am delighted to welcome you to the School of Human and Health Sciences at the University of Huddersfield. Our aims are three-fold; to provide a stimulating and supportive environment in which to learn and work, to offer courses that equip students with knowledge and skills for employability and life-long learning, and finally to undertake world-leading, multi-disciplinary research which positively contributes to and impacts on individuals, communities and society. We achieve this through our outstanding student-centred learning and teaching, excellent staff and facilities, and strong external partnerships and collaborations.
Whether you are embarking on your first degree, wishing to further develop your learning through postgraduate taught study, or develop your research skills through a postgraduate research course, you can be assured that studying with us will be an excellent and life-changing experience. Our continued excellence in learning, teaching and student support is evidenced by our consistently high rankings in external measures of student satisfaction, the validation, on-going approval and accreditation of courses by a range of professional bodies and organisations, and high levels of student employability.
Our courses cover a broad but complementary range of subject areas and disciplines including pre and post-qualifying health professions, Social Work, Health and Social Care, Health and Community Development, and Exercise, Physical Activity and Health. A key feature of many of these courses is service user and carer involvement allowing students to receive input from ‘experts by experience’ and understand what it is like to be on the receiving end of health and social care. We also offer a range of courses in the Social and Behavioural Sciences including Psychology, Sociology, Criminology, Counselling, Politics and Investigative Psychology. We are keen to encourage learning across different subject areas so whichever subject you choose to study, at whatever level, you will have the opportunity to interact with students and staff from a broad range of subject areas.
Our staff maintain links with professional practice and subject areas through a range of activities, including a combination of continued professional practice, practice-focussed research, consultancy and advisory work, and membership of relevant national and international organisations. This means that you will be taught and supported by staff with up-to-date expertise, knowledge and skills in their field. A significant number of staff are recognised as being at the leading edge of their disciplines contributing to ongoing developments in their field through research and publication, membership of journal editorial boards and positions of esteem on national and international committees. Our excellent administrative, technical and support staff are key members of our team, their friendly and responsive approach ensures that all those who come into contact with us are well supported and that efficient systems and processes are ensured.
We are extremely proud of our state-of-the-art facilities and as a School and University we are continually investing in the most up-to-date technologies and facilities to further enhance the student experience and research environment. We have dedicated information technology, psychology and exercise science labs, a fully functioning podiatry clinic, as well as a range of purpose built clinical/practice simulation environments such as rooms in people’s homes, operating theatres and critical care wards. In addition to excellent physical environments, we also offer a rich online environment with resources to support student learning accessible around the clock, from anywhere in the world and via a range of devices.
We enjoy strong collaborative relationships with partners from health, education, criminal justice, social work, social care and other universities. Partners include local and regional NHS Trusts, Local Authorities, Social Enterprises, voluntary sector organisations, and service users and carers. At national level our partnerships include the Department of Health, Smith and Nephew, NSPCC, UNICEF, British Psychological Society, Macmillan, Home Office and the Association of Chief Police Officers. International university partners include institutions in Australia, New Zealand, United States, Pakistan, China, Denmark, Spain and the Caribbean. Strong local and national partnerships and links mean that we have diverse networks to draw on for placement opportunities, an increasing part of all of our courses.
Within our vibrant research community there is a vast amount of work being undertaken at local, national and international levels in diverse areas such as contemporary citizenship; evidence-based policy and practice for promoting health, welfare and crime reduction; social and political identities and the development of applied social science theories and methodologies. Our research is organised through our overarching Institute for Research in Citizenship and Applied Human Sciences (IRCAHS), which facilitates and supports research excellence and collaboration across our six research centres and external partners, further enhancing our already strong national and international research profile. We are also part of the Academy for British and Irish Studies (ABIS), whose research activity focuses on identity and citizenship.
All of the research undertaken is underpinned by sound theoretical concepts and understandings, and aims to have direct relevance to aspects of policy and practice, address real-world issues and problems, and seeks to improve the understanding and responses to challenges faced by individuals, families, groups and society. Having such a wide range of research expertise across a broad range of disciplines enables us to address such complex challenges in a holistic and interdisciplinary way. It also provides a strong research base to underpin our teaching within the School at undergraduate and postgraduate level. Our strengths are also reflected in the significant number of national and international publications emanating from staff within the Institute and the wide range of consultancy and advisory work undertaken at regional, national and international level.
Research undertaken across the School is conducted in line with the School’s Research Governance Framework, an online system which reviews and monitors research from bid preparation through to project completion and beyond.
Whether you are a student looking to undertake a degree in a stimulating and innovative learning environment and vibrant research community, or an individual or organisation that wishes to be engaged in collaborative research with us or draw on our extensive expertise, this is definitely the place to start.