Soc-Crim Pizza Party

DELICIOUS Pizza and brilliant talks from student reps from DEN and the Student Union at the Soc-Crim Pizza Party this afternoon (It’s left-over pizza for breakfast everyday this week)


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Sociology Students Graduate in the November 2018 Ceremony.

After a wet and thundery start on the morning of the 12th November 2018, it cleared into blue skies for the November graduation ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall on the Southbank. Sociology and Soc-Crim students joined others from the School of Law and Social Sciences in a very celebratory ceremony to mark their fantastic hard work and achievements.  It is almost impossible to go through university without encountering some challenges along the way, and life deals some tougher cards than others to students during their journeys. Yet graduation day at The University of Westminster is always about reaching the finish line in one piece, and arriving in a (very grand!) room filled with collective joy, relief and achievement. Proud families and friends hugged in the foyer of Royal Festival hall, and many many many photographs of beaming graduates on the banks of the Thames marked a special day. There was some sadness as students said goodbye to each other and their time here at Westminster, but as an iconic politician once said: ‘This is not the beginning of the end, but the end of the beginning’.

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Orientation week at Westminster: doughnuts, cake, and radical social science


Dr Naomi Rudoe leads new students to the matriculation ceremony

This week we welcomed new undergraduate students onto the Sociology and Sociology-Criminology degrees here at Westminster. At the beginning of the week, we all got to know one another during our fiendish Sociology quiz, where students tested their knowledge of University, London, 2018, and dead white men, while eating a few dozen doughnuts. Our quiz was followed by the Social Sciences Annual Lecture by Dr Kehinde Andrews from Birmingham City on the subject of radical social science, after which we had a reception and polished off the doughnuts.

During the week, our new students were given presentations from the students’ union, met their personal tutors, and signed up to clubs and societies. On Friday afternoon, they took part in a matriculation ceremony, where new Vice Chancellor Dr Peter Bonfield celebrated Westminster’s spirit of community.


Sociology Lecturers Celia Jenkins, Umit Cetin, Hilde Stephansen and Naomi Rudoe with Head of School Dibyesh Anand and Vice Chancellor Peter Bonfield.

At matriculation, Head of School Professor Dibyesh Anand spoke about students and academics working together to challenge the neoliberal market in higher education. Sociology Lecturer Umit Cetin gave a speech about education and empowerment, and current Sociology PhD student Nayyar Hussain spoke about the experiences she’d had as an undergraduate at Westminster. We ended the week with more cake back at the Regent Street building. We’re now all looking forward to the start of teaching on Monday!

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Westminster Sociology Anthology 2018

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At this year’s graduation ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall, the Sociology team presented graduating students with the fourth edition of the annual Westminster Sociology Dissertation Anthology, which showcases some of the outstanding and innovative research produced by final year Sociology students at the University of Westminster.

The aim of this anthology is to reward good dissertations, to provide an example of quality work for future dissertation students, and to promote more widely the achievements of our students in Sociology at Westminster.

The anthology includes work by Nisha Waller, who uses depth interviews to explores the experiences of six women who have been the partner of a male prisoner. Mehreen Khan’s contribution deploys an intersectional analysis to explore how South Asian Muslim women have made choices about their education, career and future aspirations. Chloe Payne’s chapter sensitively draws on interviews and ethnographic data to provide an in-depth account of the experience of ‘postvention’, the activities which aim to support the bereaved after a suicide in the UK. Kim Corti provides a critical and comparative examination of the discourses around veganism in UK national newspapers. Finally, Luke Allmond’s dissertation explores sexism in the contemporary music scene in Oxford.

While these five projects are incredibly diverse, they all have qualities that
 make them distinctive of the kind of work our students produce in Sociology
 at Westminster: they engage creatively and passionately with some of the
 urgent issues of our time, they use a finely tuned sociological imagination to
 challenge taken-for-granted assumptions, and they are motivated by a desire 
to understand and challenge social inequalities.

Nisha, Mehreen, Chloe, Kim and Luke are not alone in producing great
 dissertation projects. The Sociology team had the pleasure to read some
 really excellent work. In particular, we would like to commend dissertations 
by Lois Anderson, Neela Khan, Marwa Fichera, and Jake Lovric. Well done to
 you all – we are very proud of you!

Click here to download a PDF copy of the Westminster Sociology Dissertation Anthology 2018

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New online resource for student mental health

Poster Lost your zest.jpg

The Students Against Depression website is a free resource to help students who may be struggling with depression or anxiety.

The site offers advice, information, guidance and resources to those affected by low mood, depression and suicidal thinking. Alongside clinically-validated information and resources, it presents the experiences, strategies and advice of students themselves.

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Success for Westminster Sociology in the Guardian University Guide 2019

Screen Shot 2018-05-29 at 10.04.21We’re really happy to see another impressive 5 points rise for Westminster University’s Sociology and Sociology and Criminology courses in the Guardian University guide 2019. At 28 out of 91, this puts us comfortably in the top third of UK Sociology courses.

League tables like this only give a partial picture of a university education, but it’s very gratifying to see that our ‘value added’ is being recognized, which ‘compares students’ degree results with their entry qualifications, to show how effectively they are taught’.

On value added, Westminster is in the top-ten institutions for Sociology in the UK.

For the full Guardian Sociology ranking, click here.

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Sociology lecturers win excellence awards!


Many congratulations to Sociology lecturers Dr Hilde Stephansen and Dr Francis Ray White who were this evening awarded individual Westminster Learning and Teaching Excellence Awards. These are a very prestigious award, with only a small number given out each year to the most deserving candidates. Francis and Hilde were both awarded £1000 for career development.

Hilde (pictured right) was congratulated for her research-informed teaching, for transforming the quality of research methods provision across disciplines and for her collegial and collaborative approach to teaching.

Francis (pictured left) was awarded for their work in cross-disciplinary learning and teaching, and was commended for raising the visibility of LGBTQ and gender issues and promoting inclusion and diversity in the curriculum and across the University.

The sociology team is very proud of you both. Well done, and thanks for all your hard work!

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