Social Science and Business Department Update

Back to “Alumni Section Addenda”

Last Updated: June 20th 2018

The Department of Social Science and Business brings together a wide-range of complementary subject areas including Accountancy and Finance, Applied Social Science, Business Management, Business Marketing, Criminology, Mathematics, Working with Children, Young People and Families, Youth Work and a Masters in Business Administration.

The Department continues the Newman tradition of providing access to higher education to highly motivated individuals through the successful introduction of the Foundation Year in Social Science which has led to the development of a full-suite of programmes for 2018/19 to include Arts and Humanities.  We have maintained our links through partnership working with our local colleges and are successfully delivering programmes at South and City, Solihull and Halesowen colleges.  We are also in the process of developing a range of exciting new courses which will enhance the choice available to students and which will allow synergies across the new Department.  Watch this space for news of these programmes as they come on stream!

The high quality of teaching delivered by the Department was recognised at the recent Student Union Excellence Awards, with a number of colleagues receiving a ‘You’re Great’ Award’ for their work.  Dr Karen Graham was awarded the ‘Innovation in Teaching Award’ for her work in prisons.

Colleagues in the Social Science and Business are rightly proud of the applied nature of their research and this informs and impacts their teaching, so that all students from first year undergraduate through to postgraduate studies benefit from the vibrancy it brings to the classroom.  For example, Pete Harris, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, is working on an externally-funded ‘Reach Out’ project in the Bartley Green area to support young people into education and Dr Mike Seal, Reader in Critical Pedagogy, is currently working on a book proposal to draw together student and staff perspectives on the work of Paulo Friere.  The number of PhD students supervised within Social Science and Business continues to grow and this adds another positive dimension to the work of the Department.

The Department supports employability for its students through close links with local and regional employers.  A recent exciting partnership is with the Higher Level Skills Match Programme, based at Newman, in partnership with Aston and Birmingham City Universities, match-funded by the European Union Social Fund.  HSLM provides prestigious short-term work placement opportunities for undergraduates and in turn, colleagues from the Department, such as Phil Cullen, provide consultancy to small and medium-sized firms in the Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership areas

Dr Mehreen Mirza was appointed as the Head of Social Science and Business in February 2018.  She is a sociologist with specialist research interests in the fields of education, gender, ethnicity and qualitative research methods.  Her most recent work was on Gender Construction in Kays Catalogues: 1920 to the New Millennium (Cambridge Academic).  She is currently working on a study of South Asian heritage women in the diasporas of Australia and the UK.

Mehreen is interested in developing the alumni network to support current students and our graduates, so if you are interested in playing a part in this please contact her on

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