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Areas of expertise

Excellence in research

As part of our research community, you’ll have access to research excellence and expertise in many specialist areas as well as our top-class facilities. 

Taking a PhD is a big decision. It’s important to choose a subject that really excites you so that you’ll keep engaged throughout the research.  

Once you have an area of interest, it’s important that you get support and supervision from a leading academic in your field. We’ve outlined the supervision expertise for each of our academic schools at Staffordshire University. If you would like to make an enquiry to start the application process, please complete our MPhil/PhD enquiry form

While we are always open to applicants who wish submit their own research projects, we also have a selection of ready to go PhD projects that you can join.

School of Creative Arts and Engineering (CAE)

Department of Engineering

Contact Dr Abdel-Hamid Soliman.

  • Polymers, light emitting diodes 
  • Photovoltaic organic cells 
  • Internet of things 
  • Smart cities 
  • Power electronics 
  • Low carbon and renewable energy system 
  • Applied statistics and data analysis 
  • Signal processing, feature detection, wireless systems, visual sensor networks

Department of Humanities and Performing Arts

Contact Professor David Webb.

  • International relations
  • Defence and secret intelligence
  • Conflict and mass violence
  • Philosophy (Kant, Nietzsche, Foucault, contemporary European philosophy, hermeneutics, philosophy and the arts)
  • History
  • Political thought, socialist theory
  • Archaeology, including forensic archaeology
  • Terrorism
  • GIS and valued landscapes
  • Environment and sustainability
  • Cultural geography, outdoor pursuits
  • Glacial and hazard geomorphary, natural hazards
  • Geographical political economy, urban and regional studies
  • Local and regional socio-economic development

School of Computing and Digital Technologies (CDT)

Department of Computing


  • Cortical learning algorithms
  • Cyber-security
  • Cloud computing
  • Big data
  • Business intelligence
  • Video analytics
  • Internet of things
  • Cognitive radio
  • Machine learning
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Computer networks, real-time systems
  • Image processing

Department of Games and Visual Effects


  • Automated detection of academic plagiarism and contract cheating
  • Esports within the UK games industry
  • Virtual and augmented reality, serious games
  • Gaming, rewards in gaming

Department of Film, Media and Journalism


  • Electronic music composition, music for acoustic instruments and electronics
  • Visual music and audio visuals
  • Electronic music and dance music
  • Interactive real-time systems for composition and performance
  • Interactive filmmaking and media, expanded and live cinema, brain-computer interfaces (BCIs), neurocinematics
  • Film, experimental film, documentary, narrative film, experimental sound and sound installation, video art
  • Performers and audience participation, cognition and emotional engagement in live cinema and performing arts

School of Health and Social Care (HSC)

Health and Social Care

Contact Dr Peter Kevern.

  • Perinatal mental health
  • Resilience in nursing
  • Ageing and dementia
  • Religion and spirituality
  • Palliative and end of life care
  • Emotional Freedom Technique

School of Law, Policing and Forensics (LPF)

Department of Criminal Justice and Forensics

Contact Dr Sarah Fieldhouse.

  • Forensic detection of clandestine gravesites
  • Recovery of DNA and friction ridge skin marks as forensic evidence
  • Finger mark deposition, latent finger marks
  • Forensic archaeology
  • Microplastics and forensics fibres
  • Dual diagnosis recovery
  • Sample recovery techniques in sexual offence cases
  • Sexual offence victims
  • Chemistry – drugs profiling and identification
  • Chemical analysis environmental forensics
  • Forensic genetics
  • mRNA, microRNA, and DNA methylation analysis of body fluids
  • Clothing damage analysis
  • Expert witness and bias
  • Bloodstain pattern analysis
  • Firearms and ballistics
  • Criminology, criminality, prisons
  • Offending trajectory of convicted sexual offenders
  • Counter Jihad and far right ideology
  • Evidence-based policing
  • Pedagogic research, particularly around learning gain, experiential learning and the impact on student employability
  • Social work and social policy

Department of Law

Contact Dr Rachael Stretch.

  • ILO decent work standards and flexible working schemes
  • Judicial discretion
  • Modern slavery
  • Child and adult trafficking
  • Clinical negligence
  • International child law
  • Domestic violence
  • Sexual exploitation and offences
  • International human rights law
  • Gender
  • Human trafficking
  • International law
  • Human rights implementation
  • UN human rights bodies
  • African human rights system
  • Transitional justice
  • Political sociology
  • Critical race theory
  • Islamophobia
  • Political Islam
  • Counter-terrorism
  • Radicalisation
  • Race/racism
  • Comparative legal research
  • Duties of confidentiality and the reporting of criminal activity or abuse
  • Surrogacy and parenthood

School of Life Sciences and Education (LSE)

Department of Biological Sciences

Contact Dr Arthur Hosie.

  • Molecular microbiology
  • Programmed cell death
  • Mitochondrial biology
  • Immunology, including clinical immunology
  • Exosomes and cellular interactions
  • The role of microvesicles in health and disease
  • Biochemistry of drug interactions
  • FTIR (fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy) of complex biomolecules
  • Invertebrate physiology and ecology
  • Mosquito, and other invertebrate, behaviour
  • Geometric morphometric techniques and their applications in species identification
  • Plant stress
  • Plant-insect interactions
  • Air pollution, including heavy metals, and its effects on plants
  • Urban ecology and biodiversity
  • Green walls and pollution mitigation
  • Laboratory diagnostics, management and stewardship
  • Biology education

Department of Education

Contact Dr Lynn Machin.

  • Educational policy
  • Impact of teaching and learning approaches
  • Access to higher education
  • Curriculum design
  • Teacher training/effectiveness/beliefs
  • Learning theories

Department of Psychology

Contact Dr Richard Jolley.

  • Weight management and appearance focused interventions
  • Healthy food choices
  • Child psychology
  • Mental health and well-being
  • Conspiracy theories

Department of Sport and Exercise

Contact Professor Chris Gidlow.

  • Irrational beliefs, cognitive appraisal, and meta-cognition
  • Psychological distress in sport
  • Clinical biomechanics
  • Diabetic foot
  • Biomechanical analysis of sport
  • Bone health of female athletes
  • Menopausal exercise and diet
  • Regional tendon adaptations and mal-adaptations
  • Mechanical loading
  • Sacroiliac joint pain (pelvis)
  • Ultrasound imaging
  • Natural environments and health
  • Social identify leadership
  • Rational emotive behaviour theory (RBET)
  • Health inequalities

Staffordshire Business School (SBS)


Contact Dr Alyson Nicholds (

  • Marketing, Digital Marketing and Branding
  • Organisational Behaviour and Culture
  • HRM, Employment Relations and Migration
  • Strategic Management and Leadership
  • Financial Management
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Environmental Inequalities and Justice
  • Natural Environments and Health Promotion

Ready to apply?