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BSA/HEA National Award for Excellence in Teaching Sociology

The British Sociological Association (BSA) and Higher Education Academy (HEA) welcome nominations for the Award for Excellence in Teaching Sociology. This award of £500 is open to all (not only BSA members) and aims to reward individual staff or teams of staff, and also to raise the profile of learning and teaching activity in Sociology in the University Sector through the publicity associated with the nominations and award-giving process. Furthermore, the nomination material will provide a source of information on good practice in teaching and supporting learning that can be disseminated across the sector.


Nominations for 2015 will open in October.

2014 Winner

  • Carol Stephenson (Northumbria University)

Dr Carol Stephenson, who is Director of Outreach and Widening Participation in theFaculty of Arts, Design and Social Sciences, was presented with the award and a cheque for £500 at the BSA Annual Conference by the Higher Education Academy’s, Dr Helen Jones.


Helen Jones: “I was delighted to present the award of National Teaching award to Dr Carol Stephenson for her work with first year sociology students at the University of Northumbria. Her application for the award focused on developing what C. Wright Mills coined ‘the sociological imagination’. She works with students who have diverse social definers in terms of age, ethnicity, sexuality and gender, but who share white, working class, North-eastern backgrounds. Many of Carol’s students are from post-industrial communities in political and economic decline and few are what could be called socially or materially privileged.  Carol has developed a module with colleagues called ‘Life Stories’ to support the development of the sociological imagination amongst these students and to encourage their confidence in thinking independently and critically.  Surely this goes to the heart of the sociological enterprise, locating the individual within the social, finding the personal within the structural and turning cases into issues. We need more cases of excellent teaching and my hope is that you will feel similarly inspired to apply next year.”


Read local press coverage>> 

Past Winners

  • 2013 - Sociology teaching team at Aston University (Chris Bolsmann, Steve Garner, Sarah Hayes, Pam Lowe, Sarah-Jane Page, Peter Quaife and Chrissie Rogers)
  • 2012 - Geoff Payne (Newcastle University) and Malcolm Williams (Cardiff University)*


*Award supported by the Centre for Sociology, Anthropology and Politics or CSAP.


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