Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

2011 Undergraduate Student Research Conference

Thursday, 24 March 2011


The School of Social Sciences and Law recently hosted the 2011 Undergraduate Student Research Conference, held at the magnificent Headington Hill Hall on 14 March. Funded by the Reinvention Centre for Undergraduate Research, the event was organised by Marc Howe of Oxford Brookes’ Department of Law, who is also a Reinvention Centre Fellow and University Teaching Fellow. The conference also served as a retrospective of undergraduate research presentations since the first conference in 2008. Students from each department within the School were invited to take part in the conference, which provides undergraduates with a unique opportunity to apply for funding to showcase their research by producing a high quality poster illustrating the key concepts of their work. Dissertations are generally read by a handful of people, but through participation at the conference undergraduates can disseminate their findings to peers and academic staff in a relaxed environment, as well as gaining invaluable presentation and communication skills. Wide ranging research The presentations at this year’s conference covered an extraordinarily wide range of topics, from Sociology student Kirsty Harris’ Narrative Constructions of Women Negotiating First Time Motherhood  to geography undergraduate Diane Chung’s Regeneration and Development in Valletta, based on field work undertaken as part of the Geographical Enquiry and Field Research module. Thought-provoking research projects such law student Robyn Cowen’s Does the Defence of Consent Negate Criminal Proceedings in Sport? and the combined research project Stop Smacking, by law undergraduates Emma Moore and Rebecca Phelps, initiated lively debate amongst the many visitors to the conference.

Student Experience

Every student delegate said they enjoyed the experience, many citing the conversation and debate prompted by their research in such a relaxed setting as the highlight of the day, and they all recognised the boost added to their CVs through participation in the event. Marc Howe and Dr Helen Walkington, both Reinvention Centre Fellows and University Teaching Fellows, presented each participant with a certificate verifying their involvement in the conference.