Policy Evaluation 

The Policy Evaluation and Research Unit is a multi-disciplinary team of evaluators, economists, sociologists and criminologists. It specialises in evaluating policies, programmes and projects and advising national and local policy-makers on the development of evidence-informed policy. We work in the UK and Europe for clients and funders including UK government departments, local government, the voluntary sector and the European Commission. Staff also work with policy-makers and researchers to support the development of policy evaluation as a discipline.

Policy Evaluation and Research Unit

Big Data and Quantitative Methods 

The department is home to Manchester Metropolitan Crime and Well-Being Big Data Centre (BDC) and the Q-Step Centre. The BDC comprises a multi-disciplinary team with expertise in criminology, geography, social policy, computing, data science, advanced quantitative methods and evaluation. The BDC assembles, manages and analyses the large and complex data sets that are increasingly emerging from the day-to-day activities of the citizenry, government and business and aims to offer new theoretically informed insights into the enduring societal challenges of crime and well-being. Meanwhile, the Q-Step Centre undertakes research aimed to achieve a step-change in quantitative social science training and to equip social science graduates with the necessary knowledge and skills needed for the contemporary economic and social climate we live in. 

Big Data CentreQ-Step Centre

Promoting Socio-Economic Empowerment of Women in Tanzania

This project aimed to build a research network and explore opportunities for future research projects considering the socio-economic empowerment of women, which is one of the key targets for the Tanzanian National Vision (UN, 2017).

Promoting Socio-Economic Empowerment of Women in Tanzania

Gender and Sexuality

Research on gender and sexuality focuses on personal and intimate life covering the whole spectrum from heterosexual to LGBTQ intimacies, including a focus on everyday life, couple relations, parenting, young people and polyamory and non-monogamy. We engage with popular culture (music, film, internet, social media, and the cultural industries) and the politics of gender sexuality with particular emphasis on violence, criminal justice, political economy (development, neoliberalism and austerity), class, race/ethnicity and racism. We are concerned with the gender and sexual politics of globalisation, including transnational feminist and LGBTQ activist networks and organisations.


The Manchester Centre for Youth Studies is a cross-disciplinary centre with an expertise in policy-engaged and applied research. Specialist areas include youth justice, gangs and violence, the history of youth, youth language, education and identity, youth culture and subcultures and youth participatory action research. This cross-disciplinary approach has mobilised and coordinated relevant expertise across the university, ranging from the Humanities and Social Sciences to Education and Science. We have very strong partnerships with a range of external organisations. Our work exemplifies the university’s commitment to innovative, pioneering research, as well as to social mobility and widening participation.

Manchester Centre for Youth Studies

Space, Place and Culture

Focusing on high quality, internationally-leading research on the intersection of place and space, this group of world-leading researchers are interested in a variety of processes including identity, culture, social and economic change, politics and governance, urbanisation and rurality. Expertise includes that in the governance of urbanisation and hazards, urban creativity, lighting and 'place-making'; geographies of faith and religion; sonic geographies; socio-cultural theory; trans-national sexual politics and citizenship; geographies of post-socialist transformation; modernism and architecture; New Towns and death and the dead body.

Incarceration, Rehabilitation and Drug Policy

Committed to developing innovative policy and practice response to the challenges posed through imprisonment, reoffending and drug use, this cluster of academics have established a portfolio of world leading research that has local and national impact through programmes of work that cut across criminal justice and drug policy reform.  This body of research and evaluation spans the adult and youth justice systems in England and Wales.  Projects have included the design and evaluation of ‘asset-based’ offender assessment tools; evaluating attempts to enhance the employability of young offenders; reviewing existing evidence on what works in offender rehabilitation and the development and evaluation of models of personalised offender management in the English criminal justice system.  Research on drug use has a particular focus on emerging drug trends and drug markets and their impact on drug policy and practice.