The School of Health and Society is rising to the challenge of tackling health and social challenges through a range of disciplinary and multidisciplinary research initiatives. Situated within the Faculty of the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities has provided a positive environment to explore the social context of people’s lives, how these are governed and influenced, and to explore strategies to achieve positive social impacts.

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Our researchers are the heart of everything they do

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My name is Jan Hines, I'm an occupational hygienist. 

I've completed my PhD in emissions based maintenance of diesel engines. My work was to find a way to improve diesel engines so that there's less admitted to the workers and less for them to actually be breathing inso essentially leaving work in a healthier way than they otherwise may. 

The University of Wollongong has been instrumental in supporting my success to finish my PhD they're giving you opportunities to do it in a safe environment. You don't leave UOW and leave behind the people that you've worked with they do continue to go on your life journey as well.

Our research

We are inter-disciplinary and so is our research

Our research in Ageing & Society focuses on understanding the circumstances of older people in their social, cultural and environmental contexts. We work within the domains of civic, social and work participation, health and social care, lifestyle behaviours, outdoor spaces and environment and communication and technology.  Our research is interdisciplinary and also takes action, in collaboration with older people, and those who provide supports, build environments or make policy, to improve the social, health, material and environmental circumstances of older people. We have a particular focus on ageing well and ageing in place.

The burden of disease as a result of chronic conditions has significant personal and community costs. Our research into the prevention and management of chronic conditions and how they are addressed aims to encourage people to live healthy and fulfilling lives. Our interdisciplinary research team recognises the complexity of chronic conditions considering the impact of genetic, behavioural, social, occupational and environmental variables.

We take an interdisciplinary approach to studying violence, in collaboration with affected communities, to particularly understand the specific contexts in which it occurs and can be prevented.  Violence occurs in public and private settings – although the majority of violence takes place in people’s homes.  Our research merges public health, social policy, social work, worker health and safety, and criminology. We work in a variety of different settings in collaboration with local partners in innovative ways to prevent violence to help keep communities safe. 

We are committed to the meaningful inclusion of Indigenous knowledges globally. In our research, we strive to deconstruct dominant ways of knowing and doing, being and becoming to decolonise teaching and learning, research, and service delivery across society. We work collaboratively with communities to participate in and lead research on the design and delivery of appropriate health and social services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and political identity and decolonization in the Pacific.

Our broad research program investigates interactions of humans with their environments from macro to micro levels: work environment; organisational; industry; social and political context; and professional practice. We have a particular focus on collaborative research with industry partners, community agencies and other stakeholders to provide practical outcomes for risk reduction in the workplace and communities.

The Australian Centre for Health Engagement, Evidence and Values (ACHEEV) is a research centre in the Faculty of the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Wollongong.

In health services and health policy, there are often uncertainties, contests and conflicts. This can be because the evidence is not sufficient to guide action, because there are value differences between stakeholders, or both. We are a specialist team with a set of skills unique in the health policy and practice landscape in Australia. We offer a combination of values‐oriented social research, deliberation and public engagement. These approaches can:

  1. Generate new understanding of uncertainties, contests and conflicts in health;
  2. Facilitate meaningful engagement with important health issues by a diverse set of stakeholders;
  3. Produce action‐guiding recommendations for decision‐makers and practitioners.

Our core activity is research, including supervision of higher degree research, honours, and undergraduate scholars.

The Centre for Occupational, Public and Environmental Research in Safety & Health (COPERSH) is a research centre in the School of Health & Society. The vision of the Centre is to address new, emerging and complex health & safety problems in occupational, public and environmental settings through collaborative research with university and industry partners.

To achieve this vision COPERSH aims to:

  • To partner with industry, university & government to conduct high-quality leading-edge research that addresses current and future risks to occupational, public and environmental health and safety.
  • To build research capacity in the occupational, public and environmental health and safety workforce to lead generational change in managing new and complex issues.
  • To produce high quality employable graduates who can think in imaginative and creative ways to address occupational, public and environmental health and safety issues.

COPERSH currently has a number of research projects in progress in the areas of emissions based maintenance, respiratory protective equipment, respirable crystalline silica exposure management and dust control.

For further information contact the Centre Director Professor Brian Davies AM at