Research in the College of Business, Law and Social Sciences

At Derby we believe in research that matters to people. Research within our College of Business, Law and Social Sciences is distinctive, relevant, insightful and designed to make a difference.

Real-world impact

Everything we do is shaped by a desire to build better business and a better society. We not only generate knowledge but also apply that knowledge for the benefit of our partners, our students and our wider community. The focus is on high-quality research that exists not just to fill the pages of academic journals but to create meaningful real-world impact - improving business practice and steering effective policy-making.

Underpinned by strong engagement with our partners, our work is centred on a series of compelling research themes spanning some of today's most pressing issues in business, enterprise, social justice and criminology. While the research is national and international in scope, we place great emphasis on serving the needs of our city, county and region.

BLSS academics ranked amongst most cited researchers

Our research team are in the top 2% of the most highly-cited researchers in the world. They have been featured in the top 160,000 cited researchers out of seven million researchers worldwide.

Find out more about our ranking

Nurturing talent

As part of a dynamic research strategy, we are investing in high-level expertise, nurturing new talent and bringing together flexible interdisciplinary research teams with the agility to deliver first-rate results.

Join us in informing a better future. Experienced and early career researchers alike will discover a vibrant academic community where they have the freedom to tackle the big questions and to push boundaries. Postgraduate research students will thrive in an inspiring and supportive environment, developing their ideas under the supervision of leading professors.

And any organisation seeking rigorous bespoke research – whether they are from the public, private and third sectors – will find we produce solutions that really work.

Latest news

Our researchers in the College of Business, Law and Social Sciences are often involved in projects and events, and contribute to many articles and publications that help shape Business practice both regionally, nationally and internationally

Increasing the focus on peer recovery and empowerment in drug policy

Professor David Best summarises the impact of a research programme, that was led by the University of Derby, which looked into addiction recovery pathways in four European countries. The programme has helped to empower people in recovery and to support their inclusion and engagement in the process of developing and implementing addiction policy.

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Levelling up by tackling rising income inequality in the UK

With the UK government committing itself to ‘levelling up’ inequalities that exist between our regions and communities, Dr Ghulam Mustafa, Lecturer in Economics at the University of Derby, assesses how those inequalities have emerged and what can be done to reduce them.

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Professor Marc Cowling has been appointed to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Peer Review Group

Professor Marc Cowling, Head of Research and Innovation in the College of Business, Law and Social Sciences, has been appointed to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Peer Review Group.
 
Professor Cowling explains: "The function of the group is to peer review new research conducted on behalf of BEIS to ensure methodological robustness and sound conclusions so that policy deliberations are informed by high quality research. The appointment is a measure of esteem at national government level."
 

Retail in the community: Beyond the buyer-seller transaction

Professor Carley Foster's inaugural lecture explored how retailers can create a retail experience for customers which reflects the community they serve and embed themselves in the local area by working with key stakeholders. By co-creating a community retail experience and moving away from a sole focus on transactional retailing, retailers can position themselves as a key element of the town centre jigsaw, alongside complimentary services and attractions. In doing this, retailers can begin to protect themselves from a turbulent retail environment and instead have an active role in the evolving, reincarnated high street.

Find out more about Professor Carley Foster's Inaugural Lecture

Addiction and recovery in a pandemic

Professor David Best is heading up an international study of the impact the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown has had on the recovery of people suffering from drug addiction.

Learn more about the study

£15m boost to renew and reshape city centre

Derby will receive a £15 million government cash boost to help renew and reshape the city centre following a successful bid by Derby City Council. The submission to the Future High Street Fund is designed to help renew and reshape town centres and high streets across the country. Professor Carley Foster acted as a representative for the University and contributed to the shaping of the business case that was put to the Department of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Find out more about the funding

a researcher doing chemical tests in the lab

Research degrees

Your postgraduate research experience at the University of Derby is designed to help you build fundamental research skills, whether you are a motivated recent graduate or an experienced academic.

Learn more about our research degreesLearn more about our research degrees