School of Human Sciences

Human sciences is about improving the health and security of individuals and societies. As the world grapples with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, this field of science has never been more important.

Matters of life and death

The world needs the human sciences more than ever: whether it's for developing rapid diagnostics to detect illness, understanding the health benefits of regular activity, making better use of big data to predict health outcomes, or tackling obesity.

Away from healthcare, the human sciences also play an important role in performance sport. Sport scientists use their in-depth knowledge of biological principles alongside psychology and coaching, to help athletes improve their training and nutrition for superior performance, as well as to prevent or recover from injuries. 

The human sciences are also central to ensuring the security of our society. Forensic evidence is increasingly relied upon to convict criminals and as those criminals become more sophisticated, so too must our methods of detection. 

Could you help us tackle these challenges? By studying or working with our School, you'll begin a journey which could end with you making a real difference to the lives of many. To find out more about our courses, explore the undergraduate and postgraduate sections below or read more about our research.

Changing lives with research

Staff in our Human Sciences Research Centre conduct a range of studies that help to prevent and treat diseases or improve quality of life for people of all ages. This includes major health challenges such as healthy ageing, which is a priority for both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UK Government.

We've also recently secured £850k of funding for a new Facility for Omics Research in Metablism (FORM), which will focus on the effect that foods, vitamins, supplements and drugs have on the human body. Omics is a growing area of study and an important part of the Government's roadmap for the life sciences.

Some recent research highlights:

These are just some of our recent research studies. The Human Sciences Research Centre is currently involved in a range of projects focused on these four key research themes:

  1. A healthy start in life
  2. Enhancing mental health and wellbeing
  3. Combating disease and promoting physical health
  4. Enhancing human performance

 Find out more about our research

Our services

As an applied university, we use our research and expertise to make positive changes to public services, industry and the wider society. Being a 'force for positive impact' is one of the key pillars in our strategic framework.

Within the School of Human Sciences, this means we can help external organisations with:

  • Research method design
  • Qualitative research and quantitative research
  • Intervention and evaluation
  • Analytical testing and investigation
  • Statistical analysis

In particular, our Human Performance Unit provides expert sport science services to sports clubs and individual athletes, from beginners to elite performers.

To find out which other aspects of the human sciences our researchers specialise in, visit the Human Sciences Research Centre page.

We also have a range of specialist equipment, which can be hired, such as our Scanning Electron Microscope.

Sally Akehurst stood in front of a tree.

Sally Akehurst
Head of School of Human Sciences

Dr Sally Akehurst is Head of School of Human Sciences which consists of three Discipline Areas including: Biomedical and Forensic Science; Psychology, and Sport and Exercise Science.

Email
S.Akehurst@derby.ac.uk
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