Senior Lecturer in Sociology & Social Policy

Psychology, Sociology and Education

Tel: 0131 474 0000

John R Docherty-Hughes is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology & Social Policy in the Psychology, Sociology and Education Division. He is also a Full member of Centre for Dialogue and Public Engagement.

  • Overview
  • Research Interests
  • Research Publications
  • Teaching & Learning

I am the longest serving member of the Sociology team, having joined the University in 1999. For a number of years, I was the Programme Leader for undergraduate awards in Sociology, before assuming a new School-wide role 2011 and 2015, as NSS Enhancement Coordinator for the School of ASSaM. This role involved working with Programme Leaders and students from across the School, and was primarily focussed on coordinating strategies for enhancing undergraduate students’ experiences during their time with us. Since December 2015, I have been the Acting Head of Division, a role which I will undertake until the end of 2016. I am extremely interested in quality assurance and enhancement, and have convened and been a panel member on a significant number of internal and external undergraduate and postgraduate review and validation events.

I am committed to pedagogical innovation and widening participation in higher education. Since 2004, I have worked collaboratively with Progress Through Learning Midlothian in delivering our community based module Diversity, Family & Society. Validated at SCQF level 7, this project enables adult learners to experience HE, and the discipline of Sociology in particular, in their own communities. The module employs Photovoice as a learning, teaching and assessment tool and enables students to gain academic credit in their own communities, the majority of whom have gone on to study in mainstream FE and HE. My community engagement work was selected as a case study of innovative practice for the University’s last ELIR submission and for the Universities Scotland ‘Ambitious for our People’ event at the Scottish Parliament in September 2011. 

I am the coordinator of the SFC-funded Identity, Community & Society, a unique community-based learning collaboration between Queen Margaret University, Glasgow Open Museum and Glasgow Association for Mental Health, which provides adult learners with an opportunity to learn about sociology and art. The project encourages participants to explore sociological explanations of identity, community and society by engaging with, and interpreting a wide range of art and artefacts from the Museum’s collections, and an exhibition of participants’ work has been displayed at Glasgow City Chambers, Glasgow’s Mitchell Library and the University.

Research/Knowledge Exchange Centre Membership:

In terms of research, I am interested in the intersections between the social contexts of gender, sexuality and health and wellbeing, as well as the application and utility of visual methods of data collection. I was commissioned by Cahonas Scotland, a male cancer charity, to undertake Big Lottery funded research into Scottish men’s awareness of male cancers specifically, the findings from which revealed the power of visual personal narratives of male cancer survivors for raising men’s awareness about male cancer, and enhancing the likelihood of men presenting for cancer screening specifically or seeking medical advice generally.

Research Methods:

  • Participatory Action Research
  • Visual Ethnographies
  • Photovoice.


Please see my research publications in eResearch – Queen Margaret University’s repository

I have taught across the spectrum of undergraduate and postgraduate Sociology curricula, including introductory Sociology modules, social research methods, and more specialist modules like Current Debates in Sociology and Queer Theory, Gender & Sexual Politics. Furthermore, I have been at the forefront of the development of the BSc (Hons) in Public Sociology and, in particular, I offer Engaged Sociology at level 2 which is a distinctively publicly sociological module, with students undertaking a variety of community engagement opportunities as part of their studies.