Hallam Hall
54 Howard St, Sheffield City Centre, Sheffield S1 2LX


28 Feb 2024


10:00 am - 3:00 pm

Working Beyond Disciplines 2024: MA Social Research Students

The Working Beyond Disciplines training day introduces students to the ‘grand challenges’ within the thematic fields of their Interdisciplinary Training Pathway, and highlights the importance of interdisciplinary approaches to research. It prepares students for the cutting edge debates they will encounter at doctoral level.

It is compulsory for all ESRC funded MA students registered in September/October 2023, to attend this training day. It is also compulsory for non-ESRC funded MA students registered on the common framework WRDTP MA Social Research programme. You will be informed if you are required to attend.

Training format/ Schedule

10:00 – 10.30 – Arrival and coffee

10.30 – 10.45 – Welcome and introduction to the day

10.45 – 12.15 – Question time panel session

In the morning students will be able to watch and interact with an expert panel, speaking on ‘International Conflict, Polarisation and Uncertain Futures’. The panel will aim to discuss this theme in relation to Social Science research.

12.15 – 13.15 – lunch

13.15 – 14.45 – Pathway-specific session

When you register your attendance at this event you will be asked to choose an interdisciplinary Pathway which most closely relates to your research. Each Pathway will be offering a slightly different programme for the afternoon and you may be asked to do some preparatory reading. Pathway schedules will be added below closer to the date of the training and any documents or articles will be forwarded to you in time to prepare for the session.

14.45 – 15.00 – Concluding remarks

Sustainable Futures

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals put forward by the United Nations provide an ambitious vision for the world. Last year the UN convened the Sustainable Development Goals Summit which marked the beginning of “a new phase of accelerated progress” towards the Goals. Responding to this context, this pathway session will encourage participants to discuss and explore how their research relates to the Goals, and what it might indicate about progress towards the Goals. The session will provide opportunities for individuals to consider the Goals and, in discussion with other researchers, gain insights into how their research on a particular issue, location, or case can contribute to wider debates.
(Please note that detailed knowledge of the Sustainable Development Goals is not required for participation in the session)

Students will be given opportunity to introduce themselves and talk about how their research projects might relate or speak to the theme of International Conflict, Polarisation and Uncertain Futures. There will be a break and then an activity in small groups (or whole group depending on number of attendees) where students will watch a short documentary related to the theme of the event followed by discussion in small groups.

“Digital evils?”

This pathway session will encourage attendants to discuss and explore ways to investigate topics related to digital hate speech and online polarisation. The session will host guest speaker Dr Ozge Ozduzen, Lecturer in Digital Media and Society from the University of Sheffield, who will deliver the talk: “Digital racism on TikTok: How do the social context and affordances foster far-right ideologies?”. Through the talk, participants will be able to learn more about findings from the project (De)Radicalisation in Europe and Beyond: Detect, Resolve, Reintegrate (European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme). The second part of the session will offer opportunities to reflect on how concepts (e.g., social media affordances) and methods (e.g., visual and digital methods) explored in the talk could be relevant to the attendants’ research goals and future trajectories.

Participants are encouraged to read the following article prior to the session:
Ozduzen, O., Ferenczi, N., & Holmes, I. (2023). “Let us teach our children”: Online racism and everyday far-right ideologies on TikTok. Visual Studies, 38 (5), 834-850.”

Students will work in small groups to discuss the role of conflict and uncertainty in relation to their doctoral research topics. Each group will identify 2-3 significant areas of conflict and uncertainty, and work collaboratively to design a student-led research activity to address these issues. Students are encouraged to think broadly about what their activity could involve, from traditional academic activities such as workshops, reading groups, seminars or conferences, through to online activities, exhibitions, performances, community engagement and so on. Students who wish to turn these plans into reality will be encouraged to submit to the DTP’s Student Led Networks and Events Scheme.

We will have a seminar-style interactive discussion based around several core questions coming out of the expert panel. We will think about the different ways each theme within our pathway may approach and address the questions, and interrogate the ways conflict, polarisation and uncertainty interact with our own thematic research. We will discuss several real world examples, from the local and global arena, to ground the discussion. Scholars of regional, national or international issues within our core themes will all be welcome.

“Problematising International Conflict, Polarisation and Uncertain Futures with reference to Sustainability, Business, Work and Economic Research in the Social Sciences”

This session will work to explore how geo-political events and uncertain environmental, political, and economic conditions can and are shaping research in the social sciences, with a specific reference to the areas covered by the SBE pathway (i.e, Sustainability, Business, Work and Economy). The workshop will focus on the imperative to incorporate wider contexts within research design, and will challenge assumptions that research in these areas can or should be mainly or exclusively designed with reference only to disciplinary debates and concerns, rather than to topical events and wider concerns and uncertainties. The workshop will combine general discussion with specific reflection on students’ intended research topics.


The World Health Organization (WHO) and other global bodies have emphasised the importance of protecting health and wellbeing in conflict zones, promoting mental health support, and addressing the specific health needs of displaced populations. The Wellbeing, Health, and Communities pathway focuses on interdisciplinary research to understand and improve individual and community wellbeing. We explore social, economic, and cultural factors influencing health outcomes, emphasising collaborative approaches across sociology, psychology, and public health.

In the afternoon session for the WHC pathway, participants will work in small groups to answer the question: How can an interdisciplinary approach enhance the effectiveness of health and wellbeing interventions during international conflicts? The task will be to: Explore collaborative strategies among experts in psychology, public health, sociology, medicine and conflict resolution to design an integrated intervention that addresses the complex interplay of psychological, social, and cultural factors.

Participants are strongly recommended to read the following article prior to attending the session:

CohenMiller, A., & Pate, E. (2019). A Model for Developing Interdisciplinary Research Theoretical Frameworks. The Qualitative Report, 24(6), 1211-1226. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2019.3558

Please note that this training forms part of a compulsory Working Beyond Disciplines module within the MA Social Sciences Research degree. If you are required to attend this module in order to complete your degree, but are unable to do so please contact your institution’s MA module lead.

This training session will be delivered face-to-face at Sheffield Hallam University. 

PLEASE NOTE: The morning panel session will be recorded and will be available on the VIRE in an edited format for those students who cannot attend. If you wish to join this session but do not wish for your contributions to be included in the edited VIRE resource, please ensure that you select NO when prompted in the online booking form regarding recording.