Staff Profile


Dr Peter Watts

Senior Lecturer

School: School of Psychology, Politics and Sociology

Campus: Canterbury

Tel: 01227 922314

Profile summary

I am a Senior Lecturer in Sociology, and am currently the First Year Co-ordinator for the Sociology Programme.  From September 2014 I will be taking over the Programme Director role.

I have been working at Canterbury Christ Church University since 2000.  Before joining the University I was employed as a Research Fellow at Warwick Business School, and then as a Programme Administrator at Brunel University.  Both posts were associated with the ESRC Virtual Society? Research Programme. My PhD research was concerned with the sociology of HIV/AIDS.

My particular areas of academic interest are: social theory; the sociology of health and medicine; social inclusion; sociology in/of learning and teaching. 

As well as my work on the Sociology Programme I have in the past held a number of Faculty and University-wide roles such as Learning and Teaching Co-ordinator, Widening Participation Officer and Academic Lead on the Student Communications Group. 

Research and knowledge exchange

My recent research activity has focussed on three areas: integration of Complementary and Alternative Medicine into nursing practice within the NHS; learning and teaching in higher education, and in particular the role sociology can play in this; integrated delivery of social and governmental services, and social regeneration.

Teaching and subject expertise

I contribute to a wide variety of modules on the programme.  At level 4 (first year), my main teaching contributions are in the introductory social theory module (‘Theorising Modernity’), and in a module which explores questions of identity, drawing on sociology and other cognate disciplines (‘Who Am I’).  At level 5 (second year) I convene the module ‘Theory and Methods’ which focuses on social theory and its relationship to methods.  At level 6, as well as supervising students on their individual studies, I lead a module called ‘Reading Social Texts’ which once again has a focus on social theory, and was designed with those students who wish to go on to post graduate research in mind.  I also contribute substantially to a module called ‘Sex and Madness’ which explores sociologically the connections sexuality, mental health, medicine, identity and power in modernity.  Beyond the Sociology programme, I am involved in PhD supervision.

I am also interested in the scholarship of learning and teaching, and in particular how sociological understanding can be used to improve learning in a higher education context.  To that end, working with colleagues, I contributed significantly to the redesign of first year delivery on the programme, and also to a number of University-wide forums exploring: how to enhance student induction and the first year experience; how to improve assessment and feedback practices; personal tutoring and student communications.  I have published on learning and teaching in Higher Education, and co-presented at conferences.  I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.  In 2011 I contributed significantly to the submission for which the Sociology Programme won the BSA/C-Sap National Award for Excellence in Teaching Sociology, and was also given a Teaching Excellence Award by Canterbury Christ Church University.

External activities

I have been involved in a number of presentations at national and international conferences in recent years.  These include:

“Precarious Professionalism: attempts by nurses and midwives to position themselves as competent practitioners of complementary and alternative medicine in the UK National Health Service” (Sarah Cant and Peter Watts), ISA RC52 (Sociology of Professional Groups) Interim Conference on Challenging Professionalism: New Directions in Policies, Publics and the Professions, School of Economics and Management (ISEG), Lisbon, Portugal, November 2013

“Pure and dangerous: complementary and alternative medicine, risk and governmentality” (Sarah Cant and Peter Watts), British Sociological Association Medical Sociology Group Annual Conference, Durham University, September 2010.

“Familiarity breeds contentment: Enabling student transitions into HE through taking a holistic approach to level IV delivery”, Higher Education Academy Seminar Series, Canterbury Christ Church University, October 2009.

“Soft, strong and very, very long: An integrated approach to fostering student retention and success” (Sarah Cant and Peter Watts), Retention in Tough Times Conference, Southampton Solent University, September 2009.

Publications and research outputs

Cant, S. and Watts, P. (2012) Complementary and alternative medicine: gender and marginality. In: Kuhlmann, E. and Annandale, E., eds. The Palgrave Handbook of Gender and Health Care. 2nd ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave. pp. 488-520 ISBN 9781137015143

Cant, S., Watts, P. and Ruston, A. (2012) The rise and fall of complementary medicine in National Health Service hospitals in England. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 18 (3). pp. 135-139. ISSN 1744-3881.

Cant, S., Watts, P. and Ruston, A. (2011) Negotiating competency, professionalism and risk: the integration of complementary and alternative medicine by nurses and midwives in NHS hospitals. Social Science and Medicine, 72 (4). pp. 529-536. ISSN 0277-9536


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Last edited: 05/12/2017 03:57:00