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Dr Philippa Velija, Head of Education and Sociology

Dr Philippa Velija

Head of Social Sciences, Psychology and Education

Faculty of Sport, Health and Social Sciences


As Head of Education and Sociology and Associate Professor in the Sociology of Sport, Philippa is responsible for a strategic development of courses spanning foundation year to postgraduate.

Philippa has taught a number of modules focusing on the sociology of sport, including introduction to sociology of sport, sport and sociological theories, sport policy, sport and the body and gender in sport. In addition, she has led the dissertation module for undergraduate students and co-delivered research methods modules for sport students. She is committed to working with students to help them develop an understand issues of equity and diversity in sport and adopting sociological theories to understanding complex issues in sport are issues.

Philippa’s research provides a qualitative a sociological analysis of gender relations in sport and physical education. Drawing on figurational sociology she adopts a long terms perspective as well as providing an understanding of changing power relations between men and women in sport. Her book on Women’s Cricket and Global Processes remains one of the few texts which examines the history and development of women’s cricket across the globe from a sociological perspective. Philippa is an active member of the research community at Solent and is faculty research lead.

Taught courses

Further information

Research interests

Philippa has been research active in the area of sociology of sport, contributing to the recent REF. Recently, her research has focused on the production of a sole authored book with Palgrave published in 2015 entitled Women’s Cricket and Global Processes: The Emergence and Development of Women’s Cricket as a Global Game.

She has published in several peer reviewed journals, including International Review for Sociology of Sport, Sociology of Sport Journal, developing a strong research profile focusing on issues of gender relations in sport, including women’s cricket, horse racing, MMA, girls and Physical Education and Sport.

She is currently supervising a PhD on civilising processes, physical education and masculine identities.

Recent publications

Velija, P. and Silvani, L., 2020. Print Media Narratives of Bullying and Harassment at the Football Association: A Case Study of Eniola Aluko. Journal of Sport and Social Issues,.

Powis, B. and Velija, P., (2020). Cricket has no boundaries with NatWest? The hyperreality of inclusion and diversity in English cricket. Sport in Society, pp.1-16.

Velija, P., & Malcolm, D. (2020). Covid-19, Exercise and bodily self-control. sociologia del delporte, 1(1), 29-34.

Velija, P (2019) ‘Sport and Physical Activity in Post-Communist Albania’ in Sport, Statehood and Transition in Europe: Comparative perspectives from post-Soviet and post-socialist societies in Press

Velija, P. (2019) Gender and Sexual Relations in British Sports Broadcasting: Beyond Clare Balding in Magrath LBGT Athletes in Sports Media London: Palgrave

Velija, P (2019) ‘Gender and Leadership in English Cricket: A Case Study of the Women’s Cricket Association and the England and Wales Cricket Board’ in Gender diversity in European sport leadership: progress and stagnation. London: Routledge

Mierzwinski, M & Velija P. (2019) Figurational sociology and masculine embodiment in Male Physical Education in Handbook of Sport and Masculinity. London: Routledge.

Velija, P. (2015) Women’s Cricket and Global Processes: The Emergence and Development of Womens Cricket as a Global Game. Palgrave Macmillian

Malcolm, D. and Velija, P. (2018) Figurational Research in Sport, Leisure and Health, London: Routledge

Malcolm, D and Velija, P., (2017). Cricket: the quintessential English game?. In Gibbons, T. and Malcolm, D. (eds.) Sport and English National Identity in a ‘Disunited Kingdom’. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 19 - 33.

Velija, P with Mansfield, L. (2017). ‘The UK House of Commons Women and Sport Report 2014-2015: Policy, Evidence and Impact’, in (eds) Mansfield, L., Caudwell, J., Wheaton, B., and Watson, R. The Palgrave Handbook of Feminism and Sport, Leisure and Physical Education. Basingstoke. Palgrave Macmillan.

Velija, P. (2015) Women’s Cricket and Global Processes: The Emergence and Development of Womens Cricket as a Global Game. Palgrave Macmillian

Work in progress

Philippa has recently presented at the BSA conference on lad culture in university sport. She is also working on a project with a colleague at Northumbria University looking at the commercialisation of toddler sport. Philippa supervises PhDs Peer Relations in Male Physical Education, Social Entrepreneurship in Sport Development, and Growth Mindset in PE.