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Dr Philippa Velija

Head of Social Sciences, Psychology and Education

Faculty of Sport, Health and Social Sciences

Dr Philippa Velija, Head of Education and Sociology


Philippa is an experienced researcher and academic leader. As Head of School for Social Sciences, Psychology and Education and Faculty Research Lead, Philippa is responsible for leading the school and courses within the portfolio and supporting the development of research across the Faculty of Sport, Health and Social Sciences.

Philippa has a first-class degree from Liverpool Hope University, a Masters with Distinction in Sociology of Sport from the University of Leicester and a PhD entitled, ‘Women, cricket and gender relations’ from Brunel University (awarded 2007). Since 2007 Philippa has worked at York St John University (2006-2015) and joined Solent University as Head of Education and Sport in 2015, before moving to become Head of School in 2021.

Research interests

Philippa is a sociologist and her research provides a qualitative a sociological analysis of gender relations and inequalities. Drawing on sociological theory she adopts a long term perspective on changing power relations between men and women. 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. Her current projects include the book Gender Equity in UK Sport Governance, published by Emerald in 2022 and research projects on lad cultures in higher education, bystander workshops on sexual harm, curriculum development and inequalities in opportunities for early childhood. Externally Philippa presents her research in sociology journals and conferences as well being a member of the team leading a critical pedagogy in sport global network

As faculty research lead at Solent University, Philippa supports the strategic development of research including chairing the faculty research advisory board, and is responsible for the faculty research plan and budget.




sociology, gender relations, girls and women experiences, sociological theory, parenting, early year inequalities

Further information

  • December 2021 – Bystander Awareness – Change the Culture
  • August 2020 – Covid 19 Preschool children and physical activity
  • November 2019 –PI- CIMSPA Bid for Writing Annual LMI Report
  • August 2014 – Collaborative Bid to Ben Cohen Stand Up Foundation 

Taught courses

BA (Hons) Sociology

Sociology – or the study of human society – asks difficult questions about the everyday. As a sociology student here at Solent, you’ll develop an understanding of your own...

BA (Hons) Criminology and Sociology

BA (Hons) Criminology and Sociology is a contemporary and exciting course which combines the disciplines of sociology and criminology. You’ll develop advanced knowledge, skills...

MA Physical Education and School Sport

The MA Physical Education and School Sport programme will help you to develop the academic knowledge and practical skills that underpin a career in physical education and youth...