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Mike Sheaff


Personal photograph uploaded by Mike Sheaff

Dr Mike Sheaff

  • Job title: Associate Professor (Senior Lecturer) in Sociology, Plymouth School of Government (Faculty of Business)
  • Telephone: +441752585829
  • Email:


Programme lead for BSc (Hons) Health & Social Care Studies

Co-convenor of School of Social Science & Social Work seminar series 

(Formerly Head of Sociology & Social Policy Subject Group, 2004-2007) 

Qualifications & background

PhD Industrial and Business Studies, University of Warwick, 1988-1992

MA Industrial Relations (with distinction), University of Warwick, 1985-1986

PGCE, College of St Mark and St John, Plymouth, 1977-1978

BA (Hons) Psychology, Plymouth Polytechnic, 1974-1977.


Roles on external bodies

Elected member of Plymouth City Council, 1991-2000 (and Chair of Social Services Commitee, 1997-2000).

Inaugural Chair of Plymouth Community Partnership, 1995-1996.

Trustee of Plymouth Citizens' Advice Bureau, 1994-1998.

Member of Chief Medical Officer's project on strengthening the public health function, 1997-98.

Co-Chair of Plymouth Health Action Zone, 1998-2000.

Member of National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education/University and Colleges Union National Executive Committee, 2004-2007.

Non-Executive Director and Vice Chair of Plymouth Primary Care Trust, 2001-to date. (Chair of Clinical Governance Committee until March 2008, and subsequently Chair of Commissioning Governance Committee).

Member of Sociology Reference Group for C-SAP (Higher Education Authority Subject Centre for Sociology Anthropology and Politics), 2006-to date.


Teaching interests

Responsible for a wide range of teaching, including module leadership roles, on the following  programmes:

BSc (Hons) Sociology
BSc (Hons) Health & Social Care Studies
BSc (Hons) Nursing and BSc (Hons) programmes for Allied Health Professions
MSc Social Research
MSc Health and Wellbeing


Staff serving as external examiners

External examiner for the Social and Health Policy Field Examination Board, Birmingham City University, 2005-2009.


Research interests

Work and organisation in health care services and Health inequalities and access to health care services.

Currently working on a project looking at the early diagnosis of dementia and support offered to people with dementia and their carers (with Plymouth Alzheimer's Society, Plymouth Age Concern and others). 


Books and chapters in books

Sheaff, M. (2005) Sociology and Health Care: An Introduction for Nurses, Midwives and Allied Health Professions. Open University Press.

(Reviewed in Sociological Research Online

Sheaff, M. (2004) 'Health inequalities and research methods' in David, M. & Sutton, C. Social Research: The Basics. Sage Publications.

Sheaff, M. (1997) 'Urban Partnerships, Economic Regeneration and the Healthy City'. In Jewson, N. & MacGregor, S. (eds) Transforming Cities: contested governance and new spatial divisions. Routledge.


Sheaff, M. (2002) ‘Accountabilities, Centralisation and Partnerships’ MCC Building Knowledge for Integrated Care, 10(4), October 2002, pp.3-12.

Conference papers

Sheaff, M (2013) "The letter you were seeking cannot be found. That is the end of the matter". Power, ethics and use of the Freedom of Information Act. Methodological Innovations Conference. University of Plymouth. 5th December 2013.

Sheaff, M (2012) Dementia, self and Others. British Sociological Association Auto/Biography Summer Conference. University of Reading. 14th July 2012

Sheaff, M. (2012) Self, dementia and Identity. Ageing and Society Conference, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C. Canada (virtual presentation)

Sheaff, M. (2011) Dementia, self and social identity. British Society of Gerontology 40th Conference. University of Plymouth. 5th-7th July 2011.

Sheaff, M. & Shepherd, A. (2011) Music and dementia: an interdisciplinary approach. Methods conference, University of Plymouth. May 2011.

Sheaff, M. & Parsons, J. (2009) Is Sociology Relevant for professional occupations? C-SAP (Centre for Sociology, Anthropology and Politics) Conference, Birmingham, November 2009.

Sheaff, M. (2007) 'Public Sociology and Health Professions'. C-SAP (Centre for Sociology, Anthropology and Politics) Conference, Cardiff, November 2007.

Sheaff, M. (2004) 'Stimulating a Sociological Imagination Among Healthcare Professionals'. British Sociological Association Medical Sociology Conference, York, September 2004.

Sheaff, M (2003) 'Inequalities in health services and the "inverse care law"'. World Health Organisation International Healthy Cities Conference, Belfast.

Book reviews

In Disability and Rehabilitation (2008) 30 (9): 729-730: Cwikel, J.G. Social Epidemiology: Strategies for Public Health Activism.

In Sociology of Health and Illness (2007) Book Reviews 29 (3): 477-479: Wilkinson, R.G. The Impact of Inequality - How to Make Sick Societies Healthier, and Budrys, G. Unequal Health: how inequality Contributes to Health or Illness.

In Sociology of Health and Illness (2004) Book Reviews 26 (1): 130-131: Mohan, J. Planning, Markets and Hospitals.

In Journal of Advanced Nursing (2004) 46 (2): 228: Davey, B., Gray, A. & Seale, C. (eds) Health and Disease: A Reader (3rd edition).


Reports & invited lectures

Sheaff, M. (2002) Sociology Resources for Teaching Health Professionals. University of Plymouth.

Sheaff, M. (2001) 'Health and social care partnerships in learning disability services: A review of staff attitudes towards organisational integration and professional collaboration in three areas of the UK' Report of a study carried out on behalf of the South West Association of Learning Disabilities.

Sheaff, M., McFarlane, H., Sherriff, I. & Giarchi, G. (2010) 'Early diagnosis of dementia in Plymouth'. University of Plymouth.


Other academic activities

Peer-reviewed articles for the following journals:


Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine

Additional information