Professor John Scott CBE FBA

Professor John Scott CBE FBA

Emeritus Professor

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business



Emeritus Professor of Sociology 

Formerly Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research)

I worked at Plymouth University from 2008 to 2013, having previously been Professor of Sociology and Dean of Social Sciences at Essex University, Professor and Head of Department at the University of Leicester, and lecturer at the University of Strathclyde. I have been an active member of the British Sociological Association since 1970,and I am a Fellow of the British Academy and of the Academy of Social Sciences.

E-mail address: john.scott  Non-Plymouth users should add ''

Professional Career

2008-13   Professor of Sociology and Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research, University of Plymouth. (Retired December 2013).

1994-2008  Professor of Sociology and Dean of School of Social Sciences, University of Essex.

1991- 94   Professor of Sociology and Head of Department, University of Leicester

1976-91   Lecturer and Reader in Sociology, University of Leicester.

1972-76   Lecturer in Sociology, University of Strathclyde.

1971-72   Part-time teacher in Social Studies, HM Remand Centre, Latchmere House, Richmond, Surrey: Temporary Tutor in Sociology for Post- Graduate Diploma of Institute of Personnel Management , LSE.


1971-72:   London School of Economics, engaged in Post-Graduate research. Transferred to staff registration at Strathclyde University, 1974. [Awarded PhD 1976]

1968-71:   Kingston College of Technology, reading for External degree of London University. Awarded BSc (Soc) with First Class Honours.

1960-68:   Hampton Grammar School, Middlesex. Studying to A-level.

Honours and Awards

Commander of the British Empire (CBE) Birthday Honours List 2013, For Services to Social Science.

Distinguished Service to British Sociology Award, 2014

Honorary Doctor of the University, University of Essex, July 2016

Elected as Fellow of the British Academy (FBA), 2007.

Elected as Fellow, Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS), 2003.

Professional membership

British Academy:
Section S4 Chair (2015-18); Research and Higher Education Policy Committee (2012-15, 2019-); Member of Governing Council (2016-2019), Member of Fellowship and Structures Committee (2019-)

British Sociological Association
Member since 1970; Executive Committee member (1984-93); Honorary General Secretary (1990-92); Chairperson (1992-93); Assistant Treasurer and Treasurer (1996-8); President (2001-3); Currently Honorary Vice President and Advisory Board Member.

Academy of the Social Sciences
Member, Committee of Academicians (2004-7)

Roles on external bodies

Higher Education Funding Council


Sociology Panel Member, Research Assessment Exercise (2000-01); Chair of Sociology Panel and Member of Main Panel, Research Assessment Exercise (2005-8); Chair of Sociology Panel and Member of Main Panel, Research Excellence Framework (2010-14). Member of advisory and consultation panels.

National Regulatory Bodies


Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education:
Assessor Teaching Quality Assessment (1994-5), Benchmarking Committee, Sociology (1999-2000 and 2015-16

Schools Curriculum and Assessment Authority:
Core Curriculum Working Party (1994-6)

Universities Alliance:
Member of Committee of Research Pro-Vice Chancellors (2010-13)

Research Councils and Funding Bodies


Economic and Social Research Council:
Member of Professorial Scheme Selection Committee (2007); Member of Steering Group for International Benchmarking of Sociology (2008-10); Member of Peer Review Panels (various years).

Leverhulme Trust
Member of Leverhulme Advisory Panel (2007- 2019)

Referee for National Research Councils: France, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Norway.



Research interests

My research interests are in the areas of social stratification, power and elites, business organisation, research methods, and sociological theory. I am currently working on a number of issues in the history of sociology, especially sociology in Britain.

Full details on my research, together with original research data can be found on my personal website.




  • The Emerald Guide to Talcott Parsons, Bingley, Emerald Publishing, 2020 

  • British Sociology. A History, London, Palgrave Macmillan, 2020 

  • The Emerald Guide to Max Weber, Bingley, Emerald Publishing, 2019

  • British Social Theory: Recovering Lost Traditions before 1950, London, Sage, 2018



Additional information

A number of biographical accounts and essays can be found here.