Mrs Theresa Waight

Mrs Theresa Waight

Lecturer in Social Science & Law

School of Society and Culture (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business)



Lecturer in Social Science and Law.
I am currently the School of Society and Culture Foundation stage Lead. The foundation stage incorporates programmes is Anthropology, Law, Criminology, International Relations, Politics, Sociology, History, English, English with creative writing, Creative writing with English, Drama, Acting and Musical Theatre.These programmes are divided into 3 subject clusters - Humanities, Social Science and Performing Arts. The philosophy of this provision is to provide a supportive, student centred environment in which students can develop the academic and social capital skills necessary for the successful completion of higher education study. I am module lead for 2 of the modules taught of the foundation stage - SSC301 Discovering Your Inner Academic and SSC304 Human Rights and Social Justice. The Discovering Your Inner Academic module seeks to provide students with the academic skills foundation necessary for engagement in years 1-3 of a traditional degree programme. This module is shared across the school bringing students from the various programmes together to develop an foundation stage learning environment. These skills are taught through the subject cluster knowledge prism. The Social Justice and Human Rights module seeks to consider the use of power in relation to human rights and social justice at an individual, national and international level. 
In addition to my teaching role, I act as Academic Liaison Person for Public Services, social science Foundation Degrees delivered by University of Plymouth partner colleges .
I am also the Assistant Director of the University's Cold Case Unit. This unit works with the charity Locate International to review missing persons cold cases. Students working in this unit receive training form Locate International and via this organisation have been given the opportunity to work with University teams around the world on a cold case with the Lower Saxony Police. This is an amazing opportunity for students who in undertaking these investigations bring comfort to the families of missing persons via the reassurance that their loved ones have not been forgotten. 


MSc Social Research
BSc(Hons) Social Policy

VC Awards 2023: Highly Commended: Teaching and Learning Cold Case Unit  
UPSU STARR Awards Highly Commended 2023: Inspirational Teacher.
UPSU STARR Awards nomination 2023: Mel Joyner award for widening participation
UPSU STARR Awards nomination 2022: Personal Tutoring and Programme Leadership. 
UPSU STARR Awards nomination 2021: Personal Tutoring 
UPSU STARR Awards nomination 2018: Dissertation Supervision 
UPSU STARR Awards nomination 2017: Personal Tutoring. 

Professional membership

Fellow of the Higher Education AcademyMember of Social Policy Association. 


Teaching interests

I am module leader for the following foundation stage modules:
SSC301 Discovering your Inner Academic
SSC304 Human Rights and Social Justice
Previous teaching experience:
Foundation Stage
LCG005 Social Justice (2021/22) - Module Lead
LCG007 Human Rights (2021/22) - Module Lead
LCG001 Foundational Ideas & Concepts in Law, Government & Society (2019-2021) - Module Lead
LCG004 Work and employment in the 21st century (2019/20) - Module Lead
LCG 003 Introduction to Government and Society. (2019-2021)
PSPM 304 Public Service Delivery and Evaluation - (2007-2016)
PSPM 301 Human Resources Management, Strategy and Planning in the Public Sector (2007 -2017; Module Lead 2014-16)
PSPM 302 Ethical Decision Making (207-2016; Module Lead 2014-16)
 PSPM 303 Managing Change and Performance in Public Organisations (2007-2016)

Dissertation supervision
BSc(Hons) International Business (2020/21)
BSc (Hons) Public Services (2010- 2017)

I am also the subject lead for 15 public service, social science and criminology FdSc programmes delivered by UoP partner colleges. 


Research interests

My research, and teaching, interests have built upon the themes of gender, education, social justice, system and policy design, implementation and evaluation. While my interest in gender seeks to add to the limited body of scholarly research relating to lone fatherhood, by seeking to evaluate the ‘justness’ of national governmental responses to the creation and sustainability of lone father households. This work has lead to the development of a keen interest in the normative conceptions of social justice and systems design and an understanding of the complexities of cross national research and intergovernmental policy transfer. This interest in system design is further developed with my engagement in the part HEFCE funded Strategic Leadership Project, an applied research project which sought to build HE leadership, governance and management capacity at the Board of Governors, Senior Management Team and HE Coordinator levels within Colleges of Further Education in the South West. While my project evaluation skills were utilised to evaluate the Aim Higher project, jointly funded by the European Social Fund, and Universities of Plymouth and Bournemouth, this project sought to enhance the capacity of the Colleges of Further Education (FECs) in the South West to design and deliver high quality Foundation Degrees in Public Services administration and management.
I have restarted my PhD. The these title is "Government responses to the creation and sustainability of lone father households."
Lone fatherhood is an under researched field within scholarly literature. This research seeks to explore national governmental responses to the creation and sustainability of lone father households. To facilitate intergovernmental policy transfer five countries with a shared welfare philosophies have been selected for this study  - Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK, USA.  Returning to first principles the research establishes the desert normative criteria for fatherhood claims rights that in turn form the foundations for these males to seek custody of their child(ren) as a precursor to establishing a lone father household. These criteria are then utilised to establish the extent to which national governmental responses facilitate the creation of lone father households. This process is further complicated by the contemporary acceptance of non traditional family formations. The research further contends that a right to form a lone father household is of limited value where societal norms relating to gendered care and employment responsibilities have been entrenched in policies relating to the financial well-being of lone parent households. Returning once more to desert based normative principles the research establishes a set of benchmarks legitimising economic claims rights against former partners and the state designed to secure a level of economic support commensurate with sustaining basic needs thus facilitating the sustainability of lone father households. Desert based normative principles are further used to determine the criteria for claims rights in relation to work/life balance policies enabling lone fathers to fulfill their parental responsibilities and employment obligations.