At the School of Health and Social Development we're committed to research that results in real, tangible outcomes for improving health.

Research areas include public health, physical activity, obesity, disability and inclusion, and the environment. Our well-established partnerships consistently help us achieve this goal. Currently, we have a particular focus on social diversity and the health of marginalised or excluded groups.

Study a research degree with us

The school addresses the complex connections between determinants of health in their broadest sense and social development in a variety of settings and at a range of intervention levels.

We currently have research degree supervisors available in:

  • health promotion and public health
  • occupational therapy
  • child play therapy
  • disability
  • social work.

If you'd like to study a master's or PhD at the School of Health and Social Development, first read how to become a research student, then contact a supervisor directly.

Find out how to become a research degree student at Deakin

Find a supervisor

Our research themes

  • Gender, family, reproductive and sexual health
  • Sustainability, environments, communities, nature and health
  • Health, diversity and social inclusion
  • Violence and abuse: prevention and intervention
  • Child, adolescent and family therapeutic play assessments and interventions
  • Professional practice and higher education in public health, health promotion, social work, occupational science and therapy and child play therapy

Find a research supervisor

Search for the topic that you're interested in researching and discover all the possible supervisors within the Faculty of Health that could help you further your research career goals.

Research supervisors for honours students

Dr Joanne Watson

Dr Joanne Watson is a senior lecturer in Disability and Inclusion in the School of Health and Social Development. Here, she discusses her research on human rights, the wonderfully diverse team she works with and her experience supervising honours students at Deakin.

Dr Elyse Warner and Dr Hayley McKenzie

Dr Elyse Warner and Dr Hayley McKenzie talk about their experience supervising honours students, and their research interests covering the importance of housing in health and wellbeing, and low-income single parents and their experience with the welfare and child support system.

Dr Mathew Dunn

Dr Dunn is a senior lecturer in the School of Health and Social Development. He specialises in researching substance use and harm, in particular the use and harms associated with performance and image enhancing drugs, emerging psychoactive drugs, and ecstasy and related drugs.

Dr Kate Anderson

Dr Kate Anderson, a researcher in the Disability and Inclusion team in the School of Health and Social Development, talks about her expertise in speech pathology and her experience supervising honours students at Deakin.

Our research centres

Centre for Health through Action on Social Exclusion (CHASE) 

Social exclusion can come in many forms and can have a significant effect on health and wellbeing. The researchers at CHASE focus on finding realistic, practical solutions to exclusion.

Find out more about CHASE

Health, Nature and Sustainability Group (HNS)

How does the natural environment impact our health and wellbeing? How can we harness the natural world to improve our lives?

These are the questions being answered by researchers at our Health, Nature and Sustainability Group.

Find out more about HNS