School of Education and Social Work

Centre for Innovation and Research in Childhood and Youth (CIRCY)

Welcome to the Centre for Innovation and Research in Childhood and Youth

CIRCY was launched at the University of Sussex in 2012, bringing together research, scholarship and expertise on childhood and youth. It is an interdisciplinary and cross-university centre, with a membership that includes researchers from the social and life sciences, arts, humanities and professional fields including social work, law, education and health.

Our aim is to create a space for dialogue, collaboration, creativity and capacity-building - supporting new research and knowledge exchange. CIRCY provides a stimulating environment for doctoral students working in the area of childhood, youth and family studies and a destination for visiting academics and opinion formers.

We aim to become an internationally recognised centre of excellence in the field of researching children, young people and families. We are outward-looking, committed to working with policy-makers, professional colleagues, young people and their carers in order to share expertise, promote good practice and to exchange knowledge.

CIRCY nurtures synergies between research activity and the teaching curriculum through an undergraduate course - the BA in Childhood and Youth: Theory and Practice - and the Masters course - the MA in Childhood and Youth Studies. We also provide training in research methods with children and young people.

CIRCY is directed by Professor Rachel Thomson and Dr Janet Boddy, and supported by a steering group that includes  Professor Robin Banerjeeand Dr Sevasti-Melissa Nolas.

Don't Miss...

Sexology Songwriting Project

CIRCY has partnered with the Wellcome Trust to explore the study of sex through music and lyrics as part of the 'Sexology Songwriting Project'.

See details on the Wellcome Trust press release:
Press Release: Sexoxology songwriting project [PDF 77.20KB]

Rights-based education: A consultation

See the Consultation on rights-based education: Oct 2014 [PDF 366.40KB] document for the Office of the Children's Commissioner drafted by Associate Lecturer, Margaret Boushel on behalf of the Centre for Innovation and Research in Childhood and Youth, the Centre for Social Work Research, and the School of Education and Social Work at the University of Sussex. The document is based on research on children's rights in primary and secondary education and other child welfare settings.


The Centre for Innovation and Research in Childhood and Youth is a new inter-disciplinary research centre at the University of Sussex.

Judith Okely became an anthropologist when ordered by matron not to cry when her father died.

Hoodies existed in 1960's Suffolk, worn by American boarding school girl Mikey Cuddihy at Summerhill.

Centre for life writing session on memories of boarding school. Mikey Cuddihy talks about her memoir of summerhill.

If you missed the excellent CIRA-hosted seminar yesterday afternoon presented by Dr Elaine Chase from Oxford on capturing the wellbeing...

tensions between religion and being sex positive? Are teachers and medics sending same messages? Great questions from medical students

Visit SussexCIRCY on Twitter


CIRCY Director:
Professor Rachel Thomson
T +44 (0)1273 876689

CIRCY Co-Director:

Professor Janet Boddy
T +44 (0)1273 872768

CIRCY Graduate Teaching/Research Assistant:

Elsie Whittington

Centre for Innovation and Research in Childhood and Youth (CIRCY)
School of Education and Social Work
Essex House
University of Sussex
Falmer, Brighton