Dr Will Mason

Sheffield Methods Institute

Senior Lecturer in Applied Social Sciences

Dr Will Mason
Profile picture of Dr Will Mason
+44 114 222 8368

Full contact details

Dr Will Mason
Sheffield Methods Institute
The Wave
2 Whitham Road
S10 2AH
Understanding social inequalities - Meet Dr Will Mason

Dr Will Mason is a sociologist with expertise in youth and community work, child welfare inequalities, critical methodologies and community-based participatory approaches. He is currently a Lecturer in Applied Social Science at the Sheffield Methods Institute, University of Sheffield. Will is also programme director of the ESRC accredited MA Social Research.

Will has worked on research projects ranging from national £500,000+ multi‑institution studies, to small community-based projects that deliver bespoke and localised initiatives. His research topics include child welfare inequalities, youth services, poverty, criminalisation and social harm.

Will specialises in engaged scholarship and community-led university partnerships. He plays an active role in a number of local and regional community initiatives. Will has been a volunteer youth worker for over 10 years. In this role he has supported the coordination and delivery of five open access youth services, including homework clubs, youth clubs and community gyms.

Research interests

Will's research interests include:

  • Youth work
  • Social work
  • Consumption
  • Families
  • Identities
  • Inequalities
  • Qualitative research methods
  • Qualitative research ethics
  • University-community partnership

Journal articles


  • Mason W, Featherstone B & Bywaters P (2022) Structural Inequalities, Neighbourhoods and Protecting Children, Child Maltreatment (pp. 81-99). Springer International Publishing RIS download Bibtex download
  • Mason W (2021) Radically slow? Reflections on time, temporality and pace in engaged scholarship In Clift B, Gore J, Gustafsson S, Bekker S, Costas Batlle I & Hatchard J (Ed.), Temporality in Qualitative Inquiry: Theories, Methods and Practices (pp. 142-157). Routledge RIS download Bibtex download


  • Mason W, Brasab S, Stone B, Soutar J, Mohamed A & Mwale T (2019) Youth violence, masculinity and mental health: learning from the communities most affected RIS download Bibtex download
  • Bywaters P, Bunting L, Davidson G, Hanratty J, Mason WJ, McCartan C & Steils N (2016) The relationship between poverty, child abuse and neglect: a rapid evidence review View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Mason WJ (2013) ‘You Don’t Come to Maple or You Get Bullets in Your Head’: Somali Youth, Risk Talk and the Realities of Risk Avoidance View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download

Website content

Dictionary/encyclopaedia entries

  • Mason W & May T (2019) Hermeneutics. In SAGE Research Methods Foundations (Vol 1). RIS download Bibtex download
Teaching interests

Will is the Director of the MA Social Research at the Sheffield Methods Institute. He is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In 2021, he was awarded Masters Teacher of the Year in the national FindAMasters.com and FindAPhD.com Postgraduate Awards.

Will has experience of teaching across a wide range of substantive and research methods courses. He currently convenes modules on the principles of research design, advanced qualitative methods and interdisciplinarity.  

Will’s teaching philosophy is closely informed by both critical pedagogy and an ethic of care. This emphasises (i) the value of extending and enriching knowledge in dialogue and (ii) doing so in ways that promote mutual understanding and growth. Will is committed to the enhancement of enjoyment in and through his teaching. His educational practice seeks to maximise enjoyment by (i) creating inclusive learning environments (ii) actively seeking and responding to student feedback and (iii) creating opportunities for students to practice their craft, in experiential learning encounters.

PhD Supervision

Kaltum Osman Rivers

Tessa Sawyer

Charly Morris

Tom Ryan