Natalie Claire Bennett

Department of Sociological Studies

PhD student

PhD student Natalie Bennett
Profile picture of PhD student Natalie Bennett

Full contact details

Natalie Claire Bennett
Department of Sociological Studies
The Wave
2 Whitham Road
S10 2AH

I joined the Department of Sociological Studies in 2018 after having completed an MSc in Social Epidemiology at UCL the same year. Previous to this, I studied Human Geography (BA) at the University of Leicester.

  • MSc Health and Society: Social Epidemiology, University College London;
  • BA Human Geography (Hons), University of Leicester.
Research interests
  • The construction of race and ethnicity in health research;
  • The social determinants of health;
  • Ethnic density;
  • Mental health and well-being;
  • Understanding Society (UKHLS);
  • Area and contextual effects.

Thesis title: A theory-based approach to understanding the effect of ethnic density on mental ill health in England.

My research aims to understand the so called 'ethnic density effect', whereby the health of individuals from minority ethnic groups is on average better when they live in areas with more people from the same ethnic group. Despite a growing body of research on the topic, the mechanisms by which ethnic density affects mental health remain unclear. In this project, a systematic review of existing ethnic density research on mental health in the UK is conducted, elucidating the current knowledge of the pathways involved. The results of the systematic review then inform quantitative analysis of Understanding Society cohort data, testing a hypothesised pathway framework using Structural Equation Modelling.  Research interests: Mental health and well-being, ethnic density, the construction of race and ethnicity in health research, Understanding Society (UKHLS), area and contextual effects, the social determinants of health.

Research group


  • NIHR SPHR Studentship 2018-2021 (Funding reference: SPHR-PHD-SHF-002)
Teaching activities

Natalie is seminar leader on the following undergraduate modules:

  • SCS2000 Doing Quantitative Sociological Research (Semester 1 2019-20);
  • SCS1015 Doing Social Research (Semester 2 2019-20);
  • Marking work on the following MSc module: HAR675 Key Issues in Global Public Health (Semester 1 2019-20).

Other teaching experience:

Teaching assistant on the 'Multilevel Structural Equation Modelling' course at the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) Summer School 2021.

Professional activities and memberships
  • Writer for the IMISCOE PhD blog (2018-2019) .
  • Organising committee of the ECR conference (2019) 'Migration and Mobilities: views from the past and present' inter-departmental event supported by the Migration Research Group.
  • Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA)

Bennett N, Salway S, Piekut A., OP36 What pathways have been theorised and tested between ethnic density and mental ill-health?: A theory-based systematic review, Epidemiol Community Health 2020, 74, A17.