Professor Saul Becker

Professor Saul Becker

Head of the College of Social Sciences

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Saul Becker is Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of College of Social Sciences at the University of Birmingham and Professor of Social Policy and Social Work. Saul’s responsibilities as Head of College involve defining and delivering the academic strategy for social sciences in relation to research, teaching, knowledge exchange, business engagement, internationalisation and impact. This responsibility encompasses the Schools of Business, Education, Government and Society and Social Policy.

Saul is a member of the University Executive Board and in this capacity, he contributes to the formulation and implementation of corporate strategy for the University. Saul has previously held Chairs at Loughborough, Birmingham and Nottingham Universities and was Head of the School of Sociology and Social Policy at Nottingham for nearly five years, where he was also Faculty Director of Research for the Social Sciences and Assistant Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Internationalisation. He was the Chairperson of the UK Social Policy Association for four years.

Saul is a Fellow of the UK’s Academy of Social Sciences and of the Royal Society of Arts. He is a member of the REF2014 Sub-panel 22 for Social Work and Social Policy and is the Founding Series Editor for the Policy PressUnderstanding Welfare book series. Saul is also a qualified and Registered Social Worker.


Many of Saul's funded research projects (51 in total with a research income in excess of £2m) have focused on informal family carers, especially children who are caregivers ('young carers'), a research area in which Saul is recognised internationally as the world leader. This research is regarded as 'high impact'. He has advised Governments, policy makers and practitioners in the UK and internationally on young carers issues and his work has informed the development of policy and law in a number of countries. He also works closely with practitioner and service user (young carers) networks. Saul has also researched and published extensively and broadly in other social policy and social work areas, including: poverty and social exclusion; social security; health and healthcare; personal social services; social work and poverty; children in need; children with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties; therapeutic horticulture; research methods for social policy and social work. Saul has 330 publications and 200 conference papers – most as keynote speaker.


Saul's recent books include:

Becker, S. Bryman, A. and Ferguson, H. (eds) (2012) Understanding Research for Social Policy and Social Work: Themes, Methods and Approaches, The Policy Press, Bristol. 

Evans, R. and Becker, S. (2009) Children Caring for Parents with HIV and AIDS: Global Issues and Policy Responses, The Policy Press, Bristol.

Becker, F. and Becker, S. (2008) Young Adult Carers in the UK: Experiences, Needs and Services for Carers Aged 16-24, The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, London.

Sempik, J., Aldridge, J. and Becker, S. (2005) Health, Well-being and Social Inclusion: Therapeutic Horticulture in the UK, The Policy Press, Bristol.

Becker, S. (ed) (2004) Improving Behaviour Through Therapeutic Approaches: Research into Practice in Nottingham City Learning Support Units, Excellence in Cities, Nottingham.

Aldridge, J. and Becker, S. (2003) Children Caring for Parents with Mental Illness: Perspectives of Young Carers, Parents and Professionals, The Policy Press, Bristol.