Dr Lee Gregory

Dr Lee Gregory

Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology
Senior Lecturer in Social Policy

Contact details

School of Social Policy
Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Lee Gregory is a Senior Lecturer in Social Policy at the University of Birmingham. His research interests include poverty and inequality as well as theoretical and conceptual debates about welfare provision. He is particularly interested in the role of welfare provision in perpetuating and challenging social problems and notions of alterity within welfare debates. His teaching interests encompass these topics as well as wider interests in youth policy, environment and social welfare debates as well as sociological analysis of class and work and their relevance to social welfare.

Additionally, Lee is a Senior Fellow with the Higher Education Academy and works with HEFi within the University to support staff in developing their teaching practice as part of his interest in pedagogical debates in teaching within Higher Education generally and within Social Policy and the Social Sciences specifically.


  • PhD Social Policy Cardiff University (2013) 
  • MSc Social Science Research Methods (Social Policy), Cardiff University (2009) 
  • BScEcon Social Policy and Sociology, Cardiff University (2005)


Lee submitted his PhD at Cardiff University in September 2012. The title of the thesis was Improving health and social care delivery through participation: time banks as a site for co-production. Key findings focused around the role of time banking in tackling depression and social isolation in community settings, the use of time banking to develop co-production within the public sector and the theoretical similarities and distinctiveness between time banking and the “Big Society”. During which he also became an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 

Between September 2012 – September 2013 Lee was a Lecturer in Social Policy at the School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol. 

Prior to submitting his PhD, Lee worked on a research project exploring he development of the Credit Union movement in Wales, linking an interest in asset-based welfare with his interest in community, poverty and alternative forms of welfare provision. He has also spent time working in the Welsh Assembly Government and in Community Development work.

Since taking up a post at Birmingham he has been Examinations and Extenuating Circumstances Officer (2013-2016) and Undergraduate Programmes Director (2016-2019). He has also been School Head of Quality and Assurance (2015-16) and briefly covered parts of the Head of Education role. 

In 2015 he gained Fellow recognition with the Higher Education Academy and in 2017 gained Senior Fellow Recognition. He also became senior lecture in social policy in 2018. In 2018-19 he was also awarded the Highly Commended HEFi award for Teaching Innovation. 

His future research plans are to build on the foundations of his PhD and previous research, in order to further investigate alternative forms of welfare provision (both in the UK and internationally); to further refine the theoretical framework developed in the PhD; and continue to explore the practices, outcomes and implications of different community currency systems. His first book, Trading Time: can exchange lead to social change? starts to explore these themes by illustrating the application of a social theory of time lens to the analysis of policy and highlighting future research directions. Additionally he is exploring issues around poverty, class, inequality, attitudes towards welfare systems as well as conceptual and ideological debates about the nature and purpose of welfare systems. 

His second book Exploring Welfare Debates: key concepts and questions draws various elements of this research together. Although a textbook introducing key concepts in the discipline of social policy it also explores the changing nature of concepts and the influence of neo-liberal ideology.  

Personal webpage: http://ljgregory.wordpress.com/  


  • Introduction to Social Policy
  • Poverty, Class and Inequality
  • Contributions to other modules across the programmes.

Postgraduate supervision

Lee is interested in supervising students who are interested in:

  • Poverty
  • Inequality
  • Asset-based welfare
  • Conceptual and ideological debates about the nature of welfare systems
  • Young people and social welfare support
  • Social Security and anti-poverty practices
  • Alternative/Community currency systems

Current students

Amer Azlan Abdul Jamal - The Effectiveness of Financial Education and SMS Reminders on Self-Control and Financial Behaviour: Experimental Evidence Among Young Adult University Students 

Completed Students

Gerardo Arriaga Garcia – People’s Experiences of Conditional Welfare Support: The case of Prospera in Mexico


Revisiting the needs of Sutton Coldfield: change and future requirements – funded by Sutton Coldfield Charitable Trust 2019 to 2021

Other activities

Editorial board member of Social Policy & Society @SPSeditors 

Editorial board member of International Journal of Community Currency Research: https://ijccr.net/

Member of the Social Policy Association Executive Committee 2015-2018

Membership Secretary Social Policy Association 2018-2021


Gregory, L. (2018) Exploring Welfare Debates: key concepts and questions. Bristol: The Policy Press.

Gregory, L. (2017) ‘Workers on tap but income drying up? The potential implications for incomes and social protection of the ‘gig economy’; in J. Hudson, C. Needham and E. Heins Social Policy Review 29: Analysis and debate in social policy, 2017. Bristol: The Policy Press pp. 23-42

Gregory (2015) Trading time: Can exchange lead to social change? Bristol: The Policy Press.

Gregory, L. (2014) Resilience or Resistance? Time banking in the age of austerity; Journal of Contemporary European Studies 22 (2) pp.171-183 https://doi.org/10.1080/14782804.2014.902366

Gregory, L (2014) Future Considerations in Paying for Funerals. CHASM Briefing Paper. Birmingham: University of Birmingham.

Drakeford, M. and Gregory, L. (2011) ‘Governance and Social Policy in a Devolved Wales’; in Social Policy for Social Welfare Practice in a Devolved Wales. (Second Ed.) Williams, C. (ed) Venture Press: Birmingham pp. 21 – 34

Gregory, L and Drakeford, M. (2011) ‘Just another financial institution? Tensions in the future of credit unions in the UK’ Journal of Poverty and Social Justice. 19 (2) pp. 117-129

Drakeford, M and Gregory, L (2010) ‘Asset-based welfare and youth justice: making it local’; in Brayford, J.; Cowe, F. and Deering, J. (eds) What Else Works? Creative Work with Offenders. Devon: Willian Publishing. pp. 155 – 168

Gregory, L. (2010) ‘An Opportunity Lost? Exploring the benefits of the Child Trust Fund on youth transitions into adulthood’; Youth and Policy 106 pp. 78-94.

Gregory, L. (2009) ‘Spending Time Locally: The Benefits of Time Banks for Local Economies’; Local Economy 24 (4) pp. 323 – 333

Drakeford, M. and Gregory, L. (2008) ‘Anti-poverty practice and the changing world of credit unions: new tools for social workers’; Practice: Social Work in Action 20 (3) pp.141-150

Drakeford, M. and Gregory, L. (2008) ‘Avoiding sub-prime lenders: credit unions and their diversification in Wales’; Research Policy and Planning 26 (2)

Drakeford, M and Gregory, L (2007), 'Sleeping Giants: unlocking the potential of Credit Unions in Wales', working paper 97. Published by Cardiff School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, CF10 3WT.

Gregory, L. and Drakeford, M. (2005) ‘Social Work, Asset-based Welfare and the Child Trust Fund’; British Journal of Social Work, advanced access published November 23 2005; in British Journal of Social Work (2006) 36. pp. 149-157

View all publications in research portal