Dr Philip McDermott

Senior Lecturer

School of Applied Social and Policy Sc.

Derry~Londonderry campus

Room BC-07-107D,
BT48 7JL,

Irish and Celtic Studies Research

Senior Lecturer

Dr Philip McDermott


Dr Philip McDermott is a senior lecturer in sociology with teaching interests in the areas of Irish society, cultural and media studies, and social research methods. He acquired Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) in 2018. He was also awarded Ulster University’s Distinguished Research Fellowship for the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences in 2022.

Philip teaches on the undergraduate programme in Sociology on the Belfast Campus and on the ‘Patients, Populations and Society’ Strand of the Graduate Entry Medical School.

His research is concerned with the relationship between the state and the heritage of minority groups – especially migrant and linguistic minorities.
He is particularly interested in the intersection between social policy and cultural heritage policy as a space for empowerment.

A further strand of Philip’s work relates to language and identity in public settings. He has an interest in the perception of migrant languages in public places and the ways that government and communities deal with linguistic diversity.

Philip has presented at multiple international conferences, including keynote presentations at UCL, Cambridge and Humak University (Helsinki). His 50+ publications include a monograph, several edited collections and book chapters. His research has appeared in high impact international peer reviewed journals.

Dr McDermott served a term as editor of the Irish Journal of Sociology (Sage) (2020-2023) and is currently an editor of the Anthropological Journal of European Cultures (Berghahn).

Philip’s grant income totals circa £400,000 from prestigious sources including the British Academy, the National Trust, and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). He held a prestigious Charlemont Scholarship from the Royal Irish Academy (2015-16).

His international esteem is evidenced by his roles as an independent expert for the European Commission (Horizon), the National Research Council of Poland and the Velux Foundation, Denmark.

His research continues to be impact focused. In 2024, with Professor Patricia Lundy (Sociology) he organised a major international symposium at Ulster University to explore ‘heritage activism and difficult pasts’ funded by the AHRC IAA Stream.
He continues to work closely with several NGOs representing migrant populations in Northern Ireland.

For this civic work, he was awarded a Breaking Barriers award at the 2021 NI Advancing Racial Equality Awards. In 2023, he was elected as a board member of Northwest Migrants Forum (the largest community organisation representing migrant communities in the wider Derry Area).