Dr Philip McDermott

Senior Lecturer

School of Applied Social and Policy Sc.

Magee 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 is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA). In 2022, he was awarded Ulster University’s Distinguished Research Fellowship for the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

Philip’s 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 policy as a space for empowerment. Recently he was a co-Investigator on a major AHRC-funded project on ‘Museums, Crisis and Covid-19’ (2020-2022).

A further strand of Philip’s work is in language policy and planning for (and by) migrant communities. He has an interest in the perception of migrant languages in public places, the ways that government and communities deal with such linguistic diversity and how multilingualism and bilingualism are dealt with in policy contexts.

Philip has published a single-authored book, several edited collections and book chapters. His research has also appeared in high impact international peer reviewed journals such as English Today, Current Issues in Language Planning, Identities, Ethnicities, Language Problems and Language Planning, and Ethnopolitics.

Dr McDermott is currently co-editor of the Irish Journal of Sociology and the Anthropological Journal of European Cultures (AJEC).

In 2022, with Dr Sara McDowell, he co-edited an edition of AJEC on the capacity of heritage to build ideological walls between communities but also to bridge divisions between the same communities.

Philip has also received funding from prestigious sources such as the British Academy, the National Trust and AHRC to support his research. From 2015-16 he was the holder of a prestigious Charlemont Scholarship from the Royal Irish Academy.

In addition, he has acted as an independent research expert for the European Commission and he continues to work closely with several NGOs representing ethnic minority communities in Northern Ireland. For this academic activism and civic work he was awarded a Breaking Barriers award at the 2021 NI Advancing Racial Equality Awards.