Research Profile

Rebecca Jeffers


Becci is a lecturer in Social Policy in the School of Applied Social Studies, University College Cork. She is the Director of the Higher Diploma in Social Policy (online) and a member of the Bachelor in Social Science course team. Since 2018, Becci has been engaged in the Social Policy Educators: Enhancing Digital Skills (SPEEDS) project, which is funded by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning. In July 2019, Becci became the convener for the ISS21 Civil Society Cluster. Becci is on the Board of Directors for Youth Work Ireland Cork and is an editor of the Critical Social Thinking Journal

Becci’s research and teaching interests include issues relating to power and oppression; social movements, activism, and citizenship; digital cultures and practice.

Research Interests

Becci's interests in social science are extensive, across numerous and substantive issues in many fields, but mainly focused on the intersections between social policy, social movements, and political engagement.  Her current research explores the pathways and motivations to political activism for young people in Ireland. This research explores multiple expressions of young people’s activism including the diverse activist and institutional settings traversed by young people to achieve social, cultural, or policy change. This study examines young people’s navigation of politics and their negotiation of their activist identities.  

Previously, Becci was involved involved in a research project examining the experiences of lone parent families in post-2008 Ireland.  In 2017, Becci conducted research for a project funded by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, which investigated approaches to enhancing social research methods education through authentic assessment strategies. Becci is also currently working on a second National Forum-funded project, under the leadership of Dr. Eileen Hogan, which aims to enhance social policy education through the development of digital skills.  

Other interests include, digital cultures, politics and practice; e-democracy; inequalities, injustice, and misrecognition; caring relationships and inclusion; p
ower and oppression; social movements, activism, and citizenship; youth culture and participation.

Professional Activities

Other Activities


Jeffers, R. (2018) "The design thinking and technological development of the Spikey Profile Tool for social policy educators,” at Embedding Digital Literacies in HEIsDARIAH Ireland, 21st and 22nd June, University College Cork, 2018.

Hogan, E. and Jeffers, R. (2018) "An Examination of Social Policy Educators digital skills, capacities and attitudes in Ireland,” at Embedding Digital Literacies in HEIs, DARIAH Ireland, 21st and 22nd June, University College Cork, 2018.

Hogan, E. and Jeffers, R. (2018) "Social Policy Educators-as-Learners: Reflections on the Barriers, Opportunities, and Strategies for Digital Transformation," at TEL Quality Matters - People, Practices, Policies, ED Tech conference, Institute of Technology Carlow, 31st of May and 1st of June, 2018.

Jeffers, R. (2018) "Young people’s activism in post-2008 Ireland: wellbeing, identity, and belonging," at Identity, Belonging and Activism in the 21st Century, University of Nottingham, 24th of February, 2018.

Jeffers, R. (2018) "Young People’s Activism in Ireland: Well-being and Ill-Being," at New Perspectives on Youth Participation, ISS21 Civil Society Cluster, University College Cork, 23rd February, 2018.
Hogan, E., Jeffers, R., O’Doherty, C., Byrne, J., and Köppe, S. (2016) “The Social Commons: Advancing Social Research Methods Education through Disciplinary and Community Partnerships,” at Authentic Assessment in the Disciplines a T&L Partner Showcase, Cork Institute of Technology, 25th of November, 2016. Available at:

Jeffers, R. (2016) “‘Activist Academics’ and the problem of Recruitment”, Applied Social Studies Seminar Series, University College Cork, 8th March, 2016.

Jeffers, R. (2015) “The Dramaturgy of Young People’s Activism”, Performance, Politics & Protest symposium, University College Cork, 4th September, 2015. Page count, p. 4.

Jeffers, R. (2014) “Generationality and Young People’s Activism in Ireland” at Protest conference, University of Glasgow, 28th – 29th May, 2014.

Jeffers, R., Kenneally, M., Lynch, B. and Ryan, M. (2014) “Lone Parenting and Poverty in Ireland”, Coping with Recession – A Regional Perspective conference, Centre of Policy Studies, University College Cork, May, 2014. 

Jeffers, R. (2013) “Schemes of Action: Latemodernity, Generationality, and Young Activism” at Critical Social Thinking conference, University College Cork, 29th November, 2013. 

Jeffers, R. (2012) “Young Activists and the Irish Democratic Paradigm: Analytical Prospects” at Critical Social Thinking conference, University College Cork, 30th November, 2012.

Jeffers, R. (2012) “Young People’s political activism in Ireland: Power, Resistance, and the Irish Democratic Paradigm”, at Representing Young People: Voice, Image, Practice, Power in NUI Maynooth, 26 – 29th June, 2012. 

Teaching Activities

Teaching Interests

My teaching interests are many and varied, but are typically at the nexus of social policy and social movements. Questions relating to power and oppression; social need and well-being; inequality and injustice; and citizenship, participation, and activism, inform most of my interests.

In UCC, I am involved in teaching a number of core social policy modules to the Bachelor in Social Science, Bachelor of Social Work, Higher Diploma in Social Policy (online and campus-based), and Masters in Social Policy programmes. 

My main interest as an educator is to support students in their learning and to foster a learning environment that is critical, inclusive, and collaborative. Since commencing work as a social policy educator, my primary interests are to: 

a) Inspire interest and understanding in social policy by supporting students in navigating disciplinary knowledge, ideas, and skills.
b) Improve student engagement through creative, interactive, and collaborative participation inside and outside the classroom.
c) Uphold research informed teaching and learning strategies, through the implementation of student feedback; the exploration of contemporary literature on social science education; and complementing lectures with useful empirical and conceptual literatures.

A critical interest of mine is to nurture students’ critical and collaborative abilities. By building learning environments that aim to motivate students and encourage independence, I have been fortunate to have many fruitful and engaging exchanges with learners, which serves to expand my teaching interests from year to year.

Contact details

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School of Applied Social Studies

Staidéar Sóisialta Feidhmeach

William Thompson House, Donovan's Road, Cork, Ireland.