Staff Profile

  • Academic Qualifications

    • Bachelor of Science (Melbourne)
    • Bachelor of Arts (First Class Honours) (Melbourne)
    • Doctor of Philosophy (Melbourne)
    • Postgraduate Certificate in Research Degree Supervision (Northampton).

    Professional Experience

    • 1989-1990: Research Assistant in The Department of Genetics, The University of Melbourne.
    • 1990-1998: Research Assistant at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne.
    • 1999-2002: Tutor in Sociology and Political Science, The University of Melbourne,
    • 2001-2003: Editor of The Melbourne Journal of Politics. A refereed journal produced by the Department of Political Science and The University of Melbourne.
    • 2002-2005: Postdoctoral Fellow at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.
    • 2002-2004: Course Coordinator and Lecturer for ‘Science Communication’ at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.
    • 2005-2005: Lecturer in Sociology at Central Queensland University.
    • 2005-present: Member of Editorial Board, International Journal of Science and Research.
    • 2005-present: Senior Lecturer in Health Sociology and Bioethics, The School of Health, The University of Northampton, UK.


    • Member of University of Northampton Research Ethics Committee.
    • Member of the University of Northampton International Committee.
    • Member of the Editorial Board for The International Journal of Science and Research.
    • Member of the British Sociological Association.
    • Member of Organising Committee for Inspiring Transformation: The Arts and Health. Conference at the University of Northampton, September 2007.
    • Referee for the Australian Journal of Emerging Technologies and Society.
    • Referee for the Economic and Social Research Council.
    • Programme Leader for MSc Health Studies.
    • Module Leader for SLSM100 Bioethics.
    • Module leader for SLSM004 Research Methods: Philosophy and Study Design. 
    • Module Leader for SLS2006 Body Matters.
    • Module Leader for SLS3005 Researching Populations’ Health.
    • Module Leader for SLS3006 Ethical Issues in Health.
    • Teaching for SLS1007 Health over the Lifespan.
    • Teaching for SLS2009 Research Methods.
    • Supervision for SLS4001 Dissertation.
    • Supervision for SLSM019 Masters Dissertation.  

    Current Modules

    Body Matters

    This module covers the sociology of the body, the reproducing body, the gendered body, the commodification of the body and body modification through enhancement technologies. It explores how the body is shaped by the interaction of structure and agency, by intrafamilial relations, and by representations of the body in the mass media.

    Public Health

    This module covers gender and health, ethnicity and health, local and global health inequalities, health policy, communities and health and health promotion. It covers the role of government in protecting and promoting the health of the population and the shift from the old to the new public health.

    Ethical Issues in Health

    This is an interdisciplinary module covering the ethical, legal and social issues associated with health policy, health practices and health technologies. It covers genetic testing, genetic privacy and genetic discrimination, surrogacy and the redefinition of the family, stem cells, organ transplants, inequalities and social justice. A common theme is examining how ethical decisions are made and shaped by social norms and values.

    Research Methods

    Philosophy and Study Design. This Masters module covers the different epistemologies that inform research and the different research traditions including positivism and interpretivism.  It covers qualitative and quantitative methods and methodologies including grounded theory, ethnography, phenomenology, interviews, focus groups, survey design and data analysis.  


    This advanced module explores the social construction of ethical issues, or how social problems come to be defined as ethical issues. It covers the development of moral agency and a moral consciousness, intergenerational justice, globalisation and global ethics. It also covers the formation of local and global social movements that are organised around ethical issues.   

    • The Ethical, Legal and Social Impact of the New Genetic and New Reproductive Technologies
    • The Ethical, Legal and Social Impact of Cloning and Stem Cell Research
    • Medical Sociology
    • Sociology of Science and Technology
    • The Governance of Biomedical Science
  • For publications, projects, datasets, research interests and activities, view Merryn Ekberg’s research profile on Pure, the University of Northampton’s Research Explorer.