• Northlands Road, Magee Campus

    BT48 7JL Londonderry

    United Kingdom

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Personal profile


Dr Philip McDermott is a senior lecturer in Sociology within the School of Applied Social and Policy Sciences. In Sociology he teaches modules on Media Sociology, Research Methods and Irish Society.

Philip’s research is concerned with the broad field of cultural identity and heritage. His work focuses specifically on the relationship between the state and the heritage of minority groups – especially linguistic and migrant minorities.

In 2022, Philip was awarded Ulster University's Distinguished Research Fellowship in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

One key strand of Philip’s work is in the area of language policy and planning for (and by) migrant communities. He has a specific interest in the perception of migrant languages in public places, the ways that government and communities deal with such linguistic diversity and the manner in which multilingualism and bilingualism are dealt with in policy contexts. In 2011 Philip published a book on these research themes and his work has also appeared in international journals such as English Today, Current Issues in Language Planning, Identities, Ethnicities, and Ethnopolitics. In 2019 he co-edited an edition of the Anthropological Journal of European Cultures on Linguistic Identities in 21st Century Europe - https://doi.org/10.3167/ajec.2019.280205 (With Dr Sarah McMonagle, Hamburg).

A second element of Philip’s research relates to concepts of heritage and identity in diverse settings. He has published on the political dynamics of Derry’s year as UK City of Culture (with NicCraith and Strani, Heriot Watt) and also on the context of heritage and migration in Northern Ireland. Recently he was the PI on an AHRC/Living Legacies sponsored project on the dynamics of commemorating WWI amongst migrant communities living in Northern Ireland. He also was part of an ERASMUS Plus Programme (Youth Work and You) which developed online tools for Youth Workers relating to identity in diverse settings with Dr Breda Friel (Ulster PI).

Philip has received funding from sources such as the British Academy, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the National Trust and the Department for International Development to support his research. From 2015-16 he was the holder of a prestigious Charlemont Scholarship from the Royal Irish Academy. In addition, Philip has also acted as an independent research expert for the European Commission. He continues to work closely with a number of NGOs representing ethnic minority communities in Northern Ireland.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification


Award Date: 10 Dec 2008



External positions

Independent Expert, European Commission

1 Jun 2017 → …


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