Karen Rowlingson

Prof, Professor of Social Policy, Director of Research for the College of Social Sciences, Deputy Director of CHASM

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

poverty, wealth, inequality, social security, personal finance

1995 …2021

Research activity per year

Personal profile


Karen Rowlingson joined the Department of Social Policy and Social Work in February 2007 as Professor of Social Policy.  She is currently Chair of the Social Policy Association (from 2019), and Member of REF 2021 sub-panel for Social Work and Social Policy (UoA 20). From 2016-2017 she was the Specialist Advisor to the House of Lords Select Committee on Financial Exclusion.  After studying Modern History at Oxford University and Sociology at the LSE, Karen then worked at the Policy Studies Institute in London before becoming an academic at the Universities of Derby and then Bath.  From 2010-2012 she was the Vice Chair of the ESRC's Research Committee and Chair of its Grants Delivery Group.  Karen was Founding Director of CHASM (the Research Centre on Household Assets and Savings Management) in 2010 and Deputy Head of College for the College of Social Sciences from 2017-2019.

Research interests

Karen's research interests lie within the field of social policy and focus on the financial security of individuals, families and households including: assets and asset-based welfare; poverty, wealth and inequality; social security policy; financial capability and education (including savings, pensions, credit and debt).  As well as looking at individual behaviour in relation to personal finance she is interested in the role of the state, the financial services sector, employers and the third sector in delivering financial security.  Her research is strongly empirical involving a broad range of rigorous research methods. She has a particularly strong methodological expertise in designing quantitative surveys and mixing qualitative with quantitative methods.

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 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Social Policy, University of Bath

Award Date: 31 Jul 2002

Master in Science, Sociology, London School of Economics and Political Science

Award Date: 31 Jul 1990

Bachelor of Arts, Modern History, University of Oxford

Award Date: 31 Jul 1989


Dive into the research topics where Karen Rowlingson is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or