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Professor Sin Yi Cheung BSoc Sc. M.Phil. D.Phil. (Oxon)

Professor Sin Yi Cheung

BSoc Sc. M.Phil. D.Phil. (Oxon)

Professor of Sociology

School of Social Sciences

+44(0) 29 2087 5446
2.07, Glamorgan Building
Media commentator

Sin Yi's research addresses different forms of social inequalities in Britain and in comparative perspectives. She has published on the changing inequalities in higher education, ethno-religious penalties in the labour market, lone parents on benefits, claimants' dynamics, children in care, and refugee integration. Her research has received funding from the British Academy, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Leverhulme Trust, the Nuffield Foundation, as well as central government departments such as the Department for Work and Pensions, and local authorities. She has held visiting positions at Wisconsin-Madison, UCLA, and Stanford University. In 2017-18, Sin Yi was awarded a JSPS (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science) Invitation Fellowship to spend a semester at the Institute of Social Science at the University of Tokyo, before joining the Department of Sociology at New York University as a visiting scholar.

Professor Sin Yi Cheung joined Cardiff University in 2011 having previously taught sociology at the University of Birmingham (2007-2010) and Oxford Brookes University (1997-2007). Before completing her D.Phil. at St. Anthony's College, Oxford, Sin Yi also worked as a research officer in the Social Disadvantage Research Group, the Department of Applied Social Studies and Social Research, Oxford which has now become Department Social Policy and Intervention (1994-1997).

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society
  • American Sociological Association
  • British Sociological Association
  • European Sociological Association. Board member of Research Network on Quantitative Methods (RN21)
  • International Sociology Association (ISA): Research Committee on Social Stratification and Social Mobility (RC28)

Speaking engagements

Committees and reviewing

  • International Academic Liaison Steering Group, AHSS.
  • Race Equality Mark Working Group.


















Undergraduate level - Migration, 'Race' and Ethnic Relations, Equality and Diversity in Education and Work, Secondary Data Analysis. 

Master's level - Research Methods and Techniques in Context.

Sin Yi welcomes PhD applications on topics related to any areas of her research interests.

Sin Yi's current research examines issues around migration and refugee integration, cross-national comparison of health services usage in superdiverse neighbourhoods (funded by NORFACE) human capital and labour market inequalities and outcomes of social work intervention among vulnerable families. Recently research projects include an innovative equal pay project using secondary data analysis to study women's pay penalty in Wales (WAVE: Women Adding Value to the Economy) funded by the European Social Fund; horizontal stratification in higher education (with Ted Gerber at the University of Wisconsin-Madison); and two Nuffield Foundation funded research projects: Social Work Over Time investigating the effect of social work intervention using longitudinal data and cohort studies (with Jonathan Scourfield et al); and Social Networks, Social Capital and Refugee integration (with Jenny Phillimore, University of Birmingham).

Sin Yi has supervised research students through to completion in the broad areas of the sociology of education, migration, race and ethnicity, and labour market inequalities. The wide range of topics include social capital and cross-class families, youth (un)employment in rural England, second-generation ethnic minorities' life chances in Britain, persistent class inequalities in access to higher education, "look after" children in local authority care, the place of quantitative methods in British sociology, social participation and mid-life, vocational education and apprenticeship. 

Sin Yi welcomes PhD applications on topics related to any of her research interests.

Areas of expertise

External profiles