Ruth Austin


I am a PhD researcher in Sociology and Social Policy. I started my academic journey at the University of Leeds in 2016 as a Social Science Foundation student. Having successfully completed this I moved on to the Social Policy and Crime degree. My final year dissertation was a study on child sexual abuse (CSA) in children’s residential homes. I was awarded a First Class for this degree. In 2020 I moved on to the Social Research MA, were I explored CSA within religious institutions, finishing with a distinction.

In 2022 I was awarded the Leeds University Faculty of Social Sciences Doctoral Scholarships for researchers from Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority communities PhD Studentship. I am currently conducting a mixed method study, examining how children and young people use the internet in relation to online risky behaviours. With a view to also understand how parents and teachers perceive the potential risk to children in online spaces. The aim is to generate empirical data which will support online safety strategies for children, parents, educators and interested stakeholders.

Teaching Experience

SLSP2020 Crime and Regulation

SLSP1181 Crime and Society

SLSP2010 Research Methods



Research interests

  • Intersectionality
  • Child safeguarding, specifically online child abuse and internet harms
  • Institutional child abuse
  • Care leavers
  • Quantitative research methods


  • MA Social Research
  • Degree Social Policy and Sociology