Photo of Professor Fiona Measham

Professor Fiona Measham PhD

Chair in Criminology Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology


Research Overview

Fiona takes an interdisciplinary approach to her research, drawing together her interests in criminology, sociology, social policy, history and gender studies. Fiona has a grounding in a range of social research methods including qualitative and quantitative techniques, particularly mixed methods and in-situ research in nightlife settings, leisure spaces/work places with which she is particularly familiar, having spent her early adulthood working in bars and clubs across several continents and currently holding a BIIAB-accredited Security Industry Authority Door Supervision License.

Fiona’s substantive research revolves around three inter-related themes: transgressive leisure; the psychoactive zeitgeist; and the public/policy interface. Much of Fiona’s work focuses on forms of behaviour that may be considered transgressive and the meanings and motivations that are attached to them. The conceptualisation of changing drug-related attitudes and behaviours provide a second key theme, pivoting around the normalisation thesis and subsequent iterations. Studies of changing patterns of drug and alcohol use in pubs, clubs, raves and traditional nightclubs and the broader socio-cultural context to consumption have been followed by a greater focus on policy change, with particular reference to New Psychoactive Substances and the dynamics between drug use, drug markets, drug policy and displacement. The politics and practice of harm reduction and particularly the delivery and evaluation of drug checking as a healthcare service feature prominently in Fiona’s later academic, policy and charity work. A broader focus on gender is evident throughout her research from her MA and PhD onwards, exploring the gendering of nightlife; sexual harassment and violence in nightlife and festival settings; the liberalisation of sexual behaviours; and women’s experiences of imprisonment.

Research Grants

AMOUNT: A mixed methods investigation of the individual, sociocultural, and societal factors that underlie the recent increase in substance use among young people to inform policy


November 2021 - May 2023