Press Releases

AQMeN Crime Strand 

Justice system failing people from poorer backgrounds, study finds

12th November 2015 


Scotland’s criminal justice system punishes poorer people and makes it difficult for them to escape poverty, new research suggests.

People who live in extreme poverty are more likely to be both the victims – and perpetrators – of crime, experts say. 



AQMeN Education and Social Stratification strand 

Young people from poorer backgrounds are missing out on a secure future 

ESRC and AQMeN joint press release, 3rd November 2015

Research by The University of Edinburgh has shown that social background is an important factor in preventing young people from entering higher education and finding a professional or senior managerial job. 


AQMeN Crime Strand

Peak age of offending rises as teens turn from life of crime
30 October 2014

The conviction rate for young men in Scotland has fallen by almost two-thirds in the space of a generation, according to new research.

The peak age of offending for men, which was 18 in the late 1980s, is now 23 according to the latest conviction figures. The peak age of offending for women has increased from 18 to 30. The findings suggest fewer young people are choosing a life of crime. Read more >

AQMeN Referendum Projects

Lower voting age to 16 and discuss politics in school, study says
10 October 2014

Lowering the voting age to 16 in the Scottish independence referendum had positive effects and should be extended to all elections, a report suggests. The move could increase young people’s engagement with politics, according to the study. For this to happen, informed political discussion should also be encouraged in classrooms, researchers say. The report found that schools had more influence than parents in giving young people confidence in understanding politics. Read more >

AQMeN Education Strand

School curricula matter for the transmission of social advantage

New research by the ESRC-funded Applied Quantitative Methods Network (AQMeN) shows that curriculum differences in secondary schools contribute to reproducing social inequalities. The link between the curriculum studied at school and the attainment of social status several decades after leaving school has never been demonstrated before. Dr Cristina Iannelli, senior lecturer in the Moray House School of Education at the University of Edinburgh analysed the role of curricula and school types in social mobility and the extent to which these institutional differences can explain the transmission of social advantage and disadvantage in the labour market. Attendance at grammar and independent schools was found to explain only a small proportion of the social inequalities in entering the top social classes. When analysing outcomes at age 33, about 8% of the advantage transmitted by a middle-class parent and 16% by a highly-educated parent was linked to the school type attended by their children.  However, a larger portion of this effect was explained by curriculum studied. Thus, curricula accounted for 23% and 29% of the advantage associated with having a parent from top social classes or a highly-educated parent respectively. Read more >

AQMeN Phase II Launch - April 2013

£4m study of key social issues to help build better public services

Pressing issues such as crime rates, racial segregation, and social inequality are among concerns to be addressed by experts in a £4 million research initiative.  Attitudes to Scottish independence in the run up to next year’s referendum will also come under scrutiny as part of the initiative, led by the universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow.  Researchers will develop a broad programme of study over the next four years to help policy makers develop more effective policy, improve public services and build a better future for the public in Scotland.  The Applied Quantitative Methods Network (AQMeN) Research Centre, based at the University of Edinburgh’s School of Law, has been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and was launched on 30th April 2013. Read more >