Dr Paul Gilfillan (B.A. Hons, MSc. (Taught), MSc. (Research), PhD) is a Senior Lecturer in the Psychology, Sociology and Education Division. He is also an associate member of the Centre for Applied Social Sciences.

I was born in 1965 in Kirkcaldy (Fife) and was educated at the local Catholic schools. I left Scotland aged 17 to attend Maynooth College (Ireland) and graduated in 1987. After some years travelling and working abroad I returned to Scotland to complete a Doctorate in Social Anthropology at Edinburgh University (1997-2002) on the topic of Scottish Nationalism. I was Research Fellow at Glasgow University (2006-2008) before being appointed Lecturer in Sociology at QMU in 2008 and Senior lecturer in 2014. I was Programme Leader for the Psychology & Sociology programme (2010-2014) and during this time helped to successfully launch the new single honours programme in Public Sociology at QMU.

Affiliations/Memberships to Other Organisations:

  • British Sociological Association

Research/Knowledge Exchange Centre Membership:

Active research interests:

Ethnography, Social Class, Nationalism, Sociology of Christianity, Sociology of Scotland, Pilgrimage


Research Methods:

Ethnography, Interviewing, Longitudinal Research

My main areas of teaching are Introduction to Academic Life, Research Methods, the history of social theory, the sociology of contemporary Scotland.


I was nominated for the 2014 BSA Philip Abrams Memorial Prize for best first sole-authored monograph in sociology.

Senior Research Fellow, Mathias Corvinus Collegium (Budapest); Sept. 2021-February 2022.



MCC Podcast: Patriotism and religion in education - Huub Ruël and Paul Gilfillan

Podcast: Paul Gilfillan on Courage and Humility in the Modern University

MCC Article: Lunch Talks

Mandiner Podcast: Paul Gilfillan a Mandinernek

Corvinak Article: Restoring Scottish education onto its own axis

MCC Conference Budapest: Photo Gallery

MCC Conference Budapest: Photo Gallery 2 

MCC Conference Budapest: Photo Gallery 3