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Dena Arya

Dena Arya

Research Assistant

School of Social Sciences


Dena has worked for over a decade in the youth and community sector. Her journey began at London Borough of Enfield’s Children’s Services. Following this, her passion for working in community engagement and social research led to working for organisations such as Migrant Voice, Vinspired and Girlguiding. More recently at Kaizen Partnership she has managed large-scale public consultations and community engagement projects and managed the London Legacy Development Corporation’s youth-led communications programme representing youth voices on the re-generation of east London. She has also volunteered as a researcher with Care4Calais, DIFD, UCL, Coram and People & Water.

Career overview

University Teaching experience

Current Tutoring (Undergraduate)

  • Research Design and Practice (Qualitative Methods): Social Policy Course – University of Nottingham
  • Introducing Social Policy: Social Policy Course – University of Nottingham

Past Tutoring (Undergraduate)

  • Social Policy and Society: Social Policy Course - University of Edinburgh
  • Evidence, Politics and Policy (Social Policy Course - University of Edinburgh)

Lecturing (Masters)

  • Global Childhoods MA - Young Refugees and Migrants (Kings College London)


University of Edinburgh, Sept 2018 – Jun 2019

  • PG Certificate in Social Science

University of Nottingham, Jan 2011 – Feb2012

  • MA International Social Policy - 2:1

From childhood to adulthood – an examination of the transition period to 18-years old for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children from Afghanistan

University College London, Sept 2004 – Jun 2007

  • BA (Hons) Ancient History

Research areas

Dena’s research intersects political economy, social policy and youth political culture. The environmental movements resurgence of popularity has been predominantly progressive, left-wing and in part youth led. “System change, not climate change” is a commonplace slogan on the placards of many youth activists in demonstrations as the global movement has grown. However, not all young people are engaging in environmental politics from a left-wing position. Neither do all young people have the same level of access to participating in environmental political spaces. More empirical research is needed to gain insight into who the young people involved in environmental politics are and in what ways they are engaging in social change.

PhD Title

How do young people across the spectrum of economic inequality participate in environmental politics in the UK?


  • Prof Matt Henn – is a professor of Social Research and is based within the Division of Politics and International Relations.
  • Dr Oliver Harrison – is a lecturer/senior lecturer and is based within the Division of Politics and International Relations.

Research Groups

Dena is a member of the following Social Policy research groups at Nottingham Trent University:

  • Citizenship, Democracy and Transformation group