Nick started his career as a lecturer in 1974 at the University of Kent, and in 1995 moved to be Professor of Social Policy and Sociology at the University of Nottingham. He was Head of the School of Sociology and Social Policy from 1996 to 2001.
His research interests have been both empirical and theoretical in three areas:
- International social change and social policy, especially in Russia and Eastern Europe
- Social theory and social change in UK and USA
- Sociology of health, illness, and mental health
In recent years Nick has developed the Institute of Mental Health at Nottingham, a large multi-disciplinary research institute, with strong links to China, where he launched a new International Mental Health Research Centre in 2014. He likes to build research teams and find external funding to support them, having raised more than £50 million in research funding from UK and EU sources.
He is widely published in applied sociology and social policy journals, with 30 books and editions, and more than 100 papers and chapters. He currently holds a part-time Chair in Sociology in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at King's College London, with a remit to contribute to departmental links across the College, especially to King's Health Partners, to King's global agenda especially in China, and to support research and graduate student activities.