Delivering research excellence through…

 World-leading research

Grounded in Oxford’s long tradition of independent scholarship and academic freedom, Oxford social sciences deliver world leading research that continues to challenge current ideas and theories and explore new ways of thinking and benefitting society. A core characteristic of our research is its global nature and significant impact both in academic and non-academic contexts. This gives a unique perspective to our research and places us at the heart of most social science debates.

Depth and breadth

Research in social science at Oxford is distinctive in both its depth and breadth. Oxford has approximately 1,000 social science researchers, the largest grouping of social scientists in the UK, spread across 14 discipline-focused and interdisciplinary departments and units, and the Colleges. Our research combines rigorous and innovative quantitative methodologies and theoretical approaches using individual and collective experiences and actions. The quality and diversity of our research and researchers creates a virtuous circle, attracting the most talented students and researchers, allowing us to create an intellectually fertile environment for the next generation of world leaders.

Collaborative research

The unique combination of the breadth and depth of our research, initiatives made possible by key donations, and the collegiate structure, provide significant opportunities for individual scholars in narrow areas of specialism to collaborate with other world leaders to form multi- and interdisciplinary research groups and centres with strong multi-institutional collaborations and partnerships that engage with the outside world. In this way, Oxford’s social science researchers are ideally placed to push new multi-and interdisciplinary boundaries and explore cutting-edge research.

High-quality research support and advice

Our approach to supporting research across the Social Sciences Division has been highly successful in the last ten years, with the volume of research awards continuing to rise and the development of a large number of research centres and groupings. Researchers at Oxford receive significant support and guidance in the development of their research, including career development, research and impact funding, research project design and management, and research outputs from academic and administrative colleagues across the University, division and departments.

Research strengths

Our size and shape mean that we are well placed to respond, and contribute, to many of the challenges and themes emerging from funding bodies and government. We have critical mass in a number of areas of specialism, with significant strengths in:

  • aid, poverty and development;
  • big data;
  • conflict, justice and crime.
  • environment, climate change and resource management;
  • future cities;
  • global economic performance and management;
  • governance;
  • migration and population.