Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Oxford social science research is influential in many fields beyond academia and our social scientists make a significant difference to people’s lives across the globe. We regularly exchange expertise, knowledge and insights with a wide range of organisations, groups and people, helping to improve society and the economy on many fronts and contributing to key debates among the wider population.


Our influence on policymaking is particularly extensive, both within the UK and beyond. Our researchers regularly advise international governments and multi-lateral agencies, UK government departments and local government authorities, as well as working with intermediary non-governmental organisations that lobby and encourage policy change. Find out more about our policymaking impact here. 


Through wider engagement with society (one of Oxford University’s core strategic objectives), we work with external stakeholders to set agenda and share expertise through collaborative work, to develop and maintain partnerships with external bodies, and to promote the application of social science research outside of the academic community. Find out more about our engagement activities here.


Our strong reputation for theoretical intellectual scholarship is complemented by high quality research co-produced with practitioners in the fields of social work, education, law, museums, and business (with corporations and SMEs). Find out more about our knowledge exchange activities here. 


We have a number of research centres and interdisciplinary units whose core purpose is to influence society, for example:

  • Blavatnik School of Government (trains the next generation of global policymakers)
  • Centre of Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) (influences policy development within migration)
  • Environmental Change Institute (influences climate, energy and resource management policy debates, working with governments and businesses alike)
  • Oxford Centre for Entrepreneurship (encourages the development of entrepreneurship within the region)
  • Oxford Education Deanery (develops and enhances the relationships between local schools and the University of Oxford)
  • Oxford Martin School (encourages researchers to work collaboratively across disciplines and engage more effectively with policy makers, business people and the general public, to respond to the great challenges of our time)
  • Young Lives (informs the development and implementation of future policies and practices to reduce childhood poverty)