Social Sciences research is aligned with the University’s core purpose: to transform lives globally and locally.

Our experts collaborate across five interdisciplinary research themes. We seek to understand the world's most complex and challenging issues.

Research themes

  • Health and well-being
  • Social justice and social change
  • Governance, policy and regulation
  • Environment
  • Innovation in methods and data analytics

Research impact

The research work we do makes a meaningful impact on society at home and abroad. Here are three examples of cross-cutting initiatives led by our research staff: 

Growing up on the streets

Growing up on the streets

This project uses participatory research to understand the capabilities of vulnerable and marginalised young people.  It seeks to improve policies and practices and transform the lives of street children.

A key success has been the significant engagement of young people in the African cities of Accra, Bukavu and Harare in shaping the guidance in the United Nations General Comment on Children in Street Situations.

THEME: Children, families and relationships

Taking surveillance apart

Taking surveillance apart

Our researchers are leading an international consortium funded by Nordforsk to investigate the development and implementation of cyber-security legislation in the UK, Finland and Norway.

The project will identify how the major stakeholders in the debate over surveillance powers articulate and justify their position with regard to the monitoring, collection and analysis of communication data.

THEME: Security, justice and human rights

Managing tropical forests

Managing tropical forests

While the resilience of tropical forests has long been tested by their exploitation for timber and agriculture, these fragile ecosystems also have to contend with short-term climate changes such as drought.

Through a combination of ground-based and satellite remote sensing methods, a project team led by one of our staff is examining the impact of drought on logged forests in Borneo as part of a longer-term programme on forest response to logging disturbance.

THEME: Environment and resilience 

PhD Opportunities

Read about the PhD Studentships available from the School of Social Sciences.