Social Sciences

Research strategy

Research in the social sciences is critical to understanding and addressing the key challenges that societies and governments face today, from the global to the local.  Social scientists at Southampton conduct world-class theoretical, methodological and empirical research.  We have international recognition for excellence and innovation in both quantitative and qualitative methodologies, and our interdisciplinary approach underpins our reputation for high quality and high impact research.  The significance and vitality of our research expertise has been acknowledged by the award of an ESRC Doctoral Training Centre and major grants, including leading on three important ESRC centre awards: Centre for Population Change (CPC), Administrative Data Research Centre for England (ADRC) and National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM). 

Within the University we will continue to make key contributions to interdisciplinary research activities and sustain success.  We lead and participate in strategic research groups in: Ageing and Lifelong Health, Population Health and Work Futures.  In addition, we act as a centre of excellence for statistical innovations through the Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute (S3RI).  We will maintain our collaborations with colleagues across the University, including Engineering, Electronics & Computer Science, and Health Sciences, in existing and new successful major research awards.

Outside of the University, we will continue to maintain and embed collaborations with world class international institutions across the globe, and expand our network of international research partners, to address key social, health, environmental, economic and political challenges.  We will also sustain and extend our strong links with local, national and international policy and practice user communities.

We are consolidating and building on our successes through our major research priorities over the coming years:

  • Investing in and enhancing capacity, both people and resources, in our existing fields of excellence and in areas of emerging societal challenge that require insights and solutions from the social sciences.
  • Further improving our performance in advance of the next assessment of research quality and impact (2020).
  • Continuing to increase and diversify our research income sources.
  • Expanding our postgraduate research community.
  • Providing institutional leadership in the social sciences to advance new and potential areas of interdisciplinary and collaborative research across the University.