Social Sciences

Research strategy

Research in the social sciences is critical to understanding and addressing the major domestic and global challenges confronting modern societies and governments. Social scientists at Southampton conduct world-class theoretical, methodological and empirical research. We have an international reputation for methodological innovation and quantitative analysis in the field of social statistics. It is through our interdisciplinary research and the combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods that Social Sciences has gained its excellent research reputation.

Within the University, we will continue to make key contributions to interdisciplinary research initiatives. We act as a centre of excellence for statistical innovations (through the Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute (S3RI)). We lead and participate in strategic research groups in Ageing, Lifelong Health and Wellbeing, the Digital Economy, Work Futures, Living with Environmental Change and Energy. We also generate successful major research awards with colleagues across the University. Past grants have involved Engineering, Electronics & Computer Science, and Health Sciences.

Outside the University, future directions in research and the growing significance of impact metrics make the social sciences strategically important to institutional success. Our work has been recognised by the award of an ESRC Doctoral Training Centre and major grants including three ESRC centre awards (Centre for Population Change, Third Sector Research Centre and National Centre for Research Methods).

Social Sciences staff at Southampton are well placed in a challenging funding market to consolidate these successes and tap into further research council, EU and other funding streams.

Major research priorities

  1. To enhance capacity (people and resources) in existing areas of excellence and to identify and invest in emerging areas of research
  2. To improve our performance ahead of the next assessment of research quality (REF 2014)
  3. To increase and continue to diversify research income sources
  4. To increase our postgraduate research community
  5. To provide institutional leadership in the social sciences in the advancement of new and potential areas of interdisciplinary and collaborative research across the University