Profiles of our member institutions and their Aspect representative.
Aberystwyth University has a long and distinguished record of undertaking cutting edge research across a range of disciplines, from developing Miscanthus bioenergy crops, to the study of medieval history, and the exploration of Mars. The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences hosts one of the longest-established Education departments in the UK, and our International Politics department was the first of its kind in the world. Our research strategy seeks to build on our historic strengths to tackle contemporary challenges across academia, business and society.
The University of Bath is well known as being a research-intensive university with their research being rated by the Research Excellence Framework as being world leading or internationally excellent. The university’s research grant portfolio is worth over £150 million. The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences has 6 departments that includes: Economics, Education, Health, Psychology, Politics, Languages & International studies, Social & Policy Sciences. The purpose of research in the faculty is to change lives and inform policy and practice
The Faculty of Social Sciences and Law offers over 40 single and joint honours undergraduate degree courses and more than 70 postgraduate programmes, providing high quality teaching in a vibrant and inclusive learning environment. We host twelve faculty research groups and six interdisciplinary research institutes, designed to foster and promote innovative research, and cultivate a collaborative inter-school, interdisciplinary ethos. Our academics are internationally recognised leaders in their fields, producing world-class research addressing the most important concerns of society.
Cardiff University is home to a large and wide-ranging social science community. Specifically, we have more than 788 academics working in the social sciences at Cardiff, and currently host 268 social science PhD students. Two-thirds of the academics schools have received ESRC funding over the last five years. This is testimony to the extent to which social sciences are embedded across the university, and to the interdisciplinary nature of social sciences research at Cardiff University.
Cranfield is a specialist postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management. We are focused on the specialist themes of aerospace, defence and security, energy and power, environment and agrifood, manufacturing, transport systems, and water. Cranfield School of Management is a world leader in management education and research. Social Science research capability is integral to all themes. For example our Living Laboratory is a testbed for transformative technologies and new approaches to deliver enhanced social, economic and environmental outcomes in urban, transport and infrastructure systems.
Durham University is a world-leading leading centre for pioneering research in the social sciences across 13 academic departments and schools. We aim to enhance social and economic well-being based on the principles of inter-disciplinarity, innovation and impact, covering a broad range of disciplines, geographies and partners.
Between the Faculty of Social Sciences and Health and the Durham University Business School we have over twenty five Research Centres specialising in a range of themes, including; Innovation and Technology Management, Energy and Clean Growth, Human Behaviour and many more.
University of Essex is rated 4th in the UK for our research excellence in social sciences, with our politics research recognised as the best in the UK (REF 2014). Our Faculty of Social Sciences is home to some of the most highly-rated social science departments and researchers in the country. Alongside core departments and disciplines, the Faculty also hosts internationally renowned research institutes and centres, such as the Institute for Social and Economic Research, the UK Data Archive, and the ESRC Business and Local Government Data Research Centre, among others.
The College of Social Sciences at the University of Glasgow is at the forefront of theoretically-informed and rigorous empirical research and research-informed teaching, contributing and significantly impacting international and national policy and practice, professional education, and the society in which we live. Building upon the proud tradition of Adam Smith in developing a holistic analysis of society and responding to current and emerging local and global challenges, our researchers are passionate about co-creating innovative, interdisciplinary solutions based on strong, critical, and theoretically rigorous disciplinary foundations.
The University of Greenwich is a public university located in London, with a satellite campus in Medway, Kent. The university’s range of subjects includes architecture, business, computing, mathematics, education, engineering, humanities, maritime studies, natural sciences, pharmacy, and social sciences. Greenwich’s alumni include two Nobel Laureates. In 2019, the university was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for its research in pest management and control to combat human and animal diseases in the UK and internationally. It received a Silver rating in the UK government’s Teaching Excellence Framework.
The University of Huddersfield is an inspiring, innovative University of international renown, with a focus on user-inspired applied research. Social Sciences research is wide ranging with some 450 academic researchers engaged in this broad area. We offer a diverse range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses from criminology to social work and beyond, all of which offer the opportunity for professional placements to develop and embed real-world experience.
London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) is one of the foremost social science universities in the world. LSE opened its doors in 1895 with three rooms and 200 students. Today more than 11,000 students study for degrees at our central London campus, while more than 40,000 more learn on campus or remotely. But while much has changed, one thing remains constant: our commitment to the original vision of LSE, as ‘a community of people and ideas, founded to know the causes of things, for the betterment of society’.
The School of Social Sciences is committed to research that makes a contribution to addressing some of the major social, economic and political challenges that face the UK and the world. Our research has shaped policy-making and practice in diverse areas, centring around five key themes: Socio-economic change and innovation; Population change and ageing; Inequality and poverty; Sustainable practices and climate change and Elections, participation and governance. Our specialised research centres allow us to ensure our research is focused and makes a real impact, both within the University and the wider community.
With around 40,000 students and 330,000 alumni from 170 countries, Manchester Metropolitan University is the ninth most popular by applications and among the biggest universities in the UK. With investment of £400 million, our campus is home to a triple accredited Business School and state-of-the-art centres like our new Institute of Sport, School of Digital Arts (SODA) and more. Our university is a hub of groundbreaking creativity, sporting prowess, and pioneering works in science, engineering, health, education, business and law.
Social sciences at Nottingham Trent University is recognised nationally and internationally for our theoretically informed and applied research. We foster a culture that values the diversity of all our communities and publicises and celebrates excellence in all we do. We create a vibrant and inclusive learning and teaching environment grounded in scholarship, research, and professional practice. Through our strategic partnerships, we influence and shape civic, cultural, and social life. We maximise the employability of our students through our curriculum and engagement with our external partners.
The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning. Since it began in 1969, the OU has taught more than two million students worldwide and has over 190,000 current students, including more than 7,000 overseas.
Over 76% of students are in full-time or part-time employment, and three out of five FTSE 100 companies have sponsored staff to take OU courses.
82% of the OU’s research impact was assessed to be ‘world-leading’ (4*) or ‘internationally excellent’ (3*) by the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021
Regarded as the UK’s major e-learning institution, the OU is a world leader in developing technology to increase access to education on a global scale. Its vast ‘open content portfolio’ includes free study units, as well as games, videos and academic articles, which have reached over 36 million people.
The Social Sciences Division represents one of the largest groupings of social scientists in the world. We bring together outstanding departments, faculties and schools committed to tackling some of the major challenges facing humanity, such as sustainable resource management, migration, global governance, justice, poverty and development. Our research combines rigorous and innovative quantitative methodologies and theoretical approaches using individual and collective experiences and actions. The Times Higher Education (THE) University Rankings placed the University of Oxford as number one in the world for Social Sciences in 2018 and 2019.
Plymouth has a strong track-record in research and impact across a broad range of social science disciplines, including: social policy, psychology, education, geography, business, law, politics, social history, and health. The research activities of over 200 social science academics are supported through an interdisciplinary environment across all three faculties of the university. Our Aspect membership is led from the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business, where ‘people and place’ (historical to present) provides a strategic focus for impact, innovation and knowledge exchange.
At QMUL, we believe that a diversity of ideas helps us achieve the previously unthinkable.
Throughout our history, we’ve fostered social justice and improved lives through academic excellence. Our reformer heritage informs our conviction that great ideas can and should come from anywhere. We continue to embrace diversity of thought and opinion in everything we do, in the belief that when views collide, disciplines interact, and perspectives intersect, truly original thought takes form.
Research from our Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences seeks to broaden the frontiers of knowledge and enhance understanding of the world in which we live.
Queen’s University Belfast is one of the leading universities in the UK and Ireland with a distinguished heritage and history. Founded in 1845 as Queen’s College Belfast, we became an independent university in 1908. The School of Social Sciences, Education and Social work is a vibrant and intellectually diverse academic community that shares a single core vision: to produce world-leading research and first class teaching, which expands knowledge, informs policy and practice and makes a social difference locally, nationally and globally.
At the University of Reading, our world-renowned researchers work across four research themes with most social scientists residing within the Prosperity & Resilience Theme. Cross-disciplinary working is encouraged across 11 research divisions which includes the triple-accredited Henley Business School; Politics, Economics and International Relations; Institute of Education; Law; and cross-cutting Global Development, drawing where relevant upon leading expertise in our School of the Built Environment and Agri-Food Economics & Social Science. Our approach to knowledge exchange and commercialisation focuses on using our academic knowledge and skills to solve some of the biggest challenges facing society and business.
The Royal College of Art excels in world-leading design and art research and creative innovation. Our approach is founded on the premise that art, design, creative thinking, science, engineering and technology must all collaborate to solve today’s global challenges.
Our research spans the Schools of Architecture, Arts & Humanities, Communication and Design, as well as a growing number of interdisciplinary research centres. We have an impressive track record in industry collaboration through joint research, studio projects, academic consultancy and public engagement programmes.
The Faculty of Social Sciences has a long-established reputation for producing world-leading research. Our research agenda reflects the complex challenges of our age: how to create truly sustainable growth in the face of climate change; creating an inclusive society; adapting to an ever-increasingly digital society; improving wellbeing throughout the life course; and how to harness innovative methods for understanding our world. Our academics work at the forefront of knowledge, building lasting partnerships with researchers, policymakers, NGOs and businesses across the globe.
The University of Surrey is a global community of ideas and people, dedicated to life-changing education and research. With a beautiful and vibrant campus, we provide exceptional teaching and practical learning to inspire and empower our students for personal and professional success.
The University of Surrey faculty of arts and social sciences brings together scholars and students from across an extraordinary range of academic disciplines in a learning community that is dedicated to the discovery and enrichment of the arts, humanities and social sciences. We are artists, entrepreneurs, scholars and practitioners working on the pleasures and challenges of our times.
University of Sussex research is contributing new knowledge, ideas and solutions, which is leading to real change in the world and making a difference to people’s lives. Research is at the heart of Sussex, where our research centres are international leaders in their fields, and an interdisciplinary environment thrives across the university. Sussex research has produced Nobel prizes, developed radical theories, and created important innovations. It has had extensive impact on business, government, the third sector, health and culture. Explore our research or find out more about our research centres.
Teesside University’s social sciences research, teaching and enterprise tackles some of the major economic, social and political “big questions” at a local and global scale. The School of Social Science, Humanities and Law and Teesside University Business School shape policy-making and practice to deliver impact through three primary research centres: Centre for Social Innovation; Centre for Culture and Creativity; and the Future of Work.
Social sciences at York is closely aligned to seven research themes, and geared towards strong impacts in both policy and practice. Our work builds upon sustained relationships with local and national government, and strong links with international agencies (WHO, UNICEF Gates Foundation, etc). Work in the Global South has had particular impact with regard to health inequalities, and education for the disadvantaged. Our focus is upon evaluative and evidenced based methodologies, often based on new interdisciplinary approaches that allow for the measurement and evaluation of complex settings.
Zinc builds companies that tackle important societal challenges. Its programmes bring together 50 entrepreneurs to build new products and services from scratch. Each programme has a specific ‘mission’ (e.g. ‘to improve the quality of later life’), and is supported by a network of world-leading experts (e.g. in research, technology, business, and creative design). Zinc’s top priority is to accelerate the impact of social science. Zinc is financially backed by the LSE, and proud to be part of the Aspect network.