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School of Social and Political Science: Research



SSPS is one of the most vibrant centres for social science research in the UK. It brings together world-leading expertise in political science, sociology, social anthropology, social policy, social work, and science and technology studies. Complementing our disciplinary strengths, we host world-leading research centres on Africa, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

All of our subject areas were ranked number 1 in Scotland in the most recent Research Excellence Framework, with three of our submissions ranked in the top 3 for the UK, including Sociology which was ranked number 1. Read more about our REF 2014 submission.

Interdisciplinary Research

Our fluid interdisciplinary structure fosters innovative research that cuts across established social scientific boundaries. Rather than being organised as discrete departments, our six subject areas work closely together to deliver joint teaching, supervision and collaborative research. This is a huge source of strength - meaning that our research is ideally placed to engage with some of the key social and political challenges facing our planet, which require thinking outside of traditional academic silos. 


Cutting across these themes is a dedication to methodological rigour and innovation. We have been at the forefront of developing innovative ways of analyzing big data, including social media and parliamentary data sets, notably through our growing collaboration with colleagues in Informatics, and through our participation in the Alan Turing Institute. We are also at the forefront of developing new qualitative methods, including narrative and biographical methodology, social network analysis, fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis, participatory research and visual methods.

Our quantitative methods research is supported by major investments, notably the Nuffield Foundation funded Q-Step Centre, and the ESRC-funded Applied Quantitative Methods Network (AQMeN).

Contact Us

For all general enquiries please email

Research Strategy