Our research

The Faculty of Social Sciences enjoys an outstanding international research reputation. We engage with communities around the world and produce research that makes a positive difference to society.

We're particularly proud of our theoretical and applied work in a range of fields including: child welfare and protection; housing studies; problem solving justice; professional education; quantitative longitudinal analysis of large scale social survey data sets; social responses to dementia; teacher agency and the Faculty curriculum. What's more, our doctoral students gave us an 83% approval rating in 2020 (PRES 2020).

World-leading research environment

Our world-leading research environment has been recognised in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF), with 100% of our research submissions being judged as world leading or internationally excellent in terms of the quality of the research environment and their impact.

We pursue research through multi-disciplinary, collaborative, participatory and comparative working practices, including co-production with organisations and individuals. We also have a sustained successful research record and in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, 80% of our research outputs were assessed as internationally excellent or world leading across our two units of assessment, Education and Social Work and Social Policy

Older male student with green plant in background

The impact

Our research has a lasting impact, making a difference to wider society and communities around the world. Here we highlight the social impact of our research: 
Shaping national policy in early years education; 
Making a difference to ageing populations with telehealthcare.

Core research areas

We have a strong research ethos, with many staff having outstanding international research records in our six core research areas, all of which address key issues in society today. Our primary research areas are:

    • Child Well-being and Protection
    • Crime and Justice
    • Education Practice/Theory
    • Dementia and Ageing
    • Public Services and Governance
    • Social Surveys and Social Statistics

At the Faculty, we also host, work in partnership, and collaborate with a number of research centres and networks, including: The Centre for Child Wellbeing and Protection (CCWP), Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC), Corpus Linguistics in Scotland (CLiS)ProPEL: Professional Practice, Education and Learning, the Salvation Army Centre for Addiction Services and Research, the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research and the Stirling Network for Curriculum Studies. 

Our dementia research is making a difference

Hear more from our Dementia, Care, Design and Technology Event 2018:

Our research vision

Our vision is to be an international centre of excellence in our specialist areas of research, and to develop cutting-edge knowledge exchange and public engagement activity which supports the impact of our research. 

Our Faculty’s Associate Dean for Research and Knowledge Exchange is Professor Fiona Copland, and the Deputy Associate Dean for Research is Dr Peter Matthews.