Research overview

The University of Bristol is one of the leading centres of high quality and high impact social science research in the UK.

The Faculty of Social Sciences and Law (FSSL) offers excellent support for research and research-related activities, and actively cultivates an inter-school, inter-disciplinary ethos. There are a number of research centres within the schools and also a number of faculty research groups.

The excellence of Bristol's social science research was confirmed by the results of REF 2014. Although Bristol adopted a highly inclusionary submissions policy, entering the work of over 90 per cent of its staff for assessment, seven of our nine submissions to Main Panel C were ranked in the top ten on raw GPA by Times Higher Education; of these, two were ranked first. When research intensity (the proportion of staff submitted) was taken into account, five of our nine submissions were ranked in the top five by Times Higher Education, two others were in the top ten, and one ranked eleventh. Overall, when intensity is taken into account, FSSL ranks second in the country.


The faculty attracts a wide range of funding from research councils, charities and government departments around the world. Supported by funders such as UK and European Research Councils, the Leverhulme Trust and the Department for International Development, our researchers are working at the heart of issues that surround social concerns advancing social innovation and delivering evidence for policymakers.


Our high-quality research outputs are published in internationally-ranked journals and prestigious academic presses across social sciences and law. The faculty also hosts and edits a number of internationally recognised social science journals, including Policy and Politics, Ethnicities, Antipode: a journal of radical geography, Journal of Common Market Studies, British Accounting Review and Contemporary Political Theory.

Professor Deborah Wilson Research Director of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law
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