About our Faculty

Learn languages

Icon of speech marks

All our students can learn languages in a number of ways, including as part of your degree, in evening classes or online at no extra cost, or via Essex Modern Language Certificates.

World-leading social science at Essex creates knowledge about our world. We are ranked 4th in the UK for research excellence (Research Excellence Framework 2014), and in the top 100 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

The Faculty brings together eight departments and centres who work to produce world-leading research, delivering an exceptional standard of teaching and student experience.

Using the latest methodologies and global research networks, our academics discover ‘inconvenient truths’, test and refine dominant theories, and develop new areas of knowledge and inquiry for the future. They work with governmental, non-governmental and private-sector organisations, contributing to innovation, enterprise and human well-being.

A bit of history

Since 1964, the departments of Government, Sociology and Economics have formed the core of the social sciences. As a world leader in political science, Government was recently ranked top in the UK for research excellence in the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), with Economics ranked 5th in the UK for research excellence and Sociology ranked top 10 in the UK for research quality.

These three departments have been joined over the years by the Department of Languages and Linguistics, the UK Data Archive, the Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies, the Institute for Social and Economic Research, and Essex Business School.

Now with over 650 staff and over 4,000 students, the Faculty of Social Sciences makes up more than a third of University activity and boasts significant achievements and acclaim across research, education and impact.


The Faculty boasts an outstanding international research reputation that has a direct impact and influence on social and economic issues facing the world. It is home to some of the most highly-rated departments and research centres in the country.

Its excellence can be demonstrated by the results of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF).


As part of the social science community, you will enjoy access to leading specialists and research-led teaching ensures you will benefit from the latest developments.

Other learning and research opportunities

Our world-leading experts also engage with a wide range of people from outside the academic community, sharing their knowledge and expertise in a variety of ways.

  • Come to a seminar or workshop

    Why not come to one of the many seminars and workshops that are open to the public. Details can be found under news and events on each department and centre website.

  • Do a short course or join the Summer School

    Why not come to our Essex Summer School in social science data analysis or one of our short courses in social research where you can learn about a variety of research methods, data measurement, mathematics and much more.

  • Download our data

    Do you carry out qualitative and quantitative research and analyse data as part of your work? Essex is home to the UK Data Archive and the UK Data Service, your portal to more than 6,000 digital social science datasets, everything from government surveys to UK census data, all free to download from your computer.

    Both the Archive and the UK Data Service are vital resources for researchers and teachers as well as think-tanks, government departments, local councils and businesses across the UK.

  • Learn a language

    Are you looking to learn a new language? Our Essex Modern Language Certificates offers members of the public the opportunity to learn French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese to various levels with native speakers of the language.

  • Work with us

    We work with other organisations (private, public sector and charities) to help you grow and succeed. Find out more about how you or your organisation could benefit from working with us.

News and events

News and events

Keep up-to-date with what's happening in our Faculty, from our latest research to our awards and achievements. We also organise a huge range of specialist workshops, conferences, training events and public lectures.

Your experience

Share your experience

If you graduated from one of our departments in the last ten years we would like your help to create truly engaging content for our website, including student profiles and case studies. You can help by completing your graduate profile online.

PG research

Postgraduate research

At Essex you will work at the heart of an internationally recognised and well-connected research community. Our internationally-renowned academics will support and guide you through the different stages of your research until completion.

New experimental lab

ESSEXLab, the new state-of-the-art facility for academic researchers to run interactive social science experiments, is now available. Registration is also open to take part in experiments.