Faculty of Social Sciences

Aerial shot of the University of Essex's Colchester Campus

Our Faculty makes Essex a world-leading social science University

Social scientists at Essex are seeking to change the world by asking critical questions and challenging convention. Our trusted academics use pioneering methodologies; they draw on their extensive global research networks to uncover inconvenient truths, test and refine dominant theories, develop new areas of knowledge, and produce robust evidence to support their work.

We are keen to work with like-minded partners across the globe. We invite you to join us in further developing our work, teaching, infrastructure, research relationships, global networks and expertise; all of which contribute to a world-leading destination for social science research.

We encourage you to explore the Faculty and learn more about what makes us a vibrant hub of social science education and research. Here you will find links to our highly-rated academic departments, pioneering research infrastructures, highlights from our cutting edge research and details of our dedicated Faculty team.

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What makes
us world leaders?

Four social science subjects are in the UK top 10 for research quality (REF 2021)
Ranked 18th for promoting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal on Reduced Inequalities  (THE 2023)
We hold the Queen's Anniversary Prize for world-leading social science research
We were awarded the UK's first and only Regius Professorship of Political Science
We house the UK Data Archive, the UK's only nationally-funded research infrastructure for social science data
We are home to the Chief Scientific Advisor to Essex County Council
A row of old looking library books
Female student writing on a whiteboard
Essex receives Queen's Anniversary Prize
Photograph of the street sign for Downing Street
Image of computer screen with code on showing data
Man giving a presentation pointing at whiteboard with people sat at desk
Our Departments
  • The 2023 QS World University Rankings by Subject show the University of Essex in the global top 100 for ‘Politics and International Studies’ and ‘Sociology’.
  • The Faculty hosts four social science subjects which are in the UK top 10 for research quality (grade point average, Research Excellence Framework 2021).
  • We have Q-Step-Affiliate Status funded by the Nuffield Foundation, the Economic and Social Research Council and the Higher Education Funding Council for England.
Our research structures
  • The UK Data Archive (UKDA) is a global centre of excellence in acquiring, curating and providing access to social science and humanities data. Their practices have been influential across the world.
  • ESSEXLab is a dedicated social science research laboratory, leading the way for experimental social science research. The laboratory welcomes both staff and students to conduct and participate in pioneering research.
  • The Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) is a leading centre for the production and analysis of longitudinal studies.
Latest news from the Faculty of Social Sciences
Essex students have unique opportunity to shape new museum in seaside town
10 May 2024
Psychosocial studies announces new research scholar
10 May 2024
Essex expert helps draft UN human rights standards for policing of protests
02 May 2024
Colchester campus aerial view
Contact us
Faculty of Social Sciences University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex, CO4 3SQ
Telephone: 01206 872690
University of Essex University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex, CO4 3SQ
Telephone: 01206 873333