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The Centre for Social Sciences (CSS) was established in 2012. The CSS is funded by the College as part of its strategy to improve the standards of research methods across the social science community and to promote and disseminate social science research findings with the wider public.


The CSS provides an institutional focus within the College for the development of research and teaching throughout the social sciences. The Centre brings together staff and students working across different social science disciplines from all three faculties within the College, including Management, Economics, Politics and IR, Geography, Social Psychology, Criminology and Sociology, Drama and Theatre, Music, Media Arts, and Social Work.


The Centre is intended to develop and promote training in empirical research methods and analysis techniques in the social sciences, particularly in the area of quantitative methods. In doing so it actively supports the Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC)strategy to improve the standards of research methods training across the social science community.


The centre provides a focal point within the college for research, training and capacity building activities. These activities are aimed at promoting a step change in the quality and range of methodological skills and techniques used by the social science community, and providing support for, and dissemination of, social science research within the college.


The CSS aims to:


  • Advance methodological understanding and practice;
  • Enable members of the social science research community to learn about widely used research methods and current ‘best practice’ and to acquire the capacity to use these methods effectively in their research;
  • Play a strategic role in the promotion of high quality research methodology

The specific goals of the Centre include:

  • Strengthening the provision of training for academic staff and doctoral students in the design of social science research;
  • Training in quantitative and qualitative methods
  • Promoting interdisciplinary research and collaboration;
  • Disseminating and engaging social science research with the wider public

In order to facilitate development and progression towards more advanced levels, the primary focus of the CSS is to provide a thorough grounding in a range of widely used methodological techniques, which do not assume an advanced prior knowledge in terms of the skills required to use them.

Methods, alongside data, are essential resources for researchers. Capacity building in this area has relevance to both to research students and academic staff. The CSS is part of a wider College strategy to improve the standards of research methods across the social science community, providing a focal point for empirically grounded social science research methods and capacity-building activities. It therefore aims to work closely with a range of other College initiatives in order to achieve coordination and synergies, such as the ESRC Doctoral Training Centre.

Activities will have a practical focus, with an emphasis on how different methods can be used and applied in different social science fields.

The CSS also seeks to promote the dissemination of social science research and foster engagement with the wider public and interested parties. In doing so the CSS seeks to establish closer formal and informal links with a wide variety of partners, which it will seek to integrate into the social science community through a variety of activities, workshops, public lectures and visiting positions.


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