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Our ambition is that we will be distinguised by our research strengths and recognized globally for the social, economic and cultural benefit we deliver through our research.



Research in SSESW combines five core disciplinary strengths, in Criminology, Education, Social PolicySocial Work and Sociology, so that we proudly proclaim, and see ourselves as key advocates for, the worth and value of the Social Sciences. In addition to promoting the strength of our core disciplines, we are committed to multidisciplinary work that can address local and global challenges, and to creativity and innovation in research agendas and methodologies. We share core values of social responsibility, collegiality, inclusivity and commitment to excellent scholarship.

Much of our research is world leading and has influenced policy and practice locally, nationally and globally in many areas including education, criminal justice, the wellbeing of children, social cohesion and mental health. Research in the school is organised around five interdisciplinary research themes: Health, Wellbeing and Inclusion; Children, Young People and Families, Policy and Practice; Crime and Social Justice; Contested Societies; and Education: Advancing Understanding, Improving Outcomes.

Professor Joanne Hughes, Director of Research
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Research Excellence

87% of research in Education and 76% of research in Social Work and Social Policy was assessed in REF 2014 as either 'Internationally Excellent or World-Leading', with Education ranked 4th in the UK for Research Intensity and Social Work and Social Policy ranked 11th.

Interdisciplinary Research Themes

Health, Well-being and Inclusion

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Children, Young-people and Families

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Crime and Social Justice

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Contested Societies

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Education - Advancing understanding, Improving Outcomes

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Our research centres and networks

Key to the delivery of research in SSESW are our School research Centres and Networks, and the University wide Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice.


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Drugs and Alcohol Network

Informing and Supporting Public Health

Visit the DARN website
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Disability Research Network

Collaboration in Disability Studies and Research

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Access Research Knowledge

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Centre for Children's Rights

Because Children have Rights

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Centre for Shared Education

Working together for learning

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Centre for Behaviour Analysis

Overcoming Barriers, Achieving Potential

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Mitchell Institute

Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice

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Centre for Evidence and Social Innovation

Find out more about CESI

Postgraduate Study


Are you interested in doctoral study in the school of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work?

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Our research impact

Queen’s University is joint 8th in the UK for research intensity

Our REF ranking

Latest Publications