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Research within the Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy (SSPP) seeks to address the greatest challenges facing our world today. The breadth, depth and diversity of our faculty means we have a huge variety of theoretically, empirically and methodologically innovative, collaborative, inclusive and ethical research that aims to make major contributions to the social sciences and to create a better world.   

Our research expertise

Research in our Schools of Global Affairs, Education, Communication and Society, and Politics and Economics explore political trends, social and economic challenges, inequalities, global poverty, fairness, social justice, health inequalities, race, mental health, social care, education, youth work and gender. 

At a time of heightened geopolitical tensions and ongoing conflicts, our School of Security Studies as well as colleagues in Political Economy and Global Affairs explore international relations, diplomacy, war, cybersecurity, AI, ethics, justice, peace and reconciliation, risk, space and migration. You can get a taste of some of this work on the Department of War Studies podcast series that showcases their expertise. 

Our School of Global Affairs has a wealth of expertise on environmental challenges such as the impacts of climate change, water insecurity, wildfires, energy policies, urbanisation and globalisation. The Department of Geography in particular is emblematic of the nature of a productive diversity of approaches coming together in SSPP, in this case, between human and physical geography. For example, our cross-disciplinary Climate Research Hub and the King’s Water Centre unite cutting-edge research from across the faculty and indeed beyond.

Our Policy Institute provides expertise in the development, implementation and evaluation of public policy, making key contributions to knowledge exchange and impact across the Faculty and beyond, while delivering its own portfolio of research on, e.g, values, polarisation, the changing nature of work, and hosting the ESRC-funded UK in a Changing Europe hub, the NIHR-funded Health & Social Care Workforce Research Unit, the Global Institute for Women's Leadership, and the International School for Government. 

Collaboration and innovative methodologies

In all our research, collaboration with others within and beyond King’s is crucial to our approach. This includes working closely with communities, public institutions, business, industry and policymakers to ensure our work has maximum impact and brings about positive change. The Policy Institute, for example, has strong ties with public institutions and industry, while many of our departments have close links to UK Government Departments and non-departmental agencies (such as Defence Studies/MoD; War Studies/Cabinet Office & FCDO; Geography: DEFRA), international governments, and multilateral organisations.

Across the faculty we work closely with our international partners through research that spans the planet. Much of our research focuses on and collaborates with the Global South and, through our Global Institutes and the Department of International Development, we have strong expertise on China, Brazil (and wider Latin America), Russia, India, Africa, and Australia - as individual countries and/or regions and in relation to their broader geopolitical, economic and socio-cultural interrelations. 

As interdisciplinary social scientists, we are leaders in mapping research methods across the full spectrum of quantitative and qualitative research methods. These draw on arts-based methods (see for example the Visual and Embodied Methodologies Network), use chemistry labs and policy labs, and engage students in research and teaching. We have produced research methods guidance such as the Centre for Society and Mental Health’s toolkit, and a policy lab framework to influence public policy-making. SSPP works according to our long-established principle of equality, diversity and inclusion and works hard to maintain and advocate for high standards of research integrity.    

The high calibre of our research and its demonstrable impact means we attracted £23million in research income during 2022-3. This included competitive funding from a variety of sources including UKRI research councils, primarily the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Natural and Environmental Research Council (NERC), as well as the European Commission, and a wide range of national and international charitable and other organisations such as the Nuffield Foundation, Wellcome Trust, the British Academy, The Leverhulme Trust and many more. 


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Our people

Our people

Explore our staff and their research interests.

An inclusive and supportive environment

Our faculty is committed to creating and sustaining a diverse and inclusive research environment that celebrates a diversity of ideas, opinions, knowledge, and people. All colleagues are therefore expected to adhere to our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Principles in Research.

Researchers applying for funding are supported by a dedicated Arts & Sciences Research Office as well as by professional Research Officers in their own departments.  

Our ESRC-funded London Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (LISS-DTP) supports social science research students by offering them advanced training programmes based around 15 research themes and by helping  to establish networks across the College (including the Institute of Psychiatry).

News & events from the Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy