Social Sciences

People holding signs in a protest

Welcome to the Department of Social Sciences

The department is home to a high-quality range of programmes in the following broad subject areas:

  • Animal Welfare and Society
  • Geography
  • Politics and International Relations
  • Sociology

Our undergraduate courses draw on the expertise of staff within our department as well as specialists in areas from across the University such as from Philosophy, Law, Liberal Arts, Linguistics and Psychology, and beyond.

At postgraduate level, we offer an MA in Politics and International Relations, and we warmly welcome enquiries about postgraduate research.

We offer a stimulating, multidisciplinary environment at the forefront of the study of a range of contemporary social issues such as climate change, identity and inequality. Our dynamic staff have a wealth of experience in teaching, research and practice, to help our students address many questions that are crucial to understanding the rapidly changing world in the 21st century.

We are leading the way in producing creative, dynamic research that makes a difference in the real world. All of our staff are actively engaged in research, engagement and the creation of new knowledge which feeds directly into our programmes.

We work collaboratively for positive change in the local, national and global community. The Department has developed strong external relationships and students have been able to do placements with a wide variety of organisations. In some cases this has led to subsequent employment. Students are encouraged to be proactive about placements and to seek out their own work experience opportunities within their course; however, a number of staff maintain close links with a range of external organisations and are able to provide advice and assistance.

The department has dedicated specialist facilities and we are well equipped to undertake both fieldwork and laboratory-based projects as part of our Geography course. Explore our facilities.


Meet the team

Head of Department


Technical staff

Animal Welfare

Visiting/Associate Lecturers

Politics and International Relations


Visiting Lecturers

Research in Social Sciences

Research strengths

Research in Animal Welfare and Society

Research in Animal Welfare and Society is focussed on human-animal studies and animal welfare science, ethics and law, in particular:

  • the ethics and policy of animal protection
  • the impact of Brexit on animal protection
  • zoo welfare assessment, and the interplay between cognition, environmental enrichment, welfare and conservation

Research in Geography

Physical/environmental geography:

  • Biogeography
  • Biodiversity loss
  • Flood risk management

Human/developmental geography: 

  • Urban studies
  • Globalisation
  • Rural crime
  • Organised crime
  • Geoscience and security issues
  • Disaster management
  • Environmental issues and society
  • Food security/the future of farming
  • Water security

Research in Politics

Political economy, financial crises, neoliberalism and capitalist restructuring, financialisation and the political economy of labour and production, international relations, war and conflict, peace and reconciliation, terrorism and security, contemporary US politics and US foreign policy, China, NATO, the EU, Brexit, and the relationship between politics and gender.

Research in Sociology

Social welfare from a socio-legal perspective; gender, feminism and social activism; migration and diasporas; social sustainability; people's experiences with housing and the urban built environment, and energy and environmental technology.

Postgraduate research supervision

We offer research supervision in a wide range of subjects. To find out more, explore our academic staff profile pages above for individual areas of supervision or use the Find an Expert search bar below.

Visit the Research Degrees section to find out everything you need to know about postgraduate research degrees at Winchester.