Oxford Skyline
Oxford Skyline

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Oxford named world's best for Social Sciences for second consecutive year

Oxford University has been ranked as the world's best institution for Social Sciences teaching and research for the second consecutive year in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

The discipline-specific tables for Education, Law, Social Sciences and Business & Economics, released today, follow on from the announcement that Oxford has been ranked the top university in the world by the same publication for the third year running. Oxford also came in third place for Business & Economics.

The ranking is based on criteria measuring teaching, research, industry income, international outlook and citations, which are combined to provide a comparison of universities worldwide.

There are around 1,000 full-time equivalent researchers, teachers and staff across the Social Sciences Division at Oxford, the largest grouping of social scientists in the UK, spread across 14 discipline-focused and interdisciplinary departments and units, and the Colleges, as well as 5,700 undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Professor Sarah Whatmore, Head of the Social Sciences Division, said: ‘It is a testament to the calibre and hard work of our academics and researchers in the Social Sciences Division that Oxford has been ranked first in social sciences for the second year in a row in THE world subject rankings announced today. While ranking exercises should never be taken too literally, they provide important opportunities to acknowledge and celebrate our collective academic achievements.’

Grounded in Oxford’s long tradition of independent scholarship and academic freedom, Oxford social sciences deliver world leading research that continues to challenge current ideas and theories and explore new ways of thinking and benefitting society. A core characteristic of the research is its global nature and significant impact both in academic and non-academic contexts.

Research in social science at Oxford combines rigorous and innovative quantitative methodologies and theoretical approaches using individual and collective experiences and actions. It provides significant opportunities for individual scholars in narrow areas of specialism to collaborate with other world leaders to form multi- and interdisciplinary research groups and centres with strong multi-institutional collaborations and partnerships that engage with the outside world. In this way, Oxford’s social science researchers are ideally placed to push new multi-and interdisciplinary boundaries and explore cutting-edge research.

Earlier this month, Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton visited the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, part of the Social Sciences Division, for a two day event which included the unveiling of a statue of Eleanor Roosevelt and the delivery of a keynote address: 'Confronting Illiberalism: The role of the Media, Civil Society and Universities'.