Faculty-wide research groups

The following research grouping bring together academics from across the faculty who are interested in taking an interdisciplinary approach to exploring themes of faculty-wide interest. To find out more, contact the Group Leads directly. Academics interested in initiating a new research grouping should contact Deborah Wilson, the Faculty Research Director, in the first instance.

Ageing and the Life Course

Ageing of the population is one of the most significant changes taking place in societies today nationally and globally. Changing life course patterns have influenced health and wellbeing, retirement and pension income, family structure, and social, economic and political participation in society. Quality of life and wellbeing in older age are profoundly influenced by experiences, choices, opportunities, and constraints earlier in the life course...

Cultural Work

‘Culture’ and ‘Creativity’ have been core features of policy discourse for the best part of two decades, with creative industries often central to urban policy seeking to regenerate post-industrial cities. Within this context, creative workers have taken on a certain totemic quality: on the one hand they are viewed as exemplary agents, demonstrating resilience and flexibility, driving forward innovation and economic development; on the other hand, more critical voices emphasise the precarity, insecurity and poverty inherent in many creative careers, with some suggesting that creative workers are in fact a dystopian harbinger of future working practices for large swathes of the population...

Digital Futures

By harnessing social science to focus on the challenges and opportunities of digital society, the Digital Futures research group is working to build strong, sustainable, critical and actionable research on how digital technologies are changing society: now, and in the future.  

Education and Pedagogy

We aim to affirm the University of Bristol as a centre of excellence in the field of education and pedagogy, with recognition nationally and internationally to the benefit of both students and staff.

Families and Parenting

The Families and Parenting group exists to bring together the expertise on families and relationships across the Faculty of Social Sciences. We draw members from a diverse range of disciplines, including (but not limited to) Social Policy, Social Work, Law, Sociology and Politics, Social and Community Medicine, and Education. The central research questions considered by the group are those arising from the regulation of families and in particular the activities of parents.


The Gender Research Group brings together academics interested in scholarship on gender, broadly conceived. We seek to support events and collaborative activities that raise the profile of gender-related research within the Faculty and we welcome a range of methodological and conceptual approaches to the study of sex, sexuality, gender, feminism and feminist theory.

Global Political Economy

The Faculty Research Group in Global Political Economy brings together academics interested in a wide range of questions within a broadly defined field of global political economy. The remarkable nature of the field lies in its ability, over the course of the last two decades, to act as a catalysing force in reshaping the paradigmatic boundaries of social science. Analytically addressing the transformations brought about by globalisation by way of many theoretical and methodological frameworks GPE has underscored the need for the current disciplinary and interdisciplinary boundaries to be thoroughly transcended...

Health, Science and Technology

The FSSL Health, Science and Technology grouping brings together a critical mass of scholars from across the faculty to explore the most pressing challenges at the interfaces of the health and social sciences. Our members are committed to undertaking innovative and inter-disciplinary research at both national and global levels.

International Development

The International Development Group has been established as a thematically diverse - but theoretically and methodologically inclusive - group focused on the totality of problems that confront the developing world. Its membership includes colleagues from all of the Faculty's Schools. While linked to the Cabot Institute's International Development Group, the FSSL group brings together social scientists who work specifically on the problems of the social world...

Perspectives on Work

The Faculty Research Group for Perspectives on Work supports the interdisciplinary investigation and analysis of work and its governance by locating it within the specific context of contemporary capitalism and its social relations, including processes of financialisation, dispossession, the commodification of the commons, privatisation and the restructuring of work and life in the domestic sphere.  It centres the role of thoery and intellectual indeavour in rising to the present political, social and economic challenges posed by work.  It is radically interdisciplinary, developing conceptual and theoretical tools to enable new ways of imagining work and exploring and re-imagining the norms and institutions of work and its governance.  And it explores the borders between theory and practice facilitating recursive engagement for theory and practice of work, its boundaries and its governance.

Smart Networks for Sustainable Futures

Smart Networks for Sustainable Futures (SNSF) represents a broad spectrum of academics developing a shared research purpose, learning together and making informed interventions to drive some material improvement in a series of identified thematic areas.  The main aim is to form a resilient, adaptable and emergent system of connections among University of Bristol colleagues that facilitates the efficient flow and development of relevant knowledge to stimulate and formulate viable long-term solutions to contemporary issues. 

Urban Research Cluster

The FSSL Urban Research Cluster aims to bring together scholars from across the University to encourage and support urban research, education and policy engagement. The Cluster serves as a focal point for information exchange, networking and communications, raising the profile of the excellent work already being done and facilitating the development of new initiatives. We welcome participation from academic staff, post-doctoral fellows, researchers and graduate students who take an interest in cultural, economic, environmental, historical, political and social aspects of urbanism anywhere in the world. We seek to facilitate networking and information exchange among members; to organise and facilitate events such as seminars, conferences, workshops and public lectures; and to support individual and collective research, from the conceptualisation stage through bid development, execution and publication.


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