Faculty of Social Sciences

  • Description
  • Introduction

    The Fac­ulty of Social Sci­ences is a vibrant aca­d­e­mic com­mu­nity both in terms of teach­ing and research. In terms of teach­ing, we have nearly 30,000 stu­dents study­ing our courses each year and a superb record of excel­lence in the Teach­ing Qual­ity Review Process, with all six Social Sci­ences depart­ments achiev­ing ‘excel­lent’ rat­ings. In terms of research, we have major suc­cesses in research includ­ing host­ing major ESRC (Eco­nomic and Social Research Coun­cil) funded pro­grammes and by hav­ing 55% of Fac­ulty research recog­nised as being world lead­ing or inter­na­tion­ally excel­lent in the 2008 Research Assess­ment Exer­cise (RAE).

    In spite of increas­ing com­pe­ti­tion from other uni­ver­si­ties for part-​time adult stu­dents, our new Level 1 course Intro­duc­ing the Social Sci­ences (DD101) recruits more stu­dents than any other and its pre­de­ces­sor broke all OU records by reg­is­ter­ing 13,800 stu­dents in its first year of pre­sen­ta­tion. Our Psy­chol­ogy courses recruit stu­dents in extremely high num­bers, with more OU stu­dents than from any other UK Uni­ver­sity going on to obtain British Psy­cho­log­i­cal Soci­ety recognition.


    We are also suc­cess­ful in Research. Since the RAE in 2001 we have gained pres­ti­gious ESRC sup­port to set up, in part­ner­ship with the Uni­ver­sity of Man­ches­ter, a new research cen­tre to study the chang­ing nature of UK soci­ety. Another major ESRC research pro­gramme on iden­ti­ties and social action is directed by Prof Margie Wetherell from our Depart­ment of Psy­chol­ogy. The Fac­ulty has also ben­e­fited from Uni­ver­sity funded research ini­tia­tives with involve­ment in three research cen­tres of excel­lence Cit­i­zens, Iden­ti­ties and Gov­er­nance (CCIG), the Inter­na­tional Cen­tre for Com­par­a­tive Crim­i­no­log­i­cal Research (ICCCR) — with the Fac­ulty of Arts — and Inno­va­tion, Knowl­edge & Devel­op­ment (IKD) — with the Fac­ulty of Math­e­mat­ics, Com­put­ing and Tech­nol­ogy and the OU Busi­ness School.

    This suc­cess in research feeds directly into our teach­ing and helps us to pro­duce courses that are world class, and which reflect devel­op­ments at the fron­tiers of research and schol­ar­ship. One of our hall­marks is that we do our utmost to ensure that our suc­cess­ful research informs course pro­duc­tion so that our stu­dents ben­e­fit from that lead­ing edge in research.

    These suc­cesses are depen­dent on recruit­ing and retain­ing excel­lent staff and on man­ag­ing our­selves in ways which com­bine orig­i­nal­ity and inno­va­tion in research and cur­ricu­lum with the cost-​effective pro­duc­tion and pre­sen­ta­tion of courses. The Fac­ulty of Social Sci­ences at The Open Uni­ver­sity is an excit­ing place to work.


    Phone +44.1908.654.488

    Social Networks and Comments