Social Sciences

The world is changing around us and our programmes will help you make sense of the key issues affecting societies around the globe. Whether it’s religious fundamentalism, conservation or poverty, we provide experts with world class research to really inform and develop your own learning and research.

Our undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral programmes will prepare you for a broad range of commercial and public sector careers, as well as providing a firm grounding for a career in academia. You can choose from courses in:  

  • anthropology
  • geography
  • international relations
  • politics
  • primate conservation
  • sociology. 

Inspirational teaching

Global Environmental Politics

Dr Lucy Ford talks about her module "Global Environmental Politics", which is part of the undergraduate International Relations course.

Culture and Care

This module explores various anthropological approaches to the human capacity for various kinds of care, nurturance, and social support.

Student experience

Studying International Relations

Onat Isik from Turkey talks about the strengths of diversity and understanding cultural differences.

Field trips

Oxford is a great place to study International Relations and Politics, and we provide several opportunities for organised trips in the Oxford region, London, and abroad.

Global Environmental Politics

One of the highlights of the third year honours module Global Environmental Politics is a trip to a local organic farm, where students meet with local food producers to discuss the politics of the globalisation and localisation of food.

The module, which runs in the first semester and is taught by Dr. Lucy Ford, is broadly concerned with global environmental issues. Beginning with an investigation of the legal and institutional effectiveness of international regimes for solving environmental issues, it goes on to consider the wider socio-cultural and ideological context of the modern world and how we might think about the global ecological crisis. It further analyses the global political economy of sustainable development and examines the dynamics of global environmental governance and resistance.

International Relations and International Security

Students on the campus-based International Relations and International Security postgraduate degrees have the opportunity to go on a four-day study trip to Brussels and The Hague.

The trip takes place just before the start of Semester 2 (in late January) and starts with visits to key institutions of the European Union. The trip takes in The Hague and visits to a range of international organisations, such as the International Criminal Court and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which was awarded the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize. This study trip provides our students with first-hand experience of how these important international institutions work.

Links with industy

Oxford has so many opportunities for gaining work experience in museums, NGOs and local charities. Our students have held paid or voluntary positions at the Pitt Rivers Museum, the Children’s Radio Foundation, and Oxfam. Students are even able to work on research projects run by members of staff. 

Photo of Holly Joscelyne

Brookes Sociology graduates have gone on to careers in management, education, international development, recruitment, research, social work, and often engage in postgraduate study. 

“The opportunity to do a placement could potentially set me up with a graduate job, which would obviously be fantastic, but even if it doesn’t, it will still give me essential experience for when I do graduate and begin looking for a job. In terms of finding a future career, the course also helps me in terms of discipline, time management, research skills and opportunities to work as part of a team.”

Holly Joscelyne, Sociology and Business Management, 2017

Research

The School of Social Sciences comprises a number of collaborative research clusters supporting our doctoral students and encouraging wide participation both through our partnerships and our full programme of conferences, public events and lectures. Some of our research clusters are grouped together within the three research centres within the school.