Impact: Making a Difference

Impact: Making a Difference

Oxford social science research is influential in many fields beyond academia and our social scientists make a significant difference to people’s lives across the globe. We regularly exchange expertise, knowledge and insights with a wide range of organisations, groups and people, helping to improve society and the economy on many fronts and contributing to key debates among the wider population.

Impact making a difference


Our influence on policymaking is particularly extensive, both within the UK and beyond. Our researchers regularly advise international governments and multi-lateral agencies, UK government departments and local government authorities, as well as working with intermediary non-governmental organisations that lobby and encourage policy change. Find out more about our policymaking impact here. 


Through wider engagement with society (one of Oxford University’s core strategic objectives), we work with external stakeholders to set agenda and share expertise through collaborative work, to develop and maintain partnerships with external bodies, and to promote the application of social science research outside of the academic community. Find out more about our engagement activities here.


Our strong reputation for theoretical intellectual scholarship is complemented by high quality research co-produced with practitioners in the fields of social work, education, law, museums, and business (with corporations and SMEs). Find out more about our knowledge exchange activities here. 


We have a number of research centres and interdisciplinary units whose core purpose is to influence society, for example: