Ranking and reputation

We have an international reputation for delivering high quality teaching and research in social sciences.

Our research makes an impact for communities around the world, including our Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC), Centre for Child Wellbeing and Protection (CCWP), and the Salvation Army Centre for Addiction Services and Research (SACASR).

Our work is recognised across several areas; in the most recent Research Excellence Framework 2021 we ranked 3rd in Scotland and top 25 in the UK for Social Work and Social Policy research – with 100% of our research environment and 88% of our overall research deemed world leading or internationally excellent.

Our rankings

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The Guardian University Guide 2022:

  • 2nd in Scotland for Criminology
  • Top 5 in Scotland and Top 20 in UK for Education
  • Top 5 in Scotland and Top 15 in UK for Social Work
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The Complete University Guide 2023:

  • 3rd in Scotland, Top 10 in the UK for Education
  • 3rd in Scotland for Sociology
  • Top 5 in Scotland, Top 20 in the UK for Social Policy
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The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023:

  • 1st in Scotland, Top 5 in the UK for Criminology
  • 3rd in Scotland and Top 5 in the UK for Education
  • Top 5 in Scotland and Top 10 in the UK for Social Policy
  • Top 5 in Scotland and Top 20 in the UK for Sociology
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Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021:

Ranked 3rd in Scotland and top 25 in the UK for Social Work and Social Policy – with 100% of our research environment and 88% of our research deemed world leading or internationally excellent

Our accreditations and awards

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The General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS):

Our Primary and Secondary Education degrees are accredited by GTCS, meaning that on successful completion you can apply for provisional registration as a teacher. Our postgraduate Education Leadership course is also accredited by GTCS.

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The Chartered Institute of Housing:

Our Housing Studies course is accredited by The Chartered Institute of Housing, the professional body for housing. When you graduate you’ll qualify as a corporate member of The Chartered Institute of Housing.

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The Scottish Social Services Council:

Our Social Work degree is accredited by The Scottish Social Services Council. On successful completion of the course you can register as a qualified social worker. England, Wales and Northern Ireland all have their own registration body and accept this degree.

Athena SWAN

The Athena SWAN initiative is a national charter developed by the Equality Challenge Unit in 2005 (now part of Advance HE). Athena SWAN recognises and promotes good practice in gender equality.

The Faculty of Social Sciences has been awarded a Bronze Athena SWAN award which is valid until 2025.

Find out more about Athena SWAN at the Faculty of Social Sciences.