Social science & policy

Social sciences and policy at UNSW

Learn the science of policymaking and how it impacts our society

At UNSW, social science and policy is a broad area of study that looks at the methods used to study social issues and the policy interests of our community. Academics in this field are concerned with research methods and social policy analysis to develop deeper insights into the decisions and forces of influence that shape action within specific policy fields.

Policymaking plays a vital role in managing change across society, offering a set of tools and mechanisms for coordinating complex environments. Policy structures reflect stakeholder interests throughout civil society and is an area of contest and debate in democratic societies.

Policy informs every field of practice and with rising expectations of sophisticated, evidence-based policy, there is a need for well-trained policy analysts and researchers in government, business, social and political organisations. Education and research in social science and policy appeals to professionals: 

  • in government developing public policy and delivering public services
  • in the NGO sector advocating for change, representing community interests and sharing in the delivery of services that meet a public policy objective
  • who contribute to policy frameworks that shape regulatory governance in industry.

UNSW researchers in social science and policy are motivated to better understand broader governance processes and how we can effectively advocate for change. Their research includes disability, housing, development, economic and regulatory policies within specific industrial or social sectors.