About the Faculty

The Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities currently has more than 8,500 students, the majority of whom are following undergraduate programmes. There is also a thriving postgraduate community with some 1,070 students registered for postgraduate masters and doctoral awards. In addition staff teach significant numbers of students on a wide variety of awards in other faculties. There are some 350 academic staff, 107 administrative support staff and a team of 32 technical support staff.

The Faculty comprises three Schools: Education, Law, and Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences, each with its own Head of School. The Schools are, in turn, made up of departments. The Department of Primary, Early Childhood and Education Studies and the Department of Secondary Education and Lifelong Learning, make up the School of Education. The Bristol Law School consists of the Department of Law, and the Bristol Institute of Legal Practice. The School of Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences has five departments: the Department of English, the Department of History, the Department of Politics, Philosophy and International Relations, the Department of Sociology and Criminology, and the Department of Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies.

The Faculty is proud of the high quality of its provision and its innovation in teaching, learning and assessment. These strengths have been recognised in the course of external quality inspections. Hefce, the Higher Education Funding Council for England, awarded each of the departments of English, Primary Education and Early Years (as it then was), Secondary Education and Lifelong Learning (SEaL), Law and the Bristol Institute of Legal Practice the highest rating of "excellent" for their teaching. Indeed, the Faculty has the only Law School in the country to have received the "double first" of an excellent rating from both Hefce and the Legal Practice Course Board. The Quality Assurance Agency in its subject and programme review scored Education with 24/24, Sociology with 23/24 and Languages and Area Studies and Politics with 21/24. Ofsted allocated a grade 1 (the top grade) to both the Primary Education and Early Years department and the Secondary Education and Lifelong Learning Department.

The Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities enjoys an excellent reputation for research. The 2001 Research Assessment Exercise awarded the grade of 4 to research in English, History, Politics and Law, and the grade of 3a to Sociology, Education and Languages and Area Studies. There are 8 research centres supported from within the Faculty, collaborating with academic institutions and business organisations both nationally and internationally. The centres undertake research, consultancy, knowledge exchange and continuous professional development work.

The Faculty occupies many excellent resources such as the modern, purpose-built teaching and office block that provides the School of Education with state-of-the-art technology. A modern purpose built library is used by all parts of the Faculty, and it includes what has been described as the best law Library in the South West of England. The Faculty has an open-access Language Centre, with excellent modern equipment. All areas of the Faculty enjoy outstanding computing and information technology facilities, excellent audio-visual facilities and an increasing provision of new whiteboard technology in teaching rooms, all supported by a highly qualified team of technical staff.