About

The Social Research and Policy discipline at UNSW is a broad area of study concerned with both the methods used to study social issues and the policy interests of our community.

Scholars in this field are concerned with research methods and the analysis of social policy to develop deeper insights into the decisions and forces of influence that shape action within specific policy fields. This might include disability policy, housing policy, development policy, economic policy, and regulatory policy within specific industrial or social sectors.

Policy-making plays a key role in the management of change across society, offering a set of tools and mechanisms for coordinating complex environments. Policy structures the interests of stakeholders throughout civil society and is a zone of contest and debate in democratic societies.

Researchers in this field at UNSW are motivated to better understand broader governance processes and how we may effectively advocate for change. In the 2012 Excellence for Research in Australia Report UNSW scored a 5 out of 5 for Policy and Administration.

Policy enters 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, and social and political organisations. Research and teaching in Social Research 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.