Researchers in the School of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) are a multi-lingual and interdisciplinary community, bringing together a unique blend of internationally well-connected scholars.

For the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF), the current system to assess the quality of UK research, SSH submitted to two panels: ‘Area Studies’ and ‘Modern Languages and Linguistics’. The results ranked Aston amongst the leading institutions in the UK and achieved some particularly outstanding successes for our field:

  • Area Studies: 81 per cent of the SSH submission was judged as “world-leading or internationally excellent”. This is the 3rd highest percentage in the UK for this unit of assessment. The submission was also ranked 5th out of 23 institutions in the UK for Area Studies in the overall REF rankings.
  • Modern Languages and Linguistics: 60 per cent of the SSH submission was awarded the highest marks (4*) for research impact. This is the highest 4* percentage in the West Midlands, and places Aston within the top 10 for this unit of assessment regarding impact. Moreover, 100 per cent of the SSH submission to this panel was awarded 4* or 3* for research environment, ranking Aston joint 1st in the UK for this measure.

Find out how we make great work happen across our school

Research Strategy

We believe in intellectual creativity and critical thinking as the way forward to shape the communities and conversations of tomorrow. Research is at the forefront of our mission in SSH. It powers everything we do from our relationships with partners to the way we develop our teaching programmes. Our strength and our skills lie in the analysis of social, political, linguistic and cultural issues. We have a strong commitment to public engagement and deepening of public understanding, to enhancing professional expertise and influencing policy debate and practice.

Research Support

Research in SSH is supported and developed in a number of ways:

  • An Associate Dean for Research oversees the research culture and strategy development.
  • A research office supports academic staff through the allocation of internal funding, reporting on research performance metrics and overseeing the ethical application process.
  • All academics have access to internal research support funds that enables them to further their research and personal development and to present their latest research at internationally renowned conferences.
  • Impact acceleration resources are available that help identify the very best examples of how we make a difference in the world and support its further growth.
  • Well established peer review processes that allow us to gauge the work of peers, provide practical improvement steps for the future, and enhance collaboration opportunities.
  • Our aspiration is to create a positive research culture that is both diverse and inclusive in ethos and orientation, and which offers all staff the same opportunities to achieve their full research potential.

Aston Institute for Forensic Linguistics

Improving the delivery of justice through the analysis of language

Research centres