Social Science helps make sense of the world in which we live. Our researchers don’t wear white coats and work in a lab, they engage with people in context. We shape positive change in communities, drive innovation in business and deliver research-based policy and legislation.

Festival of Social Science

As part of our public engagement program of events we take part in the annual ESRC Festival of Social Science

The festival is an opportunity for anyone to explore topics relating to social science, from health and wellbeing to crime, equality, education and identity, through free events run by researchers from UK universities. Throughout the Festival, our researchers have something to share with, and learn from, you.

Previous years have seen us engage IKEA shoppers with interactive exhibits, set up shop at the iconic Glasgow Barras with stall demonstrating everything from carbon markets to 'the game of life', show films, give talks, hold music gigs, go on creative walks, and much more. 

Olympia Social Research Hub

Based in the East End of Glasgow, the Olympia Social Research Hub is a collaboration between the Glasgow Centre for Population Health (GCPH) and the College of Social Sciences at the University of Glasgow.

At the office in the Olympia building on Bridgeton Cross, co-housed researchers from both organisations are building on extensive research and learning on important areas central to tackling inequalities in society. The research and wider engagement of the Hub aims to make a real, positive difference that benefits both the local community and the wider city region as well as informing the policy debate in Scotland and beyond.

The work of the Hub focusses on four key themes:

  • Promoting place-based approaches to inclusion and social justice – looking at every part of a local area, from schools to streetlamps, to see how a place can support people better.
  • Tackling social disadvantage and vulnerability – exploring the different ways that society can support people who face a number of challenges.
  • Encouraging education and employment – including looking at how schools and other agencies interact with their neighbourhoods to improve children’s lives, as well as skills, training and work options.
  • Supporting primary care and community health – working with local people and professionals in their efforts to improve health in Glasgow.

With opportunities for working more closely with a range of partners, community organisations and local people, the University and the GCPH are pursuing these themes through joint research projects, events and publications.

There is already a wide-range of innovative and ambitious joint work between the GCPH and the University of Glasgow with a real impact on communities, policy and practice.

  • GoWell ( A partnership looking at how investing in housing and regeneration in Glasgow impacts the health and wellbeing of people in the local community. 
  • Participatory budgeting: A collaboration on developing community profiles and evaluating the Thriving Places scheme – a way of supporting and creating community projects in parts of the city with consistent problems with inequality, child poverty and unemployment.
  • Excess mortality: A long-running programme looking into the range of causes behind Glasgow and the West of Scotland’s problem of people dying younger than in other areas.
  • Breakfast clubs: An assessment of School Breakfast Clubs and their education and wellbeing impacts on children and parents. This joint project between the Robert Owen Centre and What Works Scotland has examined Breakfast Clubs in action in a number of East End schools.

There are further ventures planned, and new ideas and connections are also welcome.

If you would like to arrange a visit and chat about what we do and share ideas for working together, or if you are a University of Glasgow staff member and would like to arrange working from Olympia please get in touch: