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DPSI ranked first for research excellence in REF 2014.

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The Department of Social Policy and Intervention is a multidisciplinary centre of excellence for research and teaching in social policy, the development and systematic evaluation of social interventions, and population studies. It carries out both applied and basic research and is home to a global community of academics and researchers with a range of disciplinary backgrounds.

In 2014, the department celebrated its centenary, having been founded in 1914 as Barnett House - a centre for the study of contemporary social and economic problems. Formally incorporated into the University in 1962 as the Department of Social and Administrative Studies, it has had several names over the last forty years, most recently renamed in 2010 to reflect its current teaching and research focus. Throughout this period, it has consistently contributed to the debate on social policy and social research.

The department’s research is international in outlook. We have contributed to academic debate and our work has had a significant impact on policy and practice, from the way in which government funds are allocated to the delivery of local programmes. Our research falls under three main clusters: the Oxford Institute of Social Policy (OISP), the Centre for Evidence-Based Social Intervention (CEBI), and the Oxford Centre for Population Research (OXPOP).

Our graduate students are engaged in the study of comparative social policy - exploring welfare systems and policy developments across a range of different countries; and of evidence-based social intervention and policy evaluation - learning about the development and evaluation of interventions to address social and public health problems.