Although the majority of the College’s permanent academic fellows are specialists in the fields of Economics, Politics, or Sociology, the College and its Fellows have a very real interest and involvement in interdisciplinary research which spans the social sciences, and are keenly aware that fruitful approaches to complex social science problems are rarely attentive to nominal disciplinary boundaries. The College hosts, and encourages the development of, cross-disciplinary alliances between researchers within and outside Nuffield, especially in relation to particular research problems. The College has recently launched a new interdisciplinary research centre, the Centre for Social Investigation led by Professor Anthony Heath, which aims to provide authoritative, non-partisan research on central social issues, and thereby to become an independent and rigorous source of information and analysis.
Nuffield therefore welcomes applications for graduate study from students whose work lies at the interface between traditional subject boundaries, provided that the main focus of study concerns the social sciences. This is reflected in the range of courses for which the College accepts students, which include the Master and DPhil in Public Policy course offered by the Blavatnik School of Government, the MSc, MPhil, and DPhil in Economic and Social History, as well as DPhil courses in Law, Socio-Legal Studies, History, Experimental Psychology (if the applicant’s proposed research subject is in social, developmental, or economic psychology), and postgraduate taught and postgraduate research courses in Social Policy.
If you are considering applying for an interdisciplinary course (or for a DPhil with an interdisciplinary research topic) at Nuffield then we would advise you to make contact with the Senior Tutor, or with one or more of the College’s permanent academic Fellows whose work is closest to your own interests; he or she will be able to provide you with some concrete advice about how well your proposed project might fit with the College.