Research undertakes research in a range of areas of social policy:

  • the measurement and analysis of social deprivation, poverty, inequality and social exclusion
  • the analysis and evaluation of income maintenance policy including tax-benefit microsimulation
  • the analysis and evaluation of labour market policies, education and social care policies is committed to a mixed method approach to social research and uses both quantitative and qualitative approaches as appropriate.

All members of have strong track records of delivering innovative and high quality research outputs. For instance, members of have been responsible for producing the Indices of Deprivation for England on each occasion since the year 2000, as well as producing the first deprivation indices for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and supporting subsequent updates in these three devolved administrations.

Members of pioneered the use of large scale individual level administrative datasets for the production of the deprivation indices, such as working with databases on social security claimants from the Department for Work and Pensions; databases on pupils in schools from the Department for Education; databases on episodes of ill health from the NHS; and databases on recorded crimes from the police.

Our work with individual level administrative data also included innovative data linkage techniques, such as tracking people as they move into, out of and within the social security benefits system and into or out of work. Using linked administrative data in this way provides a means of understanding the individual level worklessness and employment dynamics that underpin the observed area level changes.

Our contributions to the national evaluations of government regeneration policies involved tracking change in a wide range of socio-economic indicators at small area level and at individual level and applying techniques such as propensity score matching and difference-in-difference estimation to compare change in the target intervention areas (and/or groups) with selected control areas (and/or groups).

Examples of high profile research projects undertaken by members of before its establishment include:

Indices of Deprivation

  • English Indices of Deprivation 2000, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2015 and 2019 (funder: DETR; ODPM; DCLG; MHCLG)
  • Northern Ireland Multiple Deprivation Measure 2001 and 2005 (funder: NISRA)
  • Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 2003 (funder: Scottish Executive)
  • Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation 2000 (funder: Welsh Assembly)

Tracking change over time in area deprivation using individual level administrative data

  • The Economic Deprivation Index 1999-2009 for England (funder: DCLG)
  • Dynamics and Characteristics of Deprived Areas (funder: DWP)
  • Tracking Neighbourhoods, 1999-2005 (funder: DCLG)

Evaluations of national regeneration policies

  • National Evaluation of the National Strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal (DCLG)
  • National Evaluation of New Deal for Communities Programme: Phases 1 and 2 (ODPM; DCLG)


  • Administrative Data Liaison Service (ESRC)