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Exeter's Centre for Computational Social Science (C2S2) brings together international research-focused social scientists. C2S2 research takes an interdisciplinary and data-driven focus to address major societal challenges. Our approach to research is interdisciplinary and works across the University of Exeter and with a number of industry partners. C2S2’s interdisciplinary research activity also offers an opportunity for our students to learn-by-observing data analysis and to be part of cutting-edge research.


C2S2 at the University of Exeter has a total 17 core research staff across a number of disciplines including Politics, Sociology, International Relations and Criminology as well as over 20 affiliated staff and several industry partners. These staff have expertise in a number of areas including complex survey data, text analysis and network analysis. C2S2 has research funding from a variety of sources including the EU, ERSC and the Policing College Fund.


Exeter's Centre for Computational Social Science research focuses on the three themes of connecting people, society and data. These themes will provide scientifically coherent programmes of research aimed at driving forward innovations in social science theory, the development and application of novel research methods, and the collation and analysis of data sources.


The research programmes that sit within these research themes are:

This research programme looks at how social inequalities, and in particular inequalities in education, evolve and have an impact on individuals over the life course. To do this, we use high quality British longitudinal data sets, such as the National Pupil Database, Understanding Society, and the 1958 British Birth Cohort Study. Our projects include a study of how parental social class is associated with children’s educational attainment, a study of the effect of converting English schools to academies on educational trajectories of children with special educational needs, and a study of the role of education and lifestyle factors in fertility outcomes of UK couples.

Researchers: Alexey Bessudnov, Jane Elliott, Nitzan Peri-Rotem, Chris Playford

Associate researchers: Pallavi Banerjee, Katherin Barg, Anna Mountford-ZimdarsZhiMin Xiao

Disciplines: Demography; Education; Social Science; Sociology

Topics: ageing; education; ethnic groups; fertility; inequalities; life-course; longitudinal studies.


“The role of lifestyle factors in explaining fertility variation among couples in the UK" (Nitzan Peri-Rotem, the Understanding Society Biomarker Data Project Fellowship)

“Parental Social Class and Filial School Level Educational Outcomes in Contemporary Britain: Analysis of Understanding Society and Administrative Data” (Chris Playford, with Roxanne Connelly and Vernon Gayle, ESRC Secondary Data Analysis Initiative)

“Inclusion and the academisation of English secondary schools: Trends in the placement of pupils with significant SEN and those permanently excluded” (Alexey Bessudnov, with Alison Black, Brahm Norwich and Yi Liu, ESRC Secondary Data Analysis Initiative)

“An innovative classroom reading intervention for Year 2 and 3 pupils who are struggling to learn to read: Evaluating the Integrated Group Reading (IGR) programme” (Alexey Bessudnov, with Brahm Norwich and George Koutsouris, Nuffield Foundation)

“Ethnic groups in the Russian labour market” (Alexey Bessudnov, with Andrey Shcherbak, British Academy)

‌The Policing Lab at C2S2 aims to promote evidence-based policing through research. We seek to understand and improve policing policy, practice and professionalism through innovative data use and the development of police data collection. The Policing Lab has successfully bid for ESRC IAA Strategic Initiative Fund to promote research collaborations with Devon & Cornwall Police.  With more than 50 academics across the University and a large group of officers and staff in DCP, we are developing a network to facilitate co-production of rigorous research and promote evidence-based policing strategies.

Staff: Katharine Boyd, Brian Rappert

Disciplines: Interdisciplinary

Topics: criminology, policing, data collection/analysis



Funding has been available for co-produced projects between UoE and DCP. The overarching aim of the Policing Lab Fund is to further existing relations between Devon and Cornwall Police (DCP) and the University of Exeter through promoting evidence-based practice. 

Policing Lab Fund 2019 Awardees - read more here

Computational social science research at C2S2 looks at the intersection between computer science and social science. We have expertise in social networks, text as data and Bayesian inference.

Staff: Susan Banducci, Travis Coan, Lorien Jasny, Lamprini Rori, Oliver James, Alice Moseley, Gabriel Katz

Disciplines: Social Sciences and International Studies, Mathematics, Business

Topics: Computer Science, social networks, text as data

Projects: ExpoNET, Local Elections and Voter ID Pilots

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Con.Cel: Tracking the online contagion of Incel and male supremacist ideology

Lewys Brace
Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats (CREST)
2021 - 2022

Observatory for Political Texts in European Democracies - A European Research Infrastructure

Susan Banducci
European Commission (Horizon 2020)
2020 - 2023

Developing group thinking measure test with mobile technology

Taro Fujita
Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation
2017 - 2018

Ethnic groups in the Russian labour market

Alexey Bessudnov
British Academy
2016 - 2019

The Exeter Policing, Evidence, and Research Translation (ExPERT) Project

Katharine Boyd
College of Policing
2015 - 2017

Industry and Doctoral Training in Vote Advice Applications (VOTEADVICE)

Susan Banducci
European Commission
2014 - 2018

Advancing Understanding in News Information, Political Knowledge and Media Systems Research

Susan Banducci
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
2012 - 2014