The Department of Sociology and Social Research was set up in January 1999, following the creation of the Faculty of Sociology at the new University of Milano-Bicocca. Its aim was to promote excellence in scientific investigation into contemporary society and in the study of social theory.
In Italy’s first national research assessment (CIVR 2006), the Department was the highest-ranked medium/large research institution in the field of Political and Social Sciences, with a rating of 0.91 and 55% of research output rated as excellent. Over the years, the Department has been able to maintain an impressively high standard of teaching and research, showcasing excellent consistency, as shown by the results of the latest Research Quality Assessment (VQR; 2011-2014).
Recent Censis rankings (latest edition released in July 2017) confirm the Department’s position at the forefront of the Italian research panorama. Moreover, the European Union’s U-Multirank 2016 assessment highlighted the Department’s achievement of excellence across a range of performance indicators linked to teaching, research, international focus and local engagement.
In 2018, the Department of Sociology and Social Research was officially recognised by the MIUR as a Department of Excellence.
The wide teaching programme pursued by the Department of Sociology and Social Research has three core characteristics:
In the field of research, the Department of Sociology and Social Research has two main objectives:
The Department’s research activities involved a balanced mix of different expertise:
In recent years, the validity and vitality of this scientific mix have seen the Department involved as an operational site and/or as leading voice in a large number of Italian and European research projects and many research projects carried out on behalf of third parties, particularly public bodies.
The Department of Sociology and Social Research’s research activities have a highly cross-discipline, international nature, as shown by the many projects that have received funding from the European Commission and European Union, including:
Various lecturers have held – or currently hold – key positions within national and international scientific associations and institutions (such as the presidency of the European Sociological Association (ESA) and the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW)).
In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of students visiting from other European Union countries. Thanks to various exchange programmes (Erasmus+, double degrees, co-tutoring), these students are able to spend a period of study with our Department.
Our focus on the international panorama is reflected by our participation in inter-university networks such as:
Reflecting the strong international focus of the Department, we have an educational research and action area concentrating on the issue of international cooperation and sustainable human development, organised into three sub-areas: intercultural skills, conflict mediation and global health. An international, transcultural network has been developed around this project (led by the Department and the University) featuring European and Latin American universities. The network is open to collaborations with Universities of other geographical areas too.
Thanks to a visiting fellow scheme, which has been running for several years, we have been able to host foreign colleagues at the University for entire academic years. These visitors have actively collaborated with members of the Department in the form of research, projects, seminars and lessons. There are also a number of globally minded inter-university, inter-departmental and research centres operating within the Department, featuring specific groups of lecturers and researchers working on specific projects.