Faculty strategy

Target plan 2021-2024

Social science strategic icons



The faculty has four strategic focus areas in the period leading up to 2024:


Copenhagen Center for Social Data Science (SODAS) - continued development

Digitalisation of degree programmes

SAMF Digital icon

SAMF Digital (SOCIAL SCIENCE Digital): Strengthening and developing the interdisciplinary research and teaching environment within social data science by consolidating the research environment at SODAS and setting up programmes in both Social Data Science and Computer Science-Economics; developing and implementing a digitisation strategy for all degree programmes, including improving the range of courses and increasing the amount of external research funding.  


Impact capacity

Centre of Public Policy

Social science public icon

SAMF Public (SOCIAL SCIENCE Public): Engaging staff and stakeholders in specific collaborations for the purpose of solving societal problems. This initiative involves setting up an interdisciplinary public policy and innovation centre. Through research, education and impact work, the centre will address the challenges facing private- and public-sector actors in a world in which technological and demographic development, climate change, and shifting global power structures create new societal conditions.


Reform of programme management and study administration services

Interdisciplinary patterns of study

Social science learning icon

SAMF Læring (SOCIAL SCIENCE Learning): Ensure pluralism, interdisciplinarity and collaboration in teaching, based on a new form of dynamic co-operation between academic environments on the development and provision of degree programmes by the faculty. Reform of programme management and study administration services will enable SOCIAL SCIENCE to improve opportunities for students to combine academic skills, and to develop new products within continuing and further education. The faculty will also be an active and proactive partner, both at UCPH and in relation to external stakeholders, partly to ensure a greater practical element in the degree programmes.


Climate and sustainability committee

Green Innovation Prize

Interdisciplinary climate courses, including continuing and professional education

Social science climate icon

SAMF Klima (SOCIAL SCIENCE Climate): SOCIAL SCIENCE will launch a climate initiative that strengthens and develops the programmes’ orientation towards interdisciplinary competencies aimed at solving specific societal problems within the areas of climate and sustainability. The initiative will also promote a green study environment and develop the faculty’s sustainability profile as part of a participatory collaboration between students, staff and the administration.

These four interdisciplinary targets at faculty level will be supported and complemented by department-level targets, as described in the departments’ target plans. This means that the majority of the current activities at SOCIAL SCIENCE, in the form of outstanding research, education and public outreach, will continue to be the top priority. These activities must be given as much support as possible, even if this is not explicitly mentioned in the strategy. This document's focus is therefore on new initiatives at faculty level.

SOCIAL SCIENCE’s key targets within UCPH’s four main focus areas in Strategy 2023 are as follows:

1. Research. Attracting, developing and retaining academic talent 

The 2016 research assessment emphasised that a high degree of internationalisation, ambitious publication strategies and success in relation to external funding are key factors for the departments’ success. Specifically, the evaluation recommended a closer focus on career paths and development, greater internationalisation and a clearer research profile. It also identified a need to work in a more structured manner with applications for external research funding, enhanced interdisciplinary research, closer collaboration with the rest of society and clearer organisation of research in some of the departments.

Based on the research assessment, the departments have been working toward a number of specific targets for consolidating positions of strength and developing the research and teaching environments. We consider these initiatives to be part of the ongoing quality assurance, which is a key element of professional research management.



A number of initiatives at UCPH level contribute to strengthening SOCIAL SCIENCE’s talent development and recruitment, including specifying the promotion requirements and content descriptions for various job categories and career paths. SOCIAL SCIENCE will have a particular focus on career development at all levels, including:

  • Implementing the tenure-track model for assistant professors, as well as a new model for promotion from associate professor to professor
  • Professionalising application processes and strengthening the international network with a view to recruitment
  • Setting specific placement targets for BA, MA and PhD graduates in the private sector, employer networks, mentoring schemes, internships, etc.

A new research assessment will be carried out in 2021/2022. SOCIAL SCIENCE will also participate in the UCPH-wide PhD evaluation in 2019/20.







By setting up the interdisciplinary research centre SODAS, SOCIAL SCIENCE has established a leading research environment in social data science. All of the departments have also, to varying degrees, established research groups that span both data science and their own specific area of expertise. During the strategy period, a number of initiatives will enhance research and research collaboration, both in the departments and in SODAS, including:

  • Consolidating SODAS as an independent, sustainable and development-oriented organisation
  • Landing a number of major grants for research and education in the digital field
  • Providing continuing and professional education in social data science methods for academic staff.





In recent years, SOCIAL SCIENCE has significantly increased the number of external research grants. The ambition for the next few years is to strengthen the frameworks and foundations for attracting external funding, e.g. by:

  • Regularly updating departmental strategies for external funding, involving the specific prioritisation of initiatives, in order to meet more of the actual costs of research and its infrastructure and to provide better administrative support for researchers
  • Pursuing major research grants that support projects with a tangible impact on society
  • Seeking more funding from the EUs upcoming framework programme Horizon Europe to facilitate the recruitment of researchers from leading (non-Danish) research institutions. The EU’s “excellence” (ERC Grants and Marie Curie fellowships) and “societal challenges” pillars are both relevant in this context.





2. Education. Closer links to research and practice

Based on strong subject disciplines and through problem-oriented teaching focusing on pluralism, interdisciplinary knowledge and collaboration, SOCIAL SCIENCE seeks to produce competent and critical graduates. The faculty’s courses are developed in close dialogue with private- and public-sector employers. The teaching is planned and provided on the basis of the individual student’s needs. SOCIAL SCIENCE’s overarching targets are to:

  • Attract and develop the most committed and talented students from Denmark and abroad
  • Ensure that all degree programmes address key societal problems, including climate challenges, at national, European and global level
  • Equip all students with the competencies to adopt a critical approach to societal developments, and to influence societal developments in their future employment
  • Ensure that all programmes provide digital insight, as well as skills in data-processing and -analysis
  • Ensure that all degree programmes offer the opportunity to specialise in a climate and sustainability perspective on the subject
  • Give all students the opportunity to work with active researchers and research
  • Ensure all students have global insight and outlook, e.g. through exchanges, field work and joint projects abroad, through internationally comparable programmes in terms of structure and curriculum, and through participating in courses/activities that offer global insight and awareness
  • Provide a positive and inclusive study environment for all.

These targets translate into a number of specific initiatives, as described below.





















































3. Collaboration and societal commitment – at national, regional and global level

SOCIAL SCIENCE wishes to be considered a natural partner for everybody working to tackle the big, difficult and topical questions facing society. The faculty will therefore contribute to the University’s interdisciplinary initiatives in this area, and also mobilise researchers across disciplines to work with private and public-sector stakeholders on analysing and solving societal problems.































4. A unified and focused university: Organisation, employees and physical environment

A good working environment is a crucial factor for achieving the faculty’s overall research and education targets. Improving the working environment in all units is therefore a high priority. Another clear target is that all students experience a diverse, inclusive and challenging study environment (as touched upon above). SOCIAL SCIENCE also aims to optimise the interaction between technical and administrative staff and academic staff, both between the departments and among the relevant (service-)units at faculty level, including the Faculty Library and the Teaching and Learning Unit, as well as at University level (UCPH IT, HR South City, etc.).











5. Process and staff involvement

SOCIAL SCIENCE’s targets and action plan were originally formulated in 2018, as a result of the following process:

  • At faculty level, the Academic Council, the Faculty Collaboration Committee and the Dean’s Dialogue Forum held several meetings in the past year – most recently in February and March 2018
  • A general meeting for all faculty staff was held on 6 March 2018
  • A meeting for all of the faculty’s postdocs was held on 9 March 2018
  • The strategy was discussed at the PhD Committee meeting on 21 March 2018
  • A joint meeting on diversity problems, attended by members of the Academic Council and Faculty Collaboration Committee, as well as external speakers, was held on 22 March 2018
  • The plans were discussed at a number of meetings of the heads of studies group, among the Faculty Management Team and in the Administrators’ Forum
  • The heads of department, heads of studies and the the Faculty Management Team held a full-day seminar on the plan on 23 March 2018
  • The plan was also discussed at individual meetings of management groups in all departments, as well as faculty management, in week 15 of 2018.

At department level, a similar process took place involving staff meetings and local forums, i.e. local collaboration committees and study boards.

After the meeting with the rectorate on 9 May 2018, and following feedback from it, a revised version of the faculty’s target plan and an associated action plan were drawn up for the period up to and including 2019. (This document)

These revised documents were submitted for consultation to the departments and discussed by the Faculty Management Team. They were also discussed by the Faculty Collaboration Committee and the Academic Council on 20 September 2018. Feedback regarding matters such as the frequency of meetings were submitted in advance of the meeting with the rectorate on 2 October 2018 so that committees were able to provide input.

In parallel with the revision process at faculty level, the departments have adjusted their own targets and action plans, based on input from department management received following the meetings in week 15 and on ongoing local dialogue.

The target plan was revised following the change of dean in May 2019. The revised strategy was discussed by the Faculty Management Team on several occasions, including at a seminar on 2–3 September 2019, at an extended management meeting on 13 September 2019, by the Faculty Collaboration Committee on 19 September and by the Academic Council on 27 September. Finally, the revised target plan formed the basis for local dialogue when the dean attended department meetings in autumn 2019.