The Policy Press occupies a unique place among social science publishers. It publishes work across a range of policy issues, across a range of disciplines and across a range of products from detailed evaluations to broader topical explorations. But its publications have in common their contribution to a broader aim: the use of research evidence to improve policy making, practice, or social well-being. It reaches audiences beyond the narrowly academic aiming to improve the beneficial impact of high quality social science.” Sharon Witherspoon, Deputy Director, Nuffield Foundation

Publishing with a purpose

Established in 1996, the aim of The Policy Press has always been to try to improve social conditions with publications that will make a positive difference to learning and research, policy and practice. In essence, we are a publisher with a purpose.

Based in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law at the University of Bristol, we are now well-known as a leading international publisher of high quality books and journals across a wide range of subjects including: social policy and social welfare, childhood studies and family policy, ageing, social work and social care, public policy, criminology and criminal justice, health, housing and urban policy. Our authors range from leading scholars and thinkers around the world to talented first-time authors and we also collaborate with a large number of organisations and associations.

Many of our titles are multi- and/or interdisciplinary spanning disciplines including social policy, social work, sociology and political science. We have over 500 titles in our book list and publish around 70 new titles each year as well as some of the key journals in the field.

“It is a privilege to work with a publisher that cares so much about positive social change and that is prepared to take a risk on things worth taking a risk for.”Jon Glasby, Professor of Health and Social Care, University of Birmingham

How are we different?

The independent, not-for-profit status of The Press is appreciated by our customers, authors and suppliers, in contrast to the financial imperatives of the large commercial publishing houses. We have a solid understanding of the needs and requirements of academics and students as a result of being based within a university. Our specialist focus also means that we have built up considerable knowledge of our audiences and the ways in which we can reach them. Quality is always at the forefront of everything we do.

Our titles feature regularly in the media; contributing to current debates and helping us achieve our aim of making an impact. We market and sell our publications in more than 60 countries internationally.

Run by a small dedicated team of staff we provide a friendly, reliable, flexible and collaborative service to our authors, customers and all with whom we work.

“The Policy Press are unique in offering a personalised service to all their authors and series editors. They work very closely with authors from ideas stage to book launch and are hugely supportive and rigorous in the process of publication. Consequently they provide high quality publications. They are knowledgeable about the disciplines they specialise in and are dedicated to promoting social science. They are great people to work with and great fun.”Judith Phillips, Professor of Social Work and Gerontology, University of Swansea

About our blog

The aim of The Policy Press is to “make a difference” and the purpose of our blog is to provide an insight into subjects related to our publishing programme. The blog posts may either be written by ourselves or by others, such as our authors. Please note that when the article is not written by us, the article gives the view of the author(s), and not those of The Policy Press or of the University of Bristol. We encourage comments that add to the debate, and also welcome suggestions for blog articles – if you have something that you would like to write about on our blog, please contact us by emailing

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