This is SHAPE

Social Sciences, Humanities and the Arts for People and the Economy (SHAPE) is a collective name for the social sciences, humanities and the arts.

It was developed as a tool to tell the story of these subjects, which help us make sense of the human world, to value and express the complexity of life and culture, and to understand and solve global issues.

SHAPE research and skills are particularly valuable to the 21st-century workplace – they are vital to the health, wellbeing and prosperity of the nation and to tackling grand challenges. They teach us to analyse, interpret, create, communicate and collaborate with rigour, clarity and energy – crucial skills for today. And together with STEM subjects, they help us make innovation work harder for the benefit of everyone.

Explore the SHAPE disciplines


Want to find out more about subjects within the SHAPE sphere? Written by both funded researchers and Fellows of the British Academy, the extended 'what is...?' series covers a broad range of different disciplines and specialisms within the humanities and social sciences.

Connected Knowledge

Connected Knowledge is a communications campaign dedicated to showing and celebrating how interdisciplinary research and learning shapes and serves the world we all share – especially when STEM and SHAPE subjects come together.

British Academy SHAPE Observatory

Bringing independence, authority and objectivity, the SHAPE Observatory monitors the health and development of the humanities and social sciences.

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