The Department of Social Sciences and Education (henceforth designated as DSSE) is the permanent organisation of the Institute of Education of the University of Minho for the creation and transmission of knowledge in educational social sciences, namely in the areas of Sociology of Education, Sociology of Training, Sociology of Childhood, Educational Administration and Educational Policy, constituting, as such, the basic unit of scientific-pedagogical organisation and management of human and material resources in these areas of knowledge.

The DSSE has as its mission the development of innovative teaching projects, and of research and interaction with society in its scientific areas, namely:

a) Sociology of Education, Sociology of Training and Sociology of Childhood, as an object of analysis and sociological reflection of institutions, contexts, processes and practices of education, training and socialisation, including childhood, all levels of the school system and, furthermore, other dimensions of education throughout life;
b) School Organization and Administration, which has as its aim the study, at the different levels of analysis, of the structures and models of organisation and administration of educational institutions, as well as of the directions of political and organisational action in the context of the democratisation of Portuguese society;
c) Educational Policy, the aim of which is to approach educational policies at the various levels of regulation (global, national and local) and to apply and recontextualise them on the part of learners in the educational institutions.

The DSSE also intervenes in certain interface areas, namely:

a) Adult Education
b) Educational Associativism
c) Methodologies of Educational Research
d) Educational Assessment
e) Health Education
f) Training and Management of Human Resources
g) Social Service
h) Generic Studies

The DSSE carries out its activities in these varied contexts of education and training and at all stages of human learning and development.