The Humanities and Social Science Electronic Thesaurus (HASSET) is the leading British English thesaurus for the social sciences.

HASSET has been compiled at the UK Data Archive for over forty years. It was developed initially as an information retrieval tool to access data deposited in the UK Data Archive. Its scope has now expanded to cover the collections held by the UK Data Service.

Download HASSET in SKOS linked data formatĀ under Creative Commons licence.


HASSET employs the usual range of terms and thesaural relationships:

  • Preferred Terms
  • Use For (UFs) or Non-Preferred Terms
  • Broader Terms (BTs)
  • Narrower Terms (NTs)
  • Related Terms (RTs)

HASSET's UFs are entry level terms rather than pure synonyms.

Scope Notes (SNs) are used to define the extent of the intended meaning within the domain of the thesaurus. Use Notes (UNs) provide information and guidance on how terms may be used for indexing.

We expect to run as normal a service as possible during this COVID-19 (Coronavirus) emergency. Please visit our COVID-19 page for the latest information.

Thesaurus search

Search and browse HASSET.

HASSET is a multidisciplinary thesaurus. Coverage is most comprehensive in the core social science disciplines: politics, sociology, economics, education, law, crime, demography, health, employment, information and communication technology and, increasingly, environmental science.

Maintenance and support

The thesaurus is updated constantly. Visitors are encouraged to suggest new candidate terms to the thesaurus (in English). The suggested terms are reviewed by the HASSET Management Team, and the terms that are approved are added to the next version of the thesaurus.