Our fifth annual photographic competition 'Better Lives' asked you to explore creatively the relevance of social science to society. At work, in school or college, at home and within our communities, social science affects us all every day and the competition's five categories are an opportunity to investigate this in detail.

Photos fell into one of the categories below and were supported by an imaginative title and a statement of up to 100 words explaining the social science behind them.

Better health

Emotional and physical wellbeing is important for individuals, communities and brings many benefits to society. Good health also brings benefits - an increase in productivity and wealth, reduced healthcare costs, good social relations, better relationships and of course, a longer life. Better health sees a lack of disease, regular exercise, good nutrition, access to health and social care, and minimising risk and hazards from injury, smoking, drugs, alcohol and poor hygiene.

Better education

Education provides us with the knowledge, skills and abilities to participate effectively in society and in the economy. Education improves people's lives, making us live longer, participate more actively in politics and in the community, commit fewer crimes and rely less on social assistance. Better education gives us a safe place to learn and train, to gain skills for life, help us find jobs and support ourselves.

Better economy

While money cannot buy happiness it does offer us the means to have a better standard of living, improving our access to housing, services and consumer goods. The economy affects people's access to jobs, businesses' ability to thrive and the country's infrastructure. A better economy, that is balanced and stable, can fund new roads, rail networks and housing, while supporting individuals and families brings increased household income and opportunities.

Better environment

The environment sustains life on earth and provides us with the natural resources to advance our society. Climate change is threatening the environment and steps are being taken to tackle this issue. But is work on climate change going far enough? A better environment is reflected by sustainable means of energy generation, less pollution and protecting the air we breathe, the land and sea.

Better relationships

Better relationships foster support for families and loved ones. They do not see discrimination based on prejudices around race, gender and sexuality. Individuals maintain relationships with friends, neighbours and local communities and these social networks are intricately personalised. Better relationships build trust and understanding while supporting the young, old and most at risk in society.