Undergraduate study - 2020 entry

Subject area: Social Policy

Why choose Social Policy at the University of Edinburgh?

  • We're ranked in Europe's top 5 and in the world's top 20 universities for social policy in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019.

  • You will be able to combine social policy in a joint honours programme. Options include quantitative methods, for which the innovative Q-Step programme includes a paid internship between Years 3 and 4.

  • We have close relationships with the Scottish and UK governments, as well as European and global institutions – all of which provide opportunities to be immersed in a diverse range of contemporary policy developments.

Study abroad

Edinburgh is home to Scotland's devolved parliament, countless influential think tanks, and third sector organisations. This allows students to witness agenda setting, policy formulation, implementation and evaluation first-hand.

Kevin Forrest 3rd year MA (Hons) Government, Policy & Society
Kevin Forrest 3rd year MA (Hons) Government, Policy & Society

Introducing Social Policy

Social policy is the study of societies and the way they change through policy making.

Generally studied as a joint honours programme, for example with sociology, politics, economics or another subject, social policy looks at the ways in which public policies, social institutions and market forces affect how contemporary societies operate and are affected by debates about inequality and social justice.

Social policy is relevant to many areas of everyday life, including housing, employment, income, health and education. Our programmes will appeal to students who are interested in current political and social issues that appear in the news as well as longer-term changes in how societies work - whether at local, national, European or global levels.