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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


PhD in Social Policy

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The application deadline for this programme is 6 July 2020.

We warmly invite candidates with a good background in any of the social sciences and a strong interest in social and/or public policy to apply for MSc by Research and PhD degrees in Social Policy. We strongly encourage potential applicants to contact the Postgraduate Research Advisor or a prospective supervisor first to discuss their proposal, before making a formal application to the University.

Social Policy has been taught in Edinburgh since 1918 and is well established within the School of Social and Political Science. Edinburgh is the leading centre for social policy research in Scotland and one of the leading centres of postgraduate education and training in social policy in the UK.

Social Policy staff members provide supervision to students on a wide range of research topics. An overarching theme of our work is comparative social policy. Within this, we have particular specialities in: work, economy and welfare; state, governance and welfare; childhood and family studies; and health policy. Active research groups have been established to reflect these areas of specialist expertise. More detailed information about staff members' research interests may be found in the social policy staff page, while information about current and recent postgraduate research can be found at the research student profiles page.

The Social Policy subject group brings together a number of academics who actively employ a range of comparative methods in their research. Together they have designed core courses which illustrate their different approaches and encourage students to engage critically with different methods of comparison. For more on the staff behind the core courses, their research interests and publications, please see their individual profiles.

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