Skip to main content

School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


About the Graduate School

The School of Social and Political Science (SPS) was established to promote interdisciplinary collaboration across its various subject areas and research centres.

SPS has 1500 undergraduate students, over 500 postgraduate taught and around 250 research postgraduate students. The meeting place for cultures and experiences that the School provides is a valuable part of the educational experience that we offer.

The Graduate School of Social and Political Science is an interdisciplinary hub providing advanced postgraduate education and training in the social sciences. It forms the postgraduate division of the School of Social and Political Science. The Graduate School is led by a Director (Dr Daniel Clegg) and two Deputy Directors who are responsible for Taught Masters programmes (Dr Carmen Gebhard) and Research degrees (Dr Elke Heins).

SPS is one of Europe’s leading centres of research in the social sciences. In the 2014 Research Assessment Exercise, well over 70% of the School's research was rated as world leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*), and each of the four units we submitted came top of its field in Scotland. Our interdisciplinary structure fosters vibrant research that cut across traditional social scientific boundaries to bring together experts from across the School and the University. The School has a long tradition of sharing knowledge and engaging in public policy debates within Scotland, Europe and beyond. 

With numerous faculty members coming from across the world, and many dynamic international research collaborations, the School’s connections span the globe. Our research has attracted around £20 million in external grant funding over the past four years, including large grants from the Economic and Social Research Council, EU Framework Programmes and the Leverhulme Trust.

Graduates of MSc and PhD degrees in Social and Political Science have gone on to pursue an enormous range of careers, in governmental, non-governmental, educational and commercial institutions across the globe. While many become academics, others work as policy advisers or social researchers to European, African, Asian and North American governmental and inter-governmental bodies. Significant numbers work in human rights campaigning roles, become journalists, join commercial professions such as law or finance, or become politicians or civil servants.

Image of Chrystal Macmillan Building at The University of Edinburgh