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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Graduate School of Social and Political Science

We've asked some of our students what studying in the School is like:

The School of Social and Political Science (SSPS) was established to promote interdisciplinary collaboration across its various Subject Areas, Groups and Centres. These include Politics and International Relations,Social Anthropology, Social Policy, Social Work, Sociology,and Science, Technology and Innovation Studies (including the ESRC Innogen Centre), the Institute of Governance, and the Centres of Canadian Studies, of African Studies and for South Asian Studies.

SSPS has over 200 staff, 950 undergraduate students, over 400 taught and 280 research postgraduate students.The School attracts a diverse body of students returning to study after a period of employment and continuing from undergraduate programmes across the world.Over the past 5 years 55% of our postgraduate students have come from outside the UK.The meeting place for cultures and experiences that the School provides is a valuable part of the education that we offer.

The School is one of Europe’s leading centres of research in the social sciences. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, 59% of the School's research was rated as world leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*), and each of the four units submitted came top of its field in Scotland. The School is divided into five subject groups– Politics and International Relations, Science Technology and Innovation Studies, Social Anthropology, Social Policy, Social Work and Sociology. Our interdisciplinary structure fosters vibrant research centres that cut across traditional social scientific boundaries and 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. Find out more about knowledge transfer here.

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.

We encourage applicants for postgraduate degrees to explore the wide range of research going on in the School, before deciding what degree to apply for. We currently offer over twenty degrees, and have an increasing range of research training courses designed to equip all postgraduate researchers to a common standard of attainment in social and political research methods and data analysis. Our postgraduate students are supported by the Graduate School Office , which provides an accessible point of personal contact for new enquiries and for existing students. The Graduate School Office organises social events for postgraduate students throughout the year to welcome new students, at the end of the semester and after graduations.

Edinburgh Graduations