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School of Social and Political Science: Undergraduate study


Social Policy


Social policies influence many aspects of our lives, from education, health, housing and employment to family support and child protection. In all these areas, social issues are hotly contested with regard to the role of the state and the kind of policies it should pursue.

At the University of Edinburgh we work closely with the Scottish Government and other policy making institutions influencing and advising at both local, national and European levels. As a student, you'll develop an in-depth understanding of contemporary societal concerns by looking at how social policies are constructed and contested. You'll consider the aims of welfare and its history and you'll compare different models of welfare states around the world, examining the changing agendas in employment, social security and health.

Social Policy is ideally suited to students who are interested in contemporary social and political issues and who enjoy thinking critically about the structures, institutions and problems that shape our lives. It offers ideal training for a career in central or local government, the voluntary sector or pressure groups amongst others. 

Social Policy can be studied through a joint Honours programme or through the multidisicplinary Government, Policy and Society degree programme.

Further information

Find out more about the work of our Social Policy department at

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