Skip to main content

School of Social and Political Science: Undergraduate study


Programme structure for Government, Policy and Society

Government, Policy and Society  is specifically designed for students interested in the content of public policy, the process by which policy is made, and its impact on society.

This degree consists of compulsory core courses with outside options also available in Years 1 and 2. Outside options might either be courses linked to your subject choice or be based on your own aims and interests. Students usually take 120 credits each year.

Sample  programme structure

Years 1 & 2 (pre-honours)

Students take three core courses

- Social Policy and Society (20 credits)
- Understanding Public Policy (20 credits)
- Evidence, Policy and Politics (20 credits)

In addition, students must choose at least two of three specialisation options:

- Politics of the Welfare State (20 credits)
- Rethinking the Financial Crisis (20 credits)
- European Social Policy (20 credits)

These courses are accompanied by a two year long course called Fundamentals in Government, Policy and Society, in which students learn analytical skills to discuss contemporary policy issues and produce relevant outputs.

Students  also have the opportunity to take additional options from other fields across the university to broaden their perspectives. These options may include courses within Social and Political Science (such as Social Anthropology, International Relations, Sociology, Political Science or Social Work) or could be from otherdisciplines (such as Economics, Philosophy, History and many others).

Years 3 & 4 (honours)

Students take three core courses

- Designing and Doing Social Research (20 credits)
- Doing Survey Research (20 credits)
- Analytical Perspectives in Social Policy (20 credits)

In addition, students choose seven specialisation courses from a wide range of
options falling into two categories: "policy oriented" (for example Children's Rights, Global Politics of Public Health, Educational Politics and Policy) and "process oriented" (for example Globalization, Economic Socilogy and Political Work). Students also write a dissertation (40 credits)  in the final year.








Edinburgh Students