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School of Social and Political Science: Undergraduate study


Social Policy: Emily

My name is Emily and I’m in my 4th year of an MA in Social Policy and Economics.

I’m taking Economic Analysis 1, Public Economics, Analytical Perspectives in Social Policy, Population Health & Health Policy as well as my Economics Dissertation. 

Edinburgh is one of the few universities to teach a degree in Social Policy so I was keen to study here. I enjoyed A level Economics but I was also interested in the more human side of things and how policies affect people’s lives which led me to do a joint honours with Social Policy. The two subjects complement each other and give me a greater understanding of the policy fields than I would have gained through single honours.

Honours degrees are designed to give you a broader and more flexible eduaction. they allow you to try a range of subjects before specialising in your final two years.  

Population Health & Health Policy was my choice for Social Policy in fourth year. I enjoyed how international it was and how I was able to choose a topic which interested me for the research essay. It was co-taught as a postgraduate class which made it really challenging and interesting. The topics and readings were also very topical.

My degree combines two great subjects and is very employable. It also has a good balance of exams and essays which makes a big difference. I now have an offer for a year long paid internship with Frontier Economics in London.

Living in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a small city but so rich in culture. There is always something to do and lots of fairly cheap places to go eat and drink. It is very student friendly without being completely dominated by student life. 

I found it easy to settle in here, I lived in St Andrews for two years when I was younger so I was a little familiar with the city. It is really easy to walk everywhere and there is some great nightlife.

I lived in Grant House, Pollock Halls, in my first year. I loved it! The friends I made there are the ones that I am still living with in a flat now. The communal living made it easy to meet lots of people and figure out who my real friends were going to be.

I was able to work around my studies throughout university, until my final semsester. 

There are so many clubs and societies at Edinburgh, it’s easy to get involved. FreshSight gave me great consulting experience and gave me a taste of working more as a professional than as a student. Kickboxing helps me relieve stress when I need it and has a great social calendar.

I also studied abroad for a year at the University of Melbourne where I lived in a residential college which was fabulous, I had a great social life. During the Australian summer I was also able to travel around Asia. Going abroad is incredible - I thoroughly recommend it.

Emily Neilsen