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School of Social and Political Science: Undergraduate study

Scottish Parliament

The MA (Hons) Politics offers comprehensive training for a professional career in government or public policy. Recent graduates have gone on to develop successful careers in business, journalism, education & within non-profit organisations.

Read more about: Politics & International Relations


Social Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh is well known for its distinctive undergraduate programme, which is based on the Scottish four-year Honours MA. Within this structure the honours specialisation is spread over the final two years, which allows up to four months of the third (Junior Honours) year to be spent on your own project, involving a combination of library and field research.

Read more about: Social Anthropology


On our undergraduate programme at Edinburgh through training and supporting students to carry out their own research, we place a strong emphasis on doing rather than just reading about sociology. We also emphasise research-led teaching: our lecturers are all active researchers who bring to their teaching the most contemporary ideas and knowledge about their topics of interest.

Read more about: Sociology

Social Policy

Social Policy is a subject that is best studied along with another subject as part of a joint degree, so that the applied concerns of social policy are combined with the theoretical orientation of another discipline. Most students take a four year joint Honours degree, although a three-year BA (Ordinary) in Humanities and Social Sciences with Social Policy as the main subject is also available.

Read more about: Social Policy

Social Work

The BSc (Social Work) comprises two years of foundation studies in the social sciences followed by two years of professional education and training. In the first two years, students take three course in social work plus other outside subjects. The social work courses provide an introduction to policy and practice in social work, as well as covering the history of social work and its place in society, and key research studies in social work. Towards the end of the second year, students apply for entry to the second half of the degree programme. Those selected on the basis of suitability for social work proceed to the professional part of the course for two more years.

Read more about: Social Work

Sustainable Development

The Sustainable Development degree at Edinburgh addresses the challenges mainly through social science perspectives, and focuses on the social, political and economic consequences, challenges and opportunities for change. It also gives students an understanding of the key scientific debates, and the ability to understand and evaluate the scientific knowledge and practices concerning sustainable development.

Read more about: Sustainable Development


There is no undergraduate degree programme in science, technology and innovation. Rather, we offer very popular one-semester options that focus on various aspects of the historical and social dimensions of science and technology. These courses are open to all students and are an excellent addition to almost any degree programme found across the University.

Read more about: Science, Technology and Innovation

South Asian Studies

The Centre advises students taking undergraduate degrees relating to South Asia and offers its own introductory second year undergraduate courses. We offer undergraduate degrees (MA) in Social Anthropology with South Asian Studies, and Sociology with South Asian Studies.

Read more about: South Asian Studies

Canadian Studies

The Centre of Canadian Studies is internationally recognized as one of Europe’s leading centres for the study of Canada. The Centre places a particular emphasis on knowledge mobilization and actively includes undergraduate students in its research community.

Read more about: Canadian Studies

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