School of Social and Political Science

History and culture


The School of Social and Political Science is one of the largest schools in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Edinburgh.

The social and political sciences have been taught at the University for many years. These departments are now under one roof as the School of Social and Political Science.

Social scientists across all our disciplines work in a single school, which provides opportunities for interdisciplinary research and study. Our academics are addressing local, national and global challenges, and working across disciplines enables collaboration and innovation to find creative solutions.

Our School is mainly housed within the Chrystal Macmillan building on George Square, although we span several other sites across the city.


Breaking the long tradition of naming buildings in George Square after eminent 18th century men, staff and PhD students campaigned to name our newly refurbished building after Chrystal Macmillan - the suffragist and first female science graduate of the University - in 2008.

Complementing other George Square buildings named after foundational figures of the University and the Scottish enlightenment, the Chrystal Macmillan building reflects the social values of the University today.

You can find more on the history of the University of Edinburgh here.