School of Social and Political Science

About subject area content

About subject area content

About

About content

Far-reaching expertise

We’re one of the largest, most vibrant and most exciting subject areas in the University, home to over 600 undergraduates and 100 Scottish, UK and international postgraduate students every year. Our alumni include government ministers, members of parliament, policy analysts, broadcasters, business leaders, teachers and an increasing number of social entrepreneurs.

Our academic staff produce world-class research across several areas. That research informs our teaching but also the wider academic discipline. In the last UK-wide assessment of research we were rated within the top 10 universities in the UK, and number 1 in Scotland. Some key areas of expertise include constitutional, territorial and Scottish politics; European politics; foreign and domestic policy; gender; international political economy; security studies; political theory; and ethics. We have been rapidly expanding our expertise in the Middle East, IPE and the global environment, with more areas to be developed in future years.

Policy engagement and impact

A particular strength of Politics and International Relations (PIR) is its policy engagement and impact. Our research directly informs policymakers, ministers and NGOs in several key areas, including constitutional change, human rights, data privacy, public policy and electoral reform. Several staff play a leadership role in the University’s global institutes and academies linked to justice, ethics, environment and security. These institutes address fundamental global challenges; the political expertise and engagement of our staff is key to that endeavour.

To see what our students, staff and alumni are up to explore these pages, which celebrate our student activities and success and list a lively series of talks, including our hugely popular Transatlantic Seminar. You’ll also find our contact details if you want to visit this amazing city, engage with our activities and social media, or just find out more.

Professor Luke March
Head of Politics and International Relations

l.march@ed.ac.uk