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The University of Edinburgh: Social Policy

Institution The University of Edinburgh View institution profile
Department School of Social and Political Science
Study type Research


Social Policy has been taught in Edinburgh for more than a century, and we have a rich tradition of supervising students towards higher degrees as a route to careers in academia, research and public policy.

Today our group is at the heart of the scholarly community in social policy in Scotland and the UK, but also resolutely turned towards the wider world.

Our highly regarded research draws on a variety of disciplinary perspectives and is methodologically diverse, spanning the full range of social science methods from action research to advanced quantitative approaches.

We are committed to scholarly advancement but also to the dissemination of our work beyond the academy to generate non-academic impact and effect social change.

We offer postgraduate supervision across the whole subject range, with particular expertise in:

  • social security

  • labour market policy

  • health policy

  • family policy

  • education policy

Our cross-cutting areas of expertise include:

  • comparative social policy

  • knowledge and policy

  • the governance of welfare states

Who this programme is for

We welcome doctoral students wanting to undertake advanced research on social problems and policy and practice responses to them locally, nationally and globally.

We especially encourage those seeking to do research projects closely aligned with our core research themes.

Doctor of Philosophy - PhD

University of Edinburgh 


University of EdinburghBe open to possibilities. Be open to the extraordinary.
The University of Edinburgh is one of the world's top universities, consistently ranked in the world top 50, and placed 15th in the 2023 QS World University Rankings Our entrepreneurial and cross-disciplinary culture attracts students and staff from across the globe, creating a unique Edinburgh experience. Whatever excites you, whatever your ambition, whatever makes you ‘you’, we know one thing; nothing ordinary comes from this extraordinary place.

Our students have been making an impact on the world for more than 400 years. Each year is different – every …

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