Chrystal Macmillan Building, George Square

The School of Social and Political Science (SSPS) at the University of Edinburgh is a unit within the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. Its constituent departments (called 'subject areas' in Edinburgh) conduct research and teaching in the following disciplines:

In addition to these core subjects, the school includes the Europa Institute, Centre for Security Research, Innogen Institute (a collaboration with the Open University) and the Centres of African Studies, Canadian Studies and South Asian Studies.[1]

The School is primarily based in the Chrystal Macmillan Building on George Square, named after the suffragist and first female science graduate of the university. It is one of only two buildings at the University named after a woman.[2]

The School employs over 400 full-time and part-time academics and almost 100 professional services staff.[3] Its current dean is Professor of Social Work John Devaney.[4]

The School's subject areas are consistently placed in the top 100 departments globally in academic rankings, such as the Academic Ranking of World Universities (political science – top 100,[5] sociology – top 75),[6] Times Higher Education World University Rankings (social sciences – no. 36),[7] and the QS World University Rankings (anthropology – no. 16,[8] political science – no. 32,[9] social policy – no. 8,[10] sociology – no. 20[11]).

Academy of Government

The Academy of Government was a public policy and public administration school in SSPS from 2012 to 2018. It offered master's degrees in public policy and, from 2012, public administration. The Academy's Director was Charlie Jeffery, who was also Professor of Politics and Head of the School of Social and Political Science. In 2018 some of its activities were merged into the Edinburgh Futures Institute,[12] and the academy ceased functioning.

Notable staff and alumni



This article's list of alumni may not follow Wikipedia's verifiability policy. Please improve this article by removing names that do not have independent reliable sources showing they merit inclusion in this article AND are alumni, or by incorporating the relevant publications into the body of the article through appropriate citations. (November 2022)


  1. ^ "Our School - Structure and Governance". University of Edinburgh. Retrieved 19 June 2021.
  2. ^ "Buildings renamed for International Women's Day in Edinburgh". the Guardian. 7 March 2011. Retrieved 19 June 2021.
  3. ^ "Staff Population Statistics". University of Edinburgh. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  4. ^ "Professor John Devaney | School of Social and Political Science". Retrieved 1 August 2022.
  5. ^ "ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2020 - Political Sciences". ARWU. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  6. ^ "ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2020 - Sociology". ARWU. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  7. ^ "Social Sciences". THE World University Rankings. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  8. ^ "QS World University Rankings for Anthropology 2023". Top Universities. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  9. ^ "QS World University Rankings for Politics 2023". Top Universities. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  10. ^ "QS World University Rankings for Social Policy & Administration 2023". Top Universities. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  11. ^ "QS World University Rankings for Sociology 2023". Top Universities. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  12. ^ Mathieson, Peter (9 July 2018). The University of Edinburgh Outcome Agreement 2018-19. The University of Edinburgh. pp. 11–12.

55°56′39″N 3°11′26″W / 55.9442°N 3.1905°W / 55.9442; -3.1905