Explore Social Policy  

Discover the themes, the research and the people in Social Policy at the University of Edinburgh 

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Government, Policy and Society programme

Our Government, Policy & Society (GPS) programme is specifically designed for students interested in the content of public policy, the process by which policy is made, and its impact on society. It examines how politicians and civil servants make decisions; how they are restricted by resource constraints, developments in the global economy, market forces and existing institutions; how crucial areas of social policy, such as health, education, inequality, welfare and employment are shaped; the relationship between government and society; and the ways in which various non-governmental actors try to influence policy.

You will engage with the core debates that divide political opinion, on how to develop societies positively. The programme makes use of interdisciplinary learning to help you understand the interactions of multiple levels of government in the policy process. You will engage with core concepts from diverse social science disciplines such as political science, social policy, sociology, economics, and public administration and then be able to specialise in the specific policy areas of interest to you.

GPS allows students in years 1 ad 2 to already take a wide range of policy-oriented courses, while also giving them the chance to choose from a wide range of optional courses from across the university, either specialising in a particular subject or engaging with content from a many different disciplines. In years 3 & 4 GPS gives students the unique opportunity to take a large number (7) courses in policy specialisations, enabling students to become experts in specific policy fields and gain an understanding of policy processes and the interplay between publics, politics and the economy accessing courses from a range of disciplines.

You can download a visual summary of the programme structure here.

GPS visual summary

For the full programme information, including course descriptions, please visit the following University degree finder websites: