Home > Department of Social Policy

Department of Social Policy

How to contact us
Department of Social Policy
2nd Floor, Old Building
London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE


Contact the Department


Contact the Web Team

Follow us :                 Twitter40x40  Facebook-Logo091437x40


Staff Sharepoint:                                                          





  • BSc, MSc, MPhil/PhD, Executive programmes

The Department of Social Policy is the longest established in the UK.
The Department prides itself in being able to offer teaching based on the highest quality empirical research in the field. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, the UK's nationwide assessment of research quality, impact and environment, which is undertaken every six to seven years, the Department was ranked first in the UK for world leading and internationally excellent research and was also awarded the joint highest marks for the non-academic impacts of its work. When adjusted to take account of the high proportion of staff submitted to REF, it is the number one UK Social Policy Department for overall research quality.

LSE Student led Teaching Excellence Awards 2016

Dr Sonia Exley was highly commended in the category of 'Award for Inspirational Teaching'.

LSE Class Teacher Awards 2016

Patricia Hiddlestone, Tony Hockley, Kate Summers and Matthew Townsend received Class Teacher Awards. These awards are nominated by academic departments in regognition of the outstanding contribution made by graduate teaching assistants, teaching fellows and guests teachers.

Research Highlights

Research Highlights:  Can Mediation take the pain out of divorce?

Of the estimated 130,000 divorces each year in the UK, around 70 per cent now use mediators to resolve their concerns outside of the court system. New research by LSE sheds light on the impact parental conflict can have on children during the divorce process, and points the way towards how mediation could help.  

Professor Wendy Sigle, one of the authors of the report with
Dr Alice Goisis and Dr Berkay Ozcan, said: “The starting point was whether mediation and parental conflict might be linked. If you have a divorce process conducted through the courts which generates hostility amongst the parents and causes them to disengage, you might see longer term knock-on effects which could affect the child.”

Urban Poverty Uk

Social housing tenants depend on money from friends, family and neighbours to make ends meet

Two-thirds of social housing tenants interviewed for a recent study needed financial help from friends, family and neighbours to make ends meet, often because of benefits cuts, research from LSE has shown.

Eileen Alexander, a PhD student in the Department of Social Policy, interviewed 200 social housing tenants in 2013 and 2014 and found that that 64% of those interviewed had needed informal financial help over the previous 12 months to cover basic living costs.

Greek Riot Police

Examining the relationship between political systems and state punitiveness

Democratic states are not necessarily less punitive than their non-democratic counterparts, according to a new LSE study.

Dr Leonidas Cheliotis, Assistant Professor in Criminology at LSE’s Department of Social Policy , and Sappho Xenakis, Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Birkbeck School of Law, University of London, examined the relationship between political systems and punishment by charting the trajectory of punitive state policies and practices in Greece before, during and after its military dictatorship of 1967-74.

Social Policy In a Cold Climate

CASE Public Lecture

What was the Impact of the Coalition Government on Social Policy Outcomes and Welfare Governance?

Date: Wednesday 27th April 2016
Time: 15.00-18.00
Venue: Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House

Speakers: Professor Hugh Bochel, Professor Sir John Hills, Professor Ruth Lupton, Professor Martin Powell, Dr Polly Vizard
Respondents: Nick Timmins, Peter Taylor Gooby
Chair: Dr Coretta Phillips

This event will launch two new complementary publications analysing UK social policy from 2010 to 2015. The authors will introduce: Social Policy in a Cold Climate: policies and their consequences since the crisis and The Coalition Government and Social Policy: restructuring the welfare state.

Twitter Hastag for this event: #LSEwelfare

This event is free and open to all with no ticket or pre-registration required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis.

Tom Gash

Department of Social Policy and Mannheim Centre for Criminology Public Lecture

Criminal: the truth about why people do bad things

Date: Tuesday 3rd May 2016
Time: 18.30-20.00
Venue: Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building

Speaker: Tom Gash
Chair: Professor Tim Newburn

Tom Gash exposes myths about crime and its causes, arguing that crime is both less rational and much easier to reduce than many believe.

Twitter hashtag for this event: #LSEcriminal

This event is free and open to all but pre-registration is required. Register at Criminal: the truth about why people do bad things.

Social Advantage And Disadvantage

Department of Social Policy Book Launch and Discussion

Social Advantage and Disadvantage

Date: Wednesday 18th May 2016
Time: 18.00-19.30
Venue: Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building

Speakers: Professor Hartley Dean, Professor Lucinda Platt, Dr Sonia Exley
Discussant: Fran Bennett
Chair: Professor David Piachaud

It is increasingly recognised that the ways in which social disadvantage is created and maintained are intimately bound up with how advantage is perpetuated and enhanced. This book launch and discussion introduces different conceptual approaches to such processes of relative (dis)advantage and reflects on the ways in which they play out across the life course, social groups and by geography.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEadvantage

This event is free and open to all with pre-registration required via Eventbrite. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. 


Further events are listed in the Department diary.

Past events are listed in News and Events archive.

Recent Podcasts

LSE Literary Festival 2016

PSSRU LSE Literary Festival Discussion
Art and Wellbeing: the growing impact of arts on health

Recorded on 23 February 2016

Speakers: Vivienne Parry, David McDaid, Liz Brady, James Leadbitter (the vacuum cleaner)
Chair: Professor Martin Knapp


LSE Literary Festival 2016

 LSE Literary Festival Discussion
The Allure of Happy Endings

Recorded on 22 February 2016

Speakers: Dr Molly Crockett, Professor Paul Dolan, Sinéad Moriarty
Chair: Jonathan Gibbs


Goup Of Reporters

Department of Social Policy, Mannheim Centre for Criminology and the Howard League public discussion
New Media, Old News: strategies for penal reform groups to manage the new media landscape

Recorded on 20 January 2016

Speakers: Dr Marianne Colbran, Niall Couper, Andrew Neilson, Danny Shaw, Alan White
Chair: Professor Ian Loader

More podcasts available at Events podcasts

Recent Videos

This information is generated by an RSS feed from the Department audio and video channel, and shows the 4 most recent videos produced by the LSE.
More videos available on the Social Policy Video Channel
More videos available on the CASE Video Channel
More videos available on the LSE Health and Social Care Video Channel


Latest Publications

This information is generated by an RSS feed from LSE Research Online, and shows the 20 most recent publications (either published, or accepted for publication).

Featured Publications
Social Policy In a Cold Climate

Social Policy in a Cold Climate: policies and their consequences since the crisis

Policy Press (April 2016)

Editors: Professor Ruth Lupton, Dr Tania Burchardt, Professor John Hills, Dr Kitty Stewart and Dr Polly Vizard

A new LSE book offers an authoritative, evidence-based analysis of the impact government policies have had on inequality and on delivery of services such as health, education, adult social care, housing and employment since the 2008 recession.

The editors, Ruth Lupton, Tania Burchardt, John Hills, Kitty Stewart and Polly Vizard, conclude that although the financial crisis and subsequent recession hit the economy hard, Britain’s welfare state did initially protect many of the most vulnerable from its sharpest effects.  But that protection was not uniform. Young adults were hardest hit in the labour market, for example, while those of pension age had their incomes improved faster than inflation.


Intergenerational consequences of migration-

Palgrave Macmillan (November 2015)

Migration is a life-changing experience not only for the migrants themselves but also for those left behind. Professor Lucinda Platt from the Department of Social Policy is one of the co-authors of a new book exploring the impact of migration across multiple aspects of migrants' lives by comparing three generations of Turkish migrants to Europe to their non-migrant counterparts in Turkey. The book is based on data that the team (which included Professor Platt as well as collaborators from Universities of Essex, Chemnitz and Amsterdam) collected in Turkey and Europe between 2010-12 on 2000 Turkish families and their 50,000 family members. The book brings a novel theoretical approach to the analysis of migration; and the chapters cover topics such as patterns of migration, educational attainment across the generations, friendships, marriages, religiosity and fertility.

Health Economics, Policy and Law Journal

Health Economics, Policy and Law

Cambridge University Press

Editors: Dr Adam Oliver, Professor Elias Mossialos

The latest issue Health Economics, Policy and Law (HEPL) is now online. HEPL serves as a forum for scholarship on health policy issues from these perspectives, and is of use to academics, policy makers and health care managers and professionals. HEPL is international in scope, publishes both theoretical and applied work, and contains articles on all aspects of health policy. Considerable emphasis is placed on rigorous conceptual development and analysis, and on the presentation of empirical evidence that is relevant to the policy process.

Neoliberalising Old Age

Neoliberalising Old Age

Cambridge University Press (October 2015)

Governments are encouraging later-life working and state pension ages are being raised. There is also a growing debate on intergenerational equity and on ageism/age discrimination. John Macnicol, visiting Professor in the Department of Social Policy and one of Europe's leading academic analysts of old age and ageing, examines the effect of neoliberalism on the recent ageing and social policy agenda in the UK and the USA. He argues that the demographic and economic impulses behind recent policy changes are in fact less important than the effect of neoliberalism as an ideology, which has caused certain key problems to be defined in a particular way. The book outlines past theories of old age and examines pensions reform, the debate on life expectancy gains, the causes of retirement, the idea of intergenerational equity, the current debate on ageism/age discrimination and the likely human consequences of raising state pension ages.


Podcasts and videos
Tales From Houghton Street Julian Le Grand