The Department of Social Policy is large and complex, with the central hub being located on the second floor of the Old Building. The Department offers five undergraduate degrees and 12 MSc degrees, some of which are joint with (and administered by) other departments, and a large body of MPhil/PhD students.
The Head of Department is responsible for the overall conduct of the Department, but specifically with regard to its teaching, research and compliance with the School's Regulations and Codes of Conduct. The Head of Department also represents the Department elsewhere in the School and is involved with future planning. The position is normally held for three years, and rotates amongst the professors of the Department. The current Head of Department is Professor Tim Newburn. He is supported by the Department Manager, John Wilkes, and the Deputy Department Manager, Debra Ogden.
Social Policy is a very large Department with numerous staff and students, so everyone has to make an effort to communicate and keep in touch. Alongside tutorials and office hours there are a number of more informal ways of communicating.
On arrival at the LSE you will be allocated your own personal email address. Email is now the most commonly used method of communication and you should expect to receive correspondence from academic and administrative staff, as well as the central School administration, in this manner. Therefore, it is essential that you check your LSE email account regularly.
Keeping track of students is very difficult. Do not be elusive. Please make sure that you inform your Programme Administrator and Student Services of any change of address. You can easily update your contact details on the School database via LSE for You. Your address is protected information and will not be disclosed to a third party without your permission unless it is for reasons of official School business.
Teaching and administrative staff in the Department have pigeonholes situated inside the Department's locked post room (OLD 2.43). Students can post messages through the letterbox in the door to this room providing that they are clearly addressed to the intended recipient.
All teachers must hold an office hour once a week during term time, which enables you to see them without a prior appointment, if required. We ask you to respect these office hours and only to visit academic staff outside these hours in an emergency or by prior arrangement by email. If these times are inconvenient (for example if you are a part-time student) or if you feel that the topic requires greater discussion please contact the member of staff by email to make an appointment.
A complete list of office hours for all teaching staff within the Department can be found on the Department website. Office hours are also often announced by academic staff via Moodle, in class or on a list posted outside their door.
Student notice boards
There is a student notice board for each programme of study in the Department and they are normally located outside the Programme Administrator's office. In addition, there is a Departmental noticeboard where general items of interest will be posted. This is located in the lobby area on the second floor of the Old Building, opposite OLD 2.45.
The Department website
Please refer to the Department website for staff details, programme and course information, news and events, and links to other useful sites.
Sarah Helias and Maria Schlegel are the Web team and you can contact them at Soc.Pol.Webteam@lse.ac.uk if you have any queries or problems accessing information. In addition, if you have any news to be posted on the website please fill out one of the web forms available under How to contact us on the Department main page.
Public folders and career opportunities
All course information is now available via the virtual learning environment, 'Moodle'. There are, however, a couple of public folders in Outlook that we would encourage you to check on a weekly basis.
The first is a sub-folder entitled Noticeboard. This is updated daily with general Department/School information and relevant information from external sources, which may be of interest. The other is entitled Careers. This folder contains electronic job/internship advertisements and other relevant careers information. In addition, hard copy information and advertisements are posted on the Departmental notice board in the lobby of the Social Policy Department, on the 2nd floor of the Old Building.
To access these two public folders, you will need to open the Microsoft Outlook programme and refer to your mailbox folders on the left of the screen. Double click on the Public Folders icon followed by Departments and finally Social Policy. You will find that the information is divided into sub-folders for you to browse.
Student common room
The Student Common Room in OLD 2.14 is a place for social interaction as opposed to a designated quiet area. However, in May/June the room does become an area for study as students prepare for their examinations. Notices will be posted at this time to inform students of the change. Please note that there are no computers in this room but there are live network points for laptops.
To ensure that the room is secure, the door has been fitted with a digital lock. The code is only given to Social Policy students – please do not share this information with students from other departments.
We have three major Departmental parties this year. The first is a Welcome Reception for all new students and will be held in the Senior Dining Room (5th Floor, Old Building). The second is a Christmas Party for all Social Policy students and staff, held in the basement of East Building, with music, dancing, food and a subsidised bar. The third is a student/staff reception usually held during the last week of Lent term in the Senior Dining Room. Dates and further details on all of these events will be circulated nearer the time. In addition, each individual degree programme usually organises their own social events during the year.
Windsor Great Park
Organised specifically for Social Policy students, this weekend aims to foster integration between staff and students on the various programmes in the Department. Whilst there is a serious theme, with a number of key speakers and the opportunity for group debate, it is also a social event. The subsidised cost covers full board from Friday evening to Sunday lunchtime and coach transport to and from LSE. Further details about this residential will be released in Michaelmas term.
Each term, a number of Departmental meetings are scheduled to allow staff and students the opportunity to meet and discuss a range of issues relating to study at LSE. A student from each year of each degree programme is 'elected' in the first two weeks of Michaelmas Term to represent the views of his/her colleagues at the Department Staff Student Liaison Committee.
Each degree programme holds regular meetings to discuss and resolve programme/course specific concerns as well as propose other wider 'Departmental' issues for the agenda of the Staff Student Liaison Committee. These programme meetings are held prior to the Staff Student Liaison Committee and are normally attended by the Programme Director, the Programme Administrator, the Programme Representative(s) and other relevant course teachers.
Staff-Student Liaison Committee
A Staff-Student Liaison Committee meeting is arranged each term and chaired by the Head of Department. These meetings are designed to address wider Departmental and School issues. Only rarely, if a matter has not been satisfactorily resolved at a programme sub-committee meeting, will programme specific concerns be addressed. Normally in attendance are members of the academic teaching staff, programme administrators and the programme representatives. Minutes are taken at these meetings and circulated to all student representatives.
Also chaired by the Head of Department, all staff are invited to attend this committee, which normally meets about two weeks after the Staff Student Liaison Committee. Some matters arising from the Staff Student Liaison Committee meeting, as well as other Department committees, may need further discussion with a view to possible changes in Departmental policy or action to be taken at School level. Any pertinent decisions made on the matters arising will be reported at the next Staff Student Liaison Committee.
One student representative from each of the Undergraduate, Taught Graduate and Research Student programmes is also required to serve on the Students' Consultative Fora. In addition, another Student Representative will be asked to serve on the Library User Group Committee. The Department will request volunteers for these posts at the beginning of the Michaelmas term.
Equality and Diversity
Academic and research staff in the Department of Social Policy and its linked Research Centres have been at the forefront of attempts to address problems of disadvantage and social inequality and implications for policy. We are committed to ensuring equality of opportunity among our academic staff, support staff and students and are keen to provide a hospitable environment for all.
The Department assigns one member of staff and one student to be Equality and Diversity representatives. Nominations for a student representative will be requested in Michaelmas term.