Professor Anne West

I have been working at LSE since 1990, first as a researcher, and since 2002 as Professor of Education Policy in the Department of Social Policy. I am currently deputy head of the Department. I also direct the Education Research Group and carry out research on education policy.

At the undergraduate level I am responsible for a specialist education course, Education Policy. This is offered as part of the BSc programmes in the Department of Social Policy. It may also be taken by students on other programmes, including General Course students. In addition, I teach on general social policy courses and, as part of my role as a tutor, supervise students' 'long essays' (dissertations); this can be a particularly rewarding experience, as students often have exciting and interesting research questions they wish to investigate further.

We take our undergraduate teaching very seriously - it gives us an opportunity to teach students about social policy and about our own particular areas of expertise. Social policy, which will be a new subject for most students, is concerned with the analysis of societies' responses to social need: these needs include food and shelter; a sustainable and safe environment; the promotion of health and treatment of the sick; the care and support of those unable to live a fully independent life; and the education and training of individuals to enable their full participation in society. The study of social policy explores the ways in which societies have developed ways of meeting these needs via informal or family institutions, private markets, or governmental actions through what is often termed the welfare state.

Our students come from different backgrounds, with some having recently completed school or college and some having been in paid or unpaid work. Students' trajectories are varied and include for example, further study at master's level, teacher training, work for government departments, voluntary sector organisations and the private sector.

Please see Social Policy