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Department of Social Policy

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


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The Department of Social Policy is the longest established in the UK and has received the highest possible rating in all Research Assessment Exercises carried out in the UK. In the last RAE in 2008 it led the field nationally with 50 per cent of its research recognised as world-leading, and 100 per cent ranked at international level. The Department prides itself in being able to offer teaching based on the highest quality empirical research in the field.

MPhil/PhD Programmes

Are you interested in our research programmes in Social Policy| and Demography/Population studies|?

We are now welcoming applications for our ESRC and LSE Studentships. Find out more here| and on the School website|.

Valeria Cetorelli

LSE study shows sharp rise in teenage childbearing during Iraq War

A new study by Valeria Cetorelli|, an LSE PhD candidate in demography in the Department of Social Policy, shows that teenage fertility in Iraq rose by more than 30 per cent between 2003 and 2010 due to increased early marriage among less-educated girls.

Read more here|

Professor Eileen Munro

Professor Eileen Munro awarded the President's Medal of the Operational Research Society

On Wednesday 26th November, Professor Eileen Munro| of the Department of Social Policy, received the President's Medal of the Operational Research Society.

The honour, which was shared with Professor David Lane, Henley Business School, and Elke Husemann, was for their use of a range of systems thinking approaches in the Munro Review of Child Protection - a high-profile review of state-managed child protection activities in England, conducted for the Department for Education.

The judging panel explained: "Using systems thinking and casual loop diagrams, the work addressed a vital area of public policy and had a major influence on the recommendations of the Munro Review. That influence continues through on-going changes in government policy for child protection. The work was therefore judged a worthy winner of the President's Medal for 2014".

Professor Anne Power

Hunger pains: rise of the food bank.| 
Professor Anne Power in LSE Connect, LSE's alumni magazine.

Anne Power|, Professor of Social Policy and Head of LSE Housing and Communities|, argues that due to falling incomes, harsh government cuts and the continuing rise in the cost of basic living, an increasing number of families across the UK are caught in a new poverty trap and the growing need for food banks is just the tip of the iceberg.

Professor David Lewis

Professor David Lewis a speaker at the Wilson Center's panel event

Professor David Lewis|, Head of the Department of Social Policy, was a speaker at the Wilson Center's panel event on 'Living Through Extremes: Building Livelihood Resilience Across Sectors and Countries', held in Washington DC on Thursday December 4th, 2014.

Read more here|


Millennium Cohort Study|: Initial findings from the Age 11 study published

The Millennium Cohort Study, edited by Professor Lucinda Platt| was published on Friday 28th November. Lucinda Platt was PI of the Millennium Cohort Study before joining the LSE and oversaw the data collection and data release for the age 11 survey, as well as editing this volume of initial findings across six topic areas.

The first five surveys of the study- at ages 9 months and 3. 5. 7 and 11 years- have built up a uniquely detailed portrait of the children of the new century. The study has collected information on diverse aspects of their lives, including behaviour, cognitive development, health, schooling, housing and parents' employment and education. The Initial Findings draw on the new information collected in the Age 11 survey, covering 13,287 children and their families, alongside analysis of how the children have developed over time across the previous four surveys. The initial findings have been covered widely in the print and broadcast media|.
Read more here|

Will Hutton

Department of Social Policy Public Lecture:
How Good We Can Be: Ending the Mercenary Society and Building a Great Country|

Date: Wednesday 11th February 2015
Time: 18.30-20.00
Venue: Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE

Speaker: Will Hutton
Chair: Professor Sir John Hills

A compelling and sharply insightful lecture that will examine the state of Britain today and look forward to the Britain of tomorrow, from the bestselling author of The State We're In.

Will Hutton is Principal of Hertford College, Oxford and columnist for the Observer. His latest book is How Good We Can Be. View the Press Release here| (PDF)

Professor Sir John Hills| is Professor of Social Policy and is the Director of the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE|)

This event is free and open to all with no ticket or pre-registration required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. For any queries contact events@lse.ac.uk|

Hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSEgood

Further events are listed in the Department diary|.

Past events are listed in News and Events archive|.

Recent Podcasts

Professor John Hills

Department of Social Policy Public Lecture: Good Times Bad Times: the welfare myth of them and us|

Recorded on 12 November 2014

Speaker: Professor Sir John Hills
|Respondents: Polly Toynbee, Professor Holly Sutherland
Chair: Professor Julian Le Grand|

Professor Paul Dolan

Department of Social Policy Public Lecture: Happiness by Design|

Recorded on 22 October 2014

Speaker: Professor Paul Dolan|
Chair: Professor Elaine Fox

Linda Tirado

Department of Social Policy public conversation: Hand to Mouth: the truth about being poor in a wealthy world|

Recorded on 16 October 2014

Speaker: Linda Tirado
Chair: Rowan Harvey
Introduction by Dr Amanda Sheely|

LSE Public Lectures

LSE Health and Africa Initiative Research Seminar: Practical and ethical dilemmas of working in the current Ebola crisis|

Recorded on 15 October 2014

Speaker: Dr Benjamin Black
|Chair: Dr Ernestina Coast|

 Anton Hemerijck

Department of Social Policy Centennial Lecture: Fault Lines and Silver Linings in the European Social Model(s)|

Recorded on 11 June 2014

Speaker: Professor Anton Hemerijck
Chair: Professor David Piachaud
Commentators: Dr Waltraud Schelkle and Professor David Soskice

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.
  • Reading the Riots [Video]
    Contributor(s): Professor Tim Newburn | Tim Newburn, Professor of Criminology and Social Policy, talks about the prize-winning study ‘Reading the Riots’ that he did with the Guardian newspaper.
  • MSc Criminal Justice Policy [Video]
    Contributor(s): Dr Coretta Phillips, Dr Michael Shiner, Professor Tim Newburn, Professor Robert Reiner, Kirat Kaur Kalyan, Amy Taylor, Sarah Anderson, Elvio Lopez-Correia, Alejandro Litman-Silberman, Sarah Anderson | Introduction to the MSc Criminal Justice Policy at the LSE.
  • Executive MSc Behavioural Science [Video]
    Contributor(s): Professor Paul Dolan, Dr Barbara Fasolo | A short video introduction to the Executive MSc in Behavioural Science which is being launched by LSE’s Departments of Social Policy and Management. The programme is delivered in a modular format and aims to provide a suite of high quality integrated courses for individuals seeking to advance their career in behavioural science while continuing to work.
  • Social Policy at LSE: Alistair McGuire [Video]
    Contributor(s): Professor Alistair McGuire | A profile of Alistair McGuire, Professor of Health Economics at LSE Department of Social Policy.
More videos available at Social Policy Video Channel|

Other videos

The Arts of Desistance Report cover

Koestler Trust Mentoring Programme
Released on:
03 November 2014
Contributor(s): Dr Leo Cheliotis|

Since 2007 The Koestler Trust has supported ex-offenders to continue with their artistic activities by matching them with a specially trained arts mentor. The Koestler Trust commissioned this film to help explain and promote the mentoring programme to future mentees, mentors and funders. The film explains the journey from a mentee that is starting out through to mentee that has attained a higher level with the programme.

Gearty Grilling: Martin Knapp on Spending on Mental Health
Released on: 30 October 2014
Contributor(s): Professor Martin Knapp|

Professor Martin Knapp discusses why we should prioritise spending on mental health.
Professor Paul Dolan

Department of Social Policy Public Lecture:
Happiness by Design|

Released on: 22 October 2014
Contributor(s):Professor Paul Dolan| 

Chaired by Professor Elaine Fox (Oxford), Paul Dolan held a public lecture at the LSE to coincide with his new book ‘Happiness by Design’. The sold out event included a lecture by Paul, a conversation with Elaine Fox and finally a Q&A segment with the audience that posed some interesting questions.

Gearty Grilling: Anne Power on growing inequality and why we need food banks
Released on: 
25 June 2014
Contributor(s): Professor Anne Power|

Anne Power, Professor of Social Policy, discusses growing inequality, why government should listen more to ordinary people and why we now need food banks.

Gearty Grilling: Julian Legrand on how choice and competition can improves public services|

Released on: 21 May 2014
Contributor(s): Professor Julian Legrand
Julian Le Grand, Richard Titmuss professor of social policy and one of the principal architects of the UK Government’s public service reforms, explains why competition is the best way of enhancing hospitals and schools.



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
Forensic Psychology

Forensic Psychology|

Routledge (November 2014)

Edited by Professor Jennifer Brown|

In recent decades, the remit of forensic psychology has considerably widened. From an original, narrow focus on presenting evidence to the courts, its scope now spreads across the whole span of civil and criminal justice. Forensic psychologists are now intimately involved with suspects, offenders, victims, witnesses, defendants, litigants, and justice professionals.

As serious academic and practical thinking in and around forensic psychology continues to develop, this new four-volume collection from Routledge's Critical Concepts in Psychology| series meets the need for an authoritative reference work to make sense of a rapidly growing and ever more complex corpus of literature. Edited by a leading scholar and practitioner, the collection gathers the foundational major works together with the very best contemporary scholarship.

With full index and thoughtful introductions, newly written by the editor, Forensic Psychology will be valued by scholars. students, and professionals in the field as a vital and enduring resource. Read more|

Good Times, Bad Times: the welfare myth of them and us

Good Times, Bad times: the welfare myth of them and us|

Policy Press (November 2014)

Two-thirds of UK government spending now goes on the welfare state and where the money is spent - healthcare, education, pensions, benefits - is the centre of political and public debate. Much of that debate is dominated by the myth that the population divides into those who benefit from the welfare state and those who pay into it. This ground breaking book, written by Professor John Hills|, uses extensive research and survey evidence to challenge that view. It shows that our complex and ever-changing lives means that all of us rely on the welfare state throughout our lifetimes, not just a small 'welfare-dependent' minority. Using everyday life stories and engaging graphics, Professor John Hills clearly demonstrates how the facts are far removed from the myths. More|

John Hills is Professor of Social Policy and Director of the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion| at the London School of Economics. He was knighted in 2013 for services to the development of social policy.


Happiness by Design: Finding pleasure and purpose in everyday life| 

Penguin (August 2014)

In Happiness by Design, Professor Paul Dolan| brings the latest research in behavioural science together with current findings in happiness studies to create a new concept of happiness - it's not just how you think, it's how you act.


Black and ethnic minority students less likely to receive offers from university than white students|

Dr Philip Noden|, Dr Michael Shiner| and Professor Tariq Modood release a report| funded by Nuffield Foundation|.
(July 2014)

This report revisits the contested issue of ethnic minority access to higher education. It is well established that candidates from black and minority ethnic groups go to university in good numbers, but we also know that candidates from some minority groups tend to be concentrated in less prestigious institutions. The analysis reported here was designed to address two key questions: Are candidates from black and minority ethnic groups less inclined to apply to higher status institutions than white British candidates? And, are candidates from black and minority ethnic groups less likely to receive offers from university (and from higher status institutions in particular) than white British applicants?

The student experience
Stories from LSE - the graduation day story|
LSE Research Festival 2015|- Call for Submissions
LSE Research Festival 2015
Podcasts and videos