The Department of Sociology at LSE was the first to be established in Britain and has played a key role in establishing and developing the discipline - nationally and internationally - since 1904. Today the Department has around 25 teaching staff, together with a number of research fellows, visiting professors and visiting scholars from all over the world.

The Department is committed to empirically rich, conceptually sophisticated, and socially and politically relevant research and scholarship, building upon the traditions of the discipline, and playing a key role in the development of the social sciences into the new intellectual areas, social problems, and ethical dilemmas that face a globalised post-modern society. 


LSE Sociology has a dynamic research culture, organized into research clusters that span the central concerns of the discipline. It also plays a core role in several research centres, including LSE Cities and the Centre for the Study of Human Rights. 

The research areas of the department have recently been redefined and consolidated.  There are four areas that constitute our strategic priorities and reflect overall a balance between ‘traditional’ sociology and ‘innovation’:

  • Economy, Technology and Expertise
  • Politics and Human Rights
  • Social Inequalities
  • Urban Sociology

For more information follow link to our Research pages from the tab at the top of the page or the Contents panel.


The Department of Sociology aims to provide a teaching and learning environment in which students are encouraged to think critically and independently. We recognise that many of the key issues in the discipline worldwide are the subject of contestation, and our teaching aims to equip students to understand and evaluate these disputes and adopt a position in relation to them. Rigorous, critical, independent thought is the most transferable skill of all, and the overarching objective of the learning experience we provide to our students.

The Department of Sociology at LSE welcomes and values the racial, ethnic, religious, national and cultural diversity of all its students, staff, alumni and visitors. The Department believes in equal treatment based on merit and encourages a learning environment based on mutual respect and dialogue.

As well as the BSc in Sociology, the Department offers MSc programmes in Sociology with streams Sociology (Research) and Sociology (Contemporary Social Thought); Political Sociology; Culture and Society; Economy, Risk and Society; Inequalities and Social Science; and International Migration and Public Policy (with the Department of Government). There is also a thriving doctoral programme in Sociology.

The Department also offers an MSc in Human Rights, with the Centre for the Study of Human Rights.

The Department houses the Cities Programme, the graduate education branch of the LSE Cities research centre (see below). It offers an MSc in City Design and Social Science and a PhD programme.

The Department has around 370 students: 120 undergraduate students; 200 taught postgraduates following our MSc programmes; and some 50 research postgraduates. In addition, many students following degrees in other departments take our courses.

Research centres

LSE Sociology supports and promotes academic diversity within the School through its central participation in interdisciplinary research and in particular its close relationship with the Centre for the Study of Human Rights, the Department of Methodology, the Interdisciplinary Institute of Management, STICERD (the Suntory Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines), the Mannheim Centre for the Study of Crime and Criminal Justice, and the Department of Media and Communications.

LSE Cities, founded in 2010, builds on the interdisciplinary work of the Urban Age programme, an international investigation of cities around the world.

For more information see links below:


The Department is home to several international journals, including The British Journal of Sociology - one of the world's leading Sociology periodicals; Economy and Society, the UK's leading interdisciplinary social science journal; BioSocieties, an innovative new journal in the social sciences, dedicated to advancing analytic understanding of the social, ethical, legal, economic, public policy aspects of current and emerging developments in the life sciences; and the Journal of Consumer Culture.


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Centre for the Study of Human Rights


LSE Cities