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Social and Political Science

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Welcome to the School of Social and Political Sciences Representation page.

Here you will find useful information about your School’s student representation system.

First of all, let us introduce you to your School Representatives. Each School has two School Reps whose role is to listen to you and bring any issues you raise to the relevant staff and committee meetings, such as the Student-Staff Liaison Committee or your School Council. In SPS, the Undergraduate School Representative is Marco Antonio Garcia Mendez and the Postgraduate School Representative is Innocent Mangwiro. Feel free to get in touch with them if you feel that you have something important to say to the School! Your School also contains Class Representatives who work very closely with the School Representatives, the Students' Association and the staff to ensure you make the most out of your courses. Potential areas Class Reps may engage with are issues with feedback, course content, and suitability of assessment.


The SPS School Council is a democratic structure and forum that enables you to take a proactive approach to your student life. It is a way for you and your coursemates to voice your opinions about what is going on in your School, and you are entitled to bring up issues and ideas that you consider relevant to the student experience in these meetings. You can ask your School Representatives to talk on behalf of you, or you can speak for yourself and count on their help to bring these issues forward and support you. They take place at least once a semester, so keep an eye out for updates from your Reps and don’t forget to attend – the more students that show up, the better! Last year’s School Council was active and regular, and the Reps ensured a close liaison with the staff to bring their projects forward. They focused on reforming the ELMA grading system, improving the academic community, and held Q&As with the Head of School.

Another important thing to look out for in your School is Peer Learning. The Peer Learning programmes are student-led initiatives that offer academic guidance for newer students by more experienced students. PIRPALS (Peer Assisted Leaning Scheme) is for any first year Political and International Relations students, as well as any student taking Introduction to Politics and International Relations. Student volunteers from 2nd, 3rd and 4th year run study sessions every fortnight and can also offer more general advice about university life at Edinburgh.


Also on offer is Sustainable Development PALS (Peer Assisted Learning Scheme). This is run by 3rd and 4th year students and is open to any student taking Sustainable Development 1a and 2a. Q-step PALS is also available for those taking a quantitative methods course. SocPALS and SocPolPALS are also new peer-assisted learning schemes starting up in 2016/17 for first year sociology and social policy students. All of these Schemes are run by trained Student Leaders and provide a great chance to improve your academic performance, get support and create lasting friendships.

Further information here:


In addition to Peer Support opportunities, you can make use of a number of Academic Societies implemented in your School. Whether you are looking for support in your studies, meeting like-minded students, networking or keeping up-to-date with your field of study’s latest news, they are the place to be! In the School of Social and Political Sciences you can find the Political Union. This is the official academic society for Politics and International Relations. It’s the ideal place for networking, career-orientated events and development opportunities, and even runs an academic journal, Leviathan. The European Union Society is the society about Europe and the EU and hold academic and social events for everyone interested in the EU, Europe, its states and peoples. The Sociology Society (SocSoc) runs a variety of events, including cultural and creative activities and meet-ups for drinks and meals. Postgraduate students in the society also run a seminar series throughout the year. Meanwhile, the Edinburgh University International Development Society (EUID) runs fortnightly events on a Monday, which include evening lectures, documentary showings and informal debates. SPS also contains the Social Anthropology Society, which holds weekly meetings, socials, and events including film screenings, lectures and field trips, and the Edinburgh University Sustainable Development Association (EUSDA), which offers networking opportunities and events for interested students from any degree.


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