Established in 2001, the School brings together core social scientific disciplines to promote the critical understanding of social and political processes and the development of effective policy and practice through a wide range of teaching and research programmes.

The School was formed from the departments (now subject groups) of Politics, Social Anthropology, Social Policy and Sociology; the Graduate School of Social and Political Studies; the Centres of African, Canadian and South Asian Studies; the Science Studies Unit, the Research Centre in Social Sciences and the Institute of Governance. It has recently been joined by Social Work, and now forms part of the College of Humanities and Social Science.

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