Foundation of Faculty of Social Sciences, 1963

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Edinburgh University's Faculty of Social Sciences was founded in 1963.

The years following the Second World War saw a dramatic rise in interest in the social sciences, coupled with a new conceptual approach which separated them from the humanities. Until the 1960s, all social science teaching at Edinburgh had taken place within the Faculty of Arts. In 1963, however, an ordinance was passed creating a separate Faculty of Social Sciences. It initially consisted of a newly created Chair in Politics (previously taught as a component of Economic Science or History), together with eight already existing Chairs:

In the following years, the Faculty expanded through the foundation of Chairs in:

Again, these were all subjects that had previously been taught within the Faculty of Arts. Personal Chairs were also created in Econometrics (1967), Economics (1967), Social History (1967), European Institutions (1969), and African Urban Studies (1971).

Vocational courses were also offered leading to certificates in Child Care, Educational Studies, Medical Social Work, Nursing Studies, Public Administration, Psychiatric Social Work, and Social Study. Nursing Studies rapidly evolved from a vocational to a graduate subject. Edinburgh University became the first university in the world to offer a degree in Nursing Studies and in 1972 appointed Margaret Scott Wright (1923-2008) to the United Kingdom's first Chair of Nursing Studies.



  • Robert D. Anderson, 'The Construction of a Modern University', in Robert D. Anderson, Michael Lynch, and Nicholas Phillipson, The University of Edinburgh: An Illustrated History (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2003), pp. 103-207.
  • University of Edinburgh, The Edinburgh University Calendar (Edinburgh: The University, 1858-2004)