Social Science and Public Policy

Richard Freeman

Political Work

led the teaching component of the Doing Politics project, and was taught for the first time as an undergraduate option in 2014-2015...

Teaching Award nomination

The student who nominated us for a EUSA Teaching Award wrote that, "This is the first time that a course gave me the feeling of learning together with my class..."

Data Collection

Research Skills in the Social Sciences: Data Collection is a team-taught research training course in the Graduate School...

Policy Work

grounded in primary materials, insider accounts and ethnographic case studies, explores ways of thinking about policy making as a form of work or practice...

Explanation and Understanding

in Social and Political Research is a research training course taught in the Graduate School with Steve Kemp...

Teaching practice

was a panel led by Richard Freeman and David Laws at the IPA conference in Tilburg...


I teach generic, compulsory courses as well as specialist options, and I do a lot of supervision. It's almost always practice-oriented but theory-led.

Teaching is about showing, not telling; about giving students and others things to think with rather than things to know. And if our teaching is to be genuinely practice-oriented, working with case studies and doing projects and placements are essential.

But practice is not just what people do: it's also how they think, and the point is to keep thinking and doing in balance. At least part of this thinking should be critical and sociological, which means that social theory should be a key resource for students and practitioners alike.

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Richard Freeman
Academy of Government
School of Social and Political Science
University of Edinburgh
21 George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LD

+44 (0)131 650 4680