New Ranking of the World’s Top Social Policy Schools | Top Universities

New Ranking of the World’s Top Social Policy Schools

By Sabrina Collier

Updated April 21, 2021 Updated April 21, 2021

Discover the top social policy and administration schools based on the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020.

This year sees the QS World University Rankings by Subject extended to feature a brand new ranking of the world’s top universities in the field of social policy. Published annually, the rankings now cover a total of 42 subjects. Also new for 2016 are rankings of the world’s top universities for  archaeology, anthropology, performing arts, mining engineering and nursing.

The ranking aims to help prospective students identify the leading institutions in their subject, with a particular focus on those planning to study outside of their own country. Institutions are assessed based on indicators reflecting academic reputation, employer reputation, and research impact in the field.

Of the 100 universities featured in this new ranking, the United States dominates with almost a third (32) of the schools listed, while the United Kingdom follows with 15 entries.

Top 10 Universities for Social Policy in 2016

Based on the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016


Harvard University

United States


London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

United Kingdom


University of Oxford

United Kingdom


University of Cambridge

United Kingdom


University of California, Berkeley (UCB)

United States


Stanford University

United Kingdom


National University of Singapore (NUS)



Princeton University

United States


University of Chicago

United States


Columbia University

United States


University of Hong Kong (HKU)

Hong Kong

See the full ranking of the world’s top universities for social policy >


In addition to its six entries within the top 10, the US claims 15 more universities ranked among the top 50 for social policy. In nearby Canada, three schools are featured, with the University of Toronto the highest ranked at 15th.

Australia has seven representatives, with Australian National University (ANU) ranking highest at 14th. Neighboring New Zealand also features, with two universities ranked among the social policy top 50.

Asia is represented in the top 10 by the University of Singapore and University of Hong Kong. Beyond this, the region’s other leading representatives (out of a total of 17) include Japan’s University of Tokyo at 16th, South Korea’s Seoul National University (SNU) at 17th for social policy and China’s Peking University at 20th.

There are a total of 35 European universities featured within the top 100 for social policy. Aside from the UK, strong positions are held by the Netherlands’ University of Amsterdam (29th), Belgium’s Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (34th) and France’s Sciences Po Paris (40th).

Over in Latin America, four universities are featured in the ranking, including two in Mexico. The highest-ranked university in Latin America for social policy is claimed by Chile, with Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile ranked joint 35th.

This article was originally published in March 2016 . It was last updated in April 2021

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Written by

The former Assistant Editor of, Sabrina wrote and edited articles to guide students from around the world on a wide range of topics. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Aberystwyth University and grew up in Staffordshire, UK. 

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