Faculty of Social & Historical Sciences


Departments & Centres

The Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences has nine Departments and Institutes and numerous research centres.

Use the links below to visit departmental and centre websites for further information on study options and research specialisms.

Students wearing social media masks


UCL Anthropology studies humanity in all its aspects: from our evolution as a species, to our relationship with the material world, and our vast variety of social practices and cultural forms.

Economics building


The Department of Economics at UCL has an outstanding international reputation in key areas of current research. Students study contemporary topics such as globalisation, the regulation of public utilities and policy choices in developing countries.



The Department of Geography at UCL is a world-leading centre for teaching, research and public engagement. We address many urgent concerns facing the world, including climate change, urban development, migration, environmental management and geopolitics.



The UCL History department is consistently ranked as one of the best in the world for its research and teaching. Our programmes make this an exciting place to study over 5000 years of history across every continent, from the ancient Middle East to the twenty-first century.

Stained glass

History of Art

The History of Art Department at UCL is one of the most dynamic centres for the study of art history and visual cultures in the world. Known for our critical and self-reflexive approach to the subject, we are committed to a wide range of critical, historical and historiographical inquiry.

Institute of Americas building

Institute of the Americas

UCL's Institute of the Americas is a leading multidisciplinary specialist institution for the study of Canada, the Caribbean, Latin America and the United States.

Archaeology students out on fieldwork

Institute of Archaeology

The UCL Institute of Archaeology is one of the largest centres for archaeology, cultural heritage and museum studies in Britain. Founded in 1937, it is one of very few places in the world actively pursuing research on a global scale in the archaeological sciences, heritage studies and world archaeology. 

Statue of Mahatma Ghandi

Political Science

The Department of Political Science/School of Public Policy began as Britain's only department focused on graduate teaching and research.

UCL Octagon Gallery

Institute of Advanced Studies

The Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) provides a space for critical thinking and engaged enquiry within and across conventional disciplinary and departmental boundaries. The IAS aims to create an open and accessible research-based community, bridging traditional ‘artistic’ and ‘scientific’ practices and modes of thought.

 Faculty Initiatives

UCL Anthropocene

UCL Anthropocene brings together researchers from across disciplines to articulate and address the problems that the Anthropocene poses for our collective future.  

Social Data Institute

Led by the Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences (SHS), the new Social Data Institute will amplify UCL’s advanced research and teaching in social data and methods.

UCL Social Data Institute

SHS Health, Mind and the Social

SHS Health, Mind and the Social brings together researchers from across disciplines to articulate and address the challenges within these fields.