UCL Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy



The Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (STEaPP) is a uniquely policy-orientated department within UCL.

Underpinning all of our education, research and policy activities is one aim: to change the world for the better. With this aim in mind, STEaPP was founded in the recognition that science, technology and engineering expertise are vital to tackling today’s most pressing global challenges, from energy access to climate change and congested cities. We also know that for the most impactful results, public policy needs to be informed by different kinds of expertise and evidence. 

The department creates a space for a diverse range of academics, policymakers, practitioners and science and engineering experts to come together and apply their knowledge to tackling these complex challenges. STEaPP sits across three world-class UCL faculties: the Faculty of Engineering, the Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment and the Faculty of Mathematical and Physical Sciences.

Collaborative policy making

Policy activities run as threads through all of our work. We collaborate closely with external decision makers to ensure that we are asking the relevant questions and addressing real needs through our education and research programmes. Our growing policy team will continue to reshape our engagement with external practitioners and champion the value of academic research in tackling global problems.

Research from STEaPP recognised as world-leading in REF 2021

No. 7 in the UK for overall research ranked world-leading (REF 2021)
Research from STEaPP and the Department of Security and Crime Science was recognised as ‘world-leading’ in the Research Excellence Framework 2021 (REF), with our submission ranking 7th in the UK for ‘world-leading’ research in Social Work and Social Policy.


STEaPP and the Department of Security and Crime Science were part of a joint submission for the Social Work and Social Policy panel. Both departments include several co-located researchers, research students and selected staff to enable strategic joint activities. This is the first REF exercise that UCL STEaPP has participated in since our founding as a department in 2013.