School of Social Sciences and Humanities

School news

Lecture with Prof. Derek Gregory - Surgical strikes and spaces of exception

3:30 - 5:00 PM J.0.01 EHB

Speaker: Professor Derek Gregory

An analysis of attacks on hospitals during WW1 and in Afghanistan and Syria now, with reference to international law and its uneven geographies.

Refreshments will be available from 3:30pm.

Click here to book your place.

Four in 10 people living in London cannot afford a basic standard of living, new report finds

Researchers from Loughborough University also found that half of all youngsters who live in the capital are from households which fall below this threshold.

The figures, published on Wednesday, March 6, are based on the Minimum Income Standard (MIS) set by Loughborough's Centre for Research in Social Policy (CRSP) and funded by the Trust for London.

MIS is the income that people need in order to achieve a minimum socially acceptable standard of living in the UK today.

Researcher Matt Padley, of CRSP, said: “This new research in London, looking at what the public think is needed for a minimum socially acceptable standard of living, reinforces what we have found in our previous research in the capital - principally, that much of life in London is very similar to life in other urban areas of the UK.

“Many everyday needs are the same, but in some key areas substantial differences in the cost of a minimum living standard persist.

"This is particularly true when it comes to housing and childcare, both of which really increase the amount that households need to reach this minimum. 

“These higher costs mean that around 40% of Londoners don’t have what they need for a minimum, and that more than half of all children living in the capital are growing up in households who are likely to face difficult decisions about prioritising resources.

“Rising rents and childcare costs, as well as cuts in support, are making meeting a decent living standard far more of a challenge.

“Unless something is done to make housing in the capital genuinely affordable for all, to reduce the cost of good quality childcare and to halt the planned welfare cuts, it is likely that more and more households will not have what they need to meet their minimum needs.”

London estate

The London figure is higher compared to the rest of the UK, where 29% of people do meet the criteria of the same minimum living standard.

The standard is calculated by asking what members of the public think about essential goods and services, and those which enable genuine participation in society.  

The new report provides an updated cost of a minimum budget, required for a minimum standard of living in Inner and Outer London, such as what is happening to rents, public transport, childcare costs and wages.

This is the fourth in a series of reports.


  • Four in every 10 Londoners (41%) have an income below what is needed to reach a minimum socially acceptable standard of living. This is higher than the 29% below this level in the UK as a whole.
  • Many of the costs associated with providing a minimum budget in the capital are like those in other towns and cities in the UK, but in key areas the additional cost of living in London remains substantially above that in the rest of the UK. This is most evident in relation to housing, childcare and transport. These additional costs mean that a minimum standard of living in London costs between 15% and 60% more.
  • The cost of renting in the private sector in London remains significantly higher than in other urban areas in the UK. Although there have been some decreases in rents at the cheaper end of the rental market in London, private rents in Inner London increased by around 15% between 2014 and 2018, while rents in Outer London increased by nearly 20%. This compares to an increase of less than 10% in the rest of the UK.
  • Childcare costs continue to grow in London and are far higher in the capital than elsewhere in the UK.
  • Safety-net benefits for people living in London continue to fall substantially short of meeting minimum needs, providing less than a quarter of a minimum budget for working-age singles and about half for households with children.
  • The adequacy of safety-net benefits has deteriorated over time; in 2014 a working-age single on out-of-work benefits could cover 35% of their minimum needs, while in 2018 this support covered only 19% of a minimum budget.
  • Just over half of all children living in London (51%) are in households that have incomes below what is needed for a decent minimum standard of living, compared to 43% in the UK. Around two thirds (67%) of children in lone parent households are living below the Minimum Income Standard (MIS).
  • Around a third of pensioners living in London have incomes below MIS, compared to 16% for the UK.
  • While single working-age adults living in urban areas outside of London and working on the National Living Wage (NLW) have benefited from above inflation increases in the minimum hourly rate, those living in London have seen any gains in earnings more than wiped out through increases in other costs. In the UK outside London, a working-age single, working full-time on the NLW has around 80% of what they need to meet minimum costs; in both Inner and Outer London the same individual has under half of what they need.
  • Three-quarters of Londoners within incomes below MIS are living in rented accommodation: 1.3 million in the private rented sector and 1.4 million in social housing.
Download the PDF: MIS London Report

Geography at Loughborough achieves Top 10 Student Satisfaction rating in NSS 2019 results

Each year finalist students across all UK institutions and programmes of study are invited to complete the NSS.

The 2019 NSS reveals that 98% of finalists studying Geography at Loughborough University agreed that they were satisfied with their degree experience overall.

This result places Loughborough in the Top 10 nationally in the Geographical Studies category.

Barbara Bagilhole Best Student Paper Award 2019

On Wednesday 25th September 2019, the Barbara Bagilhole essay prize was awarded by Rachel Thomson (Pro-vice Chancellor for Teaching), Nick Clifford and Catherine Armstrong (School Lead for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion). The prize winners were selected by a panel of academic staff led by Sophie Cranston (Geography). The prize is awarded annually for the best undergraduate essays with the theme of equality, diversity and inclusion.

This year’s prize winners are Flora Jacobs (part C, Politics with a Minor) and Simi Kolajo (pictured above) (part B, Geography). Flora’s essay explored the role of and perception of women in the 2016 US presidential election, while Simi’s work undertook textual analysis of the film I am Slave.

The prize is named after Barbara Bagilhole (1951-2015), a pioneering campaigner for women’s rights in the workplace, who exposed discrimination and sexism in many contexts. She was Lecturer in Social Policy at Loughborough and later Associate Dean for Research. She also co-founded the Women in Higher Education Management Network. This year, the Barbara Bagilhole essay prize was noted by assessors as an example of good practice in the successful application for the School of Social Science’s bronze Athena SWAN award.

Inspiring Minds - School of Social Sciences and Humanities 2020

Join us for our Inspiring Minds Online: Social Sciences & Humanities event, launching Wednesday 17th June 2020!

This event is open to UK and international students in Year 11 (going into Year 12) and post-16 students, and is a great opportunity to learn more about the options available to you at university across the social sciences and humanities subjects.

You will be able to view a range of taster sessions from our academic departments, as well as learn more about Loughborough University and receive guidance on university applications and careers. There will also be the chance to take a virtual tour of our outstanding campus, with a live webchat for you to ask our current students any questions you may have.

More information and booking details can be found here