At PBS we offer four MSc programmes [MSc Organisational and Social Psychology, MSc Psychology of Economic Life, MSc Social and Cultural Psychology and MSc Social and Public Communication] and support a wide range of PhD studies and also two Undergraduate courses
We structure our programmes and PhD studies carefully in order to develop students skills incrementally and to culminate in final papers and exams. Read more in our section on Pedagogy.
These programmes run from October - September (12 months).
Click here to see the admission process.
For each MSc programme, students study two modular courses(termed "half-unit options") offered from within the department(although it is also possible to take an outside module).
Courses to the value of one full unit from the following half-unit Optional Courses (students must do two of these):
The PBS PhD programme is a vibrant research community, with about 30 PhD candidates working closely with Faculty on a range of topics.
Making an application
The application process is competitive. Prospective applicants should have the support of a potential supervisor before making a formal application, to ensure an alignment of research interests. If contacting faculty, please be selective, and let faculty know if you are in contact with more than one member of staff.
Applicants are expected to have good grades. Graduates from the Department's own master's degrees must have achieved an average mark of 65% or better (pass mark, 50%) as well as 70% or above in their dissertation to be eligible for admission to the corresponding doctoral programme.
Excellent applicants will be put forward for LSE PhD Studentships, which cover fees and living expenses of about £18,000 each year for four years. The deadlines are usually in early Spring.
Click here for the admission process.
The programme usually involves coursework which will be formally assessed. This includes a broad training in research methods together with a core course (Contemporary Social and Cultural Psychology (PS400), Organisational Social Psychology (PS404) , Social and Public Communication (PS429). In addition students will follow a specialised option course in the Lent Term of their initial year appropriate to the topic of their doctoral research. This latter course will be assessed by coursework alone. Candidates may be exempt from some or all of these course requirements, depending on their prior qualifications. All PhD students attend the Current Research Seminar (PS950).
Initial registration is for the Degree of MPhil. The power to up-grade a student's registration from MPhil to PhD is vested in a thesis committee (unique to each research student). This decision is based on members of the committee reading a number of draft chapters (usually four) and conducting a viva voce examination about 15 months after initial registration. Candidates on the programme will be expected to submit their thesis by the end of their third year of registration full-time or its equivalent part-time.
For more detail see the Graduate Prospectus and PhD Handbook.
All PBS PhD students will have access to computers within the Department, all of which are linked to the School-wide network, providing a wide range of resources. All students have access to the LSE library, one of the world's foremost Social Science resources, and to a large number of digital databases.
The department also has an observation and audio-visual suite; professional videotape editing facilities and video-capture for multimedia applications; Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing; a series of rooms for computer controlled research on group processes, etc, and a number of rooms set aside for the purposes of research.
Dr Chris Tennant
PBS PS102 Course Co - Convenor
"Social Psychology explores the thoughts and behaviour of individuals in social contexts. To do this we must also explore the social context itself, whether at the macro level of, say, race relations, or the micro level of the classroom. PS102 looks at phenomena as diverse as non-verbal behaviour, morality, conformity, love, persuasion, media influence, rioting, relationships and many more.
Daily life gives us plenty of examples of such phenomena, and we can observe them even in the classroom: except, hopefully, the rioting.”
Social Psychology is both an exciting area of research within psychology and a perspective on the whole of the discipline. PBS looks at human behaviour both in the context of evolution, health and development, society and culture and in relation to the economy, communications both interpersonal and mediated, politics and social organisations.
Social Psychology is not available as a single honours degree subject at undergraduate level. However, a full unit introductory course is offered as an outside option for students registered for degrees in other subjects.
This course is:
PS102 Social Psychology - Course Convenors are Dr Chris Tennant and Dr Bradley Franks.
A short video introducing the course can be found here
In very summary terms the course covers:
Theories and concepts such as: self and identity; attitudes; communication, influence and persuasion; groups, organisations and crowds; social cognition, e.g. how our expectations influence our perception of the social world, and how our culture and social world influences those expectations.
Applications such as: exploring the meaning of public opinion polls; immigration; the social and psychological sources of prejudice; rioting; crime and eyewitness testimony; self-esteem; teamwork; media influence; leadership and motivation.