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.