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About us

Who we are

The Department of International History is one of the world’s leading centres for historical study and research. History at the LSE is consistently ranked amongst the top ten in the QS world university subject league tables, and in the top three in the UK and Europe.

 
Research Excellence Framework (REF): 78% of the Department’s research was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent

Founded in 1954, the department’s acknowledged and long-established research and teaching strengths are reflected in the breadth and range of its coverage from the early modern to the contemporary era. Our historians explore developments in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and the Americas making us an ideal place to study world history. We have experts on political, social, cultural, religious, intellectual, military, and transnational history. The department’s students enjoy access to staff who carry out pioneering research, putting them at the forefront of their fields, where they publish books and articles with some of the leading academic presses. Our students also benefit from the fact that the department is located at the centre of one of the most vibrant and cosmopolitan cities in the world. London is home to a wonderfully rich range of archives and libraries for any historian, and forms an exciting cultural and historical environment in which to work and study.

The department encourages debate and discussion of past events and historical controversies. Within an international framework its members explore such major subjects as the causes and conduct of wars; the crafting of peace settlements; the development of societies over time and their transnational connections; the emergence of empires and their governance; the rise of nationalism; the interactions between the state and religious beliefs; colonialism and decolonization; civil wars and insurgencies; the world wars of the twentieth century; and the development and ramifications of the Cold War. With a permanent academic staff of 27, around 190 postgraduate students, and 300 undergraduates, we are a large, diverse and welcoming Department, whose members are drawn from all over the world. We are committed to academic excellence and providing an absorbing learning environment for all our students, who we aim to give the fullest possible opportunity to fulfil their full potential.

Are you suited to the study of International History at LSE. Why should you study History?

Teaching and Research

The results of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), taking into account the proportion of its eligible staff submitted for assessment, ranked LSE History (Economic History and International History) sixth out of 83 submissions to the REF History panel for the percentage of its research outputs rated 'world leading '(4*) or 'internationally excellent' (3*), and ninth for its submission as a whole. On the basis of the combination of quality of publications and number of staff submitted, a measure of research power, LSE History ranks 4th in the UK. Find more information on LSE's impressive performance on the School's 2014 REF report.

The Department of International History is an ideal location for those wishing to explore world history. The courses offered, at both undergraduate and graduate levels cover a wide range of cultures and periods, and allow students to build upon and move beyond the nationally based histories normally taught at school and in many other universities.

The opportunities to study single countries in greater depth are thus flanked by the option of examining wider regions (the Middle East for example) or movements and trends which affect numerous countries (nationalism, the Cold War, European integration). Particular areas of expertise include Europe, the Middle East, Africa, China, India, Japan and the United States.

The Department's teaching builds upon a long-standing tradition and it retains the reputation as one of the leading world centres for the study of international history. The current staff have all built up a considerable expertise in one or more regions of the world, are actively involved in international research, and bring their knowledge and experience to bear in their teaching and their supervision.

 

Rankings

The Department of International History achieved excellent results in the 2017 National Student Survey (NSS). The overall satisfaction rating for undergraduate History degrees was 92%. Students recorded high levels of satisfaction with the courses and teaching on offer, making it one of the best performing history departments in the UK. The Department is confident that it can provide an excellent learning environment and a welcoming and supportive atmosphere for all of our students.

At the departmental level, the Guardian's University League Tables 2018 awarded History at LSE 9th place.

LSE History retained its 7th place in the independent Complete University Guide for 2018. LSE History ranked behind Cambridge, Durham, Oxford, Exeter, St. Andrews, and Warwick, but ahead of UCL, Birmingham and KCL, making it the top university for the study of History in London. The rankings of the Complete University Guide are based on student satisfaction, entry requirements, research excellence and employment prospects after graduation.

Both tables make clear that LSE history students continue to have one of the best rate of employability after graduation in the UK. In the case of the Complete University Guide, University League Table 2016, LSE is placed in 7th overall for job prospects. Guardian's University League Tables 2018, places History at LSE in 2nd.

The latest Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO) dataset, released by the UK’s Department for Education on 13 June, lists the “historical and philosophical studies” graduates at LSE the highest earners after 5 years. Out of all UK universities, for a cohort of male and female individuals, who graduated from LSE in 2008-09 in the field of historical and philosophical studies, their median salary was the highest at £42,200 after 5 years. The LEO pinpoints which universities produce the highest-earning graduates by subject area after they have been in the labour market for five years.

The Department of International History has consistently performed very well in the QS World University Rankings. In the QS World University History Subject Table for 2017, History at LSE ranked 7th overall in the world ahead of Princeton, Columbia and Chicago. In the UK and in  Europe, History at LSE ranked third, behind Cambridge and Oxford, but ahead of UCL, Leiden and KCL.