Research Students

Welcome to our MPhil/PhD Programme

The Department's hallmarks are friendliness and a supportive environment for all our members. You are joining a Department with a strong focus on the mathematics of the Social Sciences; it is well known for its research excellence and plays a key role within the School, providing expertise in mathematics related to quantitative social sciences such as Accounting, Economics, Finance, Decision Science and Statistics. No matter, therefore, what your chosen field of specialisation, your time at LSE will open up to you wider and ever-more inspiring intellectual vistas.

Please note: the comprehensive account of this programme can be found in the MPhil/PhD Mathematics Handbook

For prospective or future PhD applicants, please see here.


Key Information

Taught Courses

All students registering for a programme of study leading to a PhD begin under MPhil registration. The opportunity to upgrade this registration to PhD typically comes in the second year.

During their first year, all Mathematics PhD students are required to attend four appropriate taught courses:

  • London Taught Course Centre for PhD students in the mathematical sciences - the centre offers courses in Pure Mathematics, Applied Mathematics and Statistics
  • London Graduate School in Mathematical Finance - a consortium providing a programme of advanced courses in mathematical finance
  • LSE Department of Mathematics’ MSc course modules
  • graduate course modules from a related LSE department

Student choices are, of course, dependent on the focus of their research and are agreed with their supervisor in advance of registration.  Some taught courses have associated examinations whilst others are assessed by attendance only.


Alongside their studies, our research students are strongly encouraged to attend and participate in the the Department's seminar series. These include the Seminar on Combinatorics, Games and Optimisation (MA500) and the Joint Risk and Stochastics and Financial Mathematics Seminar.  In addition to those seminars organised within the department, we also co-host a joint seminar series with several other London-based universities entitled The London Mathematical Finance Seminar, details of which can be found on the London Graduate School in Mathematical Finance's website.

We also host seminars aimed specifically at research students.  The PhD Seminar on Combinatorics, Games and Optimisation is designed for students working in Discrete Mathematics, Algorithms, Game Theory and Probability Theory whilst the Financial Mathematics Reading Group (MA501) is aimed at those studying the field of Financial Mathematics.  Students are expected to attend all sessions of the relevant seminar and to contribute talks on their current research during the year. Although the two seminar series have a different focus, students are encouraged to attend talks at both whenever possible.  Other PhD events are held throughout the year, where students are encouraged to present and chair sessions.

PhD Students' Portal

The PhD Students' Portal is an information gateway for MPhil and PhD students at LSE. It provides details about central development and training courses, and links to a range of other information relevant to PhD students across the School.

LSE PhD Academy

The PhD Academy is a dedicated space and services hub for doctoral candidates studying at LSE, guiding them from registration to graduation and providing valuable academic professionla development.  All information surrounding regulations, visas, and changes to registraton can be found here.

PhD Staff Student Liaison Committee

This important Committee meets once a term, providing a forum for feedback from students on their programme and for discussion of issues which affect the student community as a whole. The role of an SSLC representative is central to effective quality assurance of courses and programmes in the School; representatives will be provided with training.

Other useful services


Vitae is an organisation for the personal, professional and career development of doctoral researchers and research staff.

Child Care Services

LSE offers day child care services at its LSE Day Nursery in Wild Street. 

LSE Disability and Wellbeing Service

This is the first point of contact for disabled students, both before arrival at LSE and throughout their time here. They have experts in long term medical/ health conditions, physical disabilities and sensory impairments, mental health and specific learning difficulties (such as Dyslexia). They are available for advice and guidance, and can put in place Inclusion Plans (IPs) and help with Individual Examination Adjustments.  Find out more here.

LSE Student Counselling Service

This is a free and confidential service for all students, offering one to one appointments, drop in sessions and group based support on issues such as stress management and selfesteem. Find out more here.

LSE Peer Support

This service enables students to talk confidentially to a fellow student about anything that is troubling them. Located in halls of residence and on campus, the Peer Supporters are a group of specially selected and trained students who help their peers to find their own solutions. Find out more here

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find out when and where lecture, seminar and research workshops are held?

Timetabling is undertaken by the School rather than by Departments and the Module Timetable is available online (see LSE Teaching and Timetables) shortly before teaching begins.

When will I be able to transfer from MPhil to PhD registration?

Students are normally upgraded from MPhil status to the PhD degree by the Doctoral Programme Director and their supervisor by the end of their second year.