PhD programme

From the world to the lab and back again.

LSE is one of the world's leading social science research and teaching centres, and our department produces innovative and cutting-edge research in social psychology and behavioural science.

The PBS PhD programme is a vibrant research community, with about 30 PhD candidates working closely with academic faculty on a range of topics in social psychology and behavioural science.


Application process

We suggest that you make informal enquiries and engage with a potential supervisor at the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Sciences prior to making your application for the MPhil/PhD course.   

Please see below for details of the selection process:

Your application will first be screened by the Research Degrees Programme Director to ensure it includes;

(i) a good and relevant social science Master’s degree.  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.
(ii) a coherent proposal that is of relevance to a member of staff in the department.

If your application meets the criteria above, it will be forwarded to the relevant member of staff for consideration.  If it does not meet these criteria, or if the relevant member of staff is not available, your application will be returned to the Graduate Admissions Office, who will inform you of this as soon as possible.

If you meet the course criteria and a suitable supervisor is available, you will be invited to interview with them and other relevant members of the department.  Following this, you will be contacted with the outcome of your interview.  

Nominations for funding:

The academic offer of a place does not guarantee funding from LSE, but all candidates who submit and are accepted to the PhD programme before the studentship  deadlines can be considered for a departmental nomination for an LSE PhD Studentship. Applications are nominated by the department for LSE funding through an independent process. The studentship deadlines can be found on the Graduate Admissions pages. 

More information

Programme structure

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) , Psychology of 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.

More information

Research facilities

To facilitate and encourage your research, all PBS PhD candidates are provided with the tools they need to design, conduct, and analyse their research. This includes:

  • Computers and a work space in our department offices

  • Access to quantitative and qualitative analytical tools

  • Acces to the LSE library, one of the world's foremost Social Science resources, and to a large number of digital databases

  • Access to observation and audio-visual suite

  • Video-capture for multimedia application

  • Computer assisted telephone interviewing

  • Rooms and a computer lab for conducting experiments

Our department works closely with the Behavioural Research Lab, which is part of the LSE Management Department and provides some of these research facilities.

Contact us

Rebecca Lee 
PhD Programme and Events Coordinator
Department contact for issues relating directly to PhD study
+44 (0)20 7955 75113



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Contact us


For issues relating directly to PhD study +44 (0)20 7955 7700


For issues relating to PhD study


Address View on Google maps, Department of Psychological and Behavioral Science, 3rd Floor, Queens House, 55/56 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3LJ

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