How can I apply?
Please read the programme description and the frequently asked questions below, before proceeding. When you are ready to apply, go to the Graduate Admissions webpages and click through to the online application system, where you will be prompted to select your chosen programme of study and submit your information.
When is the deadline for applications?
Applications are on an annual basis. The deadline to apply is in early January. The exact date each year is published on the programme page.
Please note that applications are not sent to the Department unless they are complete. Missing items (such as references) will delay consideration of your application and may result in your application being rejected due to supervision no longer being available. You are strongly advised to contact your referees well in advance and ask them to submit their letters of support as soon as possible. All application documents must be submitted through LSE Graduate Admissions and cannot be accepted directly by the Department.
What is the minimum entrance requirement?
The minimum requirement is a very good pass in a Master’s degree (preferably in a social science discipline). A very good pass is considered to be 65% or above, or about a 3.5 GPA in the US system. (See our international requirements page to find out what the equivalent is for other international qualifications.) However, competition is high and most admitted students have high passes or Firsts in their undergraduate degrees and Distinctions in their Masters (equivalent to better than 3.8 GPA). Outstanding candidates with substantial relevant professional experience may also be considered, provided they meet the minimum academic requirements.
Is a Master’s degree a pre-requisite for the programme?
Yes. To be considered for entry, prospective applicants must either have a Master’s degree or be working towards one.
I am doing my Master’s now. Can I still apply if some of my marks are pending?
You can submit your application and be considered while your marks and Master’s qualification are still pending. However, if you are offered a place at LSE, this will be conditional on having been awarded your Master’s by the programme start date.
I already have an MRes or MPhil degree. Will I be allowed to skip the MRes year?
It is very unlikely that this would be allowed.
Do I need to have a supervisor "on board" prior to making an application?
It is not essential to have a prior agreement from a supervisor prior to making an application. All applications are assessed on merit and we try to find supervision for outstanding candidates. However, if you have had contact with a potential supervisor, this should be mentioned in your application.
It is good to have a look at the LSE International Development staff profiles as this will help to assess whether we are the right department for you.
Must my application be accompanied by a research proposal?
Applications will only be considered if accompanied by a research proposal. We do not set a hard word limit but we advise that your research proposal should be approximately 2,000 words. Please don't panic about the length of your personal statement or research proposal. The guidance on the word count is there to help you focus your proposal, and not intended to penalise applicants.
What should the research proposal include?
The research proposal should have a descriptive title to enable us to identify the broad theme of the project quickly. If you have discussed your research proposal with a member of the Department of International Development, this should also be mentioned at the beginning of the proposal.
A good research proposal should actively engage with the relevant academic literature, including an introduction to the research question and a discussion of the current theoretical and methodological debates to which the proposed research will contribute. MRes students will be expected to significantly deepen and develop their research proposal during the first year of the programme, so they are not strictly tied to this original topic. Nevertheless, we take the submitted proposal seriously as an indication of a candidate's suitability for PhD level research.
How can I make sure that my other supporting documents fit the requirements?
Please use the supporting documents page online to ensure that you provide the right information as part of your application. This includes guidance on your sample of written work, personal statement, CV, research proposal and references.
How can I meet LSE’s English Language Requirements?
Please see here for information on how to meet LSE’s English language requirement.
If you do need to submit English Language test scores, you can either take the test now (and submit the scores before applying), or you can apply without the scores and submit them later on (i.e., after receiving an offer of a place, but prior to enrollment). If you do it the second way, and you’re made an offer of a place on the programme, then your place would be conditional on passing the test at the required level.
Is financial support available?
The Department of International Development is able to nominate a number of promising applicants for ESRC funding (UK/EU only) or LSE PhD Studentship funding (all). Please be aware that competition for these awards is very high.
If you receive an offer of a place on our programme, the Programme Manager will explain the process in more detail.
Students who submit their completed application to the MRes/PhD International Development by the deadline in early January will be considered for any funding for which they are eligible. There is no separate application form you need to complete for the funding.
More details on funding are available on the LSE’s Funding webpages.
Who can I contact for further information?
Please look at the Graduate Admissions webpages for information on submitting your application. Please note that applications and supporting documents should not be sent directly to the Department.
For queries about the programme, please email the PhD Programme Manager, Nina Craven, on email@example.com.