Masters Programmes

The LSE was founded in 1895 originally as an institute of higher education for graduate students. The Department of International History reflects this tradition and takes its responsibility for graduate teaching and research supervision very seriously. We admit nearly as many MA students as undergraduates, with a critical mass of graduates usually numbering over a hundred in a year. Consequently our graduates never feel on the margins of the department or an after-thought which often can be the case at some other London institutions geared more for undergraduate teaching. We have one of the most cosmopolitan graduate communities in London and for international history in the UK and it is therefore one of the most vibrant and dynamic. You will have use of our library, famous for being the best university library in London. In addition, we have an IT network and training facilities that are acknowledged to be leading the field.

The department offers a number of established and well-respected taught programmes which give students a range of core and specialist topics, the latter enabling our staff to teach topics which form their current research projects (which also saves you money as you don't have to buy the book later on!).

Graduate students in the Department of International History have a research seminar with guest speakers and there are guest lectures. We organize a weekend away at Cumberland Lodge, Great Windsor Park once a year. This is designed to enable graduates to get to know each other better and to develop their ideas about a particular topic. Additionally throughout the year, students can take advantage of the great LSE tradition of inviting famous (and infamous) figures from the world of politics, business, media and international affairs. Please see LSE Public Lectures and Events. This helps make the LSE a particularly fertile and exiting place to be studying international history. There is an almost bewildering range of societies and clubs engaging with international politics, single issues, the 'third world', social justice problems or just dedicated to sport, music, dance and a whole range of pursuits which we lecturers haven't got a clue about. We have a gym and squash courts on site and one of the largest student shops on campus. There is also a large student bookshop owned by Waterstone's selling new and used books.

We are very fortunate at the LSE in being so centrally located in the capital. We are in walking distance of the British Library, Covent Garden, the Royal Courts of Justice, the British Museum, the National Gallery, the West End theatres as well as Trafalgar Square, the Barbican, Buckingham Palace, River Thames and the London Eye. Much of our graduate accommodation is located in prime real-estate sites in central London. Our graduate students can take advantage of all the intellectual resources that this capital is home to, including the National Archives south of the river at Kew and the world's largest newspaper archive in North London. Not surprisingly our students are able to produce dissertations of the highest quality benefiting from such easy access to a range of primary sources and people willing to help.

The Department offers the following masters programmes:

MSc Empires, Colonialism and Globalisation
MSc History of International Relations
MSc Theory and History of International Relations
LSE-Columbia University Double MSc in International and World History
LSE-Peking University Double MSc in International Affairs

MSc Empires, Colonialism and Globalisation, run jointly with the Government Department, focuses on the phenomenon of imperialism.

MSc History of International Relations is the Department's most popular master's programme and is intended for those seeking a taught graduate programme in history at its most international. It also caters for a wide variety of students, including those who have studied history at an undergraduate level and those who are making the transition from related subjects such as political science, modern languages, economics, law or journalism.

MSc Theory and History of International Relations is a joint degree with the International Relations Department which allows students to sample courses in both departments. Those taking the programme therefore gain a feel for both international relations theory, taught by leading experts in the field, and recent international history. This gives students a chance to understand and appreciate both the theoretical and the empirical approach to the study of international relations.

LSE-Columbia University Double Degree in International and World History asks students to explore our world by studying the forces that have been remaking it: migration, trade, technological revolutions, epidemic disease, environmental change, wars and diplomacy.

Working with preeminent historians in the field, students will analyse large-scale historical processes, pursue empirical research, and produce their own comparative and cross-cultural histories.

The study of international and world history - as opposed to the study of the exclusive histories and historiographies of individual countries - is an emerging field of research that is slowly changing our perspectives on the development of politics and societies. These developments are seen as inseparably linked to the movement of people and ideas back and forth across oceans and territories.

The LSE - Columbia University Double Degree in International and World History draws on the faculties of two of the world's leading centres of international affairs, which have the expertise and commitment to provide the training and skills needed. It offers close contact in seminars and colloquia with mentors in different intellectual and cultural settings in two global cities.

LSE-Peking University Double MSc in International Affairs, organised jointly by LSE and Peking University, is an innovative double MSc degree that offers an outstanding opportunity for graduate students and young professionals. The first year is spent at the School of Government at Peking University, with a focus on public policy and administration in China and the Asia Pacific region. The second year is spent at LSE, studying public policy and administration. It offers the following benefits:

- Gaining insights into public policy and administration in two very different countries.
- Combining an empirical and a theoretical approach to public policy and administration.
- Studying in small seminar groups of no more than 15 students.
- Obtaining two MSc degrees through studying at the best universities in the social sciences in China and in Europe.
- Engaging at an advanced level with the latest academic research and undertaking your own research-based term work and dissertation.
- A good preparation for further research work or for a career in education, public administration or the private sector.

Each graduate student is supported by an Academic Advisor who they meet at least twice a term - as many times as need be - to discuss any aspect of their life at the LSE. The Advisor is the first point of contact if you have any worries about your time in London. The Department also has a Masters Programme Tutor, Dr Heather Jones, who oversees the Graduate programme and he is also available to meet students. Graduates can also approach the Postgraduate and Research Programme Manager, Mrs Nayna Bhatti. Finally, there are graduate representatives on School committees and the Graduate Staff-Student Committee and we value their input.

The Department of International History is committed to the idea that graduate teaching should be done in small groups. In order to meet this commitment, and to ensure that students can work with their teachers in an environment where real dialogue and interchange is possible, the number taking some courses does have to be controlled. This means that it becomes very important to indicate in advance to the Department what options the incoming students wish to take.

In June, provisional course choice forms are sent to students to complete and return to the Department. Using these provisional course choice forms, the Masters Programme Tutor will calculate how many students each optional course is likely to have. If numbers indicate that more than one group is likely to be needed for any option, the Department will make every effort to secure the necessary extra teaching capacity. This system can only work with the co-operation of incoming students. If a student fails to return their provisional course choice form in good time, the Department will be unable to assure them of a place on their preferred courses.


Further information:

For more details on the graduate course of study, please consult the relevant sections of the LSE Calendar.