Home > Department of International History > Degree Programmes > Masters Programmes > LSE-Peking University Double MSc in International Affairs

LSE-Peking University Double MSc in International Affairs

The LSE-PKU Double MScis a collaborative degree of International Affairs where students spend the first year at Peking University in Beijing and the second year at LSE in the UK. 

About the Programme

Organised jointly by LSE and Peking University, this double Masters degree offers an outstanding opportunity for graduate students and young professionals. The first year is spent at the School of International Studies at Peking University, studying the international relations of China and the Asia Pacific region. The second year is spent at LSE, studying the theory and history of global international relations. The programme offers the following benefits:

  • Experience a full academic programme in both China and Europe
  • While at LSE, take courses in both the International Relations Department and the Department of International History
  • Combine an empirical and a theoretical approach to contemporary international affairs
  • Study in small seminar groups of no more than 15 students
  • Engage at an advanced level with the latest academic research and undertake your own research-based term work and dissertations


LSE PKU Graduates

The programme provides an excellent preparation for careers in academia, business or consulting, government or international agencies, the media, politics and law.

Assessment is primarily by examination, although some courses also have an assessed course work component. The courses in London will be taught in English, while those in Beijing will be taught in Chinese or English, giving students a choice about which language they want to use for their study.  

Study Programme

At Peking University, students take a core course on Chinese Politics and Diplomacy and can select other courses among the wide variety on offer in the School of International Studies. Students can choose among courses taught in English and in Chinese. They complete the first year programme by writing and defending a dissertation on a topic relevant to their studies. The dissertation can be written in English or in Chinese.

At LSE, students take core courses in both the International Relations and the International History Departments, take a third course from the wide range of options offered by the two Departments, and complete the programme with a dissertation on a relevant topic in international history.Course assessment is by assessed coursework (in some courses) and by a final exam.

Please note that courses listed for study both at PKU and the LSE are subject to availability. More information on courses and their availability can be found in the Programme Regulations.



A two year full-time course. Students will spend the first year at PKU and the second year studying at LSE in London.

PKU Photo 1

How to Apply

All applicants apply via the LSE online application form. This includes applicants from the People's Republic of China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau and PKU students.

All applicants from Peoples Republic of China who do not have dual citizenship (i.e. do not hold a passport from another third country) must complete the National Entrance Examination for Postgraduate students in China. Applicants from Macau, Hong Kong, and Taiwan do not need to take the National Entrance Examination as stated in the paper version of the LSE-PKU prospectus. For further information about the National Entrance Examination for Postgraduate students in China and about the application process please contact Mr Zhang Chunping

All students who intend to take up this offer should contact LSE and PKU via email Grad.Dual.Degree@lse.ac.uk and xueyanfeng@pku.edu.cn to confirm their acceptance of a place on the programme.

* You must go to the PKU online application (pre-registration) system, fill in the PKU form, pay the pre-registration fee of CNY 400 online by 24 April 2017, then print out and sign the form and, together with TWO passport size photos and a copy of the passport page with name, post it to:

Ms. XUE Yanfeng,
Program Officer, B101
School of International Studies, Peking University,
No.5 Yiheyuan Road,
Beijing 100871,

The deadline for receipt of the required documents in hard copy is Friday 5 May 2017.

Please note that if you fail to complete the above mentioned registration with PKU and mail the required documents before the deadline, you will not be able to be enrolled by PKU for the year of 2017.
IMPORTANT - For this programme dual citizenship means you have a full passport of another country, aside from the passport, residence permit or identity card for the Peoples Republic of China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan.


  • Application code: V2IA check availability
  • Start date: Early September 2016 at PKU Beijing
  • Duration: 24 months full-time only. The first 12 months are spent in Beijing, the second at LSE
  • Intake/application in 2014: 22/109 
  • Minimum entry requirement: 2:1 in any discipline Entry Requirements
  • English requirement: Higher: IELTS 7.0 , TOEFL 627 (paper), 263 (cbt), 107 (ibt) Entry Requirements
  • GRE/GMAT requirement: None  

UK visa

If you are a non-EU, non-EEA or Swiss national, you will need a student visa. In order that you are able to apply for a visa, the LSE will issue you with a 'Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies' (CAS) number and statement after year one of the double degree. You will not be able to begin the visa application process until you receive this information. CAS numbers and statements will be issued by LSE and sent to you ONLY after Peking University has forwarded a Progression List to LSE, confirming names of students who have successfully completed year one of the course and have satisfied all progression requirements. The Progression List is forwarded to LSE around mid-July of year one of the programme. Further details on all aspects of the visa application process will accompany the CAS.

China Visa

All applicants from Peoples Republic of China who do not have dual citizenship (i.e. do not hold a passport from another third country) must complete the National Entrance Examination for Postgraduate students in China. Applicants from Macau, Hong Kong, and Taiwan do not need to take the National Entrance Examination as stated in the paper version of the LSE-PKU prospectus.

It is necessary for these students to contact the School of International Studies at Peking University before submitting an application to assess their eligibility for PKU.

For further information about the National Entrance Examination for Postgraduate students in China and about the application process please contact Mr Zhang Chunping.

IMPORTANT - For this programme dual citizenship means you have a full passport of another country, aside from the passport, residence permit or identity card for the Peoples Republic of China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan. Applicants from Macau, Hong Kong, and Taiwan do not need to take the National Entrance Examination of China.

Once they have accepted an offer of place in the Programme, successful applicants are required to complete the online PKU Pre-registration form. Applicants are also required to send to PKU a set of original application documents and pay a PKU registration fee.

Fee Levels

  • Year 1 at PKU (academic year 2013-14): 95,000 Yuan PKU fees
  • Year 2 at LSE (academic year 2014-15): £18,600

Financial Support

Applicants will automatically be considered for all LSE aid for which they are eligible, for more information please contact the Financial Support Office.

For other eligible scholarships, applicants should apply for these whilst in their first year at Peking before coming to LSE. In the case of the Law's Foundation scholarships (for Chinese resident nationals), we would treat them as if they were a first year to LSE and so would be eligible to apply for this scholarship while in their first year at Peking.

PLEASE NOTE: LSE is currently reviewing its postgraduate financial aid, so these arrangements are subject to change.

For a guide to other forms of financial support offered at the LSE and information about some of the more common sources of funding see LSE Financial Support.


As a student of the Double Degree Program, you will have access to two libraries of PKU, the SIS library and the PKU library. You can find your course readings, books and journals on international relations at the SIS library. However, the English collections are limited. The PKU library has considerable English collections on all the subjects of humanities and social sciences. Most of these are in the reading room of humanities and social sciences, the second floor. The reading room of the American Studies Center (5th floor) also has many books on International Relations and American politics.  You can borrow approximately 20 books from the two libraries. Do not forget to bring your PKU student ID card when you visit the libraries. The PKU library also subscribes many databases and electronic journals. However, if you live off campus at PKU it is difficult to use them. The LSE e-library is also available for electronic resources. If you are require further resources, the National Library of China is not far from campus.

Public Lectures

As the most prestigious academic institution in China, PKU holds many lectures everyday. Most of the speakers are scholars, senior officials, and business elites. Some lectures are given in English by speakers from overseas. However, the PKU website does not have English webpage on lecture information.

Student-Recommended Links

Departmental websites

London and UK Travel Information

PKU Links

Academic Sites

What Other People Say

Other Useful Information

The PKU International Student Orientation Guide provides a comprehensive explanation of the visa process, housing, banking and other student life issues, it is available in PDF format . The Student Handbook is available here.


For just over a century, Peking University has been the centre of research within China and remains China's top institution of higher learning. Students of the LSE-PKU programme engage in intense study of Chinese politics, history, and economics with a staff that is highly regarded amongst Chinese and international academics. The environment surrounding campus offers students ample locations for quiet study. Whether it is on the campus greens, the library, or in one of the many cafes located just outside of campus.

In the Peking University public lecture series, students can meet and learn from the world's greatest minds and political figures. Recent lectures have included Henry Kissinger, former US Secretary of Defense William Perry, New York Times' military correspondent, Michael Gordon, and historian Akira Iriye, Harvard Professor of international history.

Finding information with Beijing is rarely a problem. Students of the PKU-LSE program will study at the Peking University School of International Studies (SIS). To assist student research within the program, a portion of the library at SIS is designated specifically for the literature of the LSE-PKU program. In addition, the general Peking University library is the top university library in China. However, in the unlikely case that the resources at these libraries is not suitable, students are also allowed to use the National Library in the centre of Beijing in addition to the online resources of the London School of Economics.


Housing in Beijing depends greatly on the needs and preferences of the individual. The two options available for international students are on campus residences and private residences.

The residences at Peking University offer several choices for international students and differing price ranges. The quality of life within the residence depends on the cost of the room or suite you occupy per day. Students have the option of living in three residential scenarios: 1, a single room attached to either a larger common area that includes a kitchen, sitting room, and bathroom with two other residents; 2, a single room attached to a smaller common room with a kitchen and bathroom with one other resident; or, 3, a twin room that has a shared bathroom and kitchen with an entire floor.

Students who decide to live on campus find that there are many advantages to living at Peking University. The Peking University residences are slightly cheaper than private residences. Students often say that living close to lecture halls and the library afford them sufficient time to study. It is easier to get involved with campus events and activities, societies, clubs, and sports. Finally, living on campus in international student housing gives students the opportunity to experience the most beautiful and famous university in China and immerse themselves in the mix of international students from Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America.

Students who decide to live off campus find that they are closer to events and activities outside of campus, and gain a better perspective of what living in China is actually like. Beijing is increasingly becoming an international city and the foundation for future commerce, travel, and Chinese culture. Students can find fantastic apartments throughout the city that fit a student's budget.

Often times, these apartments are more spacious and contain many conveniences that on campus housing do not have. Most Peking University students live in Huaqingjiayuan-Wudaokou, a lively neighbourhood in the Haidan District. Most international students prefer Huaqingjiauan - Wudaokou because of its proximity to major subway stations and Peking University. Wudaokou is a short 30-minute walk from the West Gate of Peking University and taxis, and buses run back and forth from Wudaokou regularly. Rent runs tends to be around 3,000 - 4,000 RMB per month for a 1 person flat and 5,000-6,000 RMB for 2 to 3 person flats. If students are interested in living off campus, it would be best to consult the Time Out Beijing Website before coming to Beijing.

Another good website is The Beijinger. It is also suggested that if a student is not proficient in Mandarin, it would be best to have an interpreter to explain the terms of agreement associated with letting a private residence. The terms and conditions of renting an apartment may require detailed explanation as foreign students may not be familiar with Chinese contract law.

Social Life and Extracurricular Activities

Living in China opens a vast opportunity to experience the culture, interact with people, and travel throughout Asia. Previous LSE-PKU students have noted that the cohesion and interplay between students of international affairs and the rich international exposure they can receive has had a great influence on their lives while living in Beijing.

On a daily basis, students can engage in Chinese cultural traditions as well as the activities of their home country due to the mix of students and expatriates that call Beijing home. Peking University has many clubs and organizations that combine fun and personal growth. Clubs and organizations are a great way to make friends and practice Mandarin in real life situations.

Students of the program have been highly successful in obtaining internships, both a paid and unpaid in business, multinational organizations, and non-profit organizations. Furthermore, students have used their time in Beijing to conduct personal research on development, poverty, the environment, and the 2008 Olympic Games.

Travel within Asia is a preferred past time of students during holiday breaks. Popular destination points include: the Himalayas, the Silk Road, North and Southeast Asia, and many other destinations within China. In the words of one student: "It is a place of both cohesion and contradiction. Its is a dynamic country that falls under one time zone, and yet every experience and interaction for me remains timeless."

The Wikitravel gives advice on food, nightlife and shopping at Wudaokou ( 五道口), which is an excellent area for bars and restaurants, and is right next to the PKU campus.

The Beijinger is also a useful resource.

The LSE-PKU Double Degree now has a Facebook group forum for student discussions and feedback. Please join LSE PKU Facebook Student and Alumni Network.

Please email if you would like to contact past and current students of the Programme.


Beijing is home to many branches of the banks you may already use in your home countries. Deutchesbank, Citibank, and HSBC have several branches scattered around the city. This allows students to keep track of their spending while skipping out on the fees that would have accumulated with other card issuers.

There are branches of each of these banks within walking distance from campus. Other students recommend Bank of China as there is a branch right outside the southwest gate of campus and setting up an account is easy. A Bank of China account may have additional benefits when it comes to paying tuition.


Public transportation from Peking University to the city centre has never been problematic, but it surely brings one closer to Beijing's 15 million citizens. The Beijing subway has recently been expanded to accommodate the city's growing population and make the city more accessible for foreign visitors.

This is expansion includes a stop just outside of the Peking University campus (soon to be completed). The subway, however, may feel claustrophobic at times. To get away from this experience, taxis are an excellent alternative and in China they fit a student's budget.
Beijing International Airport is only an hour away from campus by taxi and has daily flights to nearly all destinations in the world.

This is a great advantage for students travelling back to their home countries or visiting other destinations around the world. That taxi fare from Peking University to the Airport will cost about 100 RMB.


China is known for it's vast cuisine. So much so that a common greeting in China is: "Have you eaten?" The cafeterias on campus serve a wide variety of food, not only from various parts of China, but also from many different countries around the world. One could quite easily enjoy a different cuisine every night of the week.

The on campus food tends to be rather inexpensive, but that could be said of most restaurants throughout China in general. In the neighbourhoods surrounding Peking University there are many restaurants to choose from and all at reasonable prices. Eating out in Beijing for students tends to be the norm rather than the exception due to how inexpensive it is.

The Wikitravel websitegives advice food, nightlife and shopping at Wudaokou ( 五道口), which is an excellent area for bars and restaurants, and is right next to the PKU campus.

Studying at LSE during the Second Year

For information about life at the LSE, please see the LSE New and Current Students Website.

Information on visas can be found here on the Admissions & Visa tab on this page.