Home > Department of International Relations > Frequently asked questions (FAQS) > FAQs for prospective MSc in International Political Economy (IPE) applicants

FAQs for prospective MSc in International Political Economy (IPE) applicants

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Questions

  1. Could you please send me information about your MSc IPE/MSc IPE Research programme?
  2. How do I apply online?
  3. Does the School or IR Department hold an Open Day for prospective MSc IPE/MSc IPE Research applicants?
  4. Will I be expected to attend an interview?
  5. Do I need to submit a writing sample with my application?
  6. What are the residency requirements for the course?
  7. What is the difference between the MSc IPE and MSc IPE Research?
  8. I am invited to give two MSc degree programme choices on the application form. Is it advisable to list the MSc IPE and the MSc IPE Research programmes separately, as choices 1 and 2, as I am really keen to be considered for the International Political Economy discipline?
  9. What qualifications are required for admission to the MSc IPE/MSc IPE Research?
  10. I don't have an educational background in IPE or a related discipline but I have a first-class degree in another field and have a keen interest in international political economy. Is it worthwhile my applying?
  11. I don't have an educational background in IPE but I have a first class degree in another field and have work experience in an IPE-related field. Is it worthwhile my applying?
  12. I have a poor first degree in IPE/related discipline, but I have an MSc in a different field. Is it worthwhile my applying?
  13. I have no academic background in International Political Economy or related disciplines but I do have IPE related work experience. Is it worthwhile applying?
  14. Do I have to sit the GRE or GMAT tests?
  15. Where can I find information about subjects available to study on the MSc IPE/MSc IPE Research programme?
  16. Are all courses that are listed in the Graduate Prospectus offered each year?
  17. I want to list MSc IPE/MSc IPE Research as my second choice. Will this damage my chances of admission?
  18. I applied last year and was rejected. What is the likelihood of succeeding with a second application?
  19. I would like to know more about how the IR Department and MSc IPE/MSc IPE Research programme operate. Where can I find such information?
  20. I would like to know more about the content of the compulsory course IR450 International Political Economy. Could you provide this?
  21. How much are the tuition fees?
  22. What are the methods of assessment?
  23. Am I required to be here after the exams finish?
  24. What is the difference between a half unit and a full unit course?
  25. Are there any scholarships available for those applying for the MSc IPE/MSc IPE Research?
  26. I would like to meet the selector or another member of the academic staff to find out more about the MSc IPE/MSc IPE Research programme. Can this be arranged?
  27. What is the deadline for MSc IPE/MSc IPE Research applicants?
  28. Can I apply to take the MSc IPE/MSc IPE Research part-time? If so, how long does it take and are lectures and seminars held in the evenings?
  29. What is the difference between the MSc IPE/MSc IPE Research and the MPhil/PhD?
  30. How do I apply for the MSc IPE/PhD programmes so as to be considered for Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funding, i.e. the 1+3 Research Studentship award?
  31. If I am accepted for the MSc IPE and then decide I would like to switch to the MSc IPE Research, or vice versa, will this be possible?
  32. If I am rejected for the MSc IPE/MSc IPE Research (e.g. because it is full) but am accepted for my second choice, will I be able to transfer to the MSc IPE/MSc IPE Research on arrival at the School?
  33. Is it possible to defer an offer of a place on the MSc IPE/MSc IPE Research to the following year?
  34. If I have a query about the application process, can I raise this with the Department instead of the School's Graduate Admissions Office?
  35. What is the difference between MSc IPE/MSc IPE Research and the MSc Global Politics?
  36. If my application is unsuccessful but I would like to reapply next year, how can I get feedback on why I was not accepted?

 


 

Answers

1. Could you please send me information about your MSc IPE/MSc IPE Research programme?

To request a hard copy of the Graduate Prospectus please visit the Graduate School Request A Prospectus page|.

To view information online please see the Graduate Admissions| or the Department of International Relations| website.

2. How do I apply online?

To apply online visit the Graduate Admissions 'Apply'| website.

3. Does the School or IR Department hold an Open Day for prospective MSc IPE/MSc IPE Research applicants?

The School holds an Open Evening| once a year, normally in early November, for those thinking of applying for graduate study. For further details please go to the Study at LSE website|.

4. Will I be expected to attend an interview?

No. Decisions are made on the basis of the application form, transcripts and references.

5. Do I need to submit a writing sample with my application?

No.

6. What are the residency requirements for the course?

For queries regarding School regulations, please contact the Student Recruitment Office|.

7. What is the difference between the MSc IPE and MSc IPE Research?

Please see the explanation given in the School's Graduate Prospectus|.

8. I am invited to give two MSc degree programme choices on the application form. Is it advisable to list the MSc IPE and the MSc IPE Research programmes separately, as choices 1 and 2, as I am really keen to be considered for the International Political Economy discipline?

No, this is not necessary. Our selectors look at applications for the MSc IPE and MSc IPE Research programmes en masse and do not differentiate between the two 'tracks'. You can apply for one programme and change to the other once you are here, as long as you do this fairly quickly so that you do not miss relevant teaching on the programme you finally choose. This will leave you free to choose a programme from another discipline as part of your application to the LSE if you so wish.

9. What qualifications are required for admission to the MSc IPE/MSc IPE Research?

We normally require an Upper Second class first degree (3.5 GPA) or equivalent in International Political Economy or a related discipline, e.g. History, Politics or Economics.

10. I don't have an educational background in IPE or a related discipline but I have a first-class degree in another field and have a keen interest in international political economy. Is it worthwhile my applying?

The fact that your undergraduate degree is not in IPE or a related discipline is a distinct disadvantage. Although we sometimes take on a few 'cross over' students in any given year, most of our students have backgrounds in relevant social science subjects. Acceptance for the MSc IPE course depends both on the quality of the application overall and on the demand for places in any given year. If you decide to apply, it would be advisable to explain what form your interest in international political economy takes.

11. I don't have an educational background in IPE but I have a first class degree in another field and have work experience in an IPE-related field. Is it worthwhile my applying?

The fact that your undergraduate degree is not in IPE or related discipline is a distinct disadvantage. Although we sometimes take on a few 'cross over' students in any given year, most of our students have backgrounds in relevant social science subjects. Acceptance for the MSc IPE course depends both on the quality of the application overall and on the demand for places in any given year. If you decide to apply, it would be advisable to explain the nature and extent of your IPE-related work experience.

12. I have a poor first degree in IPE/related discipline, but I have an MSc in a different field. Is it worthwhile my applying?

This would very much depend on how well you did in your MSc and whether you have any relevant experience in IPE. The fact that your first degree is poor will, however, undoubtedly, be a disadvantage.

13. I have no academic background in International Political Economy or related disciplines but I do have IPE-related work experience. Is it worthwhile applying?

Although relevant work experience is taken into account, your academic background will be considered of most relevance. However, if you feel you can make out a strong case, you may decide that it is worth applying.

14. Do I have to sit the GRE or GMAT tests?

No.

15. Where can I find information about subjects available to study on the MSc IPE/MSc IPE Research programme?

You will find a short description of each subject in the online Graduate Prospectus| . You could also look at the relevant IR-prefixed Graduate Course Guides| and view the introductory videos here|.

16. Are all courses that are listed in the Graduate Prospectus offered each year?

No - normally, one or two are 'Not Available' due to staff absences on sabbatical leave. We inform those who have been accepted for a place on the MSc IPE/MSc IPE Research about any courses that will not be running, via the FAQs for incoming students| and in a welcome letter sent in early summer.  

17. I want to list MSc IPE/MSc IPE Research as my second choice. Will this damage my chances of admission?

No. However, it is advisable to address fully why you wish to study IPE (albeit as a second choice) in your application statement.

18. I applied last year and was rejected. What is the likelihood of succeeding with a second application?

If you applied last year when the MSc IPE/MSc IPE Research programme was already full but you have the requisite qualifications, it may be worthwhile re-applying. As to the likelihood of your being accepted, this will depend on the quality and number of other applications. If you applied last year when the MSc IPE/MSc IPE Research programme was not full, it is unlikely that you would be successful second time around.

19. I would like to know more about how the IR Department and MSc IPE/MSc IPE Research programmes operate. Where can I find such information?

You may find the FAQs written for those accepted to the 2014/15 programme| of interest, though please note that some details may be subject to change for 2015/16.

20. I would like to know more about the content of the compulsory course IR450 International Political Economy. Could you provide this?

Please see the IR450 course guide| and the IR450 IPE lecture outline| [Word doc] which offers a breakdown of lecture topics offered during 2014/15. You can also watch the introductory video here|.  Please note that the content and sequence of the lecture programme may be subject to change.

21. How much are the tuition fees?

Please see the School's Tuition Fees webpages| for details.

22. What are the methods of assessment?

Apart from the 10,000 word Dissertation, the majority of subjects are assessed with an unseen examination during the Summer Term. However, some courses also require assessed essays, which account for a proportion of the final mark. Please see the relevant IR graduate course guides|.

23. Am I required to be here after the exams finish?

Your 10,000-word Dissertation has to be submitted on 1 September, or, if this falls at the weekend, on the first working day after 1 September. Once your exams have finished (exams usually take place during May and June) you are not required to stay in London as you can post your Dissertation to us to arrive by the deadline. But you should ensure you have the time and facilities to complete your dissertation.

24. What is the difference between a half unit and a full unit course?

A half unit runs in either Michaelmas Term or Lent Term. A full unit course runs through Michaelmas and Lent Terms. Two half units may be taken in place of one full unit with the approval of your academic adviser and the teachers responsible for the courses. In the IR Department we have a number of half unit courses listed under the MSc IR/IR Research degree regulations which MSc IPE students may apply to take under the provision 'a course from another programme' in the MSc IPE degree regulations.

25. Are there any scholarships available for those applying for the MSc IPE?

Please see the School's Financial Support Office| webpages for details.

26. I would like to meet the selector or another member of the academic staff to find out more about the MSc IPE/MSc IPE Research programme. Can this be arranged?

Given the popularity of the IR Department's taught MSc programmes, we do not unfortunately have the resources to meet prospective applicants.  However, the online Graduate Prospectus|, the Financial Support Office website|, and the IR Department's online FAQs for Prospective and Incoming Students| should address most concerns and enquiries.  If you have read these sources of information and still have an enquiry, please email international.relations.mscipe.appqueries@lse.ac.uk|

27. What is the deadline for MSc IPE/MSc IPE Research applicants?

There is no set deadline but as the programme is extremely popular, it is advisable to apply by early January to gain admission in the following September/October. Please check the availability of the programme on the Graduate Admissions website| before submitting an application.

28. Can I apply to take the MSc IPE/MSc IPE Research part-time? If so, how long does it take and are lectures and seminars held in the evenings?

We accept only a few part-time places in any given year. The part-time course takes two years. Part-time MSc IPE students normally take the compulsory paper, International Political Economy, and one option in year 1 and the second option and the 10,000-word Dissertation in year two. Part-time MSc IPE Research students normally take the compulsory papers, International Political Economy and Foundations of Social Research, in year 1 and an optional course and the 10,000-word Dissertation in year two. Lectures and seminars are normally held during the working day. However, as a part-time student, we would certainly be sensitive to your timetabling needs and where a choice of seminar groups exists, we would allocate you to one that was most convenient to you. Unfortunately, the Sessional Timetable is not normally finalised until a few weeks before the start of the session, so we are unable to answer questions about the likely spread of teaching over the academic year before you make an application. 

29. What is the difference between the MSc IPE/MSc IPE Research and the MPhil/PhD?

The MPhil/PhD is a research degree programme leading either to the MPhil or PhD. All our research students register initially for the MPhil but the vast majority are upgraded to the PhD. Occasionally, a student applies for the MPhil with no intention of going on to the PhD. Applicants to our MPhil/PhD research programme are normally expected to have an MSc qualification in IR or a related discipline. Please see our FAQ for prospective MPhil/PhD International Relations applicants| for further information about applying for the MPhil/PhD.

The MSc IPE/MSc IPE Research, by contrast, is a 12-month taught postgraduate degree course. Those wishing to go on to take a research degree after the MSc may find it useful to take the MSc IPE Research programme rather than the MSc IPE programme as the former includes a component of research training.

30. How do I apply for the MSc IPE/PhD programmes so as to be considered for Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funding?

Unfortunately the MSc IPE does not attract ESRC funding. 

31. If I am accepted for the MSc IPE and then decide I would like to switch to the MSc IPE Research, or vice versa, will this be possible?

Yes. You can register for the programme for which you were accepted and then switch programme once you arrive. However, this is only automatic between the MSc IPE and MSc IPE Research programmes. You must not accept an offer for the MSc IPE in the expectation of switching to another programme within the School (e.g. your first choice for which you have been turned down) once you arrive.

32. If I am rejected for the MSc IPE/MSc IPE Research (e.g. because it is full) but am accepted for my second choice, will I be able to transfer to the MSc IPE/MSc IPE Research on arrival at the School?

You would be most unwise to accept a second choice offer in the expectation of switching. This would only be possible if: (a) the MSc IPE/MSc IPE Research intake target was not met, which is not usual; (b) the selector was willing to accept you; and (c) your second choice department was prepared to release you.

33. Is it possible to defer an offer of a place on the MSc IPE/MSc IPE Research to the following year?

We expect applicants to apply in good faith to begin the course in the academic year indicated. However, if you are made an offer for 2015 entry and circumstances arise which result in your wishing to defer to 2016, you should write to Graduate Admissions at the point when you realise that you will not be able to take up the offer in 2015. Deferral is not automatic and will require the approval of the selector.

34. If I have a query about the application process, can I raise this with the Department instead of the School's Graduate Admissions Office?

No. All questions about the application process or status of your application should be directed to the Graduate Admission Office|.

35. What is the difference between the MSc IPE/MSc IPE Research and the MSc Global Politics?

Although the two programmes 'MSc in International Political Economy' and 'MSc in Global Politics' share certain options and are both concerned with the politics of globalisation, they are distinctive in their approaches and concerns. The MSc in International Political Economy is primarily concerned with the interaction of politics and economics in the world economy; it is based in the theories and paradigms that are central to International Political Economy (IPE) as a distinctive discipline, and these are the focus of its compulsory course. Its core options (Politics of Money in the World Economy, Politics of International Trade, Economic Diplomacy, IPE of the Environment, and Comparative Political Economy) are specifically tailored to fit with the IPE core course. The MSc in Global Politics has 'globalisation' as its central unifying theme, its core course is focused on arguments about how world politics are shifting from an 'inter-state' to a 'global' frame and it encompasses contributions from Political Science, Development Studies and International Relations.

36. If my application is unsuccessful but I would like to reapply next year, how can I get feedback on why I was not accepted?

If your academic background or first degree grades/predicted grades do not reach the standard noted in FAQs 9-13 above, we would discourage you from seeking feedback as this will undoubtedly form part if not all of the explanation for your rejection. We also have to turn away good candidates due to the popularity of the MSc IPE course, so you may fall into this category. Unfortunately, competition is fierce and detailed feedback is not possible.

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