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Employment Relations and Human Resources track


As a world-class and research-led Department of Management ranking #2 in our field, our new PhD programme is an integral part of the academic environment at LSE, producing doctoral graduates of the highest quality. We are also very proud to be ranked #1 in the UK for research in business and management (REF 2014) whose academic research impacts on key social challenges in business and policy across the globe.

You will work closely with a number of international and world-class faculty members as well as a vibrant doctoral community of 30 students, all pursuing varied research in different fields of management. The programme includes a comprehensive range of methodological training and seminars in specific research areas and you will also have the opportunity to specialise in a designated field.

PhD programme applications are now closed for 2017/18. We will be introducing an amended structure for 2018/19, and will update our website in due course.

Track overview

The Employment Relations and Human Resources track is situated in the internationally recognised Department of Management. Since the pioneering work of LSE’s founders in 1895, the School has had a strong tradition of research on working conditions, industrial efficiency and trade unions. It is grounded in LSE’s core principles of theoretical understanding and critical analysis. Students on this programme will establish a core understanding of the operation of HR functions and employment relations systems in organisational contexts, spanning national and cultural borders.

Members of the Employment Relations and Human Resources faculty group draw on the fields of economics, law, political science, psychology, and sociology to conduct theory-driven and applied research in a diverse range of industry and workplace settings. Research areas include teams, work organisation and employee participation, conflict management and dispute resolution , rewards, and international labour migration. 

Programme structure

We are ranked #2 in the world for social science and management, and the Employment Relations and Human Resources track is founded in LSE’s tradition for academic excellence. 

The degree is structured in a 2+4 format, with a 2 year MRes developing your research skills, followed by a 4 year PhD conducting your own research project.

In the first two years you will take a series of core courses based in the Methodology department to develop an essential foundation of knowledge in the core research skills you will need to be successful on the PhD programme. You will also take a number of core and elective discipline-based courses in a range of topics across LSE and the University of London to suit the specialisation of your choice. 

You will be supported when pursuing your research interests through face to face interactions with your supervisor, but also through research seminars which provide the opportunity to discuss and debate your research interests. 

Employment Relations and Human Resources courses

  • MG576: Corporate Social Responsibility and International Labour Standards (0.5 units)  This course examines the human resource management (HRM) and employment relations (ER) strategies of global corporations, with the aim of understanding both the causes of different strategic choices and the consequences of these strategies for diverse stakeholders. It takes the perspective that HRM/ER strategies are influenced by a range of variables, including internal business strategy and resources, as well as external factors such as national legislation, business systems and culture, and regional and global institutions.
  • MG577: Reward Systems: Key Models and Practices (0.5 units) This course examines central issues pertinent to the theory and practice of Human Resource Management (HRM). It introduces students to a range of theoretical perspectives which underpin the ways in which organisations manage the employment relationship through the deployment of HRM strategy and policy. From a practice perspective, it reviews challenges involved in the design, implementation and evaluation of both overall HRM strategy and specific practice areas. In this respect we review HR policy and practice in the areas of recruitment and selection, training and development, job redesign, engagement, retention and attrition, employee relations, conflict and voice, pay and rewards, performance management and appraisal, and strategic HRM.
  • MG578: Globalisation and Human Resource Management  (0.5 units) This course examines the human resource management (HRM) and employment relations (ER) strategies of global corporations, with the aim of understanding both the causes of different strategic choices and the consequences of these strategies for diverse stakeholders. It takes the perspective that HRM/ER strategies are influenced by a range of variables, including internal business strategy and resources, as well as external factors such as national legislation, business systems and culture, and regional and global institutions.
  • MG599: Research Paper in Management A research paper, between 5,000 and 10,000 words, related to the student's designated major field, to be submitted mid-way through the summer term.


Supervision and assessment

Students who pass all of the second year courses are awarded an MRes in Management and those who meet the progression standard are upgraded to PhD registration from year three.


Successful applicants will be supervised by the PhD Director of the stream for the duration of the MRes period.

During the MRes period you will have the opportunity to meet and discuss your research interests with a range of faculty members to help ensure you have the right fit with your supervisor for your PhD. This is designed to expose you to various faculty members within the academic group on a rotation basis and also to provide a more integrated experience where you will have the chance to develop their ideas with junior faculty.

Unfortunately faculty members are unable to comment on your eligibility without viewing your full application file first. However,  If you have any questions regarding your application contact the Department of Management PhD Office at dom.phd.enquiries@lse.ac.uk and we will be best able to assist you from there. 


LSE is ranked #5 in the world for its reputation with employers (QS ranking 2016) and the MRes/PhD in Management is an excellent platform to kick start your career.  You will develop advanced analytical and research skills as well as an in depth insight into markets and organisations.

Students who successfully complete the programme often embark on an academic career in top universities such as UCL, Copenhagen Business School and California State University. Recent doctoral graduates have also gone into careers at companies such as JP Morgan, EY and McKinsey. 

Assessing your application 


We welcome applications which complement the academic interests of members of staff at the School, and we recommend that you investigate staff research interests before applying via our experts portal

We carefully consider each application on an individual basis, taking into account all the information presented on your application form, including your:

  • Academic achievement (including existing and pending qualifications)
  • Personal statement
  • References
  • CV
  • GRE/GMAT (not required but a strong score may boost your application)
  • Outline research proposal
  • Sample of written work

You may also have to provide evidence of your English proficiency. You do not need to provide this at the time of your application to LSE, but we recommend that you do. See our English language requirements for further information.

Minimum entry requirements

The minimum entry requirement for this programme is a 2:1 degree or equivalent in any discipline.

We do not require a GMAT/GRE score for this programme but a strong score would benefit your application.

Competition for places at the School is high. This means that even if you meet our minimum entry requirement, this does not guarantee you an offer of admission.

Fees and Funding 

Every graduate student is charged a fee for their programme. The fee covers registration and examination fees payable to the School, lectures, classes and individual supervision, lectures given at other colleges under intercollegiate arrangements and, under current arrangements, membership of the Students' Union. It does not cover living costs or travel or fieldwork.

Tuition fees

The fees listed below are for 2017 entry:

UK/EU students £4,224 [provisional EU]

Overseas students £17,208

Fee Reductions and Rewards

The School currently offers a range of early payment rewards for all self-financed students based on when payments are received by the School. Please refer to the Fees Office website for information for 2017 entry.

Fee Status

The amount of tuition fees you will need to pay, and any financial support you are eligible for, will depend on whether you are classified as a home (UK/EU) or overseas student, otherwise known as your fee status. LSE assesses your fee status based on guidelines provided by the Department of Education. Further information can be found on our fee status classification page.

Scholarships, Bursaries and Loans

The School recognises that the cost of living in London may be higher than in your home town or country. LSE provides over £11 million annually in financial support for it's graduate students via a range of awards. In addition, there are other sources of financial support available for UK/EU and overseas students. 

The School  offers 63 full scholarships for new PhD students. The scholarships cover fees and living expenses of up to £18,000 each year for four years. They are available to all students undertaking full-time research in any LSE discipline, with annual renewal, subject to satisfactory academic performance at the School. 

Each academic department will be allowed to nominate a limited number of candidates for the awards.  Awards will be made by a Panel representing different academic disciplines within the School. The awards are made solely on outstanding academic merit and research potential. This relates not only to your past academic record, but also to an assessment of your chosen topic and to your likely aptitude to complete a PhD in the time allocated.

As a requirement of the studentship scholars must contribute to their academic department as part of their research training, by providing teaching or other work in their department, usually from their second year onwards.

There is no need to apply separately for these awards. Selection will be based on the PhD application to the School.

The School's Financial Support Office has information on sources of funds for prospective graduate students. Students who are able to fund themselves or succeed in securing a scholarship or sponsorship from any source will be considered for entry to the programme in exactly the same way as students who have no funding in place.

LSE Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Doctoral Training Centre Scholarships

Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the LSE Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) is housed in the new PhD Academy in LSE's prestigious Library building.

The LSE DTC supports a minimum of 36 studentships a year, selected within LSE and awarded under the terms set by the ESRC. Each studentship is available to UK and EU students, and is tenable for three or four years, depending on the programme of study and subject to satisfactory academic performance. It covers full fees (UK and EU level) and an annual stipend, which for 2015 was £16,057. LSE provides a separate stipend award for any EU students selected who do not meet the ESRC eligibility criteria for a full award. This is assessed and set up automatically as part of the award process.

Funding can cover one year's research training Master's linked to a three year PhD, two year MRes linked to two years of study or a three year PhD programme. Each academic department is responsible for nominating students for funding. Please visit esrc.ac.uk and our Financial Support Office for further information on ESRC eligibility and postgraduate funding opportunities.

LSE's DTC covers all economics and social science research programmes within the School, and awards are spread across departments. LSE has a steer from the ESRC towards economics based subjects, research involving quantitative methods and interdisciplinary programmes.

There is additional DTC funding available during the research programme to support difficult language training, field work, overseas institutional visits (in particular to partner institutions in Africa and Asia), and collaborative opportunities.

Leverhulme Trust Scholarships

LSE is offering six prestigious Leverhulme Trust Doctoral Scholarships for PhD study in any department whose research addresses "The Challenge of Escalating Inequalities". The scholarships are available to UK and EU students. Applicants will apply in the normal way for an MRes/PhD or MPhil/PhD, ensuring that their research proposal details their interest in this area of research. Scholars will be affiliated to LSE's International Inequalities Institute.

The scholarships cover a full fee at UK/EU level plus a stipend at Research Council rates which are published in early 2016 (£16,057 for 2015). They are three year awards, renewable each year subject to satisfactory progress. 

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