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Admissions information

  1. What are the entry requirements?
  2. Do you need a Graduate Record Examination (GRE)?
  3. How much will it cost?
  4. Does LSE have any scholarships or awards for PhD students?
  5. Can I join the Department's PhD tracks as part of my PhD study elsewhere?
  6. How can I find out more about the application process?
  7. How can I apply?


1. What are the entry requirements?

These are in three parts:

  • Academic qualifications
    The minimum entrance qualification required by the University of London for admission to the MPhil or PhD is a second class honours degree, but the School will normally expect candidates to have obtained at least an upper second class honours or qualifications of equivalent standard. All candidates are normally expected to have obtained a Masters degree at Distinction or Merit level.
  • Research proposal
    We require a research proposal to be submitted with the PhD application. The proposal should be of approximately 3,000 words. It should include a preliminary title and set of questions based on your identification of the key literature and current debates in the field, and a discussion of your proposed research approach.You should describe your motivation for selecting this particular topic for research and state why you think your proposed work will make a significant and original contribution to the field. We receive many high quality applications and in deciding on admissions, we consider how well your proposed research coincides with research in the Department. Please refer to the research interests of the Department and the individual research profiles of academic staff.  We also look favourably on candidates who can provide evidence of previous research through academic publications, conference activity or industry research reports.
  • Supervisory capacity in the Department
    Entry onto the doctoral programme will depend upon the availability of a faculty member to supervise the research.

2. Do you need a Graduate Record Examination (GRE)?

All applicants must have taken the GRE General Test| no more than five years before applying, and must include the test score with their application. This must show full and percentile scores for all three sections.

For details of how to take the test, see the ETS| website. The GRE has three sections: Verbal, Quantitative, Analytical. It is essential to familiarise yourself with the format of the test and the type of questions it asks. You are unlikely to score well if you take the test without preparing for it. So it is important to practise answering sample GRE test questions within the time allowed before you take the test. See the section on test preparation on the GRE| website.

3. How much will it cost? 

Please refer to the Table of fees website| for information on the cost of the PhD programme.

4. Does LSE have any scholarships or awards for PhD students?

The School's Financial Support Office| webpage has information on sources of funds for prospective graduate students. Admissions decisions are made on the basis of academic merit alone, without any reference to a student's financial situation. 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. The same procedures and standards apply to all students competing for entry.

You may also want to find out more about LSE PhD Studentships| for 2014 entry.

5. Can I join the Department's PhD track as part of my PhD study elsewhere?

Visiting research student (VRS) status allows research students at other universities to spend up to one academic session at the School at the discretion of the department/group concerned. A supervisor is assigned to every VRS, and you can take up to four full unit taught courses. Examinations are optional, and grades do not contribute towards a degree or diploma. A full transcript of studies can be produced at the end of the period of study.

Other graduate students may also seek registration as a VRS to take graduate level courses without the commitment of registering for a degree programme.

6. How can I find out more about the application process?

Please see the Graduate Admissions website|.

7. How can I apply?

You can apply online or by post|. We have compiled a guide on how to apply|.