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Frequently asked questions

This page contains answers to some frequently asked questions about the PhD Management programme. Click below to jump to a specific topic:


Why is the course called MPhil/PhD?

In the University of London all PhD students are registered initially for an MPhil (Masters in Philosophy). A student is registered as a PhD student when they have demonstrated that they are progressing well in their research. This is called the upgrade process. In the Department of Management, successful upgrade is dependent on passing the first year modules with Merit as well as the submission of a research proposal for formal assessment by the faculty.

What about supervision?

You will be assigned a supervisor when you enter the programme. In addition, when you are preparing your materials for consideration for upgrading from MPhil to PhD student status, you will be assigned two assessors who will read that material and judge your progress. Normally one of those two will then continue to act as your second supervisor. They will be available to you for informal consultations and be prepared to take over supervision if, for example, your supervisor takes sabbatical leave. Some students make formal arrangements for dual supervision, either with two members of the Group their track is within the Department, or with someone from another department.

How can I prepare myself for entry into the doctoral programme?

The most important thing is to understand what it means to enter a life of scholarship. This means that you should prepare yourself mentally to focus your attention on your research, be ready to write constantly, and engage in critical analysis. Before entering the programme you will need a background in research methods in the social sciences and be familiar with the basic philosophical and conceptual issues which doctoral students need to ponder. Before entering the PhD programme, you should also have developed a research proposal. For more details please see the entry requirements webpage.

What kind of career opportunities can I expect after I complete my PhD?

Our graduates generally enter academic institutions or are engaged in some other research career. Some enter business, including consulting companies, but they generally have less opportunity to continue their research interests.

Most graduates of the doctoral programme engage in job searches in universities in their home countries and/ or North America. Currently the job market is strong with many opportunities especially for those who are able to combine good research using interesting theoretical approaches with an ability to teach undergraduate and/ or MBA courses.

What is required of me to successfully complete a PhD?

Deep interest, stamina, and love of scholarship are the minimum requirements. The doctorate is awarded on the basis of a completed thesis that has been passed by examiners, one of whom is external and one internal to the LSE. There is no other formal requirement, but before you are allowed to submit your thesis for examination you must have been upgraded from the status of an MPhil student to that of a PhD student, which takes place in your second year.   

What is the structure of the programme?

Please see the Programme Overview webpage for individual tracks and course details.

Why do I have to do courses in the first year of the programme?

The PhD in Management at LSE aims to produce world class researchers in the field. In order for students to be able to undertake research at this level the Department believes that students must have a sufficient range of 'tools' to do so. It therefore requires that its PhD students complete, and pass to the required standard, a range of MSc courses in order to provide them with these tools and techniques that can be applied in their research. 

Can I visit LSE as a Visiting Research Student (VRS)?

Yes, VRS status at LSE allows research students at other universities to spent up to 9 months (renewable) at the School at the discretion of the department. More information on this topic can be found on our Useful Information webpage.

Is there a residency requirement?

In exceptional circumstances, students may be granted permission to reside outside the UK during their period of registration at the School. Permission is required from the Department and the School who will set any conditions that will apply. Non-resident registration status will not normally be permitted in the first year or in any subsequent years where a student is required to attend classes at the School.
Can I do the PhD part-time?

We do not accept part-time applications. In exceptional circumstances students can switch to part time after their first year. Permission from the Department and the School is required to do this.
Can I do the PhD programme online (distance learning)?

No, this is not an option.

What is it like living in London?

Enthusiasts of London life emphasise the extraordinary cosmopolitan character of the city, its fabulous cultural life and, in parts, its beauty. For doctoral students, the obvious advantages are the large academic community, excellent libraries and leading institutions of all kinds, including government departments, corporate headquarters, professional associations, and voluntary organisations. More information about living in London.

What is life like at LSE?

More information about life at LSE.

Will I have to do class teaching?

Please see our separate teaching webpage.

How does a British doctoral programme differ from a North American one?

The British doctoral programme differs in many significant (and some superficial) ways from Canadian and US programmes.

Perhaps the most apparent difference is that there is no required coursework and no 'qualifying exams' for our PhD programme. Instead, we expect that all students entering the programme will have existing detailed research training. In general there is less structure to the programme. British programmes are predicated on the assumption that as a research student you are a junior participant in the research activities of the department and of the academic community. This places a great deal of responsibility on the shoulders of the student.

The nature of supervision is also different in that students usually develop very close relationships with their supervisors early on and benefit from an apprenticeship style of learning, in addition to their more formal studies. A useful guide to studying for a PhD in the UK is How to get get a PhD by Estelle Phillips and Derek Pugh (Open University Press).


When can I apply to the PhD?

Applications open in October for the following academic year.
Is there a deadline for applying?

There is no set deadline for receiving applications. If you wish to be considered for the first round of LSE PhD Scholarships, you need to apply by January 12th 2015.
How do I request a prospectus? 

Request a prospectus.
How do I apply?

All applications should be completed online via our LSE Online Application System. For more information on this process please visit the How to Apply page.
How can I contact the Graduate Admissions Office?

Please visit the Getting in Touch webpage for further information on contacting Graduate Admissions.
What are the Admission Requirements?

Entry requirements are outlined in the Graduate Prospectus on the Graduate Study page and also on the Entry Requirements webpage.
Can I apply if I do not have a Masters degree?

All candidates are expected to have obtained a Masters degree at Distinction or Merit level.
What language requirement do I need?

If your first language is not English or if the language of instruction of your previous degree is not English, we ask you to provide evidence of your command over English. You should include your test scores, if available, in the relevant section of the application form. If you receive an offer of admission, it will be subject to proof of your score.

English tests must be less than two years old at the time of application. If you have not yet taken the test, your application can be considered in its absence, but any offer will be conditional on your achieving the required score.

For further information please visit Graduate Admissions.
Do I need to submit a GMAT or GRE score?
Yes, all applicants must submit a GRE (preferred) or GMAT score. More information is available on the LSE Graduate Study pages.

How many students are taken each year?
Generally the Department takes between 8 and 12 new PhD students onto the programme each year.

Should i contact academic faculty regarding my application? 

If you wanted to gauge whether your topic is relevant you may wish to visit our staff directory to find out more about our academics' research interests.

Will I be expected to attend an interview?

If you are shortlisted after making your application, you should expect to be interviewed, and to make yourself available for interview by telephone or Skype at a range of times offered by the Department.  For further information, see How To Apply.

How many years does it take to complete a PhD?

The Department requires students to be registered full-time for a minimum of two years (six terms) and a maximum of four years (12 terms). Completion time often depends on the complexity of the topic, the amount of fieldwork required and the productivity of the individual student.

Normally, students in our Department are expected to finish within four years.

For more information on some common application questions, please see Graduate Admissions "How do I ..." page.


How much does it cost?

see Fees

How do I pay my fees?

see How to Pay Fees

Are there scholarships or grants available?

The LSE PhD Scholarship was established in 2008. To be eligible for a scholarship you must apply for the PhD programme by January 12th 2015 to be considered for the first round. Full details of these and other forms of support are listed on the Financial Support office website.

Does the Department of Management help students with travel and conference fees?

The Department is able to provide some help towards the cost of attending conferences. The student is usually required to be presenting at the conference in question and must first apply to the School's Postgraduate Travel Fund.  The Department also offers some support for research costs incurred once they have upgraded – this may be for fieldwork costs, transcriptions

What is the application fee, How do I pay it?

The online application fee is £50. More information about the application fee.

How much does it cost to live in London?

The perceived cost of living and studying in London is a concern for many students. However, it is possible to live economically in the capital by taking advantage of reduced price services and facilities on campus and beyond, making the most of student discounts and concessions in shops, restaurants and bars, and by avoiding touristy areas of the city. In fact the most recent Student Living Index, a survey published by the NatWest Bank, found that London is the 6th most cost-effective place to study in the UK because of the range of part-time work opportunities available in the capital and the higher rates of pay on offer. 

LSE makes broad estimates of the costs of living in the London area. The School currently estimates that students should allow about £1,000-£1,200 per month for living costs, in addition to tuition fees. The details about life in London should be looked at carefully.

Contact us

If you have any further questions about our MPhil/PhD programme that is not addressed here please contact: dom.phd.enquiries@lse.ac.uk