Programmes

MPhil/PhD Economic History

  • Graduate research
  • Department of Economic History
  • Application code V3ZE
  • Starting 2018

The MPhil/PhD is an advanced research degree. You will begin on the MPhil, and will need to meet certain requirements to be upgraded to PhD status. The main objective of this programme is the elaboration of a substantial piece of work that is worthy of publication and which makes an original contribution to the field of economic history.

The Department is home to by far the largest group of researchers in economic history in the UK and one of the largest in the world. This is a pluralistic Department which encourages different approaches to the discipline: quantitative economic history; global history; history of economic thought; historical demography; historical economic geography; international economic history; business history; financial and monetary history; and social history. We also offer a wide chronological and geographical coverage of economic history, with specialists in almost every continent and any historical period from the medieval age onwards. For this reason, the Department is able to supervise a wide range of topics, in line with the research interests of the teaching staff.

We particularly value a comparative outlook on research, and the fruits of our research have been used by international agencies, such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, government departments and local communities. Our faculty have included among their research commitments the editorship of The European Review of Economic History and Economic History of Developing Regions.

All our students are expected to gain a broad knowledge of the subject from graduate level course-work in the first year which complements the deeper knowledge gained from intense thesis research. In addition, many of our research students take the opportunity to gain valuable teaching experience on undergraduate courses. 

Programme details

Key facts

MPhil/PhD Economic History
Start date 27 September 2018
Application deadline 26 April 2018. However please note the funding deadline
Duration Three-four years (minimum two) full-time. Students may apply to study part-time after the successful completion of the first year
Availability UK/EU: Open
Overseas: Open 
Tuition fee UK/EU: £4,299 for the first year (provisional)
Overseas £17,904 for the first year
Financial support LSE PhD Studentships (deadline 8 January 2018)
ESRC funding (deadline 8 January 2018)
Minimum entry requirement Merit in a taught master’s (or equivalent) in economic history or a related social science subject
GRE/GMAT requirement None
English language requirements Research (see 'assessing your application')
Location  Houghton Street, London

For more information about tuition fees and entry requirements, see the fees and funding and assessing your application sections.

Programme structure and courses

During the programme, we expect participation in departmental workshops and other seminars held within the University of London and, later, at conferences and seminars at other universities. In addition to progressing with your research, you will also be expected to take the listed training and transferable skills courses.

Year One

Training courses

Compulsory (examined)

Approaches to Economic and Social History

Historical Analysis of Economic Change
And
Research Design and Quantitative Methods in Economic History *
* Unless already taken as part of the master's degree, and, where appropriate, a pre-sessional statistics course

Optional (not examined)
Supervisors may require you to take other relevant economic history courses, methodological courses provided by the Department of Methodology or the Institute of Historical Research or skills training courses as required for your thesis topic.

Transferable skills courses

Compulsory (not examined)
 
Thesis Workshop in Economic History

Year Two

Training courses

Compulsory (not examined)
 
Thesis Workshop in Economic History

Year Three

Training courses

Compulsory (not examined) 
Thesis Workshop in Economic History

Year Four

Training courses

Compulsory (not examined)  
Thesis Workshop in Economic History

You can find the most up-to-date list of optional courses in the Programme Regulations section of the current School Calendar. 

You must note however that while care has been taken to ensure that this information is up to date and correct, a change of circumstances since publication may cause the School to change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. The School will always notify the affected parties as early as practicably possible and propose any viable and relevant alternative options. Note that that the School will neither be liable for information that after publication becomes inaccurate or irrelevant, nor for changing, suspending or withdrawing a course or programme of study due to events outside of its control, which includes but is not limited to a lack of demand for a course or programme of study, industrial action, fire, flood or other environmental or physical damage to premises. 

You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee you a place. Please note that changes to programmes and courses can sometimes occur after you have accepted your offer of a place. These changes are normally made in light of developments in the discipline or path-breaking research, or on the basis of student feedback. Changes can take the form of altered course content, teaching formats or assessment modes. Any such changes are intended to enhance the student learning experience. You should visit the School’s Calendar, or contact the relevant academic department, for information on the availability and/or content of courses and programmes of study. Certain substantive changes will be listed on the updated graduate course and programme information page.

Supervision, progression and assessment

Supervision 

You will be assigned a lead supervisor (and a second supervisor/adviser) who is a specialist in your chosen research field, though not necessarily in your topic. Lead supervisors guide you through your studies.

Progression and assessment

You will need to meet certain criteria to progress to PhD registration. These include specific progression requirements, such as achieving certain grades in your coursework and submitting at least one draft thesis chapter and outline.

You should refer to the PhD Handbook (pp. 8-11) for full details of progression requirements.

Your final award will be determined by the completion of an original research thesis and a viva oral examination.

More about progression requirements

Preliminary reading

C H Feinstein and M Thomas, Making History Count (2002)

P Hudson, History by Numbers (2002)

C H Lee, The Quantitative Approach to Economic History (1977)

G Hawthorn, Plausible Words (1991)

D. North, Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance (1990)

A. Greif, Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy (2006)

K. Pomeranz, The Great Divergence: China, Europe and the Making of the Modern World Economy (2000)

R. Allen, The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective (2009)

D Rodrik (Ed), In Search of Prosperity (2003)

E. Helpman, The Mystery of Economic Growth (2004)

T Rawski (Ed), Economics and the Historian (1996)

J. Tosh, The Pursuit of History (2nd Edition, 1991)

D. Little, Varieties of Social Explanation (1991)

C H Feinstein and M Thomas, Making History Count (2002)

Careers

Graduates of the programme have gone into a wide variety of careers, including university teaching and research posts, as well as jobs at international economic agencies such as the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank.  

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme

Matthew Partridge

PhD Economic History, 2011
Senior Writer, MoneyWeek

DrMatthewPartridge170x230jpg

I chose to do my MSc and PhD at the LSE because I won an ESRC studentship, and because I was impressed by the expertise of the department. Its global reputation was also a major factor in my decision.

One of the reasons why I was hired was because of my PhD (the other one was because I had done some financial spread betting). My knowledge of Economic History comes in very useful when I'm looking at issues such as the future of the single currency.

I really enjoyed my time at the LSE. However, while I did do a lot of things, both inside and outside the seminar room, there was still a lot more that I could have done.

Support for your career

Many leading organisations in the field give careers presentations at the School during the year, and LSE Careers has a wide range of resources available to assist students in their job search. Find out more about the support available to students through LSE Careers 

Assessing your application

We welcome applications for research programmes that complement the academic interests of members of staff at the School, and we recommend that you investigate staff research interests before applying.

See the LSE Experts Directory for more information

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
- outline research proposal
- sample of written work.

See further information on supporting documents

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.

When to apply

The application deadline for this programme is 26 April 2018. However to be considered for any LSE funding opportunity, you must have submitted your application and all supporting documents by the funding deadline. See the fees and funding section for more details.

Minimum entry requirements for MPhil/PhD Economic History

Merit in LSE's MSc Economic History (Research). Direct entry for applicants with a merit in an master's in economic history or a similar field (Economics, History, and so on) subject to sufficient knowledge of Economic History, will be considered. Students are also accepted for the so-called 1+3 programme, a one year MSc in Economic History (Research) followed by a three year research programme. 

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. 

See international entry requirements

Fees and funding

Every research 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 2018/19 for MPhil/PhD Economic History

UK/EU students: £4,299 for the first year (provisional)
Overseas students £17,904 for the first year

The fee is likely to rise over subsequent years of the programme. The School charges UK/EU research students in line with the level of fee that the Research Councils recommend. The fees for overseas students are likely to rise in line with the assumed percentage increase in pay costs (ie, 4 per cent per annum).

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

Fees and funding opportunities

Scholarships, studentships and other funding

The School recognises that the cost of living in London may be higher than in your home town or country, and we provide over £11.5 million in scholarships each year to graduate students from the UK, the EU and outside the EU.

This programme is eligible for LSE PhD Studentships, and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funding. Selection for the PhD Studentships and ESRC funding is based on receipt of an application for a place – including all ancillary documents, before the funding deadline.  

Funding deadline for LSE PhD Studentships and ESRC funding: 8 January 2018.

In addition to our needs-based awards, LSE also makes available scholarships for students from specific regions of the world and awards for students studying specific subject areas. 

Check the latest information about scholarship opportunities

External funding 

There may be other funding opportunities available through other organisations or governments and we recommend you investigate these options as well.

Find out more about external funding opportunities.

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