Programmes

MPhil/PhD Environmental Policy and Development

  • Graduate research
  • Department of Geography and Environment
  • Application code L7ZS
  • Starting 2018

This programme offers the chance to undertake a substantial piece of work that is worthy of scholarly publication and which makes an original contribution to the social scientific study of environmental change and development. You will begin on the MPhil, and will need to meet certain requirements to be upgraded to PhD status.

The PhD in Environmental Policy and Development aims to provide a rigorous, research-based approach to the social scientific study of environmental change and development. The doctoral programme provides you with advanced and up-to-date teaching in environmental governance and development studies as well as tailored research skills training. Moreover, the doctoral experience at LSE exposes you to an international, vibrant and multidisciplinary research environment.

The programme is run by the Environmental Economics and Policy cluster of the Department of Geography and Environment. The cluster brings together experts in environmental change, geography, political science and economics, with an interest in advancing empirical understanding and in the theory of environmental performance, behaviour and governance across a range of geographic scales. All members have strong expertise in environmental economics and/or policy and are regularly involved in high-profile consultancy work for national and international organisations.

Programme details

Key facts

MPhil/PhD Environmental Policy and Development
Start date 27 September 2018
Application deadline 26 April 2018. However please note the funding deadlines
Duration Three-four years (minimum 2) full-time
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 (deadlines 8 January 2018 and 26 April 2018)
ESRC funding (+3 and 1+3) (deadline 8 January 2018)
Minimum entry requirement Taught master’s degree, with a minimum of 65 per cent average and at least 70 in dissertation, in a related discipline.
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

As part of your PhD training, you will take a range of compulsory and optional courses. Specifically, you will take core courses in human geography, economic geography, environmental economics or environmental policy (depending on your programme) as well as relevant specialist MSc-level courses to take you to the leading edge of your chosen discipline and topic. You can also select from courses offered by LSE's Department of Methodology to help you prepare for your research.

Route One

If you have completed MSc Environmental Policy and Regulation or MSc Environment and Development you will enter in Year One and take the courses specified below:

Year One

(* denotes a half unit course)

Training courses

Compulsory (not examined) 
Staff/Research Students Seminars
Provides background sessions for MPhil/PhD students in their first year of study. It also provides the forum in which first year full-time and second year part-time MPhil/PhD students must present their work in advance of submitting their major review documents.

Compulsory (examined)
Courses to the value of one unit from the list of options on the relevant MSc degrees.

Relevant advanced research methods course(s) to the value of one unit from the following:

Fundamentals of Social Science Research Design*
Introduces students to the theoretical and practical foundations of empirical social science research.

Qualitative Research Methods*
Presents the fundamentals of qualitative research methods. It prepares students to design, carry out, report, read and evaluate qualitative research projects. 

Doing Ethnography*
Examine how social order is produced as people go about their everyday interactions. 

Non-Traditional Data: New Dimensions in Qualitative Research*
Examines methods for collecting and analysing data which are not primarily textual or linguistic, and how these can be integrated into qualitative research. 

Special Topics in Quantitative Analysis: Quantitative Text Analysis*
The course lays a theoretical foundation for text analysis but mainly takes a very practical and applied approach, so that students learn how to apply these methods in actual research.

You will be required to take different courses from those taken on the MSc degree.

Transferable skills courses

Compulsory (not examined)
Research Project Seminar 
Presentations by research students of aspects of their own research, stressing problems of theory, methodology and techniques.

Workshop in Information Literacy
Finding, managing and organising published research and data.

Year Two

Training courses

Compulsory (not examined)
Staff/Research Students Seminars
Provides background sessions for MPhil/PhD students in their first year of study. It also provides the forum in which first year full-time and second year part-time MPhil/PhD students must present their work in advance of submitting their major review documents.

Transferable skills courses

Compulsory (not examined)
Research Project Seminar
Presentations by research students of aspects of their own research, stressing problems of theory, methodology and techniques.

Year Three

Training courses

Compulsory (not examined)
Staff/Research Students Seminars
Provides background sessions for MPhil/PhD students in their first year of study. It also provides the forum in which first year full-time and second year part-time MPhil/PhD students must present their work in advance of submitting their major review documents.

Transferable skills courses

Compulsory (not examined)
Research Project Seminar
Presentations by research students of aspects of their own research, stressing problems of theory, methodology and techniques.

Special Topics in Quantitative Analysis: Quantitative Text Analysis*
The course lays a theoretical foundation for text analysis but mainly takes a very practical and applied approach, so that students learn how to apply these methods in actual research.

Route Two

If you have not completed MSc Environmental Policy and Regulation or MSc Environment and Development you will take the following specified courses: 

Year One

Training courses

Compulsory (not examined)
Staff/Research Students Seminars
Provides background sessions for MPhil/PhD students in their first year of study. It also provides the forum in which first year full-time and second year part-time MPhil/PhD students must present their work in advance of submitting their major review documents.

Compulsory (examined)
Environmental Regulation: Implementing Policy
Provides critical insights into the characteristics, processes and evolving dynamics of environmental policy, regulation and governance.
Or
Environment and Development
Explores the complex relationship between environment and development using the concepts and tools used in applied economic analysis: ecological, development, environmental, and institutional economics. 

Relevant advanced research methods course(s) to the value of one unit from the following:

Fundamentals of Social Science Research Design*
Introduces students to the theoretical and practical foundations of empirical social science research.

Qualitative Research Methods*
Presents the fundamentals of qualitative research methods. It prepares students to design, carry out, report, read and evaluate qualitative research projects. 

Doing Ethnography*
Examine how social order is produced as people go about their everyday interactions.  

Non-Traditional Data: New Dimensions in Qualitative Research*
Examines methods for collecting and analysing data which are not primarily textual or linguistic, and how these can be integrated into qualitative research. 

Special Topics in Qualitative Research: Introspection-based Methods in Social Research*
Looks at techniques such as narrative and episodic interviewing, free-association techniques, survey-based reconstruction and attitudes, critical incident techniques, loud-thinking protocols, experience sampling and self-tracking methods, ecological momentary assessment, self-confrontation interviewing, and 1st person situated video methods, and auto-ethnography and the ‘quantified self’. 

Transferable skills courses

Compulsory (not examined)
Research Project Seminar
Presentations by research students of aspects of their own research, stressing problems of theory, methodology and techniques.

Workshop in Information Literacy
Finding, managing and organising published research and data.

Year Two

Training courses

Compulsory (not examined)
Staff/Research Students Seminars
Provides background sessions for MPhil/PhD students in their first year of study. It also provides the forum in which first year full-time and second year part-time MPhil/PhD students must present their work in advance of submitting their major review documents.

Transferable skills courses

Compulsory (not examined)
Research Project Seminar
Presentations by research students of aspects of their own research, stressing problems of theory, methodology and techniques. 

Year Three

Training courses

Compulsory (not examined)
Staff/Research Students Seminars
Provides background sessions for MPhil/PhD students in their first year of study. It also provides the forum in which first year full-time and second year part-time MPhil/PhD students must present their work in advance of submitting their major review documents.

Transferable skills courses

Compulsory (not examined)
 
Research Project Seminar
Presentations by research students of aspects of their own research, stressing problems of theory, methodology and techniques.

Year Four

Training courses

Compulsory (not examined)
 
Staff/Research Students Seminars
Provides background sessions for MPhil/PhD students in their first year of study. It also provides the forum in which first year full-time and second year part-time MPhil/PhD students must present their work in advance of submitting their major review documents.

Transferable skills courses

Compulsory (not examined)
Research Project Seminar
Presentations by research students of aspects of their own research, stressing problems of theory, methodology and techniques.

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 either be allocated a principal supervisor and a review supervisor, or two joint supervisors. One or both will be specialist in your chosen research field, though not necessarily in your topic. The Department encourages – whenever possible – joint-supervision arrangements. However, please confirm your supervisory arrangements during your first meeting with your supervisor(s).

Joint supervisors will have a joint leading role throughout your studies, and you will be able to meet them separately or jointly. Students with a main and a review supervisor should be aware that the main supervisor will have a leading supervisory role during the doctoral studies, whereas the review supervisor will be involved less frequently, being primarily responsible for progress monitoring and participating in review and upgrading decisions (see below). However, please keep your review supervisor abreast of your progress throughout the year and discuss with him/her any matters arising as soon as possible.

Progression and assessment

Once on the MPhil/PhD programme you will go through a First Year Progress Review, taking place in the Summer Term of your first research year. This is Year 1 for students in the +3 programme and Year 2 for students in the 1+3 programme.

For the First Year Progress Review, you must submit a written progress report containing an extensive and updated research proposal (typically including an introduction to the topic and motivation for the research; aims and objectives/research questions; contribution to knowledge; summary of methods to be used; and outline of the work to be done) and either a comprehensive literature review or a substantive draft of a chapter/paper as evidence of progress made during the year. Normally, there will be a progress review meeting between you and the supervisors (main supervisor and review supervisor) to discuss the written material presented. The work has to reach an acceptable standard to enable you to progress. There is provision for a second Supplementary Review in cases where there are doubts as to whether progress has been sufficient to allow entry to the second year (third year of the 1+3 programme). Progression to the second year (third year of the 1+3 programme) is also dependent on you having passed all required examinations and obtained at least one merit, and having presented your work satisfactorily in the doctoral presentation workshops.

All research students are initially registered for an MPhil and have to be upgraded to PhD status. The upgrade from MPhil to PhD usually occurs during the second year of full-time registration. This is Year 2 for students in the +3 programme and Year 3 for students in the 1+3 route. The exact timing depends on your progress. You are required to submit a formal written upgrade report consisting of an extensive revised research proposal, two substantive draft papers/chapters, of which one can be a literature review, and a detailed plan for completion. You will be asked to discuss your research paper/thesis outline during an Upgrade Meeting in front of an Upgrading Committee normally formed by your main supervisor, your review supervisor and a third member of staff with relevant expertise. The material is evaluated by the Upgrading Committee, who will recommend transferral to PhD registration if your work is judged to be of sufficient quality and quantity. The upgrade is also dependent on you having completed all required training courses and having made a satisfactory research presentation in your doctoral presentation workshop.

In addition to these formal arrangements, each year during the Summer Term and throughout the course of your studies, you and your supervisors have to complete a yearly Progress Report Form, detailing progress made, problems arising and plan/timeline for completion. The forms are sent to the relevant Doctoral Programme Director for approval before you are able to re-register for the following session. If perceived lack of progress is identified, it can trigger a more formal annual review of progress in which you will be asked to produce specific written documents to be evaluated by a review panel. 

Careers

The PhD in Environmental Policy and Development provides students with the knowledge and skill to be competitive in both private and public sector employment. Previous doctoral students have found employment in academic and research institutions, as well as in international organisations, the environmental consultancy sector, and high-profile positions in governmental institutions. Recent graduates have gone into careers in the US Treasury, World Bank and the Conservation Strategy Fund.

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme

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 our staff research interests before applying.

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

- 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 Environmental Policy and Development

The programme is offered in the following formats:

Either the standalone MPhil/PhD Environmental Policy and Development (+3 route)

Or combined with the MSc Environmental Policy and Regulation/MSc Environment and Development progressing onto the MPhil/PhD Environmental Policy and Development (1+3 route)

+ 3 Route: MPhil/PhD Environmental Policy and Development (2-4 years)

The minimum entry requirement for this programme is a taught master’s degree (or equivalent), with a minimum of 65 per cent average and at least 70 in dissertation, in a related discipline.

1+3 Route: MSc Environmental Policy and Regulation/MSc Environment and Development (1 year) + MPhil/PhD Environmental Policy and Development (2-4 years)

The 1+3 pathway – suitable if you do not hold a relevant postgraduate degree – is aimed at students graduating with an undergraduate degree in a related subject. (See entrance requirement for the relevant MSc Programme).

The 1+3 Combined PhD Programme is only available as part of an ESRC Funded pathway (EU Applicants only). The 1+3 scheme provides funding for a one year research training master's linked to a PhD programme and is designed for students who have not already completed an ESRC recognised programme of research training. The ESRC 1+3 scholarship covers the master’s and the PhD programme and so takes up to 5 years in total. Progression from the master’s onto the PhD programme is dependent upon performance in the master’s programme (Students must score 65 per cent overall and at least 70 per cent in their dissertation to comply with the Department’s usual PhD entry criteria).

To apply for the 1+3 route, an application must be submitted for the relevant master’s programme, including a research proposal for the PhD aspect of the pathway. Applicants must also indicate their wish to be considered for the 1+3 pathway and associated funding within their personal statement. Students who apply for the PhD programme directly, will not be considered for the 1+3 pathway.

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 Environmental Policy and Development

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 first round of LSE PhD Studentships and ESRC funding: 8 January 2018.
The deadline for the second round of LSE PhD Studentships: 26 April 2018.

Annual studentships are also offered by the LSE Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.

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.

Request a prospectus

  • Name
  • Address

Register your interest

  • Name

Speak to Admissions

Content to be supplied