Programmes

MPhil/PhD Sociology

  • Graduate research
  • Department of Sociology
  • Application code L3ZS
  • Starting 2018

The MPhil/PhD Sociology programme offers you the chance to undertake a substantial piece of work that is worthy of publication and which makes an original contribution to sociology. You will begin on the MPhil, and will need to meet certain requirements to be upgraded to PhD status.

The Department of Sociology was the first to be created in Britain and has played a key role in establishing and developing the discipline nationally and internationally – since 1904. The Department is committed to empirically rich, conceptually sophisticated, and socially and politically relevant research and scholarship. While building upon the traditions of the discipline it seeks to play a key role in developing new intellectual areas, and addressing the social problems and ethical dilemmas that face a globalised society.

LSE Sociology embraces a theoretically and methodologically diverse range of approaches. There are four research areas which constitute our strategic priorities and reflect overall a balance between "traditional" sociology and "innovation": economy, technology and expertise; politics and human rights; social inequalities and urban sociology. Our teaching is informed by our commitments and by our active research in these areas. LSE Sociology aims to provide a learning environment in which you are encouraged to think critically and independently.

Programme details

Key facts

MPhil/PhD Sociology
Start date 27 September 2018
Application deadline 8 June 2018. However please note the funding deadlines
Duration Three to four years (minimum two) 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 (deadline 8 January 2018)
Minimum entry requirement Merit in a taught master’s degree in a related discipline and a 2:1 degree or equivalent in sociology or another social science
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

In your first year, you can choose to study a range of methods and specialist courses from a variety of institutes and departments at LSE. You must attend the first year research class for MPhil students and graduate course units in methodology. You may also be required or advised by your supervisor to take methods courses and specialist taught courses relevant to your topic.

After the first year, you will spend more time on independent study under the guidance of your personal supervisor/s. This will involve the collection, organisation, analysis and writing up of data and ideas. You will also attend regular workshops and seminars related to your interests including a research class for MPhil and PhD students. You will be expected to make an active contribution to these by presenting papers and/or taking part in general discussions.

In addition to progressing with your research, you will be expected to take the listed training and transferable skills courses. 

First year

Training courses

Compulsory (examined)
Research Class for MPhil Students
Aims to provide students with a conceptual and practical framework within which to think through planning their research.

You may also be required or advised by your supervisor to take methods courses and specialist taught courses relevant to your topic.

Transferable skills courses

Optional (not examined)
Computing Packages for Qualitative Analysis
Provides research students with an appreciation of various computer packages through introduction and hands-on training in the use of these tools.

Workshop in Information Literacy: finding, managing and organising published research and data
Develops students' research skills and introduce the essential sources and tools when undertaking research, and the skills required to use them. 

Second year

Training courses

Optional (not examined)
Data Analysis Workshop
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. 

Third and fourth years

Thesis

Becoming A Professional Sociologist
This course will bring in two members of the Sociology faculty to discuss key aspects in developing a career as a Sociologist. 


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

The time taken to complete any research degree depends on your progress and individual needs and you must remain registered with the School until your thesis has been submitted.

You will register for the MPhil in the first instance. At the end of your first year, you will produce a 5,000-word research proposal for assessment, outlining the aims and methods of your thesis. Successful completion of this assessment is the condition for progress to the second year.

At the end of your second year you will prepare a package of Upgrade materials which includes the thesis proposal and a chapter outline, a schedule for completing the thesis and two draft chapters. Successful completion of this assessment  means moving from your original MPhil registration to registration as a PhD candidate

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

More about programme requirements

Preliminary reading

P Dunleavy Authoring a PhD: how to plan, draft, write and finish a doctoral dissertation or thesis (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003)

We recommend you read around your topic and articles in leading sociology journals such as British Journal of Sociology, American Journal of Sociology, Theory and Society, Sociological Review, and Sociology.

Careers

Students who successfully complete the programme often embark on an academic career. Our graduates have also gone on to work in the public sector and government as well as for international agencies.

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme

Support for your career

Many leading organisations 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 

Student stories

Javier Trevino-Rangel

MPhil/PhD Sociology
Durango, Mexico

Javier-Trevino-Rangel-170x230 

I chose the programme at LSE because its Department of Sociology has played a key role in pioneering, establishing and developing the study of social deviance and social control. Having the opportunity to carry out research with the support of Professors Stanley Cohen, Nikolas Rose or Claire Moon has been invaluable due to their experience in dealing with the sociology of deviance, and the study of political or moral discourses to police them.

As I progress, I am really looking forward to developing my skills and understanding in sociology, and to eventually acquiring professional capacities to efficiently pursue a career in this realm. I intend to use the experience of studying at LSE to expand my research and work so it can influence policies, increase public awareness, and make original contributions to knowledge in different subjects within these fields.

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
- 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.

When to apply

The application deadline for this programme is 8 June 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 Sociology

Merit in a taught master's degree (or equivalent) in a related discipline and a 2:1 degree or equivalent in sociology or another social science.

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 each year of 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 Sociology

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.
Second funding deadline for LSE PhD Studentships: 26 April 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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