Programmes

MRes/PhD International Development

  • Graduate research
  • Department of International Development
  • Application code Y2ZI
  • Starting 2018

This programme offers you the chance to undertake a substantial piece of work that is worthy of publication and which makes an original contribution to international development. You will begin on the MRes, and will need to meet certain requirements to progress to the PhD.

The Department of International Development promotes interdisciplinary graduate teaching and research on processes of social, political and economic development and change. The Department is dedicated to understanding problems of poverty and late development within local communities, as well as national and international political and economic systems.

The Department conducts research and teaching across six broad themes: complex emergencies, security, and humanitarianism in war-torn societies; comparative politics of development; governance, civil society, and informal politics; development management; development economics; and the politics of global health. Faculty have considerable experience of living and working in the developing world, and most have engaged in policy-relevant research and consultancy work with international development agencies or non-governmental organisations.

This is a vibrant MRes/PhD programme with students employing a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary methods from across the social sciences to research questions of development around the globe.

Programme details

Key facts

MRes/PhD International Development
Start date 27 September 2018
Application deadline 26 April 2018. However please note the funding deadlines
Duration Four to five years full-time: one year MRes, three to four years PhD
Students may apply to study part-time after successful completion of 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 Taught master’s degree with at least 65 or above overall and in the dissertation element, or equivalent
GRE/GMAT requirement Highly recommended but not compulsory
English language requirements Standard (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

Introductory course

Accepted students who are planning to use advanced quantitative analysis in their PhD research are required to take the summer Introductory Course in Mathematics and Statistics.

Introductory Course in Mathematics and Statistics
Provides the essential mathematical, statistical, economic and econometric background for the core Economics courses of these programmes.

First year (MRes)

The MRes programme is the entry point to the research stream and is designed to both train you in a common academic heritage and to provide significant flexibility to develop advanced methodological and theoretical skills within disciplinary specialisms appropriate to your research interests. 

In addition, you will develop any necessary language skills and background knowledge of specific topics related to your research. You will also participate in a research student seminar series.

(* denotes a half unit)

Development History, Theory and Policy for Research Students*
Integrates the concepts and perspectives of a range of disciplines to consider, among other things, major trends of development and change in modern history.

Research Design and Proposal in International Development
You will work with your academic supervisors to structure a doctoral research proposal that has the potential to make a significant contribution to knowledge and that reflects a sophisticated mastery of advanced theoretical and methodological tools from one or more academic disciplines related to international development.

Research Seminar in Development Studies
This non-examined course is designed as a forum for discussing theoretical and methodological issues in Development Studies research.

Methodology courses to the value of one unit

Methodology or theory courses to the value of two units

PhD

Subject to satisfactory performance, you will be upgraded to the PhD programme and will implement your research plan.

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

At the end of the first year you will complete the assessments for your courses and finalise your Research Prospectus, the provisional research plan for your PhD. You will defend the Prospectus at a committee of relevant faculty in September at the end the first year. If you pass the exams and successfully defend the Prospectus you will be upgraded to the PhD part of the programme.

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

More about progression requirements.

Careers

Students who successfully complete the programme often embark on an academic career. Recent graduates have also gone on to work in information and digital technology and international development.

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.

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
- GMAT/GRE
- 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.

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 MRes/PhD International Development

Taught master’s degree with 65 or above overall and in the dissertation element, or the equivalent.

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

GRE/GMAT requirement

Highly recommended but not compulsory.

Find out more about GRE/GMAT

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 MRes/PhD International 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 our 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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