MRes/PhD Management (Employment Relations and Human Resources)

  • Graduate research
  • Department of Management
  • Application code N2Z1
  • Starting 2018

As a world-class and research-led department of management ranking #2 in our field, our new PhD programme is an integral part of the academic environment at LSE, producing doctoral graduates of the highest quality.

We are also very proud to be ranked #1 in the UK for research in business and management (REF 2014) whose academic research impacts on key social challenges in business and policy across the globe.             

You will work closely with a number of international and world-class faculty members as well as a vibrant doctoral community of around 30 students, all pursuing varied research in different fields of management. The programme includes a comprehensive range of methodological training and seminars in specific research areas and you will also have the opportunity to specialise in a designated field.

The Employment Relations and Human Resources track is situated in the internationally recognised Department of Management. Since the pioneering work of LSE’s founders in 1895, the School has had a strong tradition of research on working conditions, industrial efficiency and trade unions. It is grounded in LSE’s core principles of theoretical understanding and critical analysis. Students on this programme will establish a core understanding of the operation of HR functions and employment relations systems in organisational contexts, spanning national and cultural borders.

Members of the Employment Relations and Human Resources faculty group draw on the fields of economics, law, political science, psychology, and sociology to conduct theory-driven and applied research in a diverse range of industry and workplace settings. Research areas include teams, work organisation and employee participation, conflict management and dispute resolution , rewards, and international labour migration. 

Programme details

Key facts

Start date 27 September 2018
Application deadline 14 June 2018. However please note the funding deadlines
Duration Six years full-time: two years MRes, four years PhD 
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)
Minimum entry requirement 2:1 degree or equivalent in any discipline
GRE/GMAT requirement GMAT or GRE is required for all applicants
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

Employment Relations and Organisational Behaviour Seminar
During the first year you will undertake the MRes seminar in Employment Relations and HRM which draws upon Employment Relations, Human Resource Management and organisational theories to advance an understanding of individual, group and firm behaviour, as well as that of representative organisations of workers and management. The course covers a number of issues at an advanced level, and introduces students to emerging topics in various related topics

Research in Organisational Behaviour
This course lays the foundations of students’ in-depth understanding of Organisational Behaviour as a field. Topics range from the “micro” level (individuals, teams) to the “macro” level (social networks, organisations, and general topics in Organisational Theory). The course will review established topics in the field and will introduce students to the evaluation of established research Organisational Behaviour, progressing through units of analysis from psychology research to organisational theory.

Each week, students will participate in one three-hour combined lecture/seminar which will discuss established research. The small class size will encourage considerable interaction between the instructors and students. In-class discussions will offer students the opportunity to review the strengths and weaknesses of the theories/models/research approaches as well as thinking about what research questions may be asked in regard to the core topics in Organisational Behaviour. Therefore, students will be taught to recognise not only what is missing in a study but also what it contributes to the field, and how each study’s strengths and weaknesses can form a foundation upon which to build novel research.

During the first year students will also be required to take a number of courses in Methodology

Fundamentals of Social Science Research Design
Drawing on a variety of examples from the social scientific literature, this course will explore design considerations and options across quantitative and qualitative research, including issues of data quality, analysis, reporting and reproducibility.  At the end of the course, students will be able to read a wide variety of empirical social science with a critical and balanced perspective and will be better equipped to implement and make arguments defending the methods they use in their PhD theses.

Intro to Quantitative Analysis
An intensive introduction to quantitative data analysis in the social sciences. The course is intended for students with no previous experience of quantitative methods or statistics. It covers the foundations of descriptive statistics and statistical estimation and inference. At the end of the course students should be able to carry out univariate and bi-variate data analysis and have an appreciation of multiple linear regression. 

Qualitative Research Methods
This course presents the fundamentals of qualitative research methods. It prepares students to design, carry out, report, read and evaluate qualitative research projects. The course has the dual aims of equipping students with conceptual understandings of current academic debates regarding qualitative methods, and with practical skills to put those methods into practice.

Second year

The main focus of year two is the Research Paper in Management (MG599) course where students will be required to produce a research paper, between 7,000 and 15,000 words, related to the student's designated major field, to be submitted at the end of Lent Term.

Students will also be required to complete one half unit course from the following:

  • Development History, Theory and Policy for Research Students
  • Comparative Political Economy: New Approaches and Issues in CPE
  • Corporate Social Responsibility and International Labour Standards

In addition students will be required to complete one half unit from the following: 

  • Social Organisation
  • Multivariate Analysis and Measurement
  • Firms, Markets and Crises (H)
  • Negotiation Analysis (H)
  • Managing Diversity in Organisations (H)
  • Organisational Theory (H)
  • International Employment Relations (H)
  • Foundations of Business and Management for Human Resources (H)
  • Organisational Change (H)
  • Organisational Behaviour (H)
  • Human Resource Management and Employment Regulation (H)
  • International and Comparative Human Resource Management (H)
  • The Dark Side of the Organisation (H)
  • Cross Cultural Management (H) 
  • Leadership in Organisations: Theory & Practice (H)

Shortly, you will be able to find the most up-to-date list of 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


Successful applicants will be supervised by the PhD Director of the stream for the duration of the MRes period.

During the MRes period you will have the opportunity to meet and discuss your research interests with a range of faculty members to help ensure you have the right fit with your supervisor for your PhD. This is designed to expose you to various faculty members within the academic group on a rotation basis and also to provide a more integrated experience where you will have the chance to develop their ideas with junior faculty.

Progression and assessment

Students who pass all of the second year courses are awarded an MRes in Management and those who meet the progression standard are upgraded to PhD registration from year three.


LSE is ranked #5 in the world for its reputation with employers (QS ranking 2016) and the MRes/PhD in Management is an excellent platform to kick start your career.  You will develop advanced analytical and research skills as well as an in depth insight into markets and organisations.

Students who successfully complete the programme often embark on an academic career in top universities such as UCL, Copenhagen Business School and California State University. Recent doctoral graduates have also gone into careers at companies such as JP Morgan, EY and McKinsey.                  

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
- 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 14 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 MRes/PhD Management (Employment Relations and Human Resources)

Upper second class honours (2:1) degree in any discipline, 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

GMAT or GRE is required for all applicants. It must be no more than five years before 1 October 2018, and must show full and percentile scores for all sections.

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 Management (Employment Relations and Human Resources)

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. Selection for the PhD Studentships is based on receipt of an application for a place – including all ancillary documents, before the funding deadline. 

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

Contact us

Programme enquiries

Unfortunately faculty members are unable to comment on your eligibility without viewing your full application file first. However, If you have any questions regarding the programme please contact the Department of Management PhD Office at and we will be best able to assist you from there. 

Admissions enquiries

With questions related to the admissions process, please check our admissions frequently asked questions page, or contact the LSE Graduate Admissions team via their getting in touch page.

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