MRes/PhD Management (Information Systems and Innovation)

  • Graduate research
  • Department of Management
  • Application code N2ZG
  • 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.

This track is based in the leading Information Systems and Innovation Faculty Group within the Department of Management, and aims to be the most advanced doctoral training for socio-technical research in digital innovation worldwide. It focuses on the in-depth critical analysis of information and communication technologies, and how they shape expert communications within and across organisations.

This multidisciplinary track also draws on the core field of information systems and a great range of social science disciplines. We seek to recruit exceptional PhD candidates who are familiar with social theories and knowledge of information systems, digital innovation and management, and who have the motivation to conduct high quality research.  

You will systematically research the role of digital technologies, how information is standardised from a technological viewpoint, and how technology is being applied in the workplace today. You also will learn to define problems and research questions, collect and analyse data, and bring empirical observations to bear on the development of theory. This will prepare you for a range of careers in universities and other research institutions around the world, as well as government organisations and multinational corporations.

Research conducted within in this PhD track is predominantly qualitative in nature. It aims to provide a rich account of how technologies are introduced as the agents of organisational and social change in real socio-economic contexts. Quantitative skills are useful as far as they serve the goals of qualitative research, and can be meaningfully integrated with the interpretive research tradition.

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), ESRC funding (deadline 8 January 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

All Information Systems and Innovation students attend a weekly Research seminar series which features presentations and discussions from doctoral students, invited speakers and academic members of the Information Systems and Innovation faculty group.

First year

Foundations of Social Research in Information Systems: Paradigms and Traditions
The course introduces the foundations of social research and the key issues concerning the status of knowledge and the forms by which it is acquired. The course deals with the principal paradigms/traditions in the philosophy of science and epistemology and the answers they have provided to the basic questions concerning the status of knowledge claims and the forms by which valid knowledge claims can be made. 

Interpretations of Information
The course explores the theoretical foundations of information and the technological and institutional processes by which information is increasingly becoming a pervading and crucial element of organizational and economic life. A central theme of the course is how information and the technologies by which it is produced and disseminated are involved in the constitution and coordination of organizational operations and the control of professional practices and organizational outcomes.

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.

AND 0.5 unit from the following:*

  • Handling Disruption: Humanitarian Emergencies Management and Development
  • Information Systems for the Public Sector: Digital Government and Service Innovation
  • eHealth: Policy, Strategy and Systems
  • Global Sourcing and Management of Business and IT Services
  • Information Technology and Service Innovation
  • Data Governance: Privacy, Openness and Transparency
  • Social Computing, Data and Information Service

Second year

The main focus of year two is the Research Paper in Management 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 the following:

Managing Digital Platform Innovation
The course deals with the dynamics of large- scale digital service platforms and their associated ecosystems. It is based on the extant research into modularity, platforms, boundary resources, and digital ecosystems across the fields of management, innovation, and information technology studies. The aim to ground the students in the traditional conceptualisations of IS and use this as the base for exploring the theoretical challenges brought about by a variety of digital and layered-modular multi-sided platforms.

Technology, Practise and Institutions
The course will deal with the restructuring of social practices associated with the involvement of technologies of computing and communication in social and organisational life. These ideas will be explored within the context of established institutional fields such as finance, law or health care but it will consider as well the advent of new practices (social media, big data) and the organisational forms within which such practices are accommodated.

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 careers in academia with 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 (Information Systems)

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 (Information Systems and Innovation)

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.
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.

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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