Programmes

MSc History of International Relations

  • Graduate taught
  • Department of International History
  • Application code V1S7
  • Starting 2020
  • UK/EU full-time: Open
  • UK/EU part-time: Open
  • Overseas full-time: Open
  • Overseas part-time: Open
  • Location: Houghton Street, London

Esber HIR

The MSc History of International Relations, delivered by the Department of International History, is an intensive one year degree designed to develop your intellectual skills and knowledge of global history which will advance your career prospects across a wide-range of sectors

This popular taught programme is unique and distinctive. It is aimed at students wanting to enhance their understanding of the forces that have shaped the world to date. You will study these at one of the most renowned departments globally for international history, nestling within the world’s leading institute for social sciences, in the heart of cosmopolitan London. The programme can offer a bespoke set of courses for students who have studied the subject at undergraduate level and who want to specialise further. Equally, it has foundational courses that are especially suitable for students wanting to transition from related subjects including political science, languages, economics, law, journalism, sociology and psychology.

Whatever you choose, you will develop your analytical skills and ability to critically assess dynamics, events and individuals that have shaped the modern world. You can take two specialised history options that are geographically global, and also range chronologically from the Renaissance to the post-Cold War period. Teaching is delivered by academic staff who are at the cutting edge of the field often incorporating their most recent research.

Additionally, you have the unique opportunity to take a relevant course offered by other world leading LSE departments, enabling you to further widen your intellectual skills, challenge your perspective and to engage with some of today’s complex issues being tackled head on.  Finally, you have the opportunity to hone your research and writing skill-set, by compiling a detailed, research-based 10,000 word dissertation, supervised by an expert in your area of choice.

To help you navigate your options, we have put together the following thematic pathways. You can, of course, opt to develop your own bespoke set of options. Pathways are not prescriptive offering suggestions only, to help you focus your course choices.

Current pathways include:

- War, Conflict and Peace

- The History of the Cold War

- The History of Africa and the African Diaspora

- The History of Europe

- The History of the Americas

- Transitions to Modernity

Read more about the MSc History of International Relations pathways.

Programme details

Key facts

MSc History of International Relations
Start date 28 September 2020
Application deadline None – rolling admissions. However please note the funding deadlines
Duration 12 months full-time, 24 months part-time
Applications 2018  193
Intake 2018  48
Tuition fee UK/EU: £14,640
Overseas: £22,608
Financial support Graduate support scheme (deadline 27 April 2020)
Minimum entry requirement 2:1 degree or equivalent in any discipline
GRE/GMAT requirement None
English language requirements Higher (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.

Entry requirements

Minimum entry requirements for MSc History of International Relations

Upper second class honours (2:1) degree or equivalent in any discipline.

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.

If you have studied or are studying outside of the UK then have a look at our Information for International Students to find out the entry requirements that apply to you.

Assessing your application

We welcome applications from all suitably qualified prospective students and want to recruit students with the very best academic merit, potential and motivation, irrespective of their background.

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 predicted and achieved grades)
- statement of academic purpose
- two academic references
- CV

See further information on supporting documents

You may also have to provide evidence of your English proficiency, although you do not need to provide this at the time of your application to LSE. See our English language requirements.

When to apply

Applications for this programme are considered on a rolling basis, meaning the programme will close once it becomes full. There is no fixed deadline by which you need to apply, 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.

Programme structure and courses

Programme structure

MSc History of International Relations students wishing to develop a specialism in a particular subject can follow one of the prorgamme's seven pathways. You are also free to opt not to follow any pathway should you prefer.

You will take at least two specialised history options, choosing from options that span the globe geographically and range chronologically from the Renaissance to the end of the Cold War. You also have the option of taking a relevant course offered by another Department. In addition, you will complete a detailed, research-based 10,000-word dissertation.

Courses

Courses to the value of three units from a range of options

Watch our HY course videos

Dissertation
An independent research project of 10,000 words on an approved topic of your choice

Dissertation

This component of the degree reflects our belief that Masters level history students should be willing to engage in detailed historical research. In preparing this piece of work, students are provided with guidance about how to choose an appropriate topic, how to identify and locate the necessary sources, and how to write up their research findings. This is done through a combination of departmental workshops and discussions between individual students and their dissertation supervisor. But ultimately the dissertation is a test of the research abilities and writing skills of each individual student.

While in London, students preparing dissertations can take advantage of numerous world-class research libraries and archives. These include the National Archives (formerly the Public Record Office), the British Library, the libraries of specialised schools of the University of London such as the Institute for Historical Research, the School of Oriental and African Studies, and the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, and the LSE's own library, the British Library of Political and Economic Sciences. The LSE's archive also contains much valuable research material, as do the collections of the Imperial War Museum, the Warburg Institute and many others.

For the most up-to-date list of optional courses please visit the relevant School Calendar page.

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.

Teaching and assessment

Contact hours and independent study

Within your programme you will take a number of courses, often including half unit courses and full unit courses. In half unit courses, on average, you can expect 20-30 contact hours in total and for full unit courses, on average, you can expect 40-60 contact hours in total. This includes sessions such as lectures, classes, seminars or workshops. Hours vary according to courses and you can view indicative details in the Calendar within the Teaching section of each course guide.

You are also expected to complete independent study outside of class time. This varies depending on the programme, but requires you to manage the majority of your study time yourself, by engaging in activities such as reading, note-taking, thinking and research.

Teaching methods

LSE is internationally recognised for its teaching and research. All of the teaching is done either by the Department's full-time academic staff or specially engaged post-doctoral teaching staff. The teaching is therefore very much in line with the LSE's emphasis on research-led teaching – in other words, instruction by those who are at the cutting edge of their disciplines. You can view indicative details for the teacher responsible for each course in the relevant course guide

Assessment

All taught courses are required to include formative coursework which is unassessed. It is designed to help prepare you for summative assessment which counts towards the course mark and to the degree award. LSE uses a range of formative assessment, such as essays, problem sets, case studies, reports, quizzes, mock exams and many others. Summative assessment may be conducted during the course or by final examination at the end of the course. An indication of the formative coursework and summative assessment for each course can be found in the relevant course guide.

Academic support

Each graduate student is supported by a mentor who they meet at least twice a term - as many times as need be - to discuss any aspect of their life at the LSE. The mentor is the first point of contact if you have any worries about your time in London and at LSE. The Department also has a Masters Programme Tutor, who oversees the Graduate programme and he is also available to meet students. Graduates can also approach the Postgraduate and Research Programme Manager, Mrs Nayna Bhatti. Finally, there are graduate representatives on School committees and the Graduate Staff-Student Committee and we value their input.

The Department of International History is committed to the idea that graduate teaching should be done in small groups. In order to meet this commitment, and to ensure that students can work with their teachers in an environment where real dialogue and interchange is possible, the number taking some courses does have to be controlled. This means that it becomes very important to indicate in advance to the Department what options the incoming students wish to take.

There are many opportunities to extend your learning outside the classroom and complement your academic studies at LSE. LSE LIFE is the School’s centre for academic, personal and professional development. Some of the services on offer include: guidance and hands-on practice of the key skills you will need to do well at LSE: effective reading, academic writing and critical thinking; workshops related to how to adapt to new or difficult situations, including development of skills for leadership, study/work/life balance and preparing for the world of work; and advice and practice on working in study groups and on cross-cultural communication and teamwork.

LSE is committed to enabling all students to achieve their full potential and the School’s Disability and Wellbeing Service provides a free, confidential service to all LSE students and is a first point of contact for all disabled students.

Careers

Graduate destinations

LSE History graduates find employment in almost any job sector due to the wide range of transferable skills developed during their studies.

Very few people with a degree in History go on to work as historians, but students with a degree in International History have many skills that are in high demand today.

History students learn to read and process large amounts of information, to sift out unreliable data, to analyse and organise the material available, and to form a coherent argument orally or in writing. Students at the LSE learn to set and achieve personal goals, manage their time to meet deadlines, and have confidence speaking in public. In our knowledge-based economy, employers value these skills. Learning history is learning skills.

LSE history students continue to have one of the best rate of employability and earnings after graduation in the UK. The Complete University Guide 2020 places History at LSE 6th overall for job prospects. Guardian's University League Tables 2019 places History at LSE in 8th place. The latest 2019 report on Graduate Outcomes Subject by Provider from the Department for Education places History at LSE top of the table with earnings superior to any other university in the UK with 2010-11 LSE graduates' median salary at £43,200 5 years after graduating.

A report on relative labour market returns, also from the Department for Education, which calculated the difference in earnings by subject and university choice throughout Britain five years after graduation, ranked History at LSE number 1 in June 2018. The report illustrates the average impact the different universities and subjects would have on the future income of an individual. History at LSE averaged a lifetime earnings boost of £14,000 for men and £15,000 for women when compared with studying history at any other university in the UK, including Oxford, St Andrews, Cambridge, KCL and UCL.

Browse data regarding graduate destinations for this programme

Support for your career

The department is committed to supporting students' options after graduation in the world of work or futher studies by organising a careers programme tailored specifically to International History students with the help of LSE Careers. Also, 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 profiles

Becca Trieu
MSc History of International Relations (2018)

Becca Trieu

I am now interning at the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, in the Public Outreach and Campaigns Section. I believe my LSE degree helped me validate the Communications background I previously acquired, to a more political context.

Natalie Büchin
MSc History of International Relations (2018)

Natalie Büchin

Since graduating from LSE, I have been contracting as a Project Management consultant. I am very excited about my current project where I coordinate the 2019 Spending Review Programme for the Home Office, shaping what will be delivered by the Home Office over the next three year period. Although this is a field I worked in prior to my studies, LSE has helped me process complex information more quickly on a practical level, whilst the degree has also been perceived very positively in terms of ‘opening doors’ by my employers.

Find out what other MSc History of International Relations students have been doing since graduating

Student stories

Class profile

This wide-ranging Masters programme is aimed at those looking for a taught graduate programme in history in an international context. It caters for a wide variety of students, including those who have studied history at an undergraduate level and those who are making the transition from related subjects such as political science, modern languages, economics, law or journalism.

Fees and funding

Every graduate 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 2020/21 for MSc History of International Relations

UK/EU students: £14,640
Overseas students £22,608

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.

Fee reduction

Students who completed undergraduate study at LSE and are beginning taught graduate study at the School are eligible for a fee reduction of around 10 per cent of the fee.

Scholarships 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 £13 million in scholarships each year to graduate students from the UK, EU and overseas.

This programme is eligible for needs-based awards from LSE, including the Graduate Support SchemeMaster's Awards, and Anniversary Scholarships

Selection for any funding opportunity is based on receipt of an application for a place – including all ancillary documents, before the funding deadline. 
Funding deadline for needs-based awards from LSE: 27 April 2020.

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. 

Government tuition fee loans and external funding

A postgraduate loan is available from the UK government for eligible students studying for a first master’s programme, to help with fees and living costs. Some other governments and organisations also offer tuition fee loan schemes.

Find out more about tuition fee loans

Further information

Fees and funding opportunities

Why study with us?

International History at LSE

The LSE was founded in 1895 originally as an institute of higher education for graduate students. The Department of International History reflects this tradition and takes its responsibility for graduate teaching and research supervision very seriously. We admit nearly as many masters students as undergraduates, with a critical mass of graduates usually numbering over 150 in a year. Consequently our graduates never feel on the margins of the department or an after-thought which often can be the case at some other London institutions geared more for undergraduate teaching. We have one of the most cosmopolitan graduate communities in London and for international history in the UK and it is therefore one of the most vibrant and dynamic. You will have use of our library, famous for being the best university library in London. In addition, we have an IT network and training facilities that are acknowledged to be leading the field.

LSE History rankings

The department has consistently performed well in the QS World University Rankings. In the QS World University History Subject Table for 2019, History at LSE ranked 6th overall in the world ahead of Stanford, Columbia, Princeton, UCLA and Chicago. In the UK and in Europe, History at LSE ranked third, behind Oxford and Cambridge, but ahead of UCL, KCL and Leiden.

Research in the Department

The department offers a number of established and well-respected taught programmes which give students a range of core and specialist topics, the latter enabling our staff to teach topics which form their current research projects (which also saves you money as you don't have to buy the book later on!). While on the subject of research, the department is divided into five research clusters covering a wide range of subjects taught in the Department. We have our own blog, LSE International History Blog, where students and non-LSE historians contribute historically-informed perspectives on contemporary affairs. We also have our own podcast, Our Histories, with each episode devoted to the research conducted by one of our faculty members.

LSE and departmental events

Graduate students in the Department of International History have a research seminar with guest speakers and there are guest lectures. We organise a weekend away at Cumberland Lodge, Great Windsor Park once a year. This is designed to enable graduates to get to know each other better and to develop their ideas about a particular topic. Additionally throughout the year, students can take advantage of the great LSE tradition of inviting famous (and infamous) figures from the world of politics, business, media and international affairs. Please see the Department's Public Lectures and Events for a good range of history events hosted by us during the academic year as well as the  LSE Public Lectures and Events. This helps make the LSE a particularly fertile and exciting place to be studying international history. There is an almost bewildering range of societies and clubs engaging with international politics, single issues, the 'third world', social justice problems or just dedicated to sport, music, dance and a whole range of pursuits which we lecturers haven't got a clue about. We highly recommend our students join the LSE Student Union History Society. We have a gym and squash courts on site and one of the largest student shops on campus. There is also a large student bookshop owned by Waterstone's selling new and used books.

We are very fortunate at the LSE in being so centrally located in the capital. We are in walking distance of the British Library, Covent Garden, the Royal Courts of Justice, the British Museum, the National Gallery, the West End theatres as well as Trafalgar Square, the Barbican, Buckingham Palace, River Thames and the London Eye. Much of our graduate accommodation is located in prime real-estate sites in central London. Our graduate students can take advantage of all the intellectual resources that this capital is home to, including the National Archives south of the river at Kew and the world's largest newspaper archive in North London. Not surprisingly our students are able to produce dissertations of the highest quality benefiting from such easy access to a range of primary sources and people willing to help.

Contact us

Programme and admissions enquiries

With questions related to your application or the admissions process, please check our admissions frequently asked questions page.

If you have any queries which are not answered on the website, please contact the department's Graduate Admissions Advisor.

Lewis1

Dr Joanna Lewis
Associate Professor in International History
Email

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