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LSE PhD Academy
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Postal address: 
PhD Academy
LSE, Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE


Tel: +44 (0)20 7955 6607


Email: phdacademy@lse.ac.uk


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PhD mythbusters

The PhD Academy team is keen to support you at all stages of your PhD. This page explores or explodes some of the myths surrounding the PhD, ensuring you have the most accurate information.

The team will be adding to this page on a regular basis. We would welcome your feedback and also suggestions for other topics that might be included, so please email them at phdacademy@lse.ac.uk with your thoughts.

If I am conducting my fieldwork in London I won’t need to complete a risk assessment. Myth or fact?

Any doctoral student conducting fieldwork, regardless of where it is taking place, needs to complete a fieldwork request form and the associated risk assessment.

Why? To ensure you conduct any fieldwork connected to your PhD research ethically and that your own safety is not put at risk by what you are doing.

You will find the ‘Application to undertake fieldwork’ form on our A-Z of guidance documents page and can speak with a member of the PhD Academy team for further advice when you are planning your fieldwork.

My supervisor can give me an extension to my submission deadline. Myth or fact?

The only body in the School that can grant you additional time to complete your thesis (beyond the four years of full time study permitted) is the Chair or Deputy Chair of the Research Degrees Subcommittee (RDSC). If you are an ESRC funded student, permission is granted by the ESRC. This applies whether you are requesting one day, one month or one year.

Why? Students are expected to complete and submit their thesis within four years as required by the School’s Regulations for Research Degrees – see our PhD overview year by year page or by the ESRC (if you are funded by them). Only the RDSC (or ESRC) is able to grant an exception to this rule.

You will find further information about completing your thesis at our PhD overview year by year page, Year 4 tab, and details of the support offered for completion at our Academic and professional development and Coaching pages.


If you need to request an extension, you can use the ‘Application to extend your registration form’ at our A-Z of guidance documents page and seek advice from a member of the PhD Academy team.