Departmental website: lse.ac.uk/internationalDevelopment
Number of graduate students (full-time equivalent)
Number of faculty (full-time equivalent): 32
REF: 81 per cent of the Department's research was rated world-leading or internationally excellent
Location: Connaught House
About the Department
The Department of International Development was established in 1990 to promote 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, national political and economic systems, and in the international system.
All faculty members are associated with top-ranked departments in the 2014 HEFCE Research Excellence Framework. Members of the Department 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.
Students in our MRes and research programmes come from all over the world and have found employment in both academia and a wide variety of government, non-government, and private-sector organisations working in the developing world. Recent placements include the DFID, ODI, World Bank, University of Leeds, Wesleyan University, LSE, Bank of England, and BRAC.
Opportunities for research
The Department of International Development has established 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.
From 2015 the MRes programme is normally the primary entry point to the research stream and replaces the first year (MPhil) of the MPhil/PhD programme. The MRes programme is designed to both train students in a common academic heritage and to provide significant flexibility to develop advanced methodological and theoretical skills within disciplinary specialisms appropriate to their research interests.
Prospective students should have a strong academic record and graduate training (at the MSc level) demonstrating a high standard of achievement. This includes any languages necessary for the proposed research and methodological and theoretical grounding in one of the social science disciplines.
Accepted students in the MRes degree who are planning to use advanced quantitative analysis in their PhD research are required to take the summer (September) Introductory Course in Mathematics and Statistics. Students must achieve a mark of 70 if they wish to request admission to any of the advanced (MRes level) methodology courses offered by the Department of Economics.
During the academic year MRes students acquire methodological training, language skills (if necessary), and background knowledge of specific topics related to their research by working closely with their supervisor and taking advanced methodology and theory courses at the Department or in the School, to a total of four full units of coursework. These include two and a half units of advanced methodology and theory courses (to be determined by the student’s supervisor), a half unit course in Development Theory, History and Policy, and a one unit course on research design for which they will develop their PhD proposal. In addition, all students participate in a 500-level research student seminar series where ongoing work is presented and debated.
Students that satisfactorily complete the four units of coursework, including their research proposal, will receive the MRes degree. MRes students who achieve an average mark of 65 across their three full course credits, and a mark of at least 65 on their PhD proposal, will be allowed to progress to the PhD programme.
In addition to the programmes listed above, the Department contributes to: