Departmental website:

Number of graduate students (full-time equivalent)
Research: 46

Number of faculty (full-time equivalent): 61

REF:  88 per cent of the Department's research was rated world-leading or internationally excellent 

Location:  Connaught House

About the Department

The Department of Government at LSE is one of the largest political science departments in the UK and covers almost all areas of politics. We offer a comprehensive range of academic approaches, from political theory, political economy, rational choice theory, public policy, nationalism, conflict studies, and comparative government to the history of institutions and policy. Many faculty members have particular regional expertise on Europe, the Middle East, Asia and or Latin America.

Being based within the only UK institution that specialises solely in the social sciences is a great benefit and our graduate programmes involve close collaboration with other departments and institutions in the School, including the European Institute, the Methodology Institute, Urban and Regional Planning (in the Geography Department), International Relations, International Development, and Law.

Our students come from all corners of the globe, as do our academic visitors and faculty. Accordingly, the Department has a strongly cosmopolitan character and its alumni are to be found in some of the leading departments of political science and in journalism, commerce, central and local government, and non-governmental organisations in the UK and across the world. 

MRes/PhD Political Science

Visiting Research Students

The MRes/PhD Political Science provides world-leading methods training, participation in a lively and open research culture, and the opportunity to be part of one of the best departments in political science and political studies in the world. You will join a small and highly selective entering class, of about 8–12 students from a wide range of universities around the world. Together you will embark on the MRes portion of the programme, which is a structured route to the PhD.

In the first year, you will take a series of courses and prepare a Research Prospectus. You will be trained in research design and research methods and also take courses from a broad range of graduate specialisms in our Department and across LSE. You will study with acknowledged leaders in their fields and learn what political scientists know (and don’t know), what the key debates have been and where the discipline is going. Subject to satisfactory performance, you will be ‘upgraded’ to the PhD programme and will implement your research plan. 

Taught programmes


MRes/PhD Political Science
Visiting Research Students

Application code: M1ZN (MRes/PhD), M1EG (VRS) (check availability)

Start date: 21 September 2017

Duration: 3 - 5 years (minimum 3), VRS up to 9 months (renewable)

Entry requirement:  First class or very good upper second class honours degree (normally 65+) and an MA, MSc or equivalent degree (completed or completion expected) in Political Science or a closely related discipline (such as Sociology, Economics or History)

English requirement: Standard

GRE/GMAT requirement: None

Fee level: See Tuition fees

Financial support: LSE PhD Studentships (see Financial support), ESRC funding (see ESRC

Application deadline: 9 January 2017. Selection for funding is also based on receipt of an application for a place – including all ancillary documents – by 9 January 2017

Notes: Applicants must submit either two degree essays of between 3,000–5,000 words or a dissertation of no more than 10,000 words (this can be an extract from a longer work)