Departmental website:

Number of graduate students (full-time equivalent)
Research: 30

Number of faculty (full-time equivalent): 26

REF: 80 per cent of the Department's research was rated world-leading or internationally excellent

Location: St Clement's

About the Department

The Department of Sociology was the first to be created in Britain and has played a key role in establishing and developing the discipline nationally and internationally – since 1904. The Department is committed to empirically rich, conceptually sophisticated, and socially and politically relevant research and scholarship. While building upon the traditions of the discipline it seeks to play a key role in developing new intellectual areas, and addressing the social problems and ethical dilemmas that face a globalised society.

LSE Sociology embraces a theoretically and methodologically diverse range of approaches. There are four research areas which constitute our strategic priorities and reflect overall a balance between ‘traditional’ sociology and ‘innovation’: economy, technology and expertise; politics and human rights; social inequalities and urban sociology. Our teaching is informed by our commitments and by our active research in these areas. LSE Sociology aims to provide a learning environment in which students are encouraged to think critically and independently.

The Department plays a key role in interdisciplinary initiatives, including:

The International Inequalities Institute, which leads critical and cutting edge research to understand why inequalities are escalating in numerous arenas across the world, and to develop critical tools to address these challenges.

LSE Cities, an international centre that studies how people and cities interact in a rapidly urbanising world, focusing on how the physical form and design of cities impacts on society, culture and the environment.

The Centre for the Study of Human Rights, a trans-disciplinary centre of excellence for international academic research, teaching and critical scholarship on human rights.

The Department is also home to two leading Journals: the British Journal of Sociology, and Economy and Society.

MPhil/PhD Sociology

The Department is committed to empirically rich, conceptually sophisticated, and socially and politically relevant research and scholarship, and values contribution from MPhil/PhD students. In your first year, you can choose to study a range of methods and specialist courses from a variety of institutes and departments at LSE. You must attend the first year research class for MPhil students and graduate course units in methodology. At the end of the year, you will produce a 5,000 word research proposal, outlining the aims and methods of your thesis. This has to reach an acceptable standard to enable you to progress to the second year.

After the first year, you will spend more time on independent study under the guidance of your personal supervisor. This will involve the collection, organisation, analysis and writing up of data and ideas. You will have the opportunity to attend a regular general research seminar and/or specialist workshops and seminars related to your interests. You will be expected to make an active contribution to these by presenting papers and joining in the general discussion.

Other MPhil/PhD programme

Taught programmes


MPhil/PhD Sociology
Visiting Research Students

Application code: L3ZS (MPhil/PhD), L3ES (VRS) (check availability)

Start date: 21 September 2017

Duration: 3 - 4 years (minimum 2), VRS up to 9 months (renewable)

Entry requirement: Merit in a taught master's degree and a 2:1 degree or equivalent in sociology or another social science

English requirement: Research

GRE/GMAT requirement: None

Fee level: See Tuition fees

Financial support: LSE PhD Studentships (see Fees and Financial support), ESRC funding (see Economic and Social Research Council)

Application deadline: 9 June 2017. However please note the funding deadlines: 9 January (LSE PhD Studentships & ESRC) and 26 April 2017 (LSE PhD Studentships). Selection for funding is based on receipt of an application for a place – including all ancillary documents