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PhD Economic History Admissions FAQs

LSE has a well-established infrastructure for admitting and funding PhD students in the Department of Economic History. We have a Chair and committee for both PhD Admissions and PhD Recruitment. In addition we have a dedicated professional staff at School and Department level dealing with funding and admissions. Applications are processed centrally through the Graduate Admissions Office.

There is a strict application deadline for the MPhil/PhD Economic History 2024 entry. All applicants are advised to read the MPhil/PhD Economic History 2024 prospectus page.


Admissions FAQs (2024 entry)

Below you will find various FAQS categorised by application, post application, funding and programme queries.

 Application queries

1. When is the application deadline for the PhD Economic History?

For direct entry to the MPhil/PhD Economic History, the application deadline is 25 April 2024.  However, to be considered for any LSE funding opportunity, you must have submitted your application and all supporting documents by 15 January 2024.

Only complete applications, supplied with all required supporting information, will be considered.

2. How should I apply

Applications must be submitted via LSE's Online Application System and are processed through LSE's central Graduate Admissions Office.  All applicants are advised to read the Department of Economic History 2024 prospectus page (for entry in 2024).

3. When should I apply?

The deadline to submit an application is 23.59hrs (UK time) on 25 April 2024. Candidates are encouraged to apply early rather than wait until very close to the deadline to avoid unforseen circumstances (eg. technical issues) preventing timely submission.  Applicants wishing to be considered for funding should submit their applications by 23.59hrs (UK time) on 15 January 2024.

4. What are the entry requirements? 

Entry requirements for the MPhil/PhD Economic History are stated on the Departmental Prospectus Page.  See also the LSE Minimum Entry Requirements including including information for international students.

For details about the programme itself, see the Department of Economic History Research Programme and the prospectus pages.  Please also read the PhD Handbook

5. What should my application include?

Your application should include:

  • An application form
  • Application fee
  • Statement of academic purpose
  • CV
  • Transcripts
  • Two academic references
  • Research Proposal (see guidance on the research proposal below)
  • Sample of written work
  • English language test scores (if applicable - see English language requirements)

For a full explanation of what you need to supply, please see Graduate Admissions advice on How to Apply and guide to Supporting Documents.

6. How can I get help with the application process?

Questions about the mechanics of the application process should be submitted to LSE's central Graduate Admissions Office.  See how you can Contact the Graduate Admissions Office.

A full range of Graduate Admissions guidance and information is available via their Graduate Knowledge Base page. If you do not find the answer to your question there, please follow the 'I need Help' link which allows you to contact the Graduate Admissions Office by email or Live Chat.

7. Do I need to submit a written sample?

Yes, applicants to the MPhil/PhD Economic History are required to submit a sample of their written work in addition to a research proposal.

8. Do I need to submit a Statement of Academic Purpose as well as a research proposal? 

Yes, the statement of academic purpose is a school-wide requirement as it helps our academic selectors understand your personal motivation for undertaking the programme, and gives you the opportunity to explain your academic strengths, relevant interests and tell us what you can bring to the programme. This statement can be brief - ideally, not exceeding 1,000 words.

9. What should my Research Proposal contain?

You should state your research topic as accurately as possible. Your research proposal should address the following questions:

  • What is your general topic?
  • What questions do you want to answer?
  • What is the key literature and its limitations?
  • What are the main hypotheses of the work?
  • What methodology do you intend to use?
  • What are your case studies, if any, and what are your case selection criteria?

MPhil/PhD applications that are received without a research proposal that addresses these questions will not be considered.

10. How can I demonstrate research potential? 

If you have worked as a research assistant for an academic, please ask that person to write a letter focussing on your research skills, and describe your experience.

If not, please list any evidence you think would be valuable.  Examples include, but are not limited to: experience working autonomously under stress without guidance; demonstration of creativity in any form; or experience of writing original research.

11. Can I contact faculty in advance, with a request to be my PhD supervisor?

It is often a good idea to approach faculty in advance of submitting your application, mainly for comments on your research but also to confirm that the person you wish to work with will be available - often staff go on academic leave, or they might already be at capacity in terms of how many students they can realistically supervise.  Confirming this early will avoid disappointment.

You can find a full list of Economic History faculty here.

12. Do I need to submit a GRE (Graduate Record Examination) score?

No.  The Department of Economic History does not require the GRE or the GMAT.

14. Can I submit an application solely for the MPhil?

No. The MPhil is the first stage of the PhD programme and the expectation is that successful applicants will complete the whole programme as outlined.

15. Can I transfer from a PhD programme at another university? 

Applicants who commence/are already undertaking a PhD programme at another insitution will not normally be allowed to transfer directly into a later stage of our PhD Economic History.  Such applicants would be expected to submit a full application to the programme like any other candidate and, if offered a place, would be required to take all parts of the course from the start of the programme.

However, we do welcome applications to the Visiting Research Student Scheme (VRS).  Under this scheme, students from other institutions can apply to join the Department for from one term, to one academic year.  Please see VRS in Economic History for full details.

16. Who should I contact for further information and advice? 

If you have a query that is not addressed here, or on our Department website, please contact Tracy Keefe, who will be happy to advise in the first instance.

Please note, we are not able to reply to questions that constitute a request for an informal assessment.  Applicants who have questions about their eligibility should consult the Department of Economic History prospectus page.

All enquiries about the application process must be addressed to LSE's central Graduate Admissions Office.

 Post application queries  

17. Do you hold an Open Day

The Department participates in the School's Virtual Open Day events for prospective applicants.  For more information and to register your interest, please visit the LSE webpage

In case you missed our Open Day presentation for students interested in 2023 entry, you can find our slides here, or you can watch the recording here.

Applicants are welcome to visit LSE on their own and attend a guided, or self-guided, tour.  Please see Visit LSE for more details.

LSE also has many public events which are open to all, although some do require a ticket.

18. What happens to my application afer I click submit? 

  1. Receipt of application by the School’s central Graduate Admissions Office 

    During this phase, the Graduate Admissions team conducts checks to ensure you have included all of the required documents with your application. Please note, the Department will not receive your application until you have supplied all of the required documents, which must be submitted by the application deadline. 

  2. Receipt and consideration of documents by the Department

    Once the deadline passes and the Department receives all complete applications the Selection Committee begins its review of all applications, until they arrive at a final shortlist of candidates. This process usually takes around 4 weeks at the end of which the Committee holds its final meeting to decide on who to make an offer to.

    NB: The Department of Economic History may hold interviews as part of its selection process, shortlisted candidates will be contacted to arrange a convenient time. 

  3. Consideration for funding

    After the Selection Committee meeting, all applicants who are offered a place on the PhD Economic History programme are reviewed by the Funding committee for consideration of all funding at our disposal. The Department cannot guarantee that all of those offered places to study will also be offered funding. 

  4. Offer and post-offer

    From early March onward, formal offers will be sent out by the LSE Graduate Admissions Office after carrying out its standard checks. The Department will also contact candidates to whom we wish to offer a place on the PhD Economic History. At that stage, each candidate will be advised if they have been awarded funding, waitlisted for funding or have not been allocated funding at all. 

  5. Unsuccessful applications

    Candidates who are unsuccessful will be informed of the final decision by the Graduate Admissions Office. We typically expect this decision to be communicated to you around the beginning of March. 

19. When will I get my decision on my PhD in Economic History?

Admissions decisions will be made by a committee in the Department of Economic History.  We aim to inform sucessful applicants by early April 2024.  If your application is successful, we expect you to let us know as soon as possible if you plan to enrol.

20. What are my chances of admission?

The admission committee reviews all applications and offers a place to those candidates with sufficient research potential.

Applicants who have questions about their eligibility for applying to research programmes at LSE should consult the LSE Minimum Entry Requirements and the programme-specific page for the programme to which they intend to apply. Also see additional information for international students. Meeting the minimum requirements is not a guarantee of admission. In fact, most successful candidates exceed one or more of the requirements.

We regret that we cannot provide any further information or comment on an individual's chances of admission prior to receiving a complete formal application. The committee will make their decision based on all the information submitted with the application, which should be submitted online to the central Graduate Admissions Office.

  Funding Queries

21. Is there a separate process to apply for PhD Economic History funding?

There is no separate process to apply for any funding which is administered and awarded by LSE - as a matter of normal procedure, all applicants who are offered a place on our PhD Economic History would be considered for all types of funding at our disposal and for which they are eligible, on the basis of the information submitted in their application - see costs and financial aid

As competition for places is very high and competition for funding is even more intense, we are not able to offer funding to all PhD Economic History students, hence applicants are advised to actively explore all sources of potential funding – see information in the School's Financial Support Office pages (please check regularly for 2024 information updates)

22. Will there be funding options available once I've started the PhD Economic History?

Offer holders are expected to only take up a place on the PhD Economic History if they have funds in place to finish their degree; please be aware that it's very unlikely there will be any funding available from the Department of Economic History to fund PhD Economic History students after they have started their degree. While there might be limited sources of funding at later stages of the PhD, e.g. from teaching or research assistant positions, these cannot be guaranteed nor can specific amounts (if any) be estimated at this stage. 

23. Will my financial status be a factor in the selection process?

Admissions decisions are made on the basis of academic merit alone, without any reference to an applicant’s financial situation. Applicants who are able to fund themselves or succeed in securing a scholarship or sponsorship from any source will be considered for entry to the programme in exactly the same way as applicants who have no funding in place. The same procedures and standards apply to all applicants competing for entry.

 Programme queries 

24. What can you tell me about the structure of the programme?

See the prospectus page for the PhD Economic History programme – section “Programme structure and courses”. The PhD Economic History programme is grounded in coursework and the compulsory course EH520 Approaches to Economic and Social History in the first year, and further training courses and participation in departmental workshops and other seminars in the later years.

Also see the LSE Academic Calendar for all Research Students at LSE, where clicking on “Programme Regulations” and “Research Course Guides” will give you detailed insight into the topics covered in each programme of study. 

25. Is the PhD Economic History offered on a part-time basis?

The PhD Economic History is only offered on a full-time basis.

27. Can I progress to the Phd Economic History via an MSc programme at LSE?

Subject to successful completion of the MSc Economic History (Research), students previously accepted as part of the 1+3 programme will progress automatically to the MPhil/PhD.

However, we welcome applications from students on other LSE MSc programmes subject to successful completion of their programme with a high Merit overall (65%+) and at least 70% in the dissertation, and our ability to supervise their research proposal.