Breaking down barriers through the AKO Masters Scholarship

A scholarship has the remarkable power to bring about transformative change
- Professor Emma McCoy, LSE Vice President and Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education
BPS scholarships - 747x560

The AKO Foundation has pledged a £1 million gift to establish a programme of 30 scholarships for master’s students from under-represented backgrounds in the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Sciences. Over a three-year period, beginning in the 2024/25 academic year, the AKO Masters Scholarship will fund six full scholarships for candidates from the Global South, and 24 scholarships open to all applicants that will cover full tuition fees.

The Department of Psychological and Behavioural Sciences is focused on understanding human behaviour on an individual, group, organisational or national scale, and how using these insights can help to create a stronger, fairer and more sustainable world. The scholarships will be available across all five of the Department’s MSc programmes, which provide in-depth training in areas such as how to change human behaviour in corporate and public environments, how performance and well-being can be shaped by the interface between social psychological processes and organisational systems, and how communication can affect the conduct of everyday public and private life.

A key aim of the scholarships is to bring essential and diverse voices, perspectives and experiences to the Department’s cohorts of master’s students. It will empower changemakers to bring important psychological and behavioural insights – as well as their unique voices and perspectives – to leadership positions around the world, with a view to addressing the imbalance of diversity in leadership that persists across all sectors.

The AKO Foundation was created in 2013 by Nicolai Tangen (MSC Organisational and Social Psychology 2017) to support charitable causes that improve education, promote the arts or mitigate climate problems. It has previously supported a scholarship for a PhD student in the Department.

Philip Lawford, CEO of the AKO Foundation, said: “The Foundation firmly believes that education is the key to a successful future both for individuals and for societies as a whole. The MSc programmes offered by the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Sciences equip graduates with a profound capacity to harness advanced knowledge in psychological and behavioural insights, enabling them to make meaningful contributions to societal advancement. We are delighted to partner with LSE not only to support emerging leaders in this field, but also to contribute towards broadening the candidate base that will benefit from LSE’s exceptional postgraduate education in these areas.”

Professor Emma McCoy, LSE Vice President and Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education added: “A scholarship has the remarkable power to bring about transformative change, and we are incredibly grateful to the AKO Foundation for its support and belief in the brilliant minds and future leaders who will catalyse positive transformations across our world. We are inspired by the underlying ambition to bring a more diverse cohort of students to study on our Psychological and Behavioural Science MSc programmes, and to bring together a group of students who will ultimately leverage the knowledge and wisdom gained at LSE to drive progress across many industries and regions worldwide.”