LSE Gender's minimum requirement for admission to the MPhil/PhD programme is normally a distinction or a high merit (68%) in a relevant Masters degree programme. Whilst we will consider applicants not meeting distinction level overall, we would expect to see a distinction mark for the dissertation as part of this. In the application form, students are required to produce a research proposal, setting out the context for their proposed research, specifying the initial questions, demonstrating familiarity with the relevant literature, and showing how they would investigate their chosen topic or field. The outline will normally be 3-4 pages of A4, and should include a timetable for the research. Applicants are assessed on the basis of previous qualifications, referees' reports, whether the research proposal demonstrates a good grasp of the chosen field, and whether we are able to provide appropriate supervisory expertise.
Although applicants are of course welcome to contact the Department for informal advice, you should note that It's common practice for us to receive full applications submitted through the Admissions office rather than engage in informal discussions - applicants are not expected to identify a potential supervisor - our PhD admissions panel does this upon receipt of the application. You should contact Graduate Admissions for the online version of both the prospectus and application form. For further information about LSE Gender and its research and teaching programmes, please contact Dr Kate Steward.
The formal Admissions process has two new processes. Firstly, you must provide a scanned copy of a marked assignment from your most recent programme of study. This can be related to your proposed topic of research or more broadly to the discipline/area to which you are applying. If possible, the copy should show comments from the marker(s) and/or the mark given for the assignment. If you submit scanned copies you must ensure that the information in the document is clear and legible. Failure to do so may cause delays to the processing of your application. If you have been out of study for some time and you do not have this information to hand, please just say so on your personal statement.
Secondly, at the point where we are considering your application and decide we would be interested in making you an offer, we will contact you for interview - this will either be in person or via Zoom/equivalent.
Please note we have a policy of admitting students into our programme in October of every year only.
What we are looking for in a research proposal
In general, a preliminary research proposal should consist of at least a description of the planned area of research, and an indication of proposed/completed reading as related to the area. You should address subjects such as:
- 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?
- Timetable of research
You should try to keep your proposal concise, and if possible limit it to no more than four sides of A4.
Your references would need to be good, so choose referees carefully - it's best to choose those who know you and your work well.
Finally, all this notwithstanding, the key issue is being able to offer supervision, but armed with a good application, this makes it much easier. If we do not have available expertise in LSE Gender, we will look into joint supervision with another department, so all avenues will be explored.
As far as level of English is concerned, we follow the LSE requirements for a postgraduate degree. It should be noted that all LSE degrees rely heavily on written work, and therefore a high level of competence is expected.