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PhD programme

Introduction to the Department of Gender Studies

Doctoral Programme Director: Professor Clare Hemmings

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The PhD programme aims to foster your scholarly and career interests, and to prepare you for the world of academic and policy research in the form of courses and professional training experience over your first three years.

You will be ‘matched’ with your main Supervisor who will guide you through the various stages of your research, and form the consistent point of contact during your time in the Department, along with the Director of the Doctoral Programme.

Please note that not all faculty will be able to take on new students each year.  

Read our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on PhD applicaiton for further guidance. 

The PhD programme aims to attract the very best future researchers, and we are attentive to questions of power and inequality and their impact on faculty, staff and on students both at the point of entry and during their studies. We have a commitment to social justice and to ensuring that the Department is a welcoming and inclusive space for all.  

For a sense of what research is currently being done by our PhD cohort, please see our People page.

Structure and Courses

All students have a main supervisor and an advisor (or joint supervision in rare cases). The supervisor is the main point of contact for the student during their studies, with whom they meet regularly. Students use online PhD logs to provide a record of meetings and to check common understanding of agreed actions on both sides. In addition to the First Year Upgrade process, students have formal reviews in the second and third years. Though some students will be supervised entirely from within LSE Gender, we occasionally draw on the research specialisms of staff in other parts of the LSE, so the supervisor may be a member of the Department of Gender Studies or of another LSE Department. In all cases, students will be drawn into the research community of the Department, joining with the other research students in the first year taught courses, working together with second and third year students in the PhD research seminar GI500, and participating in our regular seminar series. We hope students will also be able to share interests and knowledge with our Research Fellows, particularly when their areas of research overlap.

We are fortunate in being able to provide a study room for research students with computer facilities and work desks, and use of a pleasant open space for coffee breaks and quiet conversation. There are currently nine networked PCs, and connections for a further laptop/computer as well as wireless facility. The desks are available on a 'hot-desking' basis (that is, students use whichever desks are empty at the time) but there is plenty of shelving space so that students can leave books and reference material there. Space is also available in the PhD Academy.

Courses taken

Students audit the lectures of course 'GI424 Gender Theories: an interdisciplinary approach', which provides a critical understanding of the field, and provides the basis for the development of appropriate interdisciplinary theoretical frameworks. Students play an active part in the course 'GI402 Gender: Knowledge and Research Practice' and participate in seminars. The course provides training in research design with a particular focus on research ethics. Students take GI500, the Doctoral Workshop, a fortnightly research seminar run by the Director of the Doctoral Programme (DPD) with input from faculty members throughout their studies in years 1-3. The workshop is based on student work in progress, and builds professional skills through the integration of ‘paper respondents’. Spring Term workshops are focused on professional training such as writing job applications, CVs, publication and conference guidance and marking training.

Students choose from the full range of Gender Department courses to audit in discussion with their supervisory team to enhance their own methods bundle. Where appropriate to their topic, students choose courses in the Department of Methodology such as 'Foundations in Social Research', 'Advanced social Research Methods' and 'Drafting a PhD', which provide a range of key skills necessary to writing a PhD.

Students who are supervised by staff outside LSE Gender may discover that the procedure and requirements for upgrade vary slightly between departments. Please note that as a student of LSE Gender, you will come within our regulations, even if your main supervisor is based elsewhere. Having successfully upgraded from MPhil to PhD, you will then be reviewed annually to ensure that your work is progressing satisfactory.


Students are normally expected to complete their PhD thesis within three or four of registration (maximum four years). Part-time students must complete by their eighth year of registration - a deadline which also applies to students who have studied a mixture of full and part time.

Requirements for a PhD

LSE PhDs are examined under LSE regulations. These regulations specify the criteria for a PhD.

You will be guided by your supervisor to ensure that your work is compatible with the criteria for a PhD. It is still useful however to read these regulations as you embark on your PhD and subsequently from time to time to ensure your work remains on track.

The DPD has final responsibility for the MPhil/PhD programme. This means they are responsible for admissions, the allocation of supervisors, overseeing the upgrade from MPhil to PhD, monitoring ongoing progress, and arranging the final submission. They also arbitrate in cases of difficulties with supervisors, or problems with general training.

Research environment

The Department of Gender Studies was established in 1993 as a multi-disciplinary research centre. The Department serves as a focus for gender research across LSE, and works to promote a close relationship between policy makers and the academy. The Department provides a vibrant research culture with resident Research Fellows, visiting scholars, public lectures and conferences, and a regular programme of research seminars. Our thriving research community very much includes our doctoral students.

Our key research areas are:

  • Memory, Representation and Culture
  • Rights, Security and Development
  • State, Economy, Families, and Inequalities
  • Subjectivity, Sexuality and Identity

For more information about faculty research, please see our dedicated Research page.

Career Prospects

Recent graduates from the Department’s PhD programme are pursuing academic careers, postdoctoral fellowships, senior consultancy roles, and government jobs in the UK and overseas. 

For specific placement information, please see our PhDs Awarded page.

PhD Studentships in Gender in the Department of Gender Studies (LSE)

We welcome applications from prospective PhD students in any areas of faculty expertise. LSE funding comes from either LSE studentships or ESRC funding for the most part, but students do also come with funding from other external sources.

ESRC Studentships (1+3 and +3) for UK and EU students. (One Studentship available)

We are now accepting applications for the 1+3 and +3 Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) studentship schemes. ESRC awards include tuition fees plus a stipend for living expenses, a research training allowance, and limited fieldwork funding.  There is one funding round in 2023-4, deadline early January, 2023.

1+3 MSc Social Research Methods (Gender), followed by PhD Gender.

The 1+3 scheme provides funding for a one year research training MSc linked to a three year PhD and is designed for students who have not already completed an ESRC-recognised programme of research training. Transfer from the one-year MSc programme to the three-year MPhil/PhD programme is dependent on achieving high marks in the MSc.

+3  MPhil/PhD in Gender

The + 3 scheme provides three years funding for the MPhil/PhD programme for students who have already achieved an ESRC recognised 'research training' masters in a relevant field or have undertaken equivalent research training.  Please be sure and apply for the PhD code Y2ZG.

Entry requirements:

1+3 Studentship - An upper second or first class honours degree from a UK university or its equivalent. 
1+3 candidates for the MPhil/PhD Gender Studies programme should apply for the MSc Social Research Methods (Gender) and include an outline research proposal of up to 1,500 words. Completed applications will be sent to the Department of Gender Studies to be considered by our PhD Committee. Please include an outline research proposal of no more than 1,500 words indicating the potential title/area, key research question(s), motivation and background, methods to be employed (analytical approach, data, other materials if relevant) and confirmation that you are a UK or EU student and so eligible for the 1+3 studentship.  

+3 Studentship – The Department welcomes applications from students who have, or expect to obtain, a good masters degree (as below) or comparable research training in a relevant field, together with an upper second or first class honours degree from a UK university or its equivalent.

Applicants will normally need masters degree marks equivalent to an LSE high merit grade, with an overall average of 68% in their masters (or equivalent) and usually a distinction in their dissertation (or equivalent); any conditional offer for a place on the MPhil/PhD programme will be subject to obtaining such marks.

LSE Studentships (4 years) for UK, EU and Overseas students. (One studentship available)

The LSE PhD Studentship is open to students from anywhere in the world (UK, EU or elsewhere) and covers fees plus a stipend for living expenses each year for four years and is for direct MPhil/PhD entry.  There is one deadline for 2023-4 entry, in early January 2023.

The award will be made on the basis of academic merit and research potential.

The studentships include a requirement that scholars contribute to their academic department as part of their research training, in the form of providing teaching or other work in their department, usually from year two onwards.

Entry requirements:

The Department welcomes applications from students who have, or expect to obtain, a good masters degree in a relevant field, together with an upper second or first class honours degree from a UK university or its equivalent. Applicants will normally need masters degree marks equivalent to an LSE high merit grade, with an overall average of 68% in their masters (or equivalent) and usually a distinction in their dissertation (or equivalent); any conditional offer for a place on the MPhil/PhD programme will be subject to obtaining such marks.

How to Apply

For details of the formal application process and to submit your application online, please visit The annual deadline for the application including all supporting documentation, such as references and transcripts, is early January.

Please note you do not have to apply separately for any of the funding mentioned. All completed applications received by the deadline  will be considered for funding. Please see LSE webpages for more information on funding a PhD. 

If your application (including previous qualifications, research proposal and references) is identified to be of high quality by the Gender Studies PhD Committee, you will be invited for an interview.

Nominations of successful applicants will be forwarded to a School Panel for a final decision. Candidates can expect to hear back in mid March.

For more information on the department please visit the Gender Studies webpages. Read our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on PhD applicaiton for further guidance.

LSE PhD Academy

LSE PhD Academy is a dedicated space and services hub for doctoral candidates studying at LSE. Visit the PhD Academy webpages.