How can I apply?
Please read the programme description and the frequently asked questions below, before proceeding. When you are ready to apply, go to the Graduate Admissions webpages and click through to the online application system, where you will be prompted to select your chosen programme of study and submit your information.
You can find more details about how to apply, and a link to the online application system, at this page: lse.ac.uk/study-at-lse/Graduate/Prospective-students
When is the deadline for applications?
Applications are on an annual basis. The deadline to apply to commence the programme in September 2020 was 10 January. Applications will re-open in the autumn. The deadline to apply to commence the programme in September 2021 will be confirmed in due course.
Please note that applications are not sent to the Department unless they are complete. Missing items (such as references) will delay consideration of your application and may result in your application being rejected due to supervision no longer being available. You are strongly advised to contact your referees well in advance and ask them to submit their letters of support as soon as possible. All application documents must be submitted through LSE Graduate Admissions and cannot be accepted directly by the Department.
What is the minimum entrance requirement?
The minimum requirement is a very good pass in a Master’s degree (preferably in a social science discipline). A very good pass is considered to be 65% or above, or about a 3.5 GPA in the US system. (See our international requirements page to find out what the equivalent is for other international qualifications.) However, competition is high and most admitted students have high passes or Firsts in their undergraduate degrees and Distinctions in their Masters (equivalent to better than 3.8 GPA). Outstanding candidates with substantial relevant professional experience may also be considered, provided they meet the minimum academic requirements.
Is a Master’s degree a pre-requisite for the programme?
Yes. To be considered for entry, prospective applicants must either have a Master’s degree or be working towards one.
I am doing my Master’s now. Can I still apply if some of my marks are pending?
Yes, you can submit your application and be considered while your marks and Master’s qualification are still pending.
My final degree result will not be available until after registration, what should I do?
For the answer to this question, please see here (links to the Graduate Admissions Enquiries System).
I already have an MRes or MPhil degree. Will I be allowed to skip the MRes year?
It is very unlikely that this would be allowed.
Do I need to have a supervisor "on board" prior to making an application?
You don't need to have secured prior agreement from a supervisor before making an application. However, we do ask that you carefully research staff members and their areas of expertise in the International Development department and explain why you would like to be supervised by them - your application is much more likely to be successful if you do this. It also helps us to deal with your application promptly.
To help with this, you can view academic staff profiles on our website at www.lse.ac.uk/international-development/people. You can also search through all LSE staff filtered by their expertise keywords at www.lse.ac.uk/People/Search-People.
Must my application be accompanied by a research proposal?
Applications will only be considered if accompanied by a research proposal. We do not set a hard word limit but we advise that your research proposal should be approximately 2,000 words. Please don't panic about the length of your personal statement or research proposal. The guidance on the word count is there to help you focus your proposal, and not intended to penalise applicants.
What should the research proposal include?
The research proposal should have a descriptive title to enable us to identify the broad theme of the project quickly.
A good research proposal should actively engage with the relevant academic literature, including an introduction to the research question and a discussion of the current theoretical and methodological debates to which the proposed research will contribute. MRes students will be expected to significantly deepen and develop their research proposal during the first year of the programme.
For further guidance on writing the research proposal please refer to the supporting documents page.
How can I make sure that my other supporting documents fit the requirements?
Please be guided by the instructions on supporting documents set out by Graduate Admissions. This will ensure that you provide the right information as part of your application. This includes guidance on your sample of written work, personal statement, CV, research proposal and references.
How can I meet LSE’s English Language Requirements?
Please see here for information on how to meet LSE’s English language requirement.
If you do need to submit English Language test scores, you can either take the test now (and submit the scores before applying), or you can apply without the scores and submit them later on (i.e., after receiving an offer of a place, but prior to enrollment). If you do it the second way, and you’re made an offer of a place on the programme, then your place would be conditional on passing the test at the required level.
Is financial support available?
The Department of International Development is able to nominate a number of promising applicants for ESRC funding (UK/EU students only) or LSE PhD Studentship funding (all). Please be aware that competition for these awards is very high.
Students who submit their completed application to the MRes/PhD International Development by the deadline will be considered for any funding for which they are eligible. You don't need to complete a separate application form to be considered for this funding.
More details on funding are available on the LSE’s Funding webpages. If you receive an offer of a place on our programme, the Programme Manager will explain the process in more detail.
Who can I contact for further information?
Please look at the Graduate Admissions webpages for information on submitting your application. Please note that applications and supporting documents should not be sent directly to the Department.
For queries about the programme, please email the PhD Programme Manager on firstname.lastname@example.org.