How can I apply?
All prospective research students must apply using the online application system. Please read the programme description and the answers to frequently asked questions below, before proceeding.
When is the deadline for applications?
To be considered for a place on the MRes/PhD in International Development in the next academic session, you should submit your application by 15 January 2024.
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 in a relevant subject (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 finishing 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.
I already have an MRes or MPhil degree. Will I be allowed to skip the MRes year?
No, this is not allowed.
Can I apply for just the MRes rather than a PhD?
There is no separate MRes programme. The MRes/PhD International Development is intended for students wishing to complete a PhD. All students are initially registered as MRes students and are upgraded to PhD status upon completing the MRes and meeting the upgrade requirements at the end of the first year.
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.
Should I include a full research proposal with my application?
Yes. Applications will only be considered if accompanied by a research proposal. We do not set a maximum word limit but we advise that your research proposal should be approximately 2000 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 problem or question and a discussion of the current theoretical and/or methodological debates to which the proposed research will contribute. The proposal should also indicate how you would go about investigating the proposed topic, eg. what methods and sources of evidence you plan to use. The proposal needs to show some depth and coherence, but is understood to be preliminary. 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 (ie, after receiving an offer of a place, but prior to enrolment). 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 there a separate application form for funding?
You do not need to submit a separate application form for LSE or ESRC PhD funding. As long as you have applied for a place on the MRes/PhD International Development by the programme deadline, we will automatically consider you for all PhD funding opportunities you may be eligible for. Please refer to the individual programme page for the relevant deadline information.
In some cases, International Development PhD students who have already completed their first year may be eligible to apply for funding from the LAHP (London Arts and Humanities Partnership), funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Students of all nationalities can apply for one of these studentships. Students who are interested should apply directly to the LAHP. Please see here for further details.
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, Monika Kruesmann, on email@example.com.