LSE Philosophy is ranked among the top places in the world for graduate study in virtually all of its areas of specialty. These rankings are based upon survey reports by a group of leading experts in the field and are published at the Philosophical Gourmet Report.

1. Philosophy of Social Science


In philosophy of social sciences, LSE Philosophy is in a category of its own. It is the only department in the world to be rated with an average score of 4 out of 5, and remains the number one place in the world to do graduate work in philosophy of the social sciences. Read about our MSc in Philosophy of the Social Sciences and our PhD programme in Philosophy, or check out the Department Blog for some of our latest research.

2. Decision, Rational Choice, & Game Theory (incl. Formal Epistemology)


LSE joins Carnegie-Mellon and University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in the top group for Decision, Rational Choice and Game Theory, beating out Oxford University and Rutgers University by half a point. Find out more about some of our regular events, such as the Choice Group and the Managing Severe Uncertainty Group.

3. Political Philosophy

3rd (tied with NYU)

The department now outranks Harvard, Princeton and Oxford in political philosophy, coming in at third in the world together with New York University. The practical applications of political philosophy are also explored in our MSc degrees in areas like Philosophy and Economics, Philosophy of the Social Sciences, and Philosophy of Public Policy.

4. General Philosophy of Science

2nd (tied with eight others)

LSE Philosophy is ranked 2nd in a tie for general philosophy of science, with others in the group including Cambridge University, Columbia University and University of Western Ontario, and beating out Oxford, Stanford and NYU. The LSE department was founded in 1946 by the renowned philosopher of science Professor Sir Karl Popper and our faculty’s work in this area continues to be world-leading. Learn more about the history of the Department in this introductory video by LSE philosopher of science Professor John Worrall.

5. Philosophy of Physics


Philosophy of physics at LSE came in at a respectable 9th in the world, beating Princeton, University of Minnesota, Notre Dame and University of Bristol. LSE is the major London hub for philosophy of physics activity, such as through the historic Sigma Club lecture series. Students may study philosophy of physics in the department through the PhD programme and through the MSc in Philosophy of Science.

6. Overall UK Philosophy Department Ranking


LSE Philosophy is ranked 6th overall in philosophy, a leap from 11th in 2011. The “overall rankings” were determined by representatives from all areas of philosophy, and therefore tend to represent the recognition of a faculty outside of their particular areas of specialty. It is thus notable that, even as a relatively small and specialised department, LSE Philosophy still ranks 6th according to this measure.

Explanation of the Rankings

The Philosophical Gourmet Report (PGR) is a well-known scoring of university philosophy departments edited by Berit Brogaard and Brian Leiter. Scores are produced by asking panels of experts to rate the “quality of the faculty” at hundreds of departments around the world on a scale from 0 (Inadequate for a PhD program) to 5 (Distinguished). The groupings published on the PGR are determined by the rounded mean, and the numbers (X,Y) next to each department indicate the (median, mode). The rankings on this page are determined first by PGR’s published mean, then by the median, and then by the mode.