LSE-Columbia University Double Degree Dissertation

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Roham Alvandi SAR.M.12


This course is compulsory on the MSc in International and World History (LSE & Columbia). This course is not available as an outside option.


During their first year at Columbia University, students will identify a topic for the dissertation and will submit a detailed dissertation proposal form to their LSE supervisor. They will also have undertaken substantial research over the course of the summer, have written a Dissertation Research Report before arriving at LSE and be in a position to talk in a detailed and fluent manner with regards to their dissertation. These and the completion of other formal requirements for year one of the Double Degree will be needed before students can proceed to the second year of the programme at LSE.

Course content

The individual dissertation will be supervised and assessed at LSE in accordance with the Department's MSc regulations. It will be in the form of a thesis of no more than 15,000 words. The dissertation workshop will complement this by offering three sessions on methodological topics, and 7 sessions in which the students will each present updates on their research over the summer (MT) and a 3,000 word extract from their dissertations for group discussion, evaluation and analysis (LT).


10 hours of seminars in the MT. 10 hours of seminars in the LT.

Formative coursework

Students will be requested to submit a Dissertation Research Report at the beginning of the academic year and a dissertation chapter outline in week 8 of the MT.

Indicative reading

A reading list will be provided at the start of the course but will include the following introductory surveys: Berger, Feldner and Passmore, Writing History; D Cannadine (Ed), What is History now?; L Jordanova, History in Practice; R Evans, In Defence of History; J Tosh, The Pursuit of the Past; M Bloch, The Historian's Craft; R G Collingwood, The Idea of History.


Dissertation (100%, 15000 words) in the ST.

Key facts

Department: International History

Total students 2014/15: 24

Average class size 2014/15: 12

Controlled access 2014/15: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information