LSE-Columbia University Double Degree Dissertation

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr David Motadel SAR 3.16

Dr Victoria Phillips


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 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 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. The School aims to run in-person seminars, subject to circumstances, with some online provision if and where necessary.


Formative coursework

Students will be requested to submit a Dissertation Research Report for discussion in the MT. Students are also required to circulate a 3000-word extract of their dissertation for discussion in the LT.

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.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: International History

Total students 2020/21: 23

Average class size 2020/21: 23

Controlled access 2020/21: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information