Dissertation in International Relations Theory and International Relations (Research)

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof John Sidel CBG.3.35


This course is compulsory on the MSc in International Relations (Research). This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

MSc students are required to write a 10,000 word dissertation on a topic within the field of IR approved by the student's academic mentor. The dissertation need not be an account of original research and may rely on secondary sources.


All MSc IR (Research) students will be assigned dissertation supervisors before the end of the Michaelmas Term. The Department will allocate dissertation supervisors on the basis of the relevant expertise and availability of members of academic staff, with student preferences taken into consideration. Dissertation supervisors will be available to provide guidance in one-on-one meetings and through other forms of communication over the late Michaelmas, Lent, and Summer terms. Thereafter students are expected to work independently on their dissertations without further supervision.


In addition, the Department will provide support by offering a number of lectures and workshops throughout the academic year.  An introductory lecture in the Michaelmas Term will provide an overview of the MSc Dissertation and the processes involved in terms of requirements, oversight and supervision, research and writing, submission and assessment. Bespoke workshops will be offered in the Michaelmas, Lent, and Summer terms in collaboration with LSE Life to guide students in choosing a topic and research question, desgining and implementing a dissertation project.


The MSc IR programme director will also offer a question-and-answer session in the Summer Term in conjunction with the LSE Life workshop. Over the summer period the Department will also offer ‘drop-in’ sessions for students with individual queries.


Dissertation (100%, 10000 words) in August.

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 Relations

Total students 2020/21: 20

Average class size 2020/21: 20

Controlled access 2020/21: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills