MPhil/PhD European Studies

  • Graduate research
  • European Institute
  • Application code M1ZE
  • Starting 2020
  • UK/EU full-time: Closed
  • Overseas full-time: Closed
  • Location: Houghton Street, London

This programme offers the chance to undertake a substantial piece of work that is worthy of publication and which makes an original contribution to the study of contemporary Europe.  You will begin on the MPhil, and will need to meet certain requirements to be upgraded to PhD status.

The MPhil/PhD in European Studies welcomes applications for multi-disciplinary, inter-disciplinary and cross-disciplinary research on Europe in the following areas: 

- governance and democracy in Europe 
- European society 
- political economy in Europe
- Europe beyond the EU  

The School has a long history of research expertise, having won the prestigious UACES doctoral prize for the best PhD in European Studies four times. You will benefit from access to outstanding academic facilities and have the added advantage of being situated in a world-class social science institution with a powerful public profile. The European Institute alone typically offers more than 50 public lectures or events per year. 

Teaching and learning in Michaelmas Term 2020 
Information on how LSE will deliver teaching and learning in Michaelmas term can be found here.

Programme details

Key facts

MPhil/PhD European Studies
Start date September 2020
Application deadline 12 June 2020. However please note the funding deadlines
Duration Three-four years (minimum 2) full-time; part-time option available after the first year
Tuition fee UK/EU: £4,435 (for the first year) 
Overseas: £19,368 (for the first year)
Financial support LSE PhD Studentships (deadlines 10 January 2020 and 27 April 2020)
ESRC funding (deadline 10 January 2020)
Minimum entry requirement Taught master’s degree, with a minimum of 65 per cent average and at least 70 in dissertation, in a related discipline
GRE/GMAT requirement None
English language requirements Research (see 'Assessing your application')
Location  Houghton Street, London

For more information about tuition fees and entry requirements, see the fees and funding and assessing your application sections.

Entry requirements

Minimum entry requirements for MPhil/PhD European Studies

The minimum entry requirement for this programme is a taught master’s degree (or equivalent), with a minimum of 65 per cent average (Merit or 2:1) and at least 70 (Distinction or a First) in the dissertation, in a related discipline.

Competition for places at the School is high. This means that even if you meet our minimum entry requirement, this does not guarantee you an offer of admission. 

If you have studied or are studying outside of the UK then have a look at our Information for International Students to find out the entry requirements that apply to you.

Assessing your application

We welcome applications for research programmes that complement the academic interests of members of staff at the School, and we recommend that you investigate staff research interests before applying.

We carefully consider each application on an individual basis, taking into account all the information presented on your application form, including your:

- academic achievement (including existing and pending qualifications)
- statement of academic purpose
- references
- CV
- outline research proposal
- sample of written work

See further information on supporting documents

You may also have to provide evidence of your English proficiency. You do not need to provide this at the time of your application to LSE, but we recommend that you do. See our English language requirements.

When to apply

The application deadline for this programme is 12 June 2020. However to be considered for any LSE funding opportunity, you must have submitted your application and all supporting documents by the funding deadline. See the fees and funding section for more details.

Programme structure and courses

You are expected to take the listed research training and transferable skills courses. You may take other optional courses in addition to those listed below but will need to discuss this with your supervisor. This will be in addition to your research.  

(* denotes a half unit course)

Year One 

Training courses

Compulsory (not examined)
Research Workshop in European Studies
Presentation and detailed discussion of PhD theses, outlines and progression. 

Optional (examined)
Applied Regression Analysis*
Examines the deepening understanding of the generalized linear model and its application to social science data.

Further training courses provided by the Department of Methodology and agreed with your supervisors. 

Transferable skills courses

Optional (not examined)
Concepts in Political Economy*
The aim of the course is to engage students with relevant concepts in political economy and their main applications in European studies.

Year Two

Training courses

Compulsory (not examined)
Research Workshop in European Studies*
Presentation and detailed discussion of PhD theses, outlines and progression. 

You are expected to take relevant course(s) in the Department of Methodology or in other departments as agreed with your supervisors.

Optional (not examined)
It is highly recommended that students attend and present their work in interdepartmental research seminars, such as the Political Economy and Public Policy Workshop.

Transferable skills courses

Optional (not examined)
Concepts in Political Economy*
Examine relevant concepts in political economy and their main applications in European studies.

Year Three

Training courses

Compulsory (not examined)

Research Workshop in European Studies*
Presentation and detailed discussion of PhD theses, outlines and progression. 

Optional (not examined)
Transferable skills courses

Optional (not examined)
Concepts in Political Economy*
The aim of the course is to engage students with relevant concepts in political economy and their main applications in European studies.

Year Four

Students are not expected to take any optional courses in year 4.

Other optional courses 



Research Workshop in European Studies


International Political Economy Research Workshop

GV501  /GV504

Doctoral Workshop: Political Theory                                                                                                                Research Methods in Political Theory – which runs in concurrence with GV501 and is available with permission as an outside option to students on non-GV programmes.


Political Philosophy Research Seminar


Qualitative Methods in the Study of Politics 


Political Science and Political Economic Doctoral Workshop


Research Design in Political Science


For the most up-to-date list of optional courses please visit the relevant School Calendar page.

You must note however that while care has been taken to ensure that this information is up to date and correct, a change of circumstances since publication may cause the School to change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. The School will always notify the affected parties as early as practicably possible and propose any viable and relevant alternative options. Note that that the School will neither be liable for information that after publication becomes inaccurate or irrelevant, nor for changing, suspending or withdrawing a course or programme of study due to events outside of its control, which includes but is not limited to a lack of demand for a course or programme of study, industrial action, fire, flood or other environmental or physical damage to premises.

You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee you a place. Please note that changes to programmes and courses can sometimes occur after you have accepted your offer of a place. These changes are normally made in light of developments in the discipline or path-breaking research, or on the basis of student feedback. Changes can take the form of altered course content, teaching formats or assessment modes. Any such changes are intended to enhance the student learning experience. You should visit the School’s Calendar, or contact the relevant academic department, for information on the availability and/or content of courses and programmes of study. Certain substantive changes will be listed on the updated graduate course and programme information page.

Supervision, progression and assessment


You will be assigned a lead supervisor (and a second supervisor/adviser) who is a specialist in your chosen research field, though not necessarily in your topic. Lead supervisors guide you through your studies. During your first year you will attend and contribute to departmental research seminars and workshops. These are designed to strengthen your methodological skills, language skills or background knowledge of specific topics related to your research.  

Progression and assessment

At the end of your first year (full-time), you will need to satisfy certain requirements, and if you meet these, will be upgraded to PhD status.

In the first year, for a standard thesis you will be expected to produce a research proposal (approximately 2,500 words) and abstract of the whole thesis (one page); a sample chapter (approximately 8,000 words); a chapter synopsis, and a timetable for completion. For a thesis as a series of publishable papers, you will be expected a research proposal (approximately 2,500 words) and an abstract covering the three prospective papers; a full draft of the introduction or a full draft of one of the papers (approximately 8,000 words); and a timetable for completion.

In the second year, for a standard thesis you will be expected to produce at least two further substantive chapters (of approximately 5,000-7,000 words each). For a thesis as a series of publishable papers you will be expected at least one fully written paper (approximately 10,000 words); and outlines of the other two papers (approximately 2,000 words).

In the third year, for a standard thesis you will be expected to produce a full draft of all core chapters and agreed timetable for completion. For a thesis as a series of publishable papers you will be expected to produce full drafts of all three papers and an agreed timetable for completion of the thesis.

Preliminary reading

Bob Hancké (2009), Intelligent Research Design, Oxford: Oxford University Press

Gary King, Robert Keohane, Sidney Verba (1994), Designing Social Inquiry,  Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press


Students who successfully complete the programme often embark on an academic career. 

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme

Alison Johnston
PhD in European Studies, 2011
Assistant Professor in Political Science, Oregon State University


LSE provided great training, but their approach to pushing students into research outputs early, rather than emphasizing two additional years of core courses gave me a particular edge.

There are a multitude of research opportunities at the university, and teaching opportunities are abundant, not only at LSE but also other University of London institutions. What was perhaps the most important feature of my experience was that faculty were very supportive of promoting graduate student participation in their own research. As a result of this, I had two journal articles and an additional four under review when I went on the job market, which helped me stand out amongst other applications (having the LSE pedigree also helped).

My experience at the LSE was fantastic. I wouldn't change it for any other Ph.D. experience. The faculty there taught me how to think independently and how to tackle interesting and important research questions. They provided me with the necessary tools to adapt, think on my feet, and continue to reinvent my research.

Support for your career

Many leading organisations in the field give careers presentations at the School during the year, and LSE Careers has a wide range of resources available to assist students in their job search. Find out more about the support available to students through LSE Careers

Fees and funding

Every research student is charged a fee for their programme. The fee covers registration and examination fees payable to the School, lectures, classes and individual supervision, lectures given at other colleges under intercollegiate arrangements and, under current arrangements, membership of the Students' Union. It does not cover living costs or travel or fieldwork.

Tuition fees 2020/21 for MPhil/PhD European Studies

UK/EU students: £4,435 for the first year 
Overseas students: £19,368 for the first year

The fee is likely to rise over subsequent years of the programme. The School charges UK/EU research students in line with the level of fee that the Research Councils recommend. The fees for overseas students are likely to rise in line with the assumed percentage increase in pay costs (ie, 4 per cent per annum).

Fee status

The amount of tuition fees you will need to pay, and any financial support you are eligible for, will depend on whether you are classified as a home (UK/EU) or overseas student, otherwise known as your fee status. LSE assesses your fee status based on guidelines provided by the Department of Education.

Scholarships, studentships and other funding

The School recognises that the cost of living in London may be higher than in your home town or country, and we provide over £11.5 million in scholarships each year to graduate students from the UK, the EU and outside the EU.

This programme is eligible for LSE PhD Studentships, and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funding. Selection for the PhD Studentships and ESRC funding is based on receipt of an application for a place – including all ancillary documents, before the funding deadline.  

The funding deadline for first round of LSE PhD Studentships and ESRC funding: 10 January 2020
The deadline for the second round of LSE PhD Studentships: 27 April 2020

In addition to our needs-based awards, LSE also makes available scholarships for students from specific regions of the world and awards for students studying specific subject areas.

External funding 

There may be other funding opportunities available through other organisations or governments and we recommend you investigate these options as well.

Further information

Fees and funding opportunities

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