Programmes

MPhil/PhD Psychological and Behavioural Science

  • Graduate research
  • Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science
  • Application code L7ZP
  • Starting 2021
  • Home full-time: Open
  • Overseas full-time: Open
  • 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 field of psychological and behavioural science. 

Project specifics are to be developed with academic faculty, and may explore topics in social psychology, health and communities, organisational psychology, evolutionary psychology, communication, and behavioural science. Our research addresses theoretical concerns within psychological and behavioural science, and is applicable in practical contexts (eg, organisations, developing countries, public policy).

You will benefit from our research partnerships with top institutions, and will have the opportunity to undertake fieldwork in many settings including experimental laboratories, organisations and countries outside of the UK. You will be encouraged to present at international conferences and publish in international journals. Part-time positions for research, teaching and editorial assistance are often available, offering you valuable experience and publication opportunities.

Teaching and learning in 2021
We hope that programmes beginning in September 2021 will be unaffected by Coronavirus. If there are going to be any changes to the delivery of the programme we will update this page to reflect the amendments and all offer holders will be notified. For more information about LSE's teaching plans for 2020 please visit: https://www.lse.ac.uk/study-at-lse/Graduate/Prospective-students/Teaching-Methods and to view our Coronavirus FAQ's for prospective students please see: https://www.lse.ac.uk/study-at-lse/meet-visit-and-discover-LSE/COVID-19/Coronavirus-FAQs-for-prospective-applicants

 

Programme details

Key facts

MPhil/PhD Psychological and Behavioural Science
Start date 27 September 2021. For January start contact the Department
Application deadline 29 April 2021. However please note the funding deadline
Duration Three to four years (minimum two) full-time. Please note that LSE allows part-time PhD study only under limited circumstances. Please see lse.ac.uk/study-at-lse/Graduate/Prospective-students/Types-of-study for more information. If you wish to study part-time, you should mention this (and the reasons for it) in your statement of academic purpose, and discuss it at interview if you are shortlisted.
Tuition fee Home: £4,517 (for the first year) - provisional
Overseas: £20,136 (for the first year)
Financial support LSE PhD Studentships (deadline 14 January 2021)
Minimum entry requirement Taught master’s with high merit (65+) and 2:1 bachelor’s degree in relevant area or equivalent
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 Psychological and Behavioural Science

The minimum entry requirement for this programme is an upper second class honours (2:1) bachelor’s degree (or equivalent), plus high merit (65+) in master's degree (or equivalent) in a relevant area.

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. Where an offer of admission is considered, this is always subject to an interview.

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 and contact potential supervisors 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
- 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 29 April 2021. 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.

Fees and funding

Every research student is charged a fee in line with the fee structure 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 2021/22 for MPhil/PhD Psychological and Behavioural Science

Home students: £4,517 for the first year (provisional)
Overseas students: £20,136 for the first year

The fee is likely to rise over subsequent years of the programme. The School charges home 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 or overseas student, otherwise known as your fee status. LSE assesses your fee status based on guidelines provided by the Department of Education.

Further information about fee status classification.

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 generous scholarships each year to graduate students from the UK, the EU and outside the EU.

This programme is eligible for LSE PhD Studentships. Selection for the PhD Studentships is based on receipt of an application for a place – including all ancillary documents, before the funding deadline.

Funding deadline for first round of LSE PhD Studentships: 14 January 2021.

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

Information for international students

LSE is an international community, with over 140 nationalities represented amongst its student body. We celebrate this diversity through everything we do.  

If you are applying to LSE from outside of the UK then take a look at our Information for International students

1) Take a note of the UK qualifications we require for your programme of interest (found in the ‘Entry requirements’ section of this page. 

2) Go to the International Students section of our website. 

3) Select your country. 

4) Select ‘Graduate entry requirements’ and scroll until you arrive at the information about your local/national qualification. Compare the stated UK entry requirements listed on this page with the local/national entry requirement listed on your country specific page 

Programme structure and courses

The MPhil/PhD programme can include taught courses on both methodology and theory. The precise courses you may be required to attend will vary and exemptions may apply depending on your prior experience and qualifications. These matters should be discussed and agreed with your supervisor in your first formal supervision meeting. 

If you are studying full-time, then after 15 months of studying, you will be upgraded to PhD status if you satisfy certain requirements.

(* denotes a half unit)

Transferable skills courses

Current Research in Psychological and Behavioural Science - Compulsory (not examined)
Weekly seminars including plenary and specialist sessions in the Michaelmas term, Lent term and Summer term. 

Training courses

Students are asked to complete 10 hours of research training each year. Courses are agreed with supervisors depending on a student's needs. Taught classes can be accessed within the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science as well as in departments across LSE, including Methodology.  Methodology courses available include Qualitative Research Methods, Survey Methodology, Applied Regression Analysis and Multivariate Analysis and Measurement. Training courses are offered through our PhD academy and with affiliate institutions. Access is subject to agreement with the relevant course convenors (eg according to space considerations).

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

Supervision

The supervisor you work with will be a specialist in your chosen research field, and will guide you through your studies. Prospective applicants should have the support of a potential supervisor before making a formal application to Graduate Admissions, to ensure an alignment of research interests. If contacting faculty, please be selective, and let faculty know if you are in contact with more than one member of staff.

Progression and assessment 

Degrees must be completed within a maximum of four years. The time taken to complete any research degree depends on your progress and individual needs and you must remain registered with the School until your thesis has been submitted.

You register for the MPhil in the first instance, and will need to progress satisfactorily to be upgraded to PhD status.

The first year Extended Essay and the second year Upgrade chapters (see below) are examined by a three-person thesis committee, which includes your supervisor, as well as two other academic colleagues.

Targets for progress

First year:
 Extended Essay of 6,000 words, submitted on first day of Lent Term.
Second year: Upgrade viva. Two draft chapters or papers of 10,000 words each (total of 20,000 words), submitted on first day of Lent Term. These chapters form the basis of an oral examination by a three-person thesis committee, usually four to six weeks after submission. Success in this examination results in upgrade from MPhil to PhD status.
Third year: Completed first draft by end of three years.

PhD formats: thesis and series of publishable articles

The Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science allows for two formats of PhD:

Thesis (aka monograph) format

This is the traditional PhD format. It entails candidates in effect producing several chapters examining a single subject in an integrated way. This is akin to the format and structure of a book.

Article format

This format entails candidates producing distinct papers which are combined with integrative material to address a single subject. The defining feature of this format is basically that some of the "chapters" can be articles which either have been published or prepared for publication. This format tends only to be suitable for PhD projects which comprise a series of distinct (but inter-related) empirical studies. 

Extra guidelines for article format PhD
The thesis should comprise three to six publishable articles framed by an introduction, critical integrating discussion and conclusion. Articles should be co-authored with supervisors (as are all papers written on your PhD topic while being under supervision). Articles and chapters both count as "papers" – the most important part is that they are publishable quality. They do not have to have been submitted, and even if they have been submitted and accepted this does not automatically entail that the Committee will find them suitable within the larger context of the project.

Student support and resources

We’re here to help and support you throughout your time at LSE, whether you need help with your academic studies, support with your welfare and wellbeing or simply to develop on a personal and professional level.

Whatever your query, big or small there are a range of people you can speak to and who will be happy to help.  

Department librarians – they will be able to help you navigate the library and maximise its resources during your studies. 

Accommodation service  - they can offer advice on living in halls and offer guidance on private accommodation related queries. 

Class teachers and seminar leaders – they will be able to assist with queries relating to a specific course you are taking. 

Disability and Wellbeing Service – the staff are experts in long term health conditions, sensory impairments, mental health and specific learning difficulties. They offer confidential and free services such as student counselling, a peer support scheme, arranging exam adjustments and run groups and workshops. 

IT help– support available 24 hours a day to assist with all of your technology queries.  

LSE Faith Centre – home to LSE's diverse religious activities and transformational interfaith leadership programmes, as well as a space for worship, prayer and quiet reflection. It includes Islamic prayer rooms and a main space for worship. It is also a space for wellbeing classes on campus and is open to all students and staff from all faiths and none.  

Language Centre– the centre specialises in offering language courses targeted to the needs of students and practitioners in the social sciences. We offer pre-course English for Academic Purposes programmes; English language support during your studies; modern language courses in 9 languages; proofreading, translation and document authentication and language learning community activities.

LSE Careers ­- with the help of LSE Careers, you can make the most of the opportunities that London has to offer. Whatever your future career plans, LSE Careers will work with you, connecting you to opportunities and experiences from internships and volunteering to networking events and employer and alumni insights. 

LSE Library  Founded in 1896, the British Library of Political and Economic Science is the major international library of the social sciences. It stays open late, has lots of excellent resources and it’s a great place to study. As an LSE student, you’ll have access to a number of other academic libraries in Greater London and nationwide. 

LSE LIFE – this is where you should go to develop skills you’ll use as a student and beyond. The centre runs talks and workshops on skills you’ll find useful in the classroom, offer one-to-one sessions with study advisers who can help you with reading, making notes, writing, research and exam revision, and provide drop-in sessions for academic and personal support.(See ‘Teaching and assessment). 

LSE Students’ Union (LSESU) – they offer academic, personal and financial advice and funding. 

PhD Academy - is available for PhD students, wherever they are, to take part in interdisciplinary events and other professional development activities and access all the services related to their registration. 

Sardinia House Dental Practice - offers discounted private dental services to LSE students. 

St Philips Medical Centre - based in Pethwick-Lawrence House the centre provides NHS Primary Care services to registered patients. 

Student Services Centre – our staff here can answer general queries and can point you in the direction of other LSE services.  

Student advocates and advisers– we have a School Senior Advocate for Students and an Adviser to Women Students who can help with academic and pastoral matters. 

Student life

As a student at LSE you’ll be based at our central London campus. Find out what our campus and London have to offer you on academic, social and career perspective. 

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Life in London 

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Want to find out more? Read why we think London is a fantastic student city, find out about key sights, places and experiences for new Londoners. Don't fear, London doesn't have to be super expensive: hear about London on a budget

Student stories

Apurv Chauhan

MPhil/PhD Social Psychology
Sitamarhi, India 

If you are a social psychologist, the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science at LSE is the place you want to be. The Department is a vibrant community of scholars where some of the world leading research in societal psychology unfolds. Not only do academics partake in theoretical advancements, but they also hold a firm commitment towards solving real world problems at the grass root level. 

Careers

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

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme

Support for your career

Many leading organisations 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.

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