When to apply

Applications for entry in 2021/22 are now open.

There is intense competition for admission; early applications have a greater chance of being successful and of meeting financial support/scholarship and visa deadlines.

Only a few programmes have deadlines by which you should apply – decisions are mostly made on a rolling basis, which means that a programme will close once all of the available places have been filled. You must therefore check the current availability of your chosen programme(s) and submit your application early to give yourself the best chance of obtaining a place.

Many scholarships, however, especially for research programmes, have early deadlines. See individual programme pages and the fees and funding page for details of particular deadlines.

Once we have received and processed your application, you should expect to wait an average of 8 weeks for a decision if you are applying for a taught master’s programme. Decisions for research programmes may take longer than this.

Your submitted application will be received and processed by the admissions team only once we have received a reference from each of the referees you nominate in your online application.

Research funding deadlines

Please note: to be considered for LSE PhD Studentships or ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership Scholarships (for 1+3 or +3 funding), you must submit your complete application, including ALL supporting documents, by the following deadlines 

  • 17 December 2020 (Department of Economics only)
  • 14 January 2021 (first funding panel deadline) *
  • 29 April 2021 (second panel deadline)

*Please note: to be considered for ESRC DTP Scholarships you must apply by the first funding panel deadline.

Applications received or completed after the deadline will not be considered for LSE research scholarships. We will always do our best to make sure that applications received just after the deadline reach the departments in time to be considered, but it is much better to plan ahead and submit early.

Please be aware that some departments only make submissions to the earlier funding panels, and earlier applications have more chance of being considered for funding - check individual programme pages for details.

Some programmes will continue to accept applications for places after these deadlines, however it may not be possible to consider you for LSE funding.

Remember that your submitted application cannot be considered until we have received a reference from each of the referees you nominate in your online application.

Previous applicants

If you have been unsuccessful, or are unable to take up your place in 2020, you have until 19 November 2020 to reinstate your application to be considered in the next admissions cycle for entry in 2021/22. As long as you complete the reinstate form before the deadline, we will re-use the documents that you sent to us, including your transcripts and references. Please note that it is only possible to reinstate your application once, for the following cycle, so if you initially applied before 2020/21, you should start and submit a new application from scratch.

The reinstatement fee is currently £75. This will increase to £80 after November 19 2020.

Start dates

Our main taught master's (MSc/MA/MPA/LLM) programmes start in the autumn term (September 2021). Some programmes, particularly those in the Departments of Economics, Accounting, Finance and Management, require attendance at Summer School or introductory courses in the July-September months before the main programme begins. 

Executive master’s programmes start at different times of the year depending on their mode of teaching. Please see individual programme pages for details.

Research (MPhil/PhD) programmes usually start in September, but may additionally start in the Lent (January) and summer (April) terms at the discretion of your department. See below for more information.

Research programme start dates

The options are September (Autumn), January (Lent), or April (Summer). 

All research courses accept applications for a September start. Only some departments accept students for January or April start dates. In general, starting in September is preferred. In your first year there are usually some taught elements, and starting in January or April may mean there are fewer options available. 

Please read the information below carefully before applying. 

To start in September for the following departments, please apply as normal
No other start dates are possible

  • Accounting 
  • Anthropology
  • Cities
  • Economic History
  • Economics
  • Europe
  • Finance
  • Gender Institute
  • Geography and Environment
  • Government
  • International Development
  • International History
  • International Relations
  • Law
  • Management (all tracks)
  • Media and Communications
  • Methodology
  • Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method: Because the Department imposes detailed coursework requirements on beginning research students and courses are all year-long commencing in Michaelmas, we do not normally admit research students except for a Michaelmas start. However the Department is willing to consider applications for starts at the beginning of either the Lent or the Summer terms in very special circumstances.
  • Regional and Urban Planning Studies
  • Social Policy
  • Social Psychology (may offer a January start date - please contact the Department)
  • Sociology

For the remaining departments to start in September, January, and April please apply as normal


  • Mathematics (No Summer/April start available)
  • Statistics