Programmes

LSE-PKU Double MSc Degree in International Affairs

  • Graduate taught
  • Department of International History
  • Application code V2IA
  • Starting 2021
  • UK/EU full-time: Open
  • Overseas full-time: Open
  • Location: Beijing, Houghton Street, London

LSE-PKU-Video-747x420

Organised jointly by LSE and Peking University (PKU), this double master’s degree offers an outstanding opportunity for graduate students and young professionals to study the international relations of China and the Asia Pacific region, as well as the theory and history of global international relations.

The programme combines an empirical and theoretical approach to public policy and administration. You will engage at an advanced level with the latest academic research and undertake your own research-based term work and dissertation. This programme will be a good preparation for further research work or for a career in education, public administration or the private sector, the media, politics and law.

Assessment is primarily by examination, although some courses also have an assessed course work component. The courses in London will be taught in English, while those in Beijing will be taught in Chinese or English, giving students a choice about which language they want to use for their study.

Once you successfully complete your studies at both institutions, you will be conferred Master Degree of Law and Master Degree of Sciences by PKU and LSE respectively.

All applicants apply via LSE. This includes applicants from the People’s Republic of China, and areas of Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau and PKU students.

Programme details

Key facts

MSc International Affairs, LSE and Peking
Start date September 2021 at PKU, Beijing (provisional)
Application deadline 7 March 2021 (12.00 noon GMT)
Duration 24 months full-time only
Tuition fee Year one: RMB 95,000 Yuan at PKU
Year two: £24,456 (provisional) (2022 continuing, at LSE)
Financial support Chinese Government Scholarship programme for year one study at PKU for non-PRC students; Graduate Support Scheme (for year two at LSE – apply in year one)
Minimum entry requirement 2:1 degree or equivalent in any discipline
GRE/GMAT requirement None
English language requirements Higher (see 'assessing your application')
Location  PKU, Beijing, China (year one), Houghton Street, London (year two)

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 LSE-PKU Double MSc Degree in International Affairs

Upper second class honours degree (2:1) or equivalent in any 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 from all suitably qualified prospective students and want to recruit students with the very best academic merit, potential and motivation, irrespective of their background.

All applicants apply via LSE. This includes applicants from the People's Republic of China, and areas of Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau and PKU students. All applications will be reviewed by a joint admissions panel. Applicants from Mainland China, upon meeting the eligibility of applying to this programme, will take the written test arranged by SIS, and both written test and interview arranged by the joint committee from both LSE and PKU. For international applicants and those from Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, interviews (via phone or skype) will be arranged when necessary.

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 predicted and achieved grades)
- statement of academic purpose
- two academic references
- CV

See further information on supporting documents

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

Application

For 2021 entry, applications must be completed (all supporting documents received) by Monday, March 7, 2021 12:00 noon (GMT).

1. All applicants from the Mainland of People's Republic of China who do not have dual citizenship (i.e. do not hold a passport from another third country) must either have the recommendation eligibility to the School of International Studies (the SIS)(保研) or pass the National Entrance Examination for Postgraduate Students in China (考研). Applicants need to choose the major “国际关系(当代国际关系)” and indicate this program specifically in both online and hard copy versions of the application, as well as on the cover of the application package posted to the designated admissions office.

2. Applicants holding identity cards from Macau, Hong Kong, or Taiwan, do not need to take the National Entrance Examination, but must pre-register with PKU Graduate School online at: https://admission.pku.edu.cn/applications/ before 12:00 noon, December 4, 2020 (Beijing Time). Applicants need to choose the major “国际关系(当代国际关系)” and indicate this program specifically in both online and hard copy versions of the application, as well as on the cover of the application package posted to the designated admissions office.

For further information about the National Entrance Examination for Postgraduate students in China and about the application process please contact Mr Zhang Chunping.

Note: Applicants who hold both foreign passports and identity cards from Macau, Hong Kong, or Taiwan must follow the procedures described above.

3. International students* should also send the scanned copy of the documents below to lsepku@pku.edu.cn by 15 April 2021. Please ask your referees to send their letters of recommendation directly to lsepku@pku.edu.cn:

- Personal statement
- Transcript
- Two recommendation letters
- TOEFL or IELTS†
- Passport page with name
- Bachelor diploma or certificate of study/enrollment (For those expecting to graduate in the summer of 2021)
- CV

Note:

*Residents of mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan who have emigrated to other countries and are applying to Peking University as international students must present valid passport or citizenship documents dating from before November 30, 2014, along with proof of cancellation of Chinese nationality.

† TOEFL or IELTS should be taken after 1 Sep. 2019. A student is exempt from providing TOEFL or IELTS scores if his/her first language is English or he/she has obtained a degree in an English-taught programme in an English-speaking country after 1 September 2016.

Offer acceptance

All students who intend to take up their offer should contact LSE and PKU via email Grad.Dual.Degree@lse.ac.uk and lsepku@pku.edu.cn to confirm their acceptance of a place on the programme.

All non-PRC students, upon accepting the offer, must go to the PKU online application (pre-registration) system fill in the PKU form, pay the pre-registration fee online by 12:00 midnight March 31, 2021 Beijing time.

Then follow these steps:

• Please post a hardcopy of the pre-registration form with signature and 3 copies of passport size photo to Ms. TONG Tianyu, Program Officer, B101, School of International Studies, Peking University, No.5 Yiheyuan Road, 100871, Beijing China. Tel:86-10-62759199. Unless otherwise notified, PKU needs to receive this package by April 15, 2021.

• Please send a soft copy of the PKU Pre-registration form (in PDF) and a passport size photo in white background to TONG Tianyu (Ms.)’s email address lsepku@pku.edu.cn by April 15, 2021.

All applicants shall keep their ID consistent in the whole process.

If you fail to complete the above mentioned registration with PKU and mail the required documents before the deadline, you will not be able to enroll in PKU for the year of 2021.

Important - For this programme dual citizenship means you have a full passport of another country, aside from the passport, residence permit or identity card for the Peoples Republic of China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan.

Student visa

UK Visa

If you are a non-EU, non-EEA or Swiss national, you will need a student visa. In order that you are able to apply for a visa, the LSE will issue you with a 'Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies' (CAS) number and statement after year one of the double degree. You will not be able to begin the visa application process until you receive this information. CAS numbers and statements will be issued by LSE and sent to you ONLY after Peking University has forwarded a Progression List to LSE, confirming names of students who have successfully completed year one of the course and have satisfied all progression requirements. The Progression List is forwarded to LSE around mid-July of year one of the programme. Further details on all aspects of the visa application process will accompany the CAS.

Fees and funding

Every graduate 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 2021/22 for LSE-PKU Double MSc Degree in International Affairs

Home students, first year: RMB 95,000 Yuan at PKU
Overseas students, first year: RMB 95,000 Yuan at PKU
Home students, second year: £24,456 (provisional) (2022/23 at LSE)
Overseas students, second year: £24,456 (provisional) (2022/23 at LSE)

Fee status

For this programme, the tuition fee is the same for all students regardless of their fee status. However 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.

Fee reduction

Students who completed undergraduate study at LSE and are beginning taught graduate study at the School are eligible for a fee reduction of around 10 per cent of the fee. As this is a double degree, this applies only to the year spent at LSE.

Scholarships 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, EU and overseas.

Funding for the first year, at PKU

Non-PRC students can apply to the Chinese Government Scholarship programme for year one study at PKU. Applications must be submitted via the Chinese Embassy of the student’s country of origin. The CGS will provide awardees with a monthly living stipend and assistance with accommodation arrangements. The PKU tuition fee will be partly covered by the CGS (students are expected to make up for the difference by other means). 

All students are eligible to be awarded designated scholarships or financial aid based on their overall performance during year one at PKU. Since 2014, students who met the requirement were awarded RMB 2,000-10,000 respectively depending on different types of scholarship or financial aid.

Funding for the second year, at LSE

This programme is eligible for needs-based awards from LSE, including the Graduate Support SchemeMaster's Awards, and Anniversary Scholarships. . You must apply for these needs-based awards from LSE, during your first year of study. Selection for any funding opportunity is based on receipt of an offer for a place and submitting a Graduate Financial Support application, before the funding deadline.

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. 

Government tuition fee loans and external funding

A postgraduate loan is available from the UK government for eligible students studying for a first master’s programme, to help with fees and living costs. Some other governments and organisations also offer tuition fee loan schemes.

Find out more about tuition fee loans

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

Programme

This is a two year full-time course. Students will spend the first year at PKU and the second year studying at LSE in London.

The first year is spent at Peking University, with a focus on public policy and administration in China and the Asia Pacific region. The second year is spent at LSE includes a range of compulsory and optional courses, as well as completing a research-based dissertation.

The courses in London will be taught in English, while those in Beijing will be taught in Chinese or English, giving students a choice about which language they want to use for their studies.

First year, at Peking University

At Peking University, you will take a compulsory course on Chinese Politics and Diplomacy, a compulsory thesis writing seminar, and complete your first year with a dissertation. If you are a non-Chinese student, you are required to take a compulsory Chinese Language Course offered by the PKU Chinese Language Centre in the first semester.

Elective courses

You can select other elective courses among the wide variety on offer in the School of International Studies. For elective courses, students have to choose 5 courses (3 credits each) for a total of 15 credits. Students can choose courses taught in English and in Chinese. Chinese students must take at least 4 courses taught in English. All courses are 3 credits, except one, which is 2 credits. Learn more about which core and elective courses are available at PKU.

Dissertation

Dissertation and Oral Defence: students complete the first year programme by writing and defending a dissertation on a topic relevant to their studies. The dissertation can be written in English or in Chinese.

Progression to Year 2

In order to successfully progress to year 2 at the LSE, students must obtain 22 (18+4 for the language course) credits and complete their dissertations at Peking University. N.B.: Even though it is compulsory to complete a dissertation at PKU, the PKU dissertation does not carry any credits.

Students will progress to Year 2 at LSE upon meeting the following standards:

Students are required to achieve minimum pass grades in all courses and dissertation as formulated by PKU for this Programme.

Failure to achieve pass in any courses (including the dissertation) will lead to retaking the courses and re-sitting the exams in the following year.

In addition to passing all PKU required exams to progress to year 2, students are required to pass their PKU dissertation defence before 15th July, which is the date when the progression list is sent to LSE. Students who fail to pass the thesis defence will NOT progress to the second year study at LSE. As per PKU regulations for graduate students are that all the study and assignments should be completed within two academic years. If a student cannot meet this requirement and needs to defer graduation due to delay in thesis defence, they must formally request an extension by submitting the extension application form to the University.

PRC students who cannot achieve the English language proficiency qualifications required by the LSE for this Programme by 15th July of year 1 will not be allowed to progress to year 2 and consequently drop off from the programme. Students in their year 1 at PKU will receive visa invitations to the UK (including the CAS code) and information on registration at LSE once LSE has received the progression list from SIS/PKU in mid-July. This list contains the names of students who are qualified for progression to year 2 at LSE.

Second year, at LSE

LSE-PKU students in their year 1 at PKU will receive visa invitations to the UK (including the CAS code) and information regarding registration at LSE only after LSE has received the progression list from SIS/PKU in mid-July. This list will have the names of students who have successfully passed all required exams at PKU to qualify for progression to year 2 at LSE.

At LSE, students take core courses in both the International Relations and the International History Departments, take a third course from the wide range of options offered by the two Departments, and complete the programme with a research dissertation on a relevant topic in the history of international affairs. Course assessment is by assessed coursework (in some courses) and by a final exam.

Core course

Crisis Decision-Making in War and Peace 1914-2003 - Examines the history of international relations from the First World War to the Iraq War.

Optional courses

Find out which optional courses to the value of two units are available

Watch videos about the International History courses

Watch videos about the International Relations courses

Dissertation

Dissertation - An independent research project of up to 10,000 words on an approved topic of your choice.

Please note that courses listed for study both at PKU and the LSE are subject to availability. More information on courses and their availability can be found in the programme regulations.

Dissertation at LSE

This component of the degree reflects our belief that Masters level history students should be willing to engage in detailed historical research. In preparing this piece of work, students are provided with guidance about how to choose an appropriate topic, how to identify and locate the necessary sources, and how to write up their research findings. This is done through a combination of departmental workshops and discussions between individual students and their dissertation supervisor. But ultimately the dissertation is a test of the research abilities and writing skills of each individual student.

While in London, students preparing dissertations can take advantage of numerous world-class research libraries and archives. These include the National Archives (formerly the Public Record Office), the British Library, the libraries of specialised schools of the University of London such as the Institute for Historical Research, the School of Oriental and African Studies, and the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, and the LSE's own library, the British Library of Political and Economic Sciences. The LSE's archive also contains much valuable research material, as do the collections of the Imperial War Museum, the Warburg Institute and many others.

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.

Teaching and assessment

Contact hours and independent study

At LSE you will take a number of courses, often including half unit courses and full unit courses. In half unit courses, on average, you can expect 20-30 contact hours in total and for full unit courses, on average, you can expect 40-60 contact hours in total. This includes sessions such as lectures, classes, seminars or workshops. Hours vary according to courses and you can view indicative details in the Calendar within the Teaching section of each course guide

You are also expected to complete independent study outside of class time. This varies depending on the programme, but requires you to manage the majority of your study time yourself, by engaging in activities such as reading, note-taking, thinking and research. 

Teaching methods

LSE is internationally recognised for its teaching and research and therefore employs a rich variety of teaching staff with a range of experience and status. Courses may be taught by individual members of faculty, such as lecturers, senior lecturers, readers, associate professors and professors. Many departments now also employ guest teachers and visiting members of staff, LSE teaching fellows and graduate teaching assistants who are usually doctoral research students and in the majority of cases, teach on undergraduate courses only. You can view indicative details for the teacher responsible for each course in the relevant course guide

Asssessment

The courses in London will be taught in English, while those in Beijing will be taught in Chinese or English, giving you a choice about which language you want to use for your study. All taught courses are required to include formative coursework which is unassessed. It is designed to help prepare you for summative assessment which counts towards the course mark and to the degree award. LSE uses a range of formative assessment, such as essays, problem sets, case studies, reports, quizzes, mock exams and many others. Assessment is primarily by examination, although some courses also have an assessed course work component. An indication of the formative coursework and summative assessment for each course can be found in the relevant course guide

To successfully progress to the second year at the LSE, you must obtain 22 credits and finish a dissertation in year one at Peking University. Please note that while its completion is compulsory, the PKU dissertation does not carry any credits. To progress to the second year you must also achieve minimum pass grades in all courses and the dissertation defence before 15th July.

Failure to achieve pass in any courses (including the dissertation) will lead to retaking the courses and re-sitting the exams in the following year. Students who have failed the defence in July will have another chance to defend their thesis either by September 10 of the same year or by 15 July of the following year. In the latter case, the student will not be allowed to progress to LSE in the second year. In case of a second failure to defend the thesis, the student will drop off from the programme.

PRC students who cannot achieve LSE’s required English language proficiency qualifications required by 15th July of the first year will not be allowed to progress to the second year. Students who qualify for progression for the second year at LSE will be included on a progression list sent from PKU to LSE in mid-July. These students will then receive information about applying for their visa and registration at LSE.

Upon successful completion of studies at both institutions, students will be conferred Master Degree of Law and Master Degree of Sciences by PKU and LSE respectively.

Academic support

At PKU, you will select an academic advisor who will provide supervision and guidance on your courses, research and thesis writing. Your advisor will be available if you have any questions about your studies and life in Beijing and at Peking University. The School of International Studies also has an academic advisor who oversees the double degree programme. The academic advisor is always happy to help if you have any questions or concerns about the programme. The Office for International Programmes at the School and our programme officer are also available to meet students and assist with administrative affairs.

At LSE, you will be assigned an academic mentor who will be available for guidance and advice on academic or personal concerns. You will meet the mentor to discuss any aspect of your life. The mentor is the first point of contact if you have any worries about your time in London and at LSE. The Department also has a Masters Programme Tutor, who oversees the Graduate programme and he is also available to meet students. Graduates can also approach the Postgraduate and Research Programme Manager, Mrs Nayna Bhatti. Finally, there are graduate representatives on School committees and the Graduate Staff-Student Committee and we value their input.

The Department of International History at LSE is committed to the idea that graduate teaching should be done in small groups. In order to meet this commitment, and to ensure that students can work with their teachers in an environment where real dialogue and interchange is possible, the number taking some courses does have to be controlled. This means that it becomes very important to indicate in advance to the Department what options the incoming students wish to take.

There are many opportunities to extend your learning outside the classroom and complement your academic studies at LSE. LSE LIFE is the School’s centre for academic, personal and professional development. Some of the services on offer include: guidance and hands-on practice of the key skills you will need to do well at LSE: effective reading, academic writing and critical thinking; workshops related to how to adapt to new or difficult situations, including development of skills for leadership, study/work/life balance and preparing for the world of work; and advice and practice on working in study groups and on cross-cultural communication and teamwork.

LSE is committed to enabling all students to achieve their full potential and the School’s Disability and Wellbeing Service provides a free, confidential service to all LSE students and is a first point of contact for all disabled students.

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.  

Academic mentors – an academic member of staff who meets with you during the course of the year to discuss your academic progress and who can help with any academic, administrative or personal questions you have. (See Teaching and assessment)

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. 

Faculty

Programme Director

Ronald C. Po

Dr Ronald C. Po
Associate Professor
Department of International History

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. 

Student societies and activities

Your time at LSE is not just about studying, there are plenty of ways to get involved in extracurricular activities. From joining one of over 200 societies, or starting your own society, to volunteering for a local charity, or attending a public lecture by a world-leading figure, there is a lot to choose from. 

The campus 

LSE is based on one campus in the centre of London. Despite the busy feel of the surrounding area, many of the streets around campus are pedestrianised, meaning the campus feels like a real community. 

Life in London 

London is an exciting, vibrant and colourful city. It's also an academic city, with more than 400,000 university students. Whatever your interests or appetite you will find something to suit your palate and pocket in this truly international capital. Make the most of career opportunities and social activities, theatre, museums, music and more. 

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

Class profile

This programme is ideal for graduate students and young professionals. You will spend your first year at the School of International Studies at Peking University, and the second year at LSE. It will allow you to:
  • experience a full academic programme in both China and Europe
  • take courses in both the International Relations Department and the Department of International History at LSE
  • combine an empirical and a theoretical approach to contemporary international affairs
  • study in small seminar groups of no more than 15 students
  • engage at an advanced level with the latest academic research and undertake your own research-based term work and dissertations

Careers

Graduate destinations

The programme provides an excellent preparation for careers in academia, business or consulting, government or international agencies, the media, politics and law.

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme

Support for your career

At PKU, the department, alongside the Student Career Centre, International Student Division and the Alumni Association organise a job fair for our students. Students are encouraged to actively participate in various career planning and job guidance activities to strengthen competitiveness. Read more

At LSE, the department is committed to supporting students' options after graduation in the world of work or futher studies by organising a careers programme tailored specifically to International History students with the help of LSE Careers. Also, 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.

Why study with us

Studying International Affairs at Peking University

For just over a century, Peking University has been the centre of research within China and remains China's top institution of higher learning. Students of the LSE-PKU programme engage in intense study of Chinese politics, history, and economics with a staff that is highly regarded amongst Chinese and international academics. The environment surrounding campus offers students ample locations for quiet study. Whether it is on the campus greens, the library, or in one of the many cafes located just outside of campus.

In the Peking University public lecture series, students can meet and learn from the world's greatest minds and political figures. Recent lectures have included Henry Kissinger, former US Secretary of Defense William Perry, New York Times' military correspondent, Michael Gordon, and historian Akira Iriye, Harvard Professor of international history.

Finding information with Beijing is rarely a problem. Students of the PKU-LSE program will study at the Peking University School of International Studies (SIS). To assist student research within the program, a portion of the library at SIS is designated specifically for the literature of the LSE-PKU program. In addition, the general Peking University library is the top university library in China. However, in the unlikely case that the resources at these libraries is not suitable, students are also allowed to use the National Library in the centre of Beijing in addition to the online resources of the London School of Economics.

Library

As a student of the Double Degree Program, you will have access to two libraries of PKU, the SIS library and the PKU library. You can find your course readings, books and journals on international relations at the SIS library. The PKU library has considerable English collections on all the subjects of humanities and social sciences. Most of these are in the reading room of humanities and social sciences, the second floor. The reading room of the American Studies Center (5th floor) also has many books on International Relations and American politics.  You can borrow approximately 20 books from the two libraries. Do not forget to bring your PKU student ID card when you visit the libraries. The PKU library also subscribes many databases and electronic journals. However, if you live off campus at PKU it is difficult to use them. The LSE e-library is also available for electronic resources. If you require further resources, the National Library of China is not far from campus.

Public lectures

As the most prestigious academic institution in China, PKU holds many lectures everyday. Most of the speakers are scholars, senior officials, and business elites. Some lectures are given in English by speakers from overseas. However, the PKU website does not have an English webpage with lectures information.

Housing

Housing in Beijing depends greatly on the needs and preferences of the individual. The two options available for international students are on campus residences and private residences.

The residences at Peking University offer several choices for international students and differing price ranges. The quality of life within the residence depends on the cost of the room or suite you occupy per day. Students have the option of living in three residential scenarios: 1, a single room attached to either a larger common area that includes a kitchen, sitting room, and bathroom with two other residents; 2, a single room attached to a smaller common room with a kitchen and bathroom with one other resident; or, 3, a twin room that has a shared bathroom and kitchen with an entire floor.

Students who decide to live on campus find that there are many advantages to living at Peking University. The Peking University residences are slightly cheaper than private residences. Students often say that living close to lecture halls and the library afford them sufficient time to study. It is easier to get involved with campus events and activities, societies, clubs, and sports. Finally, living on campus in international student housing gives students the opportunity to experience the most beautiful and famous university in China and immerse themselves in the mix of international students from Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America.

Students who decide to live off campus find that they are closer to events and activities outside of campus, and gain a better perspective of what living in China is actually like. Beijing is increasingly becoming an international city and the foundation for future commerce, travel, and Chinese culture. Students can find fantastic apartments throughout the city that fit a student's budget.

Often times, these apartments are more spacious and contain many conveniences that on campus housing do not have. Most Peking University students live in Huaqingjiayuan-Wudaokou, a lively neighbourhood in the Haidan District. Most international students prefer Huaqingjiauan - Wudaokou because of its proximity to major subway stations and Peking University. Wudaokou is a short 30-minute walk from the West Gate of Peking University and taxis, and buses run back and forth from Wudaokou regularly. Rent runs tends to be around 3,000 - 4,000 RMB per month for a 1 person flat and 5,000-6,000 RMB for 2 to 3 person flats. If students are interested in living off campus, it would be best to consult the Time Out Beijing Website before coming to Beijing.

Another good website is The Beijinger. It is also suggested that if a student is not proficient in Mandarin, it would be best to have an interpreter to explain the terms of agreement associated with letting a private residence. The terms and conditions of renting an apartment may require detailed explanation as foreign students may not be familiar with Chinese contract law.

Social life and extra-curricular activities

Living in China opens a vast opportunity to experience the culture, interact with people, and travel throughout Asia. Previous LSE-PKU students have noted that the cohesion and interplay between students of international affairs and the rich international exposure they can receive has had a great influence on their lives while living in Beijing.

On a daily basis, students can engage in Chinese cultural traditions as well as the activities of their home country due to the mix of students and expatriates that call Beijing home. Peking University has many clubs and organizations that combine fun and personal growth. Clubs and organizations are a great way to make friends and practice Mandarin in real life situations.

Students of the program have been highly successful in obtaining internships, both paid and unpaid in business, multinational organizations, and non-profit organizations. Furthermore, students have used their time in Beijing to conduct personal research on development, poverty and the environment.

Travel within Asia is a preferred past time of students during holiday breaks. Popular destination points include: the Himalayas, the Silk Road, North and Southeast Asia, and many other destinations within China. In the words of one student: "It is a place of both cohesion and contradiction. It is a dynamic country that falls under one time zone, and yet every experience and interaction for me remains timeless."

The Wikitravel gives advice on food, nightlife and shopping at Wudaokou ( 五道口), which is an excellent area for bars and restaurants, and is right next to the PKU campus.

The Beijinger is also a useful resource.

Banking

Beijing is home to many branches of the banks you may already use in your home countries. Deutchesbank, Citibank, and HSBC have several branches scattered around the city. This allows students to keep track of their spending while skipping out on the fees that would have accumulated with other card issuers.

There are branches of each of these banks within walking distance from campus. Other students recommend Bank of China as there is a branch right outside the southwest gate of campus and setting up an account is easy. A Bank of China account may have additional benefits when it comes to paying tuition.

Travel

Public transportation from Peking University to the city centre has never been problematic, but it surely brings one closer to Beijing's 15 million citizens. The Beijing subway has recently been expanded to accommodate the city's growing population and make the city more accessible for foreign visitors.

This is expansion includes a stop just outside of the Peking University campus (soon to be completed). The subway, however, may feel claustrophobic at times. To get away from this experience, taxis are an excellent alternative and in China they fit a student's budget.

Beijing International Airport is only an hour away from campus by taxi and has daily flights to nearly all destinations in the world. Beijing Daxing International Airport has been in operation since 2019.

This is a great advantage for students travelling back to their home countries or visiting other destinations around the world. That taxi fare from Peking University to the Airport will cost about 100 RMB.

Eating

China is known for it's vast cuisine. So much so that a common greeting in China is: "Have you eaten?" The cafeterias on campus serve a wide variety of food, not only from various parts of China, but also from many different countries around the world. One could quite easily enjoy a different cuisine every night of the week.

The on campus food tends to be rather inexpensive, but that could be said of most restaurants throughout China in general. In the neighbourhoods surrounding Peking University there are many restaurants to choose from and all at reasonable prices. Eating out in Beijing for students tends to be the norm rather than the exception due to how inexpensive it is.

The Wikitravel website gives advice food, nightlife and shopping at Wudaokou ( 五道口), which is an excellent area for bars and restaurants, and is right next to the PKU campus.

Studying International Affairs at LSE

The LSE was founded in 1895 originally as an institute of higher education for graduate students. The Department of International History, where students will be based, reflects this tradition and takes its responsibility for graduate teaching and research supervision very seriously. We admit nearly as many masters students as undergraduates, with a critical mass of graduates usually numbering over 150 in a year. Consequently our graduates never feel on the margins of the department or an after-thought which often can be the case at some other London institutions geared more for undergraduate teaching. We have one of the most cosmopolitan graduate communities in London and for international history in the UK and it is therefore one of the most vibrant and dynamic. You will have use of our library, famous for being the best university library in London. In addition, we have an IT network and training facilities that are acknowledged to be leading the field.

LSE History rankings

The department has consistently performed well in the QS World University Rankings. In the QS World University History Subject Table for 2020, History at LSE ranked 5th overall in the world ahead of Stanford, Berkeley, Columbia, Princeton and UCLA. In the UK and in Europe, History at LSE ranked third, behind Oxford and Cambridge, but ahead of KCL, Edinburgh and UCL.

Research in the Department

The department offers a number of established and well-respected taught programmes which give students a range of core and specialist topics, the latter enabling our staff to teach topics which form their current research projects (which also saves you money as you don't have to buy the book later on!). While on the subject of research, the department is divided into five research clusters covering a wide range of subjects taught in the Department. We have our own blog, LSE International History Blog, where students and non-LSE historians contribute historically-informed perspectives on contemporary affairs. We also have our own podcast, Our Histories, with each episode devoted to the research conducted by one of our faculty members.

LSE and departmental events

Graduate students in the Department of International History have a research seminar with guest speakers and there are guest lectures. We organise a weekend away at Cumberland Lodge, Great Windsor Park once a year. This is designed to enable graduates to get to know each other better and to develop their ideas about a particular topic. Additionally throughout the year, students can take advantage of the great LSE tradition of inviting famous (and infamous) figures from the world of politics, business, media and international affairs. Please see the Department's Public Lectures and Events for a good range of history events hosted by us during the academic year as well as the  LSE Public Lectures and Events. This helps make the LSE a particularly fertile and exciting place to be studying international history. There is an almost bewildering range of societies and clubs engaging with international politics, single issues, the 'third world', social justice problems or just dedicated to sport, music, dance and a whole range of pursuits which we lecturers haven't got a clue about. We highly recommend our students join the LSE Student Union History Society. We have a gym and squash courts on site and one of the largest student shops on campus. There is also a large student bookshop owned by Waterstone's selling new and used books.

We are very fortunate at the LSE in being so centrally located in the capital. We are in walking distance of the British Library, Covent Garden, the Royal Courts of Justice, the British Museum, the National Gallery, the West End theatres as well as Trafalgar Square, the Barbican, Buckingham Palace, River Thames and the London Eye. Much of our graduate accommodation is located in prime real-estate sites in central London. Our graduate students can take advantage of all the intellectual resources that this capital is home to, including the National Archives south of the river at Kew and the world's largest newspaper archive in North London. Not surprisingly our students are able to produce dissertations of the highest quality benefiting from such easy access to a range of primary sources and people willing to help.

Preliminary reading

General reading

  • Antony Best, Jussi Hanhimaki, Joe Maiolo, and Kirsten Schulze, International History of the Twentieth Century and Beyond (Routledge, 2014 3rd edition)

Subject specific recommendations

  • Mark Mazower, Dark Continent: Europe's Twentieth Century (1999)
  • Jeremy Friedman, Shadow Cold War: The Sino-Soviet Competition for the Third World (2015).
  • Elizabeth Economy, The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State (2019).
  • Hazel V Carby, Imperial Intimacies: A Tale of Two Islands (Verso 2019)
  • Kristina Spohr, Post Wall, Post Square, How Bush, Gorbachev, Kohl, and Deng Shaped the World after 1989 (YUP, 2020)
  • O. A. Westad, The Global Cold War: Third World Interventions and the Making of Our Times (2011)
  • Desmond Dinan, ed, Origins and Evolution of the European Union (OUP, 2014) (for HY411)
  • David van Reybrouck Congo: The Epic History of a People (2014 edn)
  • Nelson Mandela, Conversations with Myself (2010)

Contact us

Programme and admissions enquiries

With questions related to your application or the admissions process, please check our admissions frequently asked questions page.

If you have any queries which are not answered on the website, please contact the department's Graduate Admissions Advisor.

Lewis1

Dr Joanna Lewis
Associate Professor in International History
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