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Course options

  • Qualification

    PhD/DPhil - Doctor of Philosophy

  • Location

    London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date


  • Duration

    4 years

Course summary

This programme offers you the chance to be part of one of the world's leading departments in the study of international relations while you undertake a substantial piece of work that is worthy of publication and which makes an original contribution to international relations. You will begin on the MPhil and be upgraded to PhD status after passing a research panel no later than at the end of your second year.

The Department has particular strengths in international relations theory, security studies, international political economy, and European studies. As well as Europe, its specialist areas cover Russia, Central, Northeast and Southeast Asia, the USA, South America, the Middle East and Africa. Other areas of research strength include foreign policy analysis, nationalism, religion, historical sociology, international environmental politics and strategic and war studies. Many individuals contribute to more than one of these subjects, and there is interdisciplinary work with colleagues in the Departments of Government and International History, as well as through the many research centres at the School.

Progression and assessment

Each PhD thesis is unique, but the time frame everyone has to complete their thesis is four years.

All MPhil/PhD students at LSE are initially registered with MPhil status. Continued re-registration and upgrade are dependent on satisfactory progress being made.

Progress will be reviewed annually by a Research Panel made up of members of academic staff other than the supervisor. Students are normally upgraded to PhD status by the end of the second year. The Annual Progress review may result in a decision allowing progression to the next academic session, conditional progression to the next academic session, or a recommendation of de-registration.

By the end of your first year, you will be required to submit a statement of research including a research outline and one draft chapter of no more than 10,000 words.

For the second Panel, normally scheduled in week 2-4 of the Summer Term, which will decide on the question of upgrading from MPhil to PhD, you will be expected to submit two additional draft chapters. The two chapters should be substantially new work, but may include revised material from year one. If you have not made sufficient progress to be converted from MPhil to PhD registration by the end of your second year, you will normally have re-registration made conditional on further progress (details to be decided by the Panel) or may, exceptionally, not be authorised to re-register.

Students in their third year of registration will be required to submit an annual progress report at the end of June, including a timetable to completion clearly setting out the work completed and remaining on the student’s research.


Students who successfully complete the programme often embark on an academic career. Recent doctoral graduates have also gone into careers in consultancy, education and teaching, NGOs and charities, international organisations and to roles within the public sector and government.

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 19,368per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London

  • University League Table


  • Campus address

    London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London, Houghton Street, Westminster, WC2A 2AE, England

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    5th out of 85 2

  • Entry standards

    / Max 217
    173 79%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    90 90%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    3.73 75%



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