Full information on how to apply
All prospective research students must apply using the graduate online portal.
See the IR PhD application timeline [PDF]
Please read the information below before you begin the online application so that you have all the necessary documents ready for consideration.
Completing your application
Your application must include:
- a CV
- a personal statement
- details of academic achievement (including existing and pending qualifications with transcripts)
- 2 academic references
- sample of written work
- a research proposal of up to 4,000 words
Your research proposal should give:
- details of the particular topic to be addressed
- relevant literature and previous research in the field
- the theoretical/conceptual framework to be adopted
- the proposed research question(s)
- the planned research methods to answer the research question(s)
This will enable the Department to make an informed decision about the proposal and, equally important, to establish if there is appropriate supervision within the Department. One supervisor is normally identified at this stage.
See the LSE guide with further information on supporting documents.
Use the correct application code
M1ZR MPhil/PhD in International Relations OR
M1ER for Visiting Research Students (VRS) programme
Do you meet the minimum requirements?
The minimum entry requirements for this programme are a 2:1 bachelor’s degree, plus Master’s degree marks equivalent to an LSE high merit grade (+ 65%), preferably in International Relations or in a subject relevant to your proposed research, with an overall average of 65% (or equivalent) and 65 % in the dissertation (or equivalent). Please note that applications which do not meet these criteria (or do not expect to do so on completion of any pending qualifications) are not considered eligible.
See information on international entry requirements - scroll down for country-specific information
Do you meet the English language requirements?
Applicants whose first language is not English, or who have not been taught entirely in English at degree level, are required to provide evidence of their English language ability. The most common qualifications are the IELTS or TOEFL tests.
Applicants do not need to have the required marks when they apply, but successful award of the qualification would form a condition of any offer issued, and would have to be achieved before registration. For research level, candidates are expected to meet the research programmes requirement. See our English language requirements.
The department welcomes applications for research programmes that complement the academic interests of members of staff in the department. We recommend that you investigate staff research interests and their availability before applying.
- Prospective candidates for the MPhil/PhD in International Relations are not expected to contact potential supervisors in advance of their application. Due to the high volume of enquiries, potential supervisors are unlikely to be able to provide feedback on enquiries and outline proposals.
- Individual academic members of staff are not able to make commitments to supervise prospective students outside of the formal application process.
- You should name academics who have research interests which fit with yours in your personal statement so that they can be asked to consider your research proposal.
The MPhil/PhD is only available full-time.
Application and funding deadlines
Application will open in early October 2023 and close on 15 January 2024.
There is only one funding deadline for the MPhil/PhD in International Relations: 15 January 2024. Selection for funding is based on receipt of a complete application (including all supporting documents: transcripts and references) by the deadline. We will not be able to accept any materials that arrive after the deadline; only complete applications supplied with all the required supporting information by 15 January 2024 will be considered.
When will I hear the outcome of the application?
We aim to process all complete applications in a timely manner, however the application process for research programmes can take up to three months. This is to enable the department to make an informed decision about your proposal and, equally important, to establish if there is appropriate supervision available for your research. All applications are reviewed by our PhD Sub-Committee which normally meets to review applications in mid-March once interviews have been carried out.
The department interviews all shortlisted applicants before any offer of a place is made.
Please note that students may only start their studies in the department at the beginning of the Autumn Term (September). This is so that they can attend the compulsory research training courses in their first year.