MPhil/PhD European Studies

  • Graduate research
  • European Institute
  • Application code M1ZE
  • Starting 2024
  • Home full-time: Closed
  • Overseas full-time: Closed
  • Location: Houghton Street, London

The European Institute’s MPhil/PhD programme offers students the opportunity to undertake a substantial piece of work worthy of publication, and which makes an original contribution to the study of contemporary Europe. We offer particular expertise in the subfields of Political Economy; Politics and Policy; Culture and Society; and Migration.

The MPhil/PhD in European Studies welcomes applications for multi-disciplinary, inter-disciplinary and cross-disciplinary research. Students begin on the MPhil, and are upgraded to PhD status once the requirements are met. The School has a long history of research expertise, with European Institute research students having won the prestigious UACES doctoral prize four times.

After graduating, our students have successfully pursued a variety of academic and non-academic careers, in both cases benefitting from the skills, knowledge and contacts built up during their time at LSE.

The MPhil/PhD programme provides a range of opportunities for learning research design and methodological skills, and guides students through the process of defining their topic and pursuing research in a variety of areas. The closeness of the research student community, which meets weekly to discuss students’ projects, and the close involvement of the faculty, make the European Institute a very special place to learn the craft of academic research.

You will benefit from access to outstanding academic facilities and have the added advantage of being situated in a world-class social science institution with a powerful public profile. The European Institute alone typically offers more than 50 public lectures and seminars per year, and organises events for the world of policy practitioners which provide students invaluable networking opportunities.

Programme details

Key facts

MPhil/PhD European Studies
Start date 30 September 2024
Application deadline 25 April 2024. However, please note the funding deadlines
Duration Three-four years (minimum two) full-time; part-time option available after the first year
Financial support LSE PhD Studentships, ESRC funding (see 'Fees and funding')
Minimum entry requirement Taught master’s degree, with a minimum of Merit, in a related discipline
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 European Studies

The minimum entry requirement for this programme is a taught master’s degree (or equivalent), with a minimum of Merit or equivalent, in a related 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 for research programmes that complement the academic interests of members of staff at the School, and we recommend that you investigate staff research interests 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
- outline 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 25 April 2024. 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 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 2024/25 for MPhil/PhD European Studies

Home students: £4,786 for the first year
Overseas students: £22,632 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).

The Table of Fees shows the latest tuition amounts for all programmes offered by the School.

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 home and overseas students.

This programme is eligible for LSE PhD Studentships, and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funding. Selection for the PhD Studentships and ESRC funding is based on receipt of an application for a place – including all ancillary documents, before the funding deadline.  

Deadline for first round of LSE PhD Studentships and ESRC funding: 15 January 2024
Deadline for second round of LSE PhD Studentships: 25 April 2024

Prospective applicants are encouraged to submit their applications before the deadline for the first round of funding, as there is a possibility that all available studentships may be allocated by the deadline of the second round of funding.

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. Find out more about financial support.

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

You are expected to take the listed research training and transferable skills courses. You may take other optional courses in addition to those listed below but will need to discuss this with your supervisor. This will be in addition to your research.  

(* denotes a half unit course)

Year One 

Training courses

Compulsory (not examined)
Research Workshop in European Studies
Presentation and detailed discussion of PhD theses, outlines and progression. 

Optional (examined)
Applied Regression Analysis*
Examines the deepening understanding of the generalized linear model and its application to social science data.

Further training courses provided by the Department of Methodology and agreed with your supervisors. 

Transferable skills courses

Optional (not examined)
Concepts in Political Economy*
The aim of the course is to engage students with relevant concepts in political economy and their main applications in European studies.

Year Two

Training courses

Compulsory (not examined)
Research Workshop in European Studies*
Presentation and detailed discussion of PhD theses, outlines and progression. 

You are expected to take relevant course(s) in the Department of Methodology or in other departments as agreed with your supervisors.

Optional (not examined)
It is highly recommended that students attend and present their work in interdepartmental research seminars, such as the Political Economy and Public Policy Workshop.

Transferable skills courses

Optional (not examined)
Concepts in Political Economy*
Examine relevant concepts in political economy and their main applications in European studies.

Year Three

Training courses

Compulsory (not examined)

Research Workshop in European Studies*
Presentation and detailed discussion of PhD theses, outlines and progression. 

Optional (not examined)
Transferable skills courses

Optional (not examined)
Concepts in Political Economy*
The aim of the course is to engage students with relevant concepts in political economy and their main applications in European studies.

Year Four

Students are not expected to take any optional courses in year 4.

Other optional courses 


Research Workshop in European Studies

GV501  /GV504

Doctoral Workshop: Political Theory                                                                                                                

Research Methods in Political Theory – which runs in concurrence with GV501 and is available with permission as an outside option to students on non-GV programmes.


Political Philosophy Research Seminar


Qualitative Methods in the Study of Politics 


Political Science and Political Economic Doctoral Workshop


Research Design in Political Science


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 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


You will be assigned a lead supervisor (and a second supervisor/adviser) who is a specialist in your chosen research field, though not necessarily in your topic. Lead supervisors guide you through your studies. During your first year you will attend and contribute to departmental research seminars and workshops. These are designed to strengthen your methodological skills, language skills or background knowledge of specific topics related to your research.  

Progression and assessment

At the end of your first year (full-time), you will need to take part in the Major Upgrade assessment to progress from MPhil to PhD status.

You are required to submit the following materials to your appointed assessor before your Major Upgrade assessment

For a standard thesis:

1) A research proposal (approximately 2,500 words);
2) An abstract of the thesis;
3) A sample chapter (approximately 8,000 words); and
4) A timetable for completion.

For a thesis as a series of publishable papers:

1) A research proposal (approximately 2,500 words);
2) An abstract covering the three prospective papers;
3) A full draft of the introduction or a full draft of one of the papers (approximately 8,000 words); and
4) A timetable for completion.

In the second year, for a standard thesis you will be expected to produce at least two further substantive chapters (of approximately 5,000-7,000 words each). For a thesis as a series of publishable papers you will be expected at least one fully written paper (approximately 10,000 words); and outlines of the other two papers (approximately 2,000 words).

In the third year, for a standard thesis you will be expected to produce a full draft of all core chapters and agreed timetable for completion. For a thesis as a series of publishable papers you will be expected to produce full drafts of all three papers and an agreed timetable for completion of the thesis. You will be invited to take part in the Post-Upgrade Progress Panel to present your thesis or papers to external assessors and faculty members.

Research community

We believe that developing your research capabilities is crucial, and so offer a dedicated seminar series and numerous development and methodology workshops, plus the opportunity to audit postgraduate taught courses.

The Europe@LSE research seminar series intends to provide a forum for research on Europe - both on the European Union and beyond its borders, and in all disciplines. Papers are given by external speakers, by staff and by research students. It is open to the wider academic public but it is hoped in particular that LSE staff and doctoral students become regular attendants so as to create a scholarly community.

We encourage our doctoral students to attend a number of conferences throughout the year, including: American Political Science Association (APSA), Council for European Studies (CES), European Council for Political Research (ECPR General) and Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE), and more.

The European Institute, in its effort to produce research that makes a difference beyond academia, also has a number of research projects.

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 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 specific courses. 

Disability and Wellbeing Service – they 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 and arranging exam adjustments. They run groups and workshops. 

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

LSE Faith Centre – this is 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 nine 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 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 is 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; offers one-to-one sessions with study advisers who can help you with reading, making notes, writing, research and exam revision; and provides 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 – this 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 – this 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 advisers – we have a Deputy Head of Student Services (Advice and Policy) 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. 

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


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

Find out what our PhD alumni do after graduating.

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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Discover more about being an LSE student - meet us in a city near you, visit our campus or experience LSE from home. 

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