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International Relations

Entry requirements.

The minimum entry requirement for this programme is a high merit (65+) in a master’s degree in a subject relevant to the proposed research with high merit (65+) in the dissertation element, or equivalent. Applications which do not meet these criteria (or do not expect to do so on completion of any pending qualifications) are not considered eligible.

Months of entry

Course content.

About the MPhil/PhD programme

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 within 18 months of initial registration.

The Department is organised around four Research Clusters: International Institutions, Law and Ethics ; Theory/Area/History ; International Political Economy ; and Statecraft and Security . You will belong to at least one of these clusters during your studies and attend its weekly events. You will also have the chance to participate in the editing of a student-run journal Millennium: Journal of International Studies , which has a major role in the discipline.

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.

Department of International Relations

International Relations has been taught at LSE since 1924 and the department was set up three years later. We are one of the oldest as well as largest IR departments in the world, with a truly international reputation. We are ranked 2nd in the UK and 4th in the world in the QS World University Ranking by Subject 2022 tables for Politics and International Studies.

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 .

Fees and funding

Every graduate student is charged a fee for their programme. Visit the website for more information about the fees .

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.

LSE offers studentships to new PhD students in the form of LSE PhD Studentships, LSE ESRC Studentships, LAHP AHRC Studentships and LSE & III PhD Studentships on Analysing and Challenging Inequalities.

These awards are open to high calibre students of all nationalities studying across all research areas at the School.

Find out more about financial support.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • Campus-based learning is available for this qualification

Course contact details

Report a problem

Thank you, your report has been submitted. We will deal with the issue as soon as possible. If you have any questions or would like to receive a follow-up, please send an email to [email protected] .

international relations phd lse

MPhil/PhD MSc BSc(Hons) International Relations

1 in 9 applicants to this programme received an offer.

Data shown above is for entry in academic year 2021/22 (sources) .

Previous Years

Data sources.

  • FOI Request by Albert Warren. December 2019.
  • Freedom of Information (FOI) . London School of Economics. October 2022.

The acceptance rate , or offer rate, represents the fraction of applicants who received an offer. Note that this will be generally lower the acceptances rates (acceptances divided by applicants) published by many other sources. This article explains it in more detail. The acceptances generally indicate the number of offer holders who accepted the offer and fulfilled its conditions. For some universities, however, it denotes the number of applicants who accepted the offer, regardless of whether they subsequently met its conditions.

Data Reliability

Unless otherwise noted, the data presented comes from the universities and is generally reliable. However, some of the differences between years and/or courses may be due to different counting methodologies or data gathering errors. This may especially be the case if there is a sharp difference from year to year. If the data does not look right, click the "Report" button located near the top of the page.

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DPhil in International Relations

  • Entry requirements
  • Funding and Costs

College preference

  • How to Apply

About the course

The DPhil programme is a full-time programme of doctoral research in the academic study of International Relations with an expected length of three to four years of full-time study or six to eight years of part-time study. Note that the part-time option is not a distance-learning programme; part-time students are required to attend face-to-face teaching in Oxford on up to three separate days each week during term.

As a DPhil student you will be a member of a distinguished academic community that is renowned for its cutting-edge research and its intensive and individualised teaching and supervision. The programme has received the highest level of recognition in UK national and global assessment exercises. It is a community from which you will draw support and guidance but which will also learn from your own contribution to its work.

You will have rich opportunities for connecting with fellow-students, postdoctoral fellows, and temporary and permanent academic staff involved in disciplinary and cross-disciplinary research programmes. The department attracts many of the world’s leading figures in International Relations (IR) - as visiting scholars, speakers in the regular IR Colloquium, and participants in research conferences and workshops.

Doctoral students spend the first year of full-time study, or the first two years of part-time study, in the development of, and early work on, the thesis topic; in improving knowledge of quantitative and qualitative research methods; in attendance at relevant lectures, seminars and classes; and in preparing to transfer from Probationary Research Student (PRS - the status at which you will normally be admitted - see Assessment) to full DPhil status.

An academic supervisor will advise and guide you as you progress through the different stages of your doctoral research. In addition to work for your supervisor, you will be required to take a range of coursework. In the first term this includes: Research Design and Methods (RDM) in IR, Research Design, and introductory or intermediate statistics, as well as attendance at the regular IR DPhil Research Seminar which runs through the year and at which doctoral students present their work. In the second term students continue with RDM in IR and take one course in Formal Analysis, Causal Inference or Qualitative Methods. In the third term, there are a series of short, specialised methods courses. For part-time students, these coursework obligations are distributed across six terms.

Exemptions from particular elements of the coursework can be sought on the basis of previous training. Subsequent years are largely devoted to the development of the thesis project.

Doctoral theses will normally require substantial original research, often involving archives, fieldwork, interviewing or other forms of data generation and collection. For the doctoral degree the most crucial requirement is that the thesis makes a ‘significant and substantial contribution to the field of knowledge within which it falls’. There are many ways of achieving this.

The department is committed to the rigorous use of a plurality of methods. There are many different ways of conducting research for a thesis. Any or all may be valid in a given case, depending on the subject of the research and the questions addressed. Some theses may involve an analytical-descriptive attempt at understanding different events, perspectives and traditions of thought. Others may have a strong historiographical element - exploring, for example, the relation between events and ideas, or involving an original and expert use of sources. Others may involve advancing a hypothesis about a subject and then testing it with a range of qualitative and/or quantitative approaches. Apart from meeting the highest scholarly standards, there is no set template. There is also a strong and successful tradition of normative and critical work. Oxford IR seeks to combine the best of North American political science with deep engagement with the international relations of different parts of the world and with the history of different traditions of thought on the subject.

As a doctoral student of the department, you will have access to outstanding library and computing resources within the Social Sciences Division (of which the Department of Politics and IR is a major part), elsewhere in the University and, in most cases, in your college. The division runs network events to enable DPhil students to meet and network with their colleagues not only within politics and IR but with other social science disciplines.

As a part-time student you will be required to attend classes, seminars, supervision meetings and other obligations in Oxford for a minimum of thirty days each year. There will be limited flexibility in the dates and pattern of attendance. Attendance will be required during term-time at least one day each week throughout the first two years of your study on days determined by your class and seminar attendance and by your supervisor. Attendance will be required outside of term-time on dates to be determined by mutual agreement with your supervisor. You will be required to attend fieldwork and training sessions on dates to be determined by mutual agreement with your supervisor.

Successful completion of an Oxford DPhil requires an intense and sustained level of personal motivation and focus within a world-class research and teaching environment.


The allocation of graduate supervision for this course is the responsibility of the Department of Politics and International Relations and it is not always possible to accommodate the preferences of incoming graduate students to work with a particular member of staff. Supervisors are usually selected from the  academic staff  within the Department of Politics and International Relations. Under exceptional circumstances a supervisor may be found outside the Department of Politics and International Relations. 

You will be assigned an academic supervisor who will advise and guide you as you progress through the different stages of your doctoral research. 

Applicants are admitted to the DPhil with Probationer Research Student (PRS) status. As a PRS, you will develop your research proposal and skills, complete a programme of assessed research methods coursework, and produce a draft section or sections of the thesis, in order to apply for the Transfer of Status that will end your probationary period as a research student. The Graduate Studies Committee will require satisfactory completion of this training programme as a condition of your change of status from PRS to DPhil.

Once you have been admitted to full DPhil status, you must achieve confirmation of that status by the end of your ninth term as a full-time doctoral student, or by the end of your eighteenth term as a part-time student. Once you have completed your thesis, you will be examined viva voce .

Graduate destinations

International Relations has an outstanding placement record. The largest group of DPhil students go on to careers in academia or research. Many move on to post-doctoral fellowships in the UK, continental Europe and North America. Our doctoral students have a distinguished history of winning thesis and other prizes and of publishing their work in leading journals and with major university presses. The universities at which IR graduates have gained academic positions over recent years include: ANU, McGill, Waterloo, Sciences Po, Amsterdam, Groningen, The Graduate Institute Geneva, SAIS/JHU, ETH Zürich, The New School, Swarthmore, LSE, Oxford, Cambridge, King’s College London, University College London, Queen Mary London, St Andrews, Exeter, Reading, Warwick, PUC Santiago, and FGV São Paulo. Oxford IR DPhils also work at all levels in many of world’s leading think-tanks and research institutes in Europe and North America but also in Brazil, South Africa, and Singapore. Others still have moved to achieve leading positions in the policy and political world. The department runs regular courses on professional training, including on interviews, research grant applications and academic publishing.

DPIR is committed to engaging with its alumni community , through its Inspires alumni email newsletter and Alumni Career Conversations series of online talks. 

Changes to this course and your supervision

The University will seek to deliver this course in accordance with the description set out in this course page. However, there may be situations in which it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, either before or after registration. The safety of students, staff and visitors is paramount and major changes to delivery or services may have to be made in circumstances of a pandemic, epidemic or local health emergency. In addition, in certain circumstances, for example due to visa difficulties or because the health needs of students cannot be met, it may be necessary to make adjustments to course requirements for international study.

Where possible your academic supervisor will not change for the duration of your course. However, it may be necessary to assign a new academic supervisor during the course of study or before registration for reasons which might include illness, sabbatical leave, parental leave or change in employment.

For further information please see our page on changes to courses and the provisions of the student contract regarding changes to courses.

Entry requirements for entry in 2024-25

Proven and potential academic excellence.

The requirements described below are specific to this course and apply only in the year of entry that is shown. Please be aware that any studentships that are linked to this course may have different or additional requirements and you should read any studentship information carefully before applying.

Degree-level qualifications

As a minimum, applicants should hold or be predicted to achieve the following UK qualifications or their equivalent:

  • a master’s degree at distinction level  in international relations, or in a closely related discipline that has prepared you to undertake advanced graduate research on your chosen thesis topic;  and
  • a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours in politics or international relations, or in a related discipline such as economics, history, philosophy, sociology or law.

Entrance is very competitive and most successful applicants have a record of academic performance at first-class and/or distinction level.

Applicants without a master’s qualification will not normally be admitted for doctoral study.

Each application will be assessed upon its own merits, and candidates with a degree in an unrelated discipline should demonstrate the relevance of their academic background to their proposed subject or topic of study.

For applicants with a degree from the USA, the minimum GPA sought is 3.7 out of 4.0.

If your degree is not from the UK or another country specified above, visit our International Qualifications page for guidance on the qualifications and grades that would usually be considered to meet the University’s minimum entry requirements.

GRE General Test scores

No Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or GMAT scores are sought.

Other qualifications, evidence of excellence and relevant experience

  • Research or work experience that is relevant to your proposed study may provide further evidence of your academic potential.
  • Publications are not expected, but a peer-reviewed publication in international relations or an allied discipline may be taken as  prima facie  evidence of aptitude for research.

Part-time applicants

Part-time applicants will also be expected to show evidence of the ability to commit time to study and, if applicable, an employer's commitment to make time available to study, to complete coursework, and attend course and University events and modules in Oxford. Where appropriate, evidence should also be provided of permission to use employers’ data in the proposed research project. As a probationer research student, coursework requirements will necessitate attendance in Oxford for at least one day per week during full-term. It is therefore likely that part-time students are either already resident in Oxford or will live within commuting distance of the city, such as via the strong transport links along the M4 corridor and between major cities to the north (including Birmingham) and south (including Southampton).

English language proficiency

This course requires proficiency in English at the University's  higher level . If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence that you meet this requirement. The minimum scores required to meet the University's higher level are detailed in the table below.

*Previously known as the Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English or Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) † Previously known as the Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English or Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE)

Your test must have been taken no more than two years before the start date of your course. Our Application Guide provides  further information about the English language test requirement .

Declaring extenuating circumstances

If your ability to meet the entry requirements has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (eg you were awarded an unclassified/ungraded degree) or any other exceptional personal circumstance (eg other illness or bereavement), please refer to the guidance on extenuating circumstances in the Application Guide for information about how to declare this so that your application can be considered appropriately.

You will need to register three referees who can give an informed view of your academic ability and suitability for the course. The  How to apply  section of this page provides details of the types of reference that are required in support of your application for this course and how these will be assessed.

Supporting documents

You will be required to supply supporting documents with your application. The  How to apply  section of this page provides details of the supporting documents that are required as part of your application for this course and how these will be assessed.

Performance at interview

Interviews are not normally held as part of the admissions process.

How your application is assessed

Your application will be assessed purely on your proven and potential academic excellence and other entry requirements described under that heading.

References  and  supporting documents  submitted as part of your application, and your performance at interview (if interviews are held) will be considered as part of the assessment process. Whether or not you have secured funding will not be taken into consideration when your application is assessed.

An overview of the shortlisting and selection process is provided below. Our ' After you apply ' pages provide  more information about how applications are assessed . 

Shortlisting and selection

Students are considered for shortlisting and selected for admission without regard to age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy and maternity, race (including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins), religion or belief (including lack of belief), sex, sexual orientation, as well as other relevant circumstances including parental or caring responsibilities or social background. However, please note the following:

  • socio-economic information may be taken into account in the selection of applicants and award of scholarships for courses that are part of  the University’s pilot selection procedure  and for  scholarships aimed at under-represented groups ;
  • country of ordinary residence may be taken into account in the awarding of certain scholarships; and
  • protected characteristics may be taken into account during shortlisting for interview or the award of scholarships where the University has approved a positive action case under the Equality Act 2010.

Initiatives to improve access to graduate study

This course is taking part in a continuing pilot programme to improve the selection procedure for graduate applications, in order to ensure that all candidates are evaluated fairly.

For this course, socio-economic data (where it has been provided in the application form) will be used to contextualise applications at the different stages of the selection process.  Further information about how we use your socio-economic data  can be found in our page about initiatives to improve access to graduate study.

Processing your data for shortlisting and selection

Information about  processing special category data for the purposes of positive action  and  using your data to assess your eligibility for funding , can be found in our Postgraduate Applicant Privacy Policy.

Admissions panels and assessors

All recommendations to admit a student involve the judgement of at least two members of the academic staff with relevant experience and expertise, and must also be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies or Admissions Committee (or equivalent within the department).

Admissions panels or committees will always include at least one member of academic staff who has undertaken appropriate training.

Other factors governing whether places can be offered

The following factors will also govern whether candidates can be offered places:

  • the ability of the University to provide the appropriate supervision for your studies, as outlined under the 'Supervision' heading in the  About  section of this page;
  • the ability of the University to provide appropriate support for your studies (eg through the provision of facilities, resources, teaching and/or research opportunities); and
  • minimum and maximum limits to the numbers of students who may be admitted to the University's taught and research programmes.

Offer conditions for successful applications

If you receive an offer of a place at Oxford, your offer will outline any conditions that you need to satisfy and any actions you need to take, together with any associated deadlines. These may include academic conditions, such as achieving a specific final grade in your current degree course. These conditions will usually depend on your individual academic circumstances and may vary between applicants. Our ' After you apply ' pages provide more information about offers and conditions . 

In addition to any academic conditions which are set, you will also be required to meet the following requirements:

Financial Declaration

If you are offered a place, you will be required to complete a  Financial Declaration  in order to meet your financial condition of admission.

Disclosure of criminal convictions

In accordance with the University’s obligations towards students and staff, we will ask you to declare any  relevant, unspent criminal convictions  before you can take up a place at Oxford.

The DPIR provides a stimulating research environment in which you can pursue your interests beyond the formal demands of the syllabus.

Many of the academic staff who teach on the graduate programmes also organise extracurricular research seminars for graduate students, such as, the International Relations Research.

The DPIR also hosts a wide range of research centres and programmes which actively seek to develop collaborative research activity via conferences, workshops and other academic events, and which include graduate students in their activities.

Research centres provide opportunities for you to present your own work in research seminar series and at conferences in the department and beyond. The research centres have an established and popular visitors’ programme which has allowed many scholars of international repute to participate in the DPIR’s research activities.

At Oxford you have access to an extensive range of libraries, books, journals, online resources, manuscripts and more. The Bodleian Libraries is the main library service supporting the University of Oxford. The Bodleian Libraries include the Bodleian Library, which has been a library of legal deposit for 400 years, as well as the Bodleian Social Science Library . This is located on the ground floor of the Manor Road Building and houses the main collection for Politics and International Relations alongside a wide range of other social sciences resources.

SOLO (Search Oxford Libraries Online)   is the search engine for all library collections across the university. It provides access to information in over 100 libraries including college and departmental libraries as well as the Bodleian Libraries. Your Single Sign-On offers easy access to subscription resources through SOLO. The Politics and International Relations subject guide provides up-to-date advice and the contact details of your Subject Librarian for further support.

Politics and International Relations

The Department of Politics and International Relations (DPIR) at Oxford is an internationally-renowned centre of excellence for teaching and research.

The study of these disciplines at Oxford has a long and distinguished history and the DPIR is now one of the largest in the field in the UK. DPIR is ranked first for research overall in the most recent THES global university rankings for Politics and International Studies and second in the 2023 QS World University Rankings.

The department's large community of academic staff work in research areas that extend in geographical scope across the globe, cover both historical and contemporary sources, and address technical, practical, and philosophical problems in networks that extend beyond the DPIR to other departments, universities, and global and local organisations.  

Graduate students have access to an unrivalled range of expertise and activity in the fields of government and politics, political theory, and international studies. Teaching is based on the most rigorous contemporary scholarship and students are trained in the highest standards of critical analysis, and in the understanding and use of rigorous research methods and techniques. The department’s graduate courses include both taught master's degrees (one-year research preparation MSc and two-year MPhil) and three- to four-year doctoral research degrees (DPhil). However, all taught degrees involve a research element, and all research degrees will involve some taught components, including quantitative and qualitative research methods. The DPIR graduate community currently numbers just over 300, with 150 students studying the taught courses and around 170 undertaking doctoral research.

View all courses   View taught courses View research courses

The University expects to be able to offer over 1,000 full or partial graduate scholarships across the collegiate University in 2024-25. You will be automatically considered for the majority of Oxford scholarships , if you fulfil the eligibility criteria and submit your graduate application by the relevant December or January deadline. Most scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit and/or potential. 

For further details about searching for funding as a graduate student visit our dedicated Funding pages, which contain information about how to apply for Oxford scholarships requiring an additional application, details of external funding, loan schemes and other funding sources.

Please ensure that you visit individual college websites for details of any college-specific funding opportunities using the links provided on our college pages or below:

Please note that not all the colleges listed above may accept students on this course. For details of those which do, please refer to the College preference section of this page.

Further information about funding opportunities for this course can be found on the department's website.

Annual fees for entry in 2024-25

Full-time study.

Further details about fee status eligibility can be found on the fee status webpage.

Part-time study

Information about course fees.

Course fees are payable each year, for the duration of your fee liability (your fee liability is the length of time for which you are required to pay course fees). For courses lasting longer than one year, please be aware that fees will usually increase annually. For details, please see our guidance on changes to fees and charges .

Course fees cover your teaching as well as other academic services and facilities provided to support your studies. Unless specified in the additional information section below, course fees do not cover your accommodation, residential costs or other living costs. They also don’t cover any additional costs and charges that are outlined in the additional information below.

Continuation charges

Following the period of fee liability , you may also be required to pay a University continuation charge and a college continuation charge. The University and college continuation charges are shown on the Continuation charges page.

Where can I find further information about fees?

The Fees and Funding  section of this website provides further information about course fees , including information about fee status and eligibility  and your length of fee liability .

Additional information

There are no compulsory elements of this course that entail additional costs beyond fees (or, after fee liability ends, continuation charges) and living costs. However, please note that, depending on your choice of research topic and the research required to complete it, you may incur additional expenses, such as travel and vaccination expenses, conference attendance, research expenses, and field trips. You will need to meet these additional costs, although you may be able to apply for small grants from your department and/or college to help you cover some of these expenses.

There are no compulsory elements of this course that entail additional costs beyond fees (or, after fee liability ends, continuation charges) and living costs.

Please note that you are required to attend in Oxford for a minimum of 30 days each year, and you may incur additional travel and accommodation expenses for this. Also, depending on your choice of research topic and the research required to complete it, you may incur further additional expenses, such as travel and vaccination expenses, conference attendance, research expenses, and field trips. You will need to meet these additional costs, although you may be able to apply for small grants from your department and/or college to help you cover some of these expenses.

Living costs

In addition to your course fees, you will need to ensure that you have adequate funds to support your living costs for the duration of your course.

For the 2024-25 academic year, the range of likely living costs for full-time study is between c. £1,345 and £1,955 for each month spent in Oxford. Full information, including a breakdown of likely living costs in Oxford for items such as food, accommodation and study costs, is available on our living costs page. The current economic climate and high national rate of inflation make it very hard to estimate potential changes to the cost of living over the next few years. When planning your finances for any future years of study in Oxford beyond 2024-25, it is suggested that you allow for potential increases in living expenses of around 5% each year – although this rate may vary depending on the national economic situation. UK inflationary increases will be kept under review and this page updated.

If you are studying part-time your living costs may vary depending on your personal circumstances but you must still ensure that you will have sufficient funding to meet these costs for the duration of your course.

Students enrolled on this course will belong to both a department/faculty and a college. Please note that ‘college’ and ‘colleges’ refers to all 43 of the University’s colleges, including those designated as societies and permanent private halls (PPHs). 

If you apply for a place on this course you will have the option to express a preference for one of the colleges listed below, or you can ask us to find a college for you. Before deciding, we suggest that you read our brief  introduction to the college system at Oxford  and our  advice about expressing a college preference . For some courses, the department may have provided some additional advice below to help you decide.

The following colleges accept students for full-time study on this course:

  • Balliol College
  • Blackfriars
  • Brasenose College
  • Campion Hall
  • Christ Church
  • Exeter College
  • Green Templeton College
  • Harris Manchester College
  • Hertford College
  • Jesus College
  • Keble College
  • Kellogg College
  • Lady Margaret Hall
  • Linacre College
  • Lincoln College
  • Magdalen College
  • Mansfield College
  • New College
  • Nuffield College
  • Oriel College
  • Pembroke College
  • Regent's Park College
  • Reuben College
  • St Anne's College
  • St Antony's College
  • St Catherine's College
  • St Cross College
  • St Edmund Hall
  • St Hilda's College
  • St Hugh's College
  • St John's College
  • St Peter's College
  • Somerville College
  • Trinity College
  • University College
  • Wadham College
  • Wolfson College
  • Worcester College
  • Wycliffe Hall

The following colleges accept students for part-time study on this course:

Before you apply

Our  guide to getting started  provides general advice on how to prepare for and start your application. Check the deadlines on this page and the information about deadlines  in our Application Guide. If it's important for you to have your application considered under a particular deadline – eg under a December or January deadline in order to be considered for Oxford scholarships – we recommend that you aim to complete and submit your application at least two weeks in advance .

Application fee waivers

An application fee of £75 is payable per course application. Application fee waivers are available for the following applicants who meet the eligibility criteria:

  • applicants from low-income countries;
  • refugees and displaced persons; 
  • UK applicants from low-income backgrounds; and 
  • applicants who applied for our Graduate Access Programmes in the past two years and met the eligibility criteria.

You are encouraged to  check whether you're eligible for an application fee waiver  before you apply.

Readmission for current Oxford graduate taught students

If you're currently studying for an Oxford graduate taught course and apply to this course with no break in your studies, you may be eligible to apply to this course as a readmission applicant. The application fee will be waived for an eligible application of this type. Check whether you're eligible to apply for readmission .

Do I need to contact anyone before I apply?

You are advised to review the  profiles of academic staff  before you apply as successful applications always depend on the DPIR's capacity to offer appropriate supervision. A supervisor should be a permanent member of the Department of Politics and International Relations. You are not required to make contact with any prospective supervisors before you apply, as the DPIR arranges supervision for successful applicants. General questions about the course should be directed to the course administrator via the contact details provided on this page. 

Completing your application

You should refer to the information below when completing the application form, paying attention to the specific requirements for the supporting documents .

For this course, the application form will include questions that collect information that would usually be included in a CV/résumé. You should not upload a separate document. If a separate CV/résumé is uploaded, it will be removed from your application .

If any document does not meet the specification, including the stipulated word count, your application may be considered incomplete and not assessed by the academic department. Expand each section to show further details.

Proposed field and title of research project

Under the 'Field and title of research project' please enter your proposed field or area of research if this is known. If the department has advertised a specific research project that you would like to be considered for, please enter the project title here instead.

You should not use this field to type out a full research proposal. You will be able to upload your research supporting materials separately if they are required (as described below).

Proposed supervisor

Under 'Proposed supervisor name' enter the name of the academic(s) who you would like to supervise your research. 

You can enter the names of up to two supervisors, either in order of preference or indicating equal preference.

Referees: Three overall, academic preferred

Whilst you must register three referees, the department may start the assessment of your application if two of the three references are submitted by the course deadline and your application is otherwise complete. Please note that you may still be required to ensure your third referee supplies a reference for consideration.

Your application must be supported by academic references, ie each referee should be able to testify to your academic abilities, achievements and motivation. In most cases, the academics who have taught you or who have known your academic work during earlier university-level study will be best placed to testify to these capabilities. When that is not possible, a professional reference from a colleague who has worked with you in a research capacity or is otherwise able to comment on your academic capabilities is acceptable in place of a tutor’s reference.

Official transcript(s)

Your transcripts should give detailed information of the individual grades received in your university-level qualifications to date. You should only upload official documents issued by your institution and any transcript not in English should be accompanied by a certified translation.

More information about the transcript requirement is available in the Application Guide.

Research proposal: A minimum of 4,000 words to a maximum of 6,000 words

You should submit a detailed outline of your proposed research, written in English, covering areas such as the background to the research, methodology, expected results and the contribution to the field of learning.

The research proposal should be written in English.

If possible, please ensure that the word count is clearly displayed on the document.

This will be assessed for:

  • your reasons for applying to the DPhil programme
  • the coherence of the proposal
  • the originality of the project
  • evidence of motivation for and understanding of the proposed area of study
  • the ability to present a reasoned case in English
  • the feasibility of successfully completing the project in the time available for the degree (a maximum of four years)
  • commitment to the subject, beyond the requirements of the degree course
  • preliminary knowledge of research techniques
  • capacity for sustained and intense work
  • reasoning ability
  • ability to absorb new ideas, often presented abstractly, at a rapid pace.

It will be normal for your ideas subsequently to change in some ways as you investigate the evidence and develop your project. You should nevertheless make the best effort you can to demonstrate the extent of your research question, sources and method at this moment.

Your proposal should focus on your research project rather than personal achievements, interests and aspirations.

Written work: Two essays, a maximum of 2,000 words each

You may submit academic essays on any subject or theme within the discipline of international relations but preferably ones that relate to your proposed area of study.

The essays may be written specially for the application or may have been produced for other purposes, for instance as a coursework submission within a previous degree programme. Essays that comprise extracts or excerpted sections from longer pieces are acceptable but should be prefaced with a brief note that places them in context.

The word count does not need to include any bibliography or brief footnotes. All written work should be in English.

This will be assessed for understanding of the subject area; understanding of problems in the area; ability to construct and defend an argument; powers of analysis; and powers of expression. 

Start or continue your application

You can start or return to an application using the relevant link below. As you complete the form, please  refer to the requirements above  and  consult our Application Guide for advice . You'll find the answers to most common queries in our FAQs.

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This course is offered by the  Department of Politics and International Relations

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We are unable to sponsor student visas for part-time study on this course. Part-time students may be able to attend on a visitor visa for short blocks of time only (and leave after each visit) and will need to remain based outside the UK.

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Nicholas Sims

November 26th, 2021, the department of international relations: origins and foundations.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

The new Department of International Relations at LSE was announced in June 1927 by Director William Beveridge. To mark the department’s 75th anniversary in 2002,  Nicholas Sims described the events leading up to the announcement and the early teaching of international relations at LSE.

Between 1923 and 1930 a series of firsts occurred. Professorial Council minutes of 20 March and 18 June 1924 record the decision to advertise the Sir Ernest Cassel Chair of International Relations and the appointment of Philip Noel-Baker for five years from 1 August 1924.

International Relations and International Politics made their first appearance in the Calendar for 1924/25. Philip Noel-Baker’s courses were listed between those of Sir William Beveridge and Harold Laski under the general heading of Politics and Public Administration.

Excerpt from LSE Calendar 1924-25

In 1926 the same two Noel-Baker courses were among the first identified in a new list of Graduate Courses. (The Professorial Council drew up a “tentative list” in Minute 11 of 19 May 1926.) Noel-Baker was one of 29 members present when on 2 February 1927 the Professorial Council took the next step and created a new Department:

“In accordance with the Memorandum submitted by four of the teachers most directly concerned in International Studies it is proposed to group the work of these teachers and of others in the same field together to form a single co-ordinated ‘Department of International Studies’ with a unity of its own within the School, though in continuous contact with all the rest of the work of the School.

The Chairs of International History and of International Relations and the Readership in International Law will form the nucleus of this Department, and there will be a Committee of the teachers concerned to formulate common plans for teaching…

As building development permits, it is hoped to provide accommodation for the teachers most concerned in close connection with one another and with a special department of the Library and attached classrooms.

The Governors should be asked to consider the formation of an Advisory Committee of distinguished persons interested in International Studies.”

Minute 5 continues with the Director’s assurance to Hugh Dalton, the future Chancellor of the Exchequer, “that the Advisory Committee would be drawn up to include both men of academic distinction and distinguished men of practical affairs.” Beveridge announced the new Department in his annual report on Oration Day, 24 June 1927.

The 1927/28 Calendar saw courses listed under International Relations for the first time. A specimen two pages from the Calendar shows part of the range of courses offered by the new Department, which was more commonly called International Studies. It is first referred to as the Department of International Relations in a Professorial Council minute of 26 February 1930, but not consistently thereafter.

Excerpt from LSE Calendar 1927-28

International Relations made another significant advance into the LSE curriculum in 1927. A committee chaired by R H Tawney proposed a revision to the BSc (Econ) which LSE had been teaching as its flagship degree ever since the reorganisation which followed the 1898 University of London Act. The Professorial Council accepted the Tawney Report and approved new regulations under which the first students would graduate in 1930. International Law and Relations now appeared in the list of Special Subjects (and would eventually become International Relations alone in 1943).

As early as 1924 Edward Berrington Behrens received the degree of PhD (Economics) for his thesis on “Aspects of International Administration raised in connection with the early development of International Labour Organisation”, then just five years old. In 1927 Noel-Baker was supervising seven research students in the new Department.

Alfred Zimmern had already set the scene before Noel-Baker with The League of Nations at Work, a course of eight lectures which he launched on 12 November 1923:

These lectures, while dealing principally with the aims and achievements of the League, will treat also of the general international situation and of the position which the League can and should occupy in international politics.

This strong emphasis on the League and international institutions was reflected in publications and research. In 1925 Noel-Baker published The Geneva Protocol and in 1926 the first of many books on Disarmament, the lifelong cause for which he would receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 1959.

On 5 November 1928 Don Salvador de Madariaga came to give a lecture on Disarmament, having directed since 1923 the Disarmament Section in the League of Nations Secretariat. By this time economic aspects of International Relations were also beginning to receive attention. New regs for BSc (Econ) for students graduating in 1930, show the new list of Special Subjects including International Law and Relations.

Sir William Beveridge’s support for International Relations is traced through his 1928 announcement of a scholarship for its best student, with the prize of a visit to Geneva. This matched the visit to The Hague attached to the International Law Scholarship. Both would take place in August and would include attendance at academic courses, in the League of Nations Secretariat’s Palais Wilson at Geneva and the Peace Palace at The Hague respectively.

Beveridge’s undated manuscript notes show plans for expansion, if possible in cooperation with the new Institute of International Studies at Geneva (which has been celebrating its own 75th anniversary as IUHEI). He saw LSE as preferable for “prolonged” study of International Relations because “international research concentrated at Geneva might tend to become simply a study of official methods and documents and minds” presumably because of the dominant presence of the League of Nations.

Sample of Beveridge's undated manuscript notes

But Beveridge was limited by space constraints. The LSE site was expanding within the angle of Houghton Street and Clare Market, but not as fast as student numbers, which were thought to be at the maximum tolerable. “Regular” students increased by almost 30% from 782 to 1014, in just the four years 1923 to 1927.

The c1927 photograph shows the west side of Houghton Street: the houses awaiting demolition had been acquired so that the School could join up its new (1922) Main Building, seen on the left, with its earlier (1900) site on the corner of Clare Market. The east side of Houghton Street was still occupied by the Holborn Estate Grammar School for Boys, but the East Building which LSE would put up in its place in 1931 was to become the Department’s eventual home for many years up to 1980.

5-12 Houghton Street/ west side. Houses and shops acquired by LSE 1926-7. IMAGELIBRARY/30. LSE

How fast International Relations could grow would depend upon Beveridge’s success in tapping the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial Fund for the building work in Houghton Street.

Beveridge celebrated in his 1926 Oration Day report the “great value” of the Cassel Chair of International Relations. He saw LSE as about to “be equipped to deal with international affairs from all the three angles of law, history and administration.” Writing in 1971, Professor F S Northedge commented:

The last of these three ‘angles’ presumably reflected the general assumption in the 1920s that an international community of states already existed: what remained to be accomplished being to furnish that community with appropriate administrative organs, the most important of which had already been set up in the form of the League of Nations.

Frederick Samuel Northedge, c1980. IMAGELIBRARY/1274. LSE

1971 also saw Northedge’s vision realised with the launch of Millennium as a learned journal edited and produced by graduate students of the Department. Its own 25th Anniversary conference was the first major event organised in Clement House after its reopening as an LSE building. The Department moved there in September 1996 after sixteen years at the back of the Main Building, in the old W H Smith Memorial Hall vacated by the Library in 1978. Northedge’s Brief History of the Department , which had lain unpublished since 1971, appeared in print for the first time in International Relations at LSE: A History of 75 Years , published by Millennium to celebrate this 75th Anniversary.

The full, original version of this post marking the department’s 75th anniversary in 2002 appears on the LSE International Relations blog .

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About the author

Nicholas Sims

Nicholas Sims is Emeritus Reader in International Relations. He retired in 2010 after 42 years with the Department of International Relations at LSE.

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The Montague Burton Chair in International Relations at LSE and its occupants: a brief history August 4th, 2021

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Political Science MPhil/PhD

London, Bloomsbury

UCL's PhD programme in political science is one of the most competitive in Europe. Small cohorts receive extensive training to prepare for senior positions in research, teaching, or applied for work in government, international organisations, private firms, and the third sector.

UK tuition fees (2024/25)

Overseas tuition fees (2024/25), programme starts, applications accepted.

Applications open

  • Entry requirements

The minimum academic requirements are an upper second-class Honours degree (or equivalent) and merit (or equivalent) in a recognised Master’s degree programme and a minimum 65% mark on the Master’s degree dissertation. At least one of the three has to be a first class/distinction (or equivalent). Students applying for the 1+3 without a Master’s degree will need to have a first-class Honours degree (or equivalent).

The English language level for this programme is: Level 5

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level.

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website .

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

*Should you experience any issues with the drop-down below, try de-selecting the country and re-selecting it. If this doesn't work, then you may refer to this page which may help you find the same equivalencies - check the Entry requirements above beforehand. Please note the table is indicative only, revisiting when the dropdown is working to confirm is recommended.

About this degree

The department welcomes research in all the major sub-fields of political science. This includes international relations, comparative politics, political economy, public policy and management, legal and political theory.

Who this course is for

Students who wish to pursue independent research as part of a close-knit academic community.

What this course will give you

Political science is a discipline with fast moving frontiers and a wide range of increasingly sophisticated theoretical and methodological approaches. To make our students competitive in the job market, our programme, therefore, offers one of the most comprehensive training sequences in the UK. 

PhD students are an integral part of the department's research community through participation in departmental research seminars, research clusters, joint teaching, and co-authoring. 

All students have a three-person supervisory team providing a breadth of inputs from different sub-disciplines and methodological approaches. 

UCL is a world-leading institution, ranked eighth best university globally in the QS World University Rankings 2023. Almost all of the department's research activity was rated as ‘internationally excellent’, and more than half of it received the highest grading of ‘world-leading’ in the Research Excellence Framework 2021, recognising the quality and impact of our research.

The foundation of your career

Our former PhD students have moved on to Assistant Professor/Lecturer and Post-doctoral fellowship positions in leading universities in the UK, Europe, and the USA (e.g. ETH-Zurich, Stanford University, University of Birmingham, University of Manchester, Bocconi University).


Our research students have entered a wide range of careers including leading academic positions, international organisations, private sector, third sector, and government.

Our graduate students attend and participate in seminars, workshops and conferences within the department and within interdisciplinary research centres across UCL, providing opportunities to network with leading academics across a variety of research fields.

Teaching and learning

Most of the three or four years during which you are studying for your PhD will be spent engaging in independent research in consultation with your supervisor. Regular meetings with this supervisor will inform the structure and timescale of your research. Your work and these meetings will be recorded in a compulsory research log, which allows you and the department to be sure that you are making appropriate progress.

As a PhD student, you are invited to attend Research Training Seminars. These seminars offer skills training and host research presentations from students in the later years of the programme; they are compulsory for you to attend until your upgrade. Many students later in the PhD process will continue to attend relevant sessions.

Training sequence for  empirical  stream:

  • PhD Research Seminar (required all years)
  • PhD Research Design Seminar (required Year 1)
  • Introduction to Quant Methods (required Year 1)*
  • Advanced Quant Methods (required Year 1)*
  • One Qual Methods seminar (required Year 1)
  • Topics in Political Science (required Year 1, 2, or 3)
  • Departmental Research Seminar (expected all years)
  • Research Cluster Seminar (expected all years)
  • Additional relevant training (expected Years 2 and 3)

Training sequence for  theory  stream:

  • Political Theory Seminar (required all years)
  • Topics in Political Science (required Year 1 or 2)

* Students arriving with previous training in quantitative methods will follow courses at more advanced levels. 

The PhD is examined by a viva committee comprising of two experts in the field, an external examiner and an internal examiner who is normally from the University College London. Your supervisor nominates suitable examiners during your final year, in consultation with you, and the nominations are scrutinised by UCL’s examinations office who may approve or reject them. The viva exam is a meeting in which the examiners and yourself discuss your work, both through direct questions and more informal conversation, and it normally takes two or more hours.

Most of the three or four years during which you are studying for your PhD will be spent engaging in independent research in consultation with your supervisor. Regular meetings with this supervisor will inform the structure and timescale of your research.

Research areas and structure

Academic staff have a strong record of research and publication within all the main subfields of politics, including:

  • British politics : constitutional and parliamentary reform; devolution; electoral participation; alternative electoral systems.
  • Comparative politics and government : democratisation; the politics of ethnicity; political campaigns and electoral behaviour; comparative urban, rural, and local politics; public opinion.
  • EU politics and public policy : decision-making and institutions; regulation and delegation; lobbying; constitutionalism; citizenship and democracy.
  • Human rights : human rights and globalisation; theories of human rights and justice; adjudication and interpretation; democracy, religion and human rights; global poverty and human rights; militias, non-state actors.
  • International relations : international peace and security; globalisation and global governance; international migration; international finance; international trade and investment.
  • Political economy : distributive politics in welfare states; political economy of development. 
  • Public policy : business-government relations; executive and bureaucratic politics; public ethics.
  • Political theory : the history of modern political thought; multiculturalism, toleration and citizenship; democracy and constitutionalism; contemporary political philosophy.

Research environment

The PhD programme in political science combines rigorous substantive and methodological training with independent research. Compared with similar PhD programmes in Europe, the programme has a particular emphasis on methods training. In addition, the department has a vibrant research environment centred around a series of seminars and institutes. Every week you will join academic staff members at the departmental research seminar as well as cluster seminars in specific research areas such as “Comparative Political Economy” and “Conflict & Change”. These seminars will complement your formal training by allowing you to comment on and learn about the research of internal and external presenters. PhD students at our department also have their own research seminar in which they present their work and receive feedback from both faculty and the other PhD students.  . Finally, the department also hosts speaker series through the Policy & Practice seminar series, the Constitution Unit and the Global Governance Institute. 

The length of registration for the research degree programme is 3 years with a typical one-year extension.

You are required to register initially for the MPhil degree with the expectation of transfer to PhD after successful completion of an upgrade viva 9-18  months after initial registration.   Upon successful completion of your approved period of registration, you may register as a completing research student (CRS) while you write up your thesis.

In your first year, you will take non-credit bearing core modules that contribute to the research methods sequence. For students undertaking empirical political science research, the core modules are one qualitative methods course and Introduction to Quantitative Methods as well as  Advanced Quantitative Methods (depending on prior statistical training). Students are also expected to take an additional quantitative course in their second year. Students undertaking research in political theory take the political theory methods seminar. In addition, students attend a general research design course that is only open to first year political science PhDs and is co-taught by two members of the faculty. 

You will be required to complete two pieces of assessed work during the first year: one focusing on the existing theoretical literature in your area of study and the other on the methodological approach you plan to adopt in your project.

In years 2,3, and 4 you will continue writing your thesis. You are encouraged to present completed research at internal and external seminars and conferences, with the funding often provided by the department or other funding bodies. You may also take additional, non-credit bearing modules and courses where appropriate (e.g. ESRC Summer School, modules offered by other departments). Progress is monitored through a combination of supervisory meetings and presentations at the PhD Research Seminar. 

After three years, you may apply for additional 12 months (full time) to finish writing up your thesis. During this period, you will be registered as Completing Research Status (CRS). There are no student fees for CRS but you will continue to have full access to UCL facilities and services during this time. 


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble . Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team .

Fees and funding

Fees for this course.

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: .

Additional costs

There are no additional costs for this programme.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs .

Funding your studies

The department offers fully funded 4-year scholarships together with AHRC and ESRC Scholarships. For details on eligibility and application process, please refer to our  departmental website .

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website .

Clara Collet Political Science PhD Award

Deadline: 08 December 2023 Value: Full fees plus stipend (Duration) Criteria Based on academic merit Eligibility: UK, EU, Overseas

UCL Research Opportunity Scholarship (ROS)

Deadline: 12 January 2024 Value: UK rate fees, a maintenance stipend, conference costs and professional development package (3 years) Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need Eligibility: UK

Deadlines and start dates are dictated by funding arrangements, which are subject to change, so check with the department to see if you need to consider these in your application preparation.

Note that you must identify and contact potential supervisors before making your application.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2024-2025

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MSc History of International Relations

  • Graduate taught
  • Department of International History
  • Application code V1S7
  • Starting 2024
  • Home full-time: Open
  • Home part-time: Open
  • Overseas full-time: Open
  • Location: Houghton Street, London

MSC HIR Video Banner

The MSc History of International Relations, delivered by the Department of International History , is an intensive one year degree designed to develop your intellectual skills and knowledge of global history which will advance your career prospects across a wide-range of sectors

This popular taught programme is unique and distinctive. It is aimed at students wanting to enhance their understanding of the forces that have shaped the world to date. You will study these at one of the most renowned departments globally for international history, nestling within the world’s leading institute for social sciences, in the heart of cosmopolitan London. The programme can offer a bespoke set of courses for students who have studied the subject at undergraduate level and who want to specialise further. Equally, it has foundational courses that are especially suitable for students wanting to transition from related subjects including political science, languages, economics, law, journalism, sociology and psychology.

Whatever you choose, you will develop your analytical skills and ability to critically assess dynamics, events and individuals that have shaped the modern world. You can take two specialised history options that are geographically global, and also range chronologically from the Renaissance to the post-Cold War period. Teaching is delivered by academic staff who are at the cutting edge of the field often incorporating their most recent research.

Additionally, you have the unique opportunity to take a relevant course offered by other world leading LSE departments, enabling you to further widen your intellectual skills, challenge your perspective and to engage with some of today’s complex issues being tackled head on.  Finally, you have the opportunity to hone your research and writing skill-set, by compiling a detailed, research-based 10,000 word dissertation, supervised by an expert in your area of choice.

To help you navigate your options, we have put together the following thematic pathways. You can, of course, opt to develop your own bespoke set of options. Pathways are not prescriptive offering suggestions only, to help you focus your course choices.

Current pathways include:

- War, Conflict and Peace

- The History of the Cold War

- The History of Africa and the African Diaspora

- The History of Europe

- The History of the Americas

- Transitions to Modernity

Read more about the MSc History of International Relations pathways.

  Watch the Virtual Graduate Open talk given by Master's Admissions Advisor Dr Anna Cant in November 2022

Programme details

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 msc history of international relations.

Upper second class honours (2:1) degree 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.

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 .

When to apply

Applications for this programme are considered on a rolling basis, meaning the programme will close once it becomes full. There is no fixed deadline by which you need to apply, 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 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 2024/25 for MSc History of International Relations

Home students: £17,424  Overseas students: £27,480

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

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.

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.

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 home and overseas students.

This programme is eligible for needs-based awards from LSE, including the  Graduate Support Scheme ,  Master's Awards , and  Anniversary Scholarships . 

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. Funding deadline for needs-based awards from LSE:  25 April 2024 .

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.

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.

Part-time study Part time study is only available for students who do not require a student visa.

Programme structure and courses

Programme structure.

MSc History of International Relations students wishing to develop a specialism in a particular subject can follow one of the prorgamme's seven pathways . You are also free to opt not to follow any pathway should you prefer.

You will take at least two specialised history options, choosing from options that span the globe geographically and range chronologically from the Renaissance to the end of the Cold War. You also have the option of taking a relevant course offered by another Department. In addition, you will complete a detailed, research-based 10,000-word dissertation.

Courses to the value of three units from a range of options

Watch our HY course videos

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


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 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.

Within your programme 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. All of the teaching is done either by the Department's full-time academic staff or specially engaged post-doctoral teaching staff. The teaching is therefore very much in line with the LSE's emphasis on research-led teaching – in other words, instruction by those who are at the cutting edge of their disciplines. You can view indicative details for the teacher responsible for each course in the relevant  course guide . 

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. Summative assessment may be conducted during the course or by final examination at the end of the course. An indication of the formative coursework and summative assessment for each course can be found in the relevant  course guide .

Academic support

Each graduate student is supported by a mentor who they meet at least twice a term - as many times as need be - to discuss any aspect of their life at the LSE. 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 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.

Programme Director

Dr Svetozar Rajak

Dr Svetozar Rajak Associate Professor of International History Department of International History

Class profile

This wide-ranging Masters programme is aimed at those looking for a taught graduate programme in history in an international context. It caters for a wide variety of students, including those who have studied history at an undergraduate level and those who are making the transition from related subjects such as political science, modern languages, economics, law or journalism.

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 . 

Student stories

Student profiles.

Fadi Esber, Syria



Read more stories from our students

Why study with us?

International history at lse.

The LSE was founded in 1895 originally as an institute of higher education for graduate students. The Department of International History 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 of International History has consistently performed well in the QS World University Rankings . In the QS World University History Subject Table for 2021, History at LSE ranked 5th overall in the world for the second year running, ahead of Columbia, Stanford, Berkeley and Princeton. In the UK and in  Europe, History at LSE continues to rank third, behind Oxford and Cambridge, but ahead of King's College London, UCL and Edinburgh.

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.

Graduate destinations

LSE History graduates find employment in almost any job sector due to the wide range of transferable skills developed during their studies.

Very few people with a degree in History go on to work as historians, but students with a degree in International History have many skills that are in high demand today.

History students learn to read and process large amounts of information, to sift out unreliable data, to analyse and organise the material available, and to form a coherent argument orally or in writing. Students at the LSE learn to set and achieve personal goals, manage their time to meet deadlines, and have confidence speaking in public. In our knowledge-based economy, employers value these skills. Learning history is learning skills .

LSE history students continue to have one of the best rate of employability and earnings after graduation in the UK. The Complete University Guide 2020 places History at LSE 6th overall for job prospects.  Guardian's University 2021 League Tables placed History at LSE in 2nd place for percentage of graduates who find graduate-level jobs, or are in further study at professional or HE level, within fifteen months of graduation. The 2019 report on Graduate Outcomes Subject by Provider from the Department for Education places History at LSE top of the table with earnings superior to any other university in the UK with 2010-11 LSE graduates' median salary at £43,200 5 years after graduating.

A report on relative labour market returns , also from the Department for Education, which calculated the difference in earnings by subject and university choice throughout Britain five years after graduation, ranked History at LSE number 1 in June 2018. The report illustrates the average impact the different universities and subjects would have on the future income of an individual. History at LSE averaged a lifetime earnings boost of £14,000 for men and £15,000 for women when compared with studying history at any other university in the UK, including Oxford, St Andrews, Cambridge, KCL and UCL.

Browse data regarding graduate destinations for this programme

Support for your career

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 .

Becca Trieu MSc History of International Relations (2018)

I am now interning at the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, in the Public Outreach and Campaigns Section. I believe my LSE degree helped me validate the Communications background I previously acquired, to a more political context.

Natalie Büchin MSc History of International Relations (2018)

Natalie Büchin

Since graduating from LSE, I have been contracting as a Project Management consultant. I am very excited about my current project where I coordinate the 2019 Spending Review Programme for the Home Office, shaping what will be delivered by the Home Office over the next three year period. Although this is a field I worked in prior to my studies, LSE has helped me process complex information more quickly on a practical level, whilst the degree has also been perceived very positively in terms of ‘opening doors’ by my employers.

Find out what other MSc History of International Relations students have been doing since graduating

Preliminary reading

General reading

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

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 .

Anna Cant

Dr Anna Cant Assistant Professor in International History Email

Find out more about LSE

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

Experience LSE from home

Webinars, videos, student blogs and student video diaries will help you gain an insight into what it's like to study at LSE for those that aren't able to make it to our campus.  Experience LSE from home . 

Come on a guided campus tour, attend an undergraduate open day, drop into our office or go on a self-guided tour.  Find out about opportunities to visit LSE . 

LSE visits you

Student Marketing, Recruitment and Study Abroad travels throughout the UK and around the world to meet with prospective students. We visit schools, attend education fairs and also hold Destination LSE events: pre-departure events for offer holders.  Find details on LSE's upcoming visits . 

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  • 1 Introduction
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Course information>

November 2024

2-6 years (Graduate Entry) | 3-6 years (Standard Entry)

Gain the skills you need to solve problems of contemporary global relevance and realise your potential with a degree based on world-leading research from The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

Key features

A mark of excellence.

Everything you learn in your degree is developed by LSE, which has one of the largest and most esteemed departments of International Relations in the world. It is responsible for the syllabus, curriculum and assessments. 

Benefit from world-class resources

Our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) lets you choose from a range of engaging content including printed study materials, audio-visual and revision guides, and forums to discuss course material and work collaboratively with others. You can also access an Online Library of over 100 million e-journal articles, ebooks and much more. 

Study locally, think globally

Study flexibly at your own pace and around your commitments. With no international travel, relocation or accommodation costs, studying a University of London programme is more affordable than coming to London.

Boost your career prospects

Learn to bridge cultural gaps, address complex problems and develop and communicate balanced judgements from diverse information sources. Gain highly transferrable skills that are valued in a wide array of careers in diplomacy, government, consulting and the private sector or embark on further study.

Join the world class

After graduation you will become part of our global network of influential alumni, joining graduates in over 190 countries, including distinguished academics, writers and industry leaders. Enjoy access to services and a dynamic programme of events and a lifelong connection to the University of London.

A trusted name in global education

We have pioneered innovation in education since 1858. Today, we are a leading force in higher education, and our prestigious qualifications continue to be internationally recognised, combining the flexibility of online learning with the academic rigour and structure of an on-campus programme.

Learn more about studying for a University of London degree with academic direction by LSE.

international relations phd lse

Teaching Centre Support

General entry requirements, course overview, programme structure, modules and specification show.

The programme has two routes and your choice will depend upon whether you have a degree or not. 

You complete 12 courses for the Standard Route or nine for the Graduate Entry Route. 

The Programme Specification and Programme Regulations contain information and rules regarding what courses you can choose and the order in which they must be studied. 

  • Download the Programme Specification
  • View the Programme Regulations

Standard Route 100 courses Show

International Relations: Theories, Concepts and Debates (Open modal with additional information) (IR1198)

Introduction to international political thought (Open modal with additional information) (PS1130)

Introduction to political science (Open modal with additional information) (PS1172)

Standard Route 100 courses - Selection groups Show

One course (or two half courses) from Selection group F1 plus One course (or two half courses) from Selection groups F1 or F2

Selection group F1 [Level 100 courses]

Introduction to international development (Open modal with additional information) (DV1171)

Introduction to economics (Open modal with additional information) (EC1002)

World history since 1945 (Open modal with additional information) (IR1034)

Mathematics 1 (Open modal with additional information) (MT105a - Half course)

Mathematics 2 (Open modal with additional information) (MT105b - Half course)

Algebra (Open modal with additional information) (MT1173)

Calculus (Open modal with additional information) (MT1174)

Contemporary sociology in a global age (Open modal with additional information) (SC1179)

Reading social science (Open modal with additional information) (SC1185)

Statistics 1 (Open modal with additional information) (ST104a - Half course)

Statistics 2 (Open modal with additional information) (ST104b - Half course)

Introduction to Mathematical Statistics (Open modal with additional information) (ST1215)

Principles of accounting (Open modal with additional information) (AC1025)

Principles of banking and finance (Open modal with additional information) (FN1024)

Introduction to information systems (Open modal with additional information) (IS1060)

Business and management in a global context (Open modal with additional information) (MN1178)

Digital infrastructures for business (Open modal with additional information) (IS1181)

Mathematical Methods (Open modal with additional information) (MT1186)

Selection group F2 [Level 100 courses]

Criminal law (Open modal with additional information) (LA1010)

Public law (Open modal with additional information) (LA1020)

Legal system and method (Open modal with additional information) (LA1031)

Contract law (Open modal with additional information) (LA1040)

Standard Route 200 and 300 courses Show

International political economy (Open modal with additional information) (IR3210)

International political theory (Open modal with additional information) (IR2209)

International organisations (Open modal with additional information) (IR2213)

Foreign policy analysis (Open modal with additional information) (IR2214)

Security in international relations (Open modal with additional information) (IR3140)

Standard Route 200 and 300 courses - Selection groups Show

One 300 course from Selection groups IR or P plus One course (or two courses) from Selection groups E, IR or P plus One 100, 200 or 300 course (or two half courses) from any of the Selection groups

Selection group AB [Level 200 and 300 courses]

Financial reporting (Open modal with additional information) (AC2091)

Management accounting (Open modal with additional information) (AC2097)

Financial management (Open modal with additional information) (AC3059)

Asset pricing and financial markets (Open modal with additional information) (FN2190)

Auditing and assurance (Open modal with additional information) (AC3093)

Valuation and securities analysis (Open modal with additional information) (AC3143)

Accounting: Markets and Organizations (Open modal with additional information) (AC3193)

Principles of Corporate Finance (Open modal with additional information) (FN2191)

Quantitative finance (Open modal with additional information) (FN3142)

Financial intermediation (Open modal with additional information) (FN2029)

Investment management (Open modal with additional information) (FN3023)

Selection group D [Level 200 and 300 courses]

Poverty and Development (Open modal with additional information) (DV2192)

Complex emergencies and humanitarian responses (Open modal with additional information) (DV3162)

Development management (Open modal with additional information) (DV3165)

Global environmental problems and politics (Open modal with additional information) (DV3166)

International economics (Open modal with additional information) (EC3016)

Selection group E [Level 200 and 300 courses]

Elements of econometrics (Open modal with additional information) (EC2020)

Macroeconomics (Open modal with additional information) (EC2065)

Microeconomics (Open modal with additional information) (EC2066)

The world economy: Industrial revolution to the present (Open modal with additional information) (EC2199)

Industrial economics (Open modal with additional information) (EC3099)

Monetary economics (Open modal with additional information) (EC3115)

Mathematical economics (Open modal with additional information) (EC3120)

Corporate finance (Open modal with additional information) (FN3092)

Managerial economics (Open modal with additional information) (MN2028)

Further mathematics for economists (Open modal with additional information) (MT3095)

Selection group G [Level 200 and 300 courses]

Selection group ir [level 200 and 300 courses], selection group is [level 200 and 300 courses].

Innovating digital systems and services (Open modal with additional information) (IS2182)

Management and innovation of e-business (Open modal with additional information) (IS3167)

Research project in digital innovation (Open modal with additional information) (IS3159)

Information systems management (Open modal with additional information) (IS2184)

Management and social media (Open modal with additional information) (IS3183)

Selection group L [Level 200 and 300 courses]

Tort law (Open modal with additional information) (LA2001)

Equity and Trusts (Open modal with additional information) (LA3002)

Property law (Open modal with additional information) (LA2003)

Evidence (Open modal with additional information) (LA3007)

Administrative Law (Open modal with additional information) (LA2008)

Public international law (Open modal with additional information) (LA3013)

Conflict of laws (Open modal with additional information) (LA3014)

Commercial law (Open modal with additional information) (LA2015)

Family law (Open modal with additional information) (LA2019)

EU law (Open modal with additional information) (LA2024)

Criminology (Open modal with additional information) (LA3025)

Intellectual property (Open modal with additional information) (LA3026)

Introduction to Islamic law (Open modal with additional information) (LA3028)

International protection of human rights (Open modal with additional information) (LA2029)

Jurisprudence and legal theory (Open modal with additional information) (LA3005)

Company law (Open modal with additional information) (LA3021)

Selection group M [Level 200 and 300 courses]

Core management concepts (Open modal with additional information) (MN2177)

The law of business organisations (Open modal with additional information) (MN3027)

Management science methods (Open modal with additional information) (MN2032)

Human resource management (Open modal with additional information) (MN3211)

Strategy (Open modal with additional information) (MN3119)

Organisation theory: an interdisciplinary approach (Open modal with additional information) (MN3127)

Marketing management (Open modal with additional information) (MN3141)

Management mathematics (Open modal with additional information) (MT2076)

Elements of social and applied psychology (Open modal with additional information) (SP2079)

Statistical methods for market research (Open modal with additional information) (ST3188)

Entrepreneurship (Open modal with additional information) (MN3194)

Selection group N [Level 200 and 300 courses]

Abstract mathematics (Open modal with additional information) (MT2116)

Advanced statistics: distribution theory (Open modal with additional information) (ST2133 - Half course)

Advanced statistics: statistical inference (Open modal with additional information) (ST2134 - Half course)

Business analytics, applied modelling and prediction (Open modal with additional information) (ST2187)

Further calculus (Open modal with additional information) (MT2176 - Half course)

Further linear algebra (Open modal with additional information) (MT2175 - Half course)

Game theory (Open modal with additional information) (MT3040 - Half course)

Optimisation theory (Open modal with additional information) (MT3042 - Half course)

Machine learning (Open modal with additional information) (ST3189)

Mathematics of finance and valuation (Open modal with additional information) (MT3043 - Half course)

Programming for data science (Open modal with additional information) (ST2195)

Selection group P [Level 200 and 300 courses]

Comparative politics (Open modal with additional information) (PS2082)

Democracy and democratisation (Open modal with additional information) (PS3086)

Selection group S [Level 200 and 300 courses]

Graduate route 100 courses show, graduate route 100 courses - selection groups show, graduate route 200 and 300 courses show, how you study show, study at a recognised teaching centre.

This programme is only available to study at a Recognised Teaching Centre and cannot be studied independently.

If you prefer to study independently, a selection of programmes with academic direction from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) are available to study fully supported online.

Study materials

Your study materials are available through the Student Portal and are specially written by academics appointed by LSE. These include a Student Guide and the programme handbook; online course materials for each course studied; past examination papers and examiners’ commentaries; and Programme Regulations containing full details of syllabuses, programme structures and degree classification criteria.

Online support

When you register, we will give you access to your Student Portal . You can then access your University of London email account and other key resources: 

  • The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) . Here, you can access electronic copies of all printed study materials, resources including audio-visual and revision guides, and forums to discuss course material and work collaboratively with others. 
  • The Online Library . As a student at the University of London, you will have access to a range of resources, databases, and journals via the  Online Library . You will be able to contact a team of professional and qualified librarians for any help you require.  
  • If you’re based in the United Kingdom, or are visiting London, make sure to visit  Senate House Library . Students studying with the University of London can join the library free of charge. Membership includes a 10-book borrowing allowance, access to all reading rooms and study areas, and on-site access to Senate House Library digital resources. 

Student Support

We are committed to delivering an exceptional student experience for all of our students, regardless of which of our programmes you are studying and whether you are studying independently or with a Recognised Teaching Centre.

You will have access to support through:

  • The Student Advice Centre – provides support for application and Student Portal queries.
  • TalkCampus – a peer support service that offers a safe and confidential way to talk about whatever is on your mind at any time of day or night.

Each module is assessed by an unseen written exam, which is usually held in May or June. You can sit your exams at any approved centre around the world. These centres charge a fee for hosting the exams. Your exam is set and assessed by academics at LSE, ensuring that your degree is of the same standard as those studying on-campus in London.

If you study the following courses from the Information System selection group, you will also need to undertake a project or coursework.

  • IS1060 Introduction to information systems
  • IS2182 Innovating digital systems and services
  • IS3139 Software engineering: theory and application
  • IS3159 Research project in information systems.
  • ST2187 Business analytics, applied modelling and prediction
  • ST3188 Statistical methods for market research
  • ST3189 Machine learning
  • ST2195 Programming for data science.

More about exams

Academic Leadership Show

LSE provides academic direction for this programme. LSE is regarded as an international centre of academic excellence and innovation in the social sciences.

LSE Summer school Show

About the lse summer school.

LSE’s Summer School is the most well-established and the largest of its kind in the whole of Europe, with over 80 academically rigorous courses on offer. Each year over 6,000 students from 120 nations study at the LSE campus in the heart of Central London.

Courses are taught by LSE faculty and complement the content of this degree. If you complete two Summer School courses you may be able to earn credit equivalent to one course on the degree. As a student on this programme you will receive a 15 per cent discount on tuition fees to attend the LSE Summer School.

Full details and how to apply are available on the LSE Summer School website.

November 2024 intake Show

Entry requirements show, what qualifications will you need.

For access to the BSc International Relations degree, you will usually meet the following criteria:

  • Age 17+ by 30 November in the year of registration.
  • Satisfy our General Entrance Requirements .
  • Mathematics to UK GCSE Level (Grade C) or equivalent.

Even if you don’t meet the standard requirements, we will consider each application on its own merits. Our Admissions Panel will consider whether any alternative/incomplete qualifications or work experience you have are suitable for entry to the programme.

I don’t meet the entry requirements. What can I do?

If you are not eligible for this programme, you may be able to study the CertHE Social Sciences before progressing with credit. This programme must be studied at an approved local teaching centre.

Alternatively, you might be interested in our International Foundation Programme . This pre-university programme is equivalent in standard to qualifications studied in Year 13 (i.e. A levels) and must also be studied at an approved local teaching centre.

Graduate entry route

You may apply for graduate entry if you hold an acceptable undergraduate or postgraduate award. The award must be at least one year full-time in duration and considered at least comparable in level to a UK bachelor degree. Professional qualifications and memberships will be considered on an individual basis.

You must also satisfy English language and any mathematics requirements for your chosen degree.

What do I need for graduate entry?

English Language requirements

You need to demonstrate a good level of English to be admitted to our programmes. We accept a range of evidence, including proficiency test scores. If you don’t have evidence but believe you can meet the standard, we may consider your case.

Do hold the English requirements?

We set minimum basic computer requirements because your study resources are accessed via the Student Portal and it is vital that you can access this regularly. For this degree, you will also need Adobe Flash Player to view video material and a media player (such as VLC) to play video files.

More about computer requirements.

Recognition of prior learning Show

If you have studied material as part of a previous qualification that is comparable in content, level and standard to our EMFSS degree modules, you may be exempted from the equivalent course of our degree. This is known as  Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)  or Exemption. You will not need to study or be assessed in the module(s) to complete your award. 

Standard entry route: You may apply for RPL mapped against for up to a total of 120 UK credits (four 100/ first-year level courses or equivalent). 

Graduate entry route: You may apply for RPL mapped against for up to a total of 30 UK credits (one 100 course or equivalent). 

You cannot apply for RPL for 200 or 300 courses of a BSc. 

To be considered for RPL you should make a formal request within your application when applying for the programme. Or, you can submit an online enquiry , if you have already applied. 

You will need to have met the entrance requirements for the programme to be considered for RPL.  

You must have completed the qualification/ examination(s), on which the application for RPL is based on, within the five years preceding the application. 

We will not consider RPL if you have already entered for the assessment in the module concerned. 

Some qualifications are  automatically  recognised as meeting the learning outcomes of our courses. If you satisfy the conditions, we will accredit your prior learning as detailed within the Qualifications for Automatic RPL table: Recognition of Prior Learning degrees In EMFSS . No fees are charged for this service. 

With the exception of the qualifications noted in the automatic RPL section on our website, applications for RPL based on examinations from professional institutions or professional certificates will not normally be considered. 

Discretionary RPL 

Other qualifications will need to be assessed by specialist academics on a case by case basis , before we can approve RPL. A formal application is required and an RPL application fee is payable. The RPL application fee is non-refundable, even if your prior learning is not recognised.  

Your qualification must be at the appropriate level (equivalent to a UK Level 4 qualification or above) to be considered.  

For your discretionary RPL request to be processed, you will need to provide: a completed RPL request form, the supporting documentary evidence (normally a scanned copy of an official transcript and syllabus of your previous studies) and the discretionary RPL fee. 

You should apply as early as possible to ensure we have sufficient time to review your qualifications and so you can register by the registration deadline. 

Note: All discretionary RPL requests must be submitted by the dates specified in the year that you apply. We must receive all required supporting evidence by the deadline stated. 

If you submit your discretionary RPL application but are too late to be considered for RPL in the current session, we will still process your application to study the programme. If you receive an offer, you can still register. If you wish to be considered for RPL in a subsequent session, then you shouldn’t register on the modules you want to apply for RPL.  

How to request RPL: 

Additional information about the process of applying for RPL .  

Further information regarding RPL is covered in the Recognition of Prior Learning section of the appropriate  Programme Regulations and Section 3 of the General Regulations  

Fees, funding and payment

The fees below relate to new students registering for the 2023-2024 session. On average, fees are subject to a five per cent year-on-year increase. 

Students who registered earlier can view their fees on the Course Fees page . 

Disclaimer: Currency conversion tool

The indicative totals reflect average annual fee increases and assume that you complete the qualification within the minimum time – without resits, and with no law courses (which require additional fees). Indicative totals will be available shortly.

*The online examination administration fee is charged for each examination paper held online, including resits. This does not apply to any coursework submissions. This fee will be charged at the point of exam entry and is in addition to the exam entry fee listed above.

More about programme fees

Additional Costs

You may also need to budget for:

  • Textbooks (could extend to around £300 per year)
  • Teaching centre tuition costs
  • Exam centre fees, which are paid directly to the venues where you sit your exams.

We accept most traditional payment methods, including debit/credit card, international money order, and Western Union.

Please note: all student fees shown are net of any local VAT, Goods and Services Tax (GST) or any other sales tax payable by the student in their country of residence. Where the University is required to add VAT, GST or any other sales tax at the local statutory rate, this will be added to the fees shown during the payment process. For students resident in the UK, our fees are exempt from VAT.

Further information on Sales Tax

Your payment provider may apply additional transaction fees (if in doubt, please check with them before making a payment).

Funding your study Show

Without the cost of moving to London, studying for your University of London diploma anywhere in the world represents excellent value for money. However, there may be additional sources of support depending on where you live.

More on funding your study.

Paying for your course Show

You can pay your fees in a number of ways, including an online payment facility via the Student Portal and Western Union Quick Pay.

More on how to pay your fees

Career opportunities

Careers opportunity show.

This degree will help to prepare you for careers in areas of diplomacy, government, and consultancy. You could also gain entry to a master’s programme in this field.

This BSc will help you to question and analyse information, develop arguments, and boost your analytical and communication skills – all of which are valued in management-related roles.

In some countries, qualifications earned by distance and flexible learning may not be recognised by certain authorities or regulators for the purposes of public sector employment or further study. We advise you to explore the local recognition status before you register, even if you plan to receive support from a local teaching institution.

Careers support Show

You’ll have access to a wide range of careers and employability support through the University of London Careers Service, including live webinars and online drop-in sessions.

More on the University of London Careers Service

Tailored support for careers in the refugee and humanitarian fields is available through regular programme events, webinars and careers resources.


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