We provide supervision for research leading to a PhD degree across the range of international relations fields. You should define your research interest as precisely as possible when you apply. MPhil/PhD International Relations applicants are normally required to have a master's degree in a subject relevant to their proposed research. In exceptional circumstances, if you have achieved first class honours from a UK institution, we may consider your application. UK/EU students may wish to apply for the MSc International Relations (Research) or MSc International Political Economy (Research), as appropriate, with a view to applying for an ESRC 1+3 research studentship. If successful in obtaining an ESRC grant, a student would be entitled to continue to the MPhil/PhD programme upon completion of the master's at a satisfactory level.
In the first year of your research you attend the International Relations Research Methods Training Seminar which explores the theoretical and practical problems associated with a piece of major research. Study concentrates on epistemological and theoretical issues, with special reference to the context and literature of international relations, and time is also devoted to problems arising from source materials, methodology and normative dilemmas. First year research students are also expected to attend the International Relations Research Design Workshop; this is to help you in designing a well thought out and manageable thesis.
You will also have access to courses in general social science methodology offered by LSE's Methodology Institute. One of these forms part of the two International Relations research master's courses: Foundations of Social Research, comprising three modules in Quantitative Analysis, Fundamentals of Research Design and Qualitative Research. If you have not already taken a Research track master's degree you will need to attend Authoring a PhD and Developing as a Researcher and Information Skills.