The PhD journey

All you need to know from registration, right through to graduation

The PhD Academy currently has limited open hours from Monday to Friday 10.30 to 12.30, by appointment.

In order to ensure the quickest possible response, please use the service desk. If you would like to speak to a member of the team, please state this in your enquiry and provide your contact details (e.g. skype address, phone number, etc.) so that we can call you back.

COVID -19 FAQs

Registration

Lent term registration will take place w/c 17 January 2022. Full information can be found via the Registration and Enrolment page.

 

 

 

Attendance

Whilst registered, you are expected to be in regular attendance whether in person or online at the LSE for workshops, seminars and supervisory meetings (unless the School has given you permission to reside outside of the UK). Please refer to the School's statement on term dates, vacations and working during MPhil/PhD.

If you are going to be absent from the School for up to 2 weeks you will need to notify your supervisor and department.

If you are going to be absent from the School for more than 2 weeks (and up to 4 weeks) you will need to notify your supervisor and department. You will then need to notify the PhD Academy and you should send an email to the PhD Academy confirming the date you will be absent from, when you will return and where you will be.  You should also forward as an email your supervisor’s approval for the absence.

If you are: going on a period of fieldwork; undertaking a period of study elsewhere; or interrupting your studies you will need to request permission for this by completing the relevant form on the ‘changes to your registration’ section of the A-Z of guidance documents.

For fieldwork you are required to undertake an Ethics Review and a Risk Assessment and therefore you should start the process at least 3 months in advance of your intended fieldwork start date. 

For Study Elsewhere you are required to undertake a Risk Assessment and therefore you should start the process at least 3 months in advance of your intended study elsewhere start date .

Please refer to our COVID 19 FAQs for updated information on fieldwork and study elsewhere, including links to the relevant forms.

Completed forms should be submitted to the PhD Academy for the consideration of the Chair of the Research Degrees Subcommittee at least one month prior to the fieldwork/study elsewhere start date.

Tier 4 /Student Route Visa students

If you are sponsored by the School for a Tier 4/Student Route visa to study in the UK, you need to make sure you understand the conditions of your visa and are not in breach of them. You will find guidance and updates on rule changes on the ISVAT pages.

The PhD Log should be used to record meetings with your supervisor throughout your time at the School. Please note that using the PhD Log is a formal School requirement and a vital part of our processes to ensure we are meeting our legal responsibilities to the UKVI.

The PhD log is used to record attendance and engagement and it is the system we would refer to should we receive queries about attendance and engagement from UKVI. It is therefore vital that you update your PhD Log with your supervisor meeting on a regular basis. 

Regulations

There are a number of regulations governing your study at the School. It is your responsibility to ensure you have read and understood all regulations relevant to registration on your degree programme. You can seek advice on the regulations from any member of the PhD Academy team.

See the School's policies and procedures for further details.

Courses

If you are taking any courses throughout your programme, you can choose them using LSE for You (LFY), LSE's web-based self-service student administration system.

Full information on course selection, including the deadline and how to make your selections can be found here.

If you are attending a course and not taking the assessment for it please submit an enquiry  before the examinations take place.

The PhD Academy also runs a number of events and courses specifically aimed at research students. 

Research ethics

Researchers have responsibilities; to society, to funders, to their institution, and to those taking part in their research. For any research involving human participants, or data relating to identifiable human subjects, researchers are required to complete a research ethics review, and should begin by reading the LSE Research Ethics Policy [PDF].

The LSE Research Ethics Policy aims to: 

  • promote a culture within the School whereby researchers conscientiously reflect on the ethical implications of their research
  • encourage researchers to properly consider such discipline-specific frameworks, statutory requirements and best practice guidelines as may be relevant to their research

Researchers need to consider a number of issues, such as the potential effects of the research they conduct – on participants, on those who may be indirectly affected by the outcomes of that research, and on those conducting the research. Researchers must also ensure they comply with any relevant statutory requirements – such as the UK Data Protection Act, the Mental Capacity Act. 

If you have any queries concerning the Ethics Policy contact Lyn Grove, research.ethics@lse.ac.uk.

Progress monitoring

The PhD Log should be used to record meetings with your supervisor throughout your time at the School. You will also be able to find your submission deadline and other information on the Log and can use it to post work for comment. You should discuss with your supervisor how you will use the Log.

At the end of each academic year, your academic progress will be reviewed by your department and a decision made as to whether it is sufficient so that you can be re-registered for the following academic year.

You should check your departmental PhD Student Handbook for further information on how progress review will be conducted. Please refer to the Regulations for Research Degrees which sets out School-wide requirements for progress review.

Upgrade

If you are initially registered on an MPhil/PhD programme, you will need to be upgraded to PhD status at the end of the first or second year. You will find further information on School-wide upgrade requirements in the Regulations for Research Degrees.

Check your departmental PhD Student Handbook for further details.

For MRes/PhD programmes, upgrade to PhD status will have been part of your progression from the MRes programme and registration onto the PhD programme.

Changes to your registration

At certain times you may need to apply for a change to your student registration, for example to go on fieldwork or if you need to interrupt your studies. You will need to complete the relevant form to request such a change which you will find listed on A-Z of guidance documents.

All forms should be submitted well in advance of the start date of the proposed change in student registration.  

You can speak to a member of the PhD Academy team about any questions you may have before submitting your request. Please submit a query to set up a remote meeting with a member of the team,  stating your availaibility and specifiying whether you would like the meeting to be via Zoom, Teams or by phone.

COVID-19 financial support

In 2020 the School put in a place a scheme to offer financial support to students who were registered on their MRes/MPhil/PhD programme in the 2019/20 academic year and whose research plans had been significantly disrupted by the pandemic. The scheme is now broadened to include students who started their registration in August/September 2020 (on either an MPhil or an MRes or on an ESRC funded MSc) and to students who have already received a COVID extension under the original scheme.

The way the scheme will work depends on a number of different factors, which are explained in detail here.  Please read this document carefully to determine which version of the scheme you are eligible to apply for.

If eligible, you will need to submit an application, which will be considered by the COVID Extensions Panel. The Panel normally meets once a month and date of upcoming panel meetings are: 15 February 2022, 30 March 2022 and 12 May 2022.

Please send your completed forms to phdacademy@lse.ac.uk at least one week before the relevant panel meeting.

Any student will still be able to request a standard interruption or extension using the standard forms that can be found in the A-Z of gudiance.

 

 

Fieldwork and Study Elsewhere

All students who wish to undertake a period of fieldwork or a period of study elsewhere away from London must complete a fieldwork/study elsewhere application form and submit this, fully completed, to the PhD Academy at least one month prior to the start of the fieldwork or study elsewhere period. Those intending to undertake fieldwork/data collection in London still need to read the fieldwork form.

Please refer to our COVID 19 FAQs for updated information on fieldwork and study elsewhere, including links to the relevant forms.

Interrupting your studies

If at any point during your studies, you require an interruption to your studies, you should complete the interruption to studies form which can be found in the A-Z of Guidance documents. Prior to submitting your form, you are strongly encouraged to speak with a member of the PhD Academy team who will be able to discuss what happens with your visa (if applicable), funding (if applicable) and submission deadline.

Please submit a query to set up a remote meeting with a member of the team, stating your availaibility and specifiying whether you would like the meeting to be via Zoom, Teams or by phone.

Parental Leave

The LSE Parental Leave policy for Research Degrees Students is available under the A-Z of Guidance documents and outlines what the leave policy is and what students need to do to apply for parent leave.

As each individuals case is unique, speak to a member of the PhD Academy team who will be able to discuss your options and  what happens with your visa (if you need one), funding and submission deadline.Please submit a query to set up a remote meeting with a member of the team, stating your availaibility and specifiying whether you would like the meeting to be via Zoom, Teams or by phone.

iThenticate: using text-matching software

The School makes text-matching software (iThenticate) available to its research students who might wish to use it to check their written work. Some departments also require students to use it, for example, as a part of the upgrade process.

If you are a research student and wish to use the software, please submit an enquiry  and we will set up an account for you.

You should check with your department (in the PhD Student Handbook) whether use of iThenticate is required as a part of your programme. If it is, an account should have been set up for you.

A copy of the Quick Start User Guide for iThenticate is provided here for your information: Quick Start User Guide [PDF].

You will also find further instructions on how to use the software on the iThenticate website. Fuller guidance is provided in the iThenticate User Manual [PDF].

Should you have any questions about using the software or reading a report produced by it, please contact a member of the PhD Academy team.

Final year and MPhil/PhD examinations

As you enter the final year of your programme you will need to begin thinking about the preparation for submitting your thesis and your viva examination. 

Examination entry

As you enter your final year you should discuss the exam entry process with your supervisor you should start completing the Examination Entry form with your supervisor.

Your supervisor is responsible for nominating your examiners although it is likely that he/she will discuss possible nominations with you to ensure they are the most appropriate choice. Please see the Guidelines on Nominating Examiners for further information.

Completed entry forms should be returned to the PhD Academy at least two months in advance of submitting your thesis: this is to allow sufficient time for your examiners to be formally appointed and to avoid potential delays to the examination (see below). If you are unable to meet this deadline, please seek advice from a member of the PhD Academy team. 

Once we have received your completed examination entry form, the examiner nominations are sent to the relevant subject panel for approval. We will then formally invite the examiners to act.

Until the examiners have confirmed with the PhD Academy that they can act, they are not appointed as your examiners. Therefore, we cannot send your thesis to them until that time and no arrangements for the viva examination should be agreed.  

In cases where an examiner nomination is not approved or an examiner is no longer able to act, supervisors will need to nominate a new examiner using the replacement examiner nomination form.

If you require additional arrangements for your viva, you should note this on your Exam Entry Form and a member of the PhD Academy team will contact you about this. If you already have an Inclusion/Adjustment Plan, it is recommended that you make contact with the Disability and Wellbeing Service 6 months prior to your submission date to discuss what arrangements you need for the viva. An updated copy of the Inclusion/Adjustment Plan should be provided to the PhD Academy.  You are encouraged to speak with a member of the PhD Academy team about your additional viva arrangements. 

Please submit a query to set up a remote meeting with a member of the team, stating your availability and specifying whether you would like the meeting to be via Zoom, Teams or by phone.

If you wish to apply for the Graduate Route post study visa, you should note this on your Exam Entry Form. You are advised to speak with the International Student Visa Advice Team about the visa process. After receiving advice from ISVAT, please contact the PhD Academy to dicuss the examination process and the visa scheme.

Thesis submission

For the foreseeable future, thesis submission will be electronic only.The easiest way to submit the electronic version of your thesis to the PhD Academy by emailing phdacademy@lse.ac.uk . If you are using the Microsoft One Drive to submit your thesis then you will need to send this by email to A.Iniongo-Eloko@lse.ac.uk.

You should refer to the Formatting and binding your thesis document to ensure your thesis is formatted in line with the School’s requirements. The front pages of your thesis should contain certain information and you should refer to the Template for the front pages of your document for further guidance.  

You must submit your thesis by the deadline. If you are unsure what your deadline is, please submit an enquiry.

Theses that are submitted late cannot be accepted without an approved extension from the Research Degrees Subcommittee Chair. You should ensure you allow time for the final editing, printing and binding of your thesis within your deadline. 

Once we have received your thesis, and assuming your examiners have been formally appointed, we will then post your thesis to them for examination and confirm with you once we have done so. Examiners are not permitted to accept a thesis, in any format, from any source other than from the PhD Academy.  

Editorial help with your thesis

You might wish to seek help from a third party in editing your thesis before you submit it for examination. You will need to read the School’s Statement on Editorial Help [PDF], provide a copy of it to any third party you use and declare what help you have received from a third party in the front pages of your thesis (see template for front pages of your thesis [PDF]). 

Viva (oral) examination

From the start of the 2021/2022 academic session (from October onwards) regulations have been amended following consultation to allow departments the flexibility to undertake vivas either on campus or remotely, using approved video conferencing facilities.  

Departments have been asked to ensure that all parties have been consulted, have approved the online arrangement, and that they have adequate technical facilities. They have also been asked to ensure that support is available to you during the viva, in case you encounter any issues (e.g. your supervisor/s or DPD should be reachable during and after the viva). 

 You should not be involved in making any arrangements for your viva examination. Find further information about the viva and other examination arrangements in the Guidelines for MPhil/PhD examinations [PDF].

The PhD Academy runs sessions on preparing for your viva and you are strongly encouraged to attend one of these sessions. Please check our webpages on a regular basis to see when the next session will be scheduled. 

Confirmation of your examination outcome

After your examination, the PhD Academy will email you to confirm the examiners' decision and give full details of what you will then be required to do. We ask examiners to confirm their decision to us within two weeks of your viva and we will normally email you confirmation of the examination outcome within two weeks of receiving the examiners’ decision. 

You can find the possible outcomes from the examination in the Regulations for Research Degrees.. We cannot confirm an examiners decision with you until we have received the relevant information from both of your examiners.

Examination re-entry procedures

If your examiners decide that you require a further period (of between 7 and 12 months) in which to revise and resubmit your thesis, you will need to re-enter for the examination.

When the PhD Academy confirms the outcome of your original examination, we will also confirm the date by which you will need to submit your revised thesis. One month in advance of that deadline you should complete the Examination re-entry form [DOC] and submit it to the PhD Academy. You will also need to pay the £200 re-entry fee using eshop at the same time: LSE eShop. You should follow the same formatting guidelines as provided above.

If you have any questions about this process, please submit an enquiry to our office.
 
You are welcome to contact the PhD Academy to discuss the outcome of your viva examination at any stage and we will share with you the information we have at that time.

Providing a final copy of your thesis

When you have successfully completed your MPhil or PhD (i.e. once you have completed your viva examination and any revisions your examiners have required you to make in your thesis) and in accordance with the School’s Regulations for Research Degrees (paragraph 60.3), we will ask you to provide a final electronic copy of your thesis for deposit in LSE Theses Online (LSETO). Read further information on LSETO [PDF].

Please note that this is a requirement of the degree and we cannot make an award to you until we have received a final copy of your thesis.

The School encourages all PhD graduates to make their research widely available in line with its own Open Access Policy and that of the UKRI.

The School’s policy limits the delay that publishers may wish to impose between online publication and availability via a repository in accordance with the UKRI commitment that “the outputs of publicly funded research [is] to be freely available” The maximum acceptable embargo periods vary according to discipline; for the social sciences it is 12 months. Since LSETO has been operating (2011-12) the experience of our PhD graduates has been that depositing their work in it has had a positive rather than detrimental effect on publishing from their thesis.

It is, however, recognised that graduates may need to apply for an embargo. Under regulation 62, a 24-month embargo can be applied on grounds of publication, commercial exploitation and protection of participants. Please note that 24 months is the maximum amount that can be applied for.

Please ensure you have read the relevant regulation (paragraph 62, Regulations for Research Degrees.) and/or seek advice from a member of the PhD Academy Team before you apply for an embargo.  

Your request will be considered for approval by the Research Degrees Subcommittee. If granted, you will still be required to provide an electronic copy of your final thesis. Your thesis title and abstract will still appear in LSETO, but the full text of it will not be accessible until the end of the agreed period of restricted access. If you also require the abstract/citation of your thesis to be embargoed, you should state this clearly in your request.

You can apply for an embargo by submitting an enquiry to the PhD Academy and providing the following information: the reason for the embargo, whether you want it applied to the abstract, the length of embargo and  and how long you wish the embargo to be in place (the maximum period is 24 months). 

Transcripts, proof of examination outcome and degree certificates

Requesting transcripts

If you would like confirmation of any taught modules that you undertook as part of your MPhil/PhD studies, please submit an enquiry. Please ensure that you include your full name, date of birth and student number (if known) as well as details of the courses undertaken.

Proof of examination outcome  

Once your examiners have confirmed their decision with the PhD Academy, the PhD Academy will process the final outcome with 1-2 weeks of receiving the decision.  In order to be awarded, you will need to submit a final e-thesis to the Library. Once you have submitted a final copy of your thesis in accordance with the School’s requirements, we will be in a position to award you a degree.

If you require a letter confirming your award, please submit an enquiry. Please note that we can only confirm that a degree has been awarded once your final e-thesis has been received by the Library.

Degree certificates and replacements

Once you have been awarded, you degree certificate will be produced within 2 months of your award date. Degree certificate will be sent to your permanent  home address as per our records at the time of awarding. Please ensure you update check and update your permanent home address on LfY prior to your award date. Please note we cannot provide you with your degree certificate until you have provided a final copy of your thesis.

The School only issues one certificate to each student but in exceptional circumstances, you can make an application for a replacement. Applications can be made in the event of loss, damage or non-receipt of the original certificate. Please note that you must wait a minimum of 8 weeks from the date of issue of your original degree certificate before making an application for a replacement. This is to allow for a full search to be undertaken of the recorded delivery tracking system used for posting degree certificates.

To make an application for a replacement MPhil or PhD LSE degree certificate, please submit an enquiry.

If your degree certificate was issued by the University of London and not the LSE (your certificate will have the University of London on it) you will need to request a replacement from them. To make an application for a replacement, please contact diploma.enquiries@london.ac.uk

Degree verification

Third-parties (e.g. employers or other educational institutions) who wish to verify the details of an individual’s LSE degree award should do so online via Higher Education Degree Datacheck (HEDD). Further information on the process can be found here.

Graduation ceremonies

The School’s graduation ceremonies take place in July and December each year. In order to attend the July ceremony you will need to have been awarded your degree by 30 April and to attend the December ceremony you will need to have been awarded your degree by 30 September.

Please note due to COVID 19 you are advised to check the Ceremonies webpages on up-to-date information on ceremony dates.

To be awarded your MPhil or PhD degree you must have completed the following: 

  • the viva examination
  • all revisions to your thesis required by your examiners following your viva examination
  • received confirmation that your examiners are now satisfied that therequired revisions have been made
  • submitted the final copy of your thesis to LSEthesesonline in accordance with the School’s requirements

These steps will need to have been completed by the deadlines above in order for you to be able to attend the relevant graduation ceremony. If you have further questions about how an award is made please contact us via this enquiry form

See further information about the graduation ceremonies.