Covid-19 FAQs

Advice for Research Students

I need a new ID card, but the PhD Academy office is closed, what shall I do?


As the office is closed we are unable to print new ID cards. If your ID card has expired and you need access to the Library (study space or online resources) we will be able to provide you with a new Library number to facilitate access.  If your ID card has expired, or is due to expire soon, please submit a query  to the PhD Academy requesting a new Library number.




I need a confirmation of status letter, but the PhD Academy office is closed, what shall I do?

You can generate your own student status letters by using this link. If you are in receipt of School funding and need details of the funding to be confirmed you will need to request a letter from the Financial Support Office.

If you have submitted your thesis and are in the examination process then you will need to request a bespoke letter from us. Please send an email to

I need access to the Library, what shall I do?

You can find the most up to date information about access to the Library here

To make progress with my research, I need to access campus, what shall I do?

 Updated 13 January 2021

If you are currently in the UK, you must work from home, as this is what is legally required under the current national lockdown restrictions. However, if you have a compelling reason for needing to be on campus, for example if you don’t have adequate working conditions at home, you can use the study spaces in the Library (which can be booked here) and the learning spaces in the Centre Building (which can be booked via LSE Room Bookings In the Central Building, you can use the social learning space on ground, first and second floors. If you have teaching duties as GTAs or you have unsuitable home working conditions you can book a teaching room and or an individual office (for this you will need the authorisation of your Head of Department).

Please note that in order to enter and use the Library and the Centre Building you must:

  • wear a mask over your mouth and nose
  • you must have a valid ID card (if you don't have a physical ID card, you need to have your ID number and acceptance letter or the email from the PhD Academy which issued the ID number to you)
  • you must have evidence that you have had a negative COVID-test result within the last seven days. You can book a test (with results available in 15 – 20 mins) here or produce an up-to-date negative NHS test result.

If you need to collect research materials from campus, please contact the Departmental Manager of your Department.

I’m having problems accessing secure date for my research, what shall I do?

In the first instance please contact the who can advise you on the most appropriate access route currently available and any additional steps you will need to take. Please note that in some cases the data routes recommended by data providers may not be possible in the current circumstances. Negotiations with data providers and the necessary approval checks may take some time, so please get in touch with us as early as possible so that we can assist you. 

My research plans are being disrupted by the pandemic/ I need to apply for a COVID 19 extension, what shall I do?

UPDATED February 24 2021


The School has 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 have been significantly disrupted by the pandemic.

The way the scheme will work depends on a number of different factors, which are explained in detail here.  


If eligible, you will need to submit an application, which will be considered by a panel of academics. The Panel meets once a month. Upcoming meetings: 27 January 2021; 17 February 2021; 31 March 2021. If you wish to be considered at one of these meetings, please submit your application at least one week before the panel is due to meet.


Two schemes for funded applications were offered in Summer Term 2019/20 and Lent Term 2020/21 respectively.  If you were eligible for either scheme and opted not to apply then you are no longer entitled to apply for a COVID 19 extension.


At present, you are not eligible for the funded extension scheme. However, if your studies are being disrupted by the pandemic in ways that you are not able to mitigate, you will have the opportunity to apply for an extension to your submission deadline in your final year. 

What are the implications of the January 2021 national lockdown for my research activities?


If you are conducting research abroad, you should continue to follow whatever restrictions are locally in place.

If you are conducting in-person research in the UK, you must follow the national lockdown restrictions which, in most cases, will mean that you must interrupt your research activities. If you are in doubt as to whether you can legally continue to carry out your research in the UK, please contact the Health and Safety Team in the first instance.

At the present time, overseas travel from the UK for research purposes is not allowed for both security and ethical reasons; exemptions from this rule will be considered only in extremely exceptional circumstances (for example, if the research focuses on a time-sensitive event). If you think that this applies to you, please contact the Health and Safety Team; the final decision will be taken by the Senior Management Committee.

If you are already based outside the UK and wish to start your fieldwork now, please check with Health and Safety in the first instance to see if this is permitted. If it is, then please complete the fieldwork form.

Can I undertake a period of study elsewhere?


At the present time, overseas travel from the UK is not allowed unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so, for example if you can make a case that it is essential for your research/work. If you think that this applies to you, please contact the Health and Safety Team; the final decision will be taken by the Senior Management Committee.

If you are already based outside the UK and wish to start your studyelsewhere now, please check with Health and Safety in the first instance to see if this is permitted. If it is, then please complete the study elsewhere form.


Can I get permission to reside outside the UK? (MPhil/PhD students only)

Updated 7 Jan 2021

MPhil/PhD students can request to reside outside the UK for the remainder of academic year 2020/21, either as a new request or as an extension of an existing one. However, all students should read the notes below before applying.  


  • If you are funded by an LSE or ESRC studentship, your funding will not be affected and it will remain in place while you reside outside the UK for the duration of the academic year 
  • If you hold a current student visa, the sponsorship of your visa will continue while you reside outside the UK. However, if you are a final year student your visa will only be sponsored if you are returning to the UK to complete your studies at least 2 months prior to your thesis submission deadline to complete your programme. LSE continues to monitor UK government advice and will update our guidance as appropriate if there are any developments.
  • If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss student without pre-settled/settled status you should seek advice from the International Student Visa Advice Team prior to requesting to reside outside the. Please also refer to ISVAT’s COVID 19 FAQs
  • The UKVI have a concession which allows any time spent doing online learning to count towards eligibility for the Graduate Route (which will replace DES) but in order to qualify you must return to the UK and resume your studies by the 6 April 2021 and complete your final terms in the UK.  If you plan to apply for the Graduate Route but are currently studying online, we strongly recommend that you plan to return to the UK by the 6 April 2021. It is your responsibility to consult the International Student Visa Advice Team's webpages for the latest information on this. You can contact ISVAT directly should you have any follow up queries on this.  Please note that the PhD Academy is not able to answer any visa related queries. In order for you to obtain the correct information please direct Graduate Route visa queries to ISVAT only. 
  • Please discuss your situation with your supervisor prior to applying.  
  • If you were travelling under the School's travel insurance prior to applying for permission to reside outside the UK you will need to contact as you may no longer be eligible for cover.

You should make a request by emailing with the following information:

  • Full name  
  • Student number  
  • Do you have a student visa?  
  • Are you funded by the School? If yes, what funding do you receive? (Examples, ESRC, LSE studentship):  
  • Your current year of study
  • Start date of residing outside the UK period  
  • End date of residing outside the UK period  
  • Where will you be based during that time?  

Please copy in your PhD Manager and Doctoral Programme Director as we need departmental approval.

What’s the guidance for Tier 4/Student Route visa holders?

 You can find the most up to date guidance regarding Tier 4/Student Route visa here

Will I still need to submit a hard copy of my thesis? (PhD students only)

For the foreseeable future students only need to submit their thesis electronically. Please send your electronic thesis to

NB: Should an examiner need a hard copy of your thesis then you will be required to provide a hard copy. A member of staff will be in touch to make the request and will provide you with all the necessary information if that is the case.

The School is allowing a two-week grace period to all students’ submission deadlines.  Please email to request this.

Will my viva examination still go ahead? (PhD students only)

Whilst measures remain in place to control the spread of COVID-19 on campus,  vivas for research degrees are to be undertaken remotely (e.g. via Zoom). This will be arranged by your department.

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). 

How can I contact the PhD Academy Team? 

The PhD Academy office has moved from face-to-face meetings to full online support. 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.