Research course

Human Geography and Urban Studies

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) · Department of Geography and Environment

Entry requirements

If enrolling for the +3 route, a taught master's degree in related disciplines with a minimum of 65% average mark and 70% or higher in the dissertation component. If enrolling for the 1+3 route, a minimum of an upper-second class honours (or equivalent) undergraduate degree

Months of entry

January, October, April

Course content

This PhD offers training both in human geographic research and in interdisciplinary approaches to understanding/ responding to the analytic and practical challenges of an era of rapid urbanisation and urban re-development around the world. Cities and development are the main focus of work by both staff and students associated with this programme. But it also provides opportunities for research on topics and issues within human geography which are not specifically 'urban' (nor 'economic' or 'environmental') but which relate to broader areas of expertise and interest of academic staff within the Cities and Development cluster.

The MPhil/PhD Human Geography and Urban Studies aims to: (i) provide advanced knowledge of the principles and conceptual foundations of human geographic and urban social science research, and with the research skills and methodological understanding needed to develop original research in the field; (ii) expose students to the most recent developments and debates in human geography and urban studies; (iii) prepare students for careers in research and academia, international organisations (e.g. World Bank, OECD, UNEP, European Commission, etc.), urban planning, governance, community and service delivery agencies, the private/consultancy sector (e.g. development/urban consultancies, and infrastructure providers), and NGOs or high profile positions in governmental institutions.

Research in Urban Studies at the LSE involves a large number of staff from most of the range of social sciences represented in the School, who interact through the inter-departmental Urban@lse group. The Cities and Development cluster of the Department of Geography involves the largest concentration of urban researchers, and one with particular interests in how social, economic and political processes interact, across a range of urban contexts in all continents, and at all stages of development. Issues related to the urban economy are also strongly represented within the department's Economic Geography cluster. Research students on this programme are strongly encouraged to engage with the full range of urban research, teaching and scholarship within the LSE's wider urban research community.

Department specialisms

Regional Planning; Planning Policy and the Built Environment; Environmental Assessment and Evaluation; Local Economic Development; GIS; Latin America; Economic Geography; Resources Management; Sustainable Development; Europe

Information for international students

IELTS 7.0 overall

Fees and funding


Qualification and course duration


full time
36-48 months
part time
72 months


part time
72 months
full time
36-48 months

Course contact details

Student Recruitment Office
+44 (0)20 7955 6613
+44 (0)20 7955 6001