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Before you apply (Research Degrees)

This page summarises the application steps and what you need to think about. For a fuller description of the different research degrees, the Doctoral College, and how to apply, see Research degrees and Doctoral College

LSHTM's admissions policies support the admission of students through procedures which are fair, transparent and applied consistently.

Which research degree?

Applicants can choose to apply for either an MPhil, PhD or a DrPH (Doctor of Public Health) at LSHTM. Read the descriptions of the different degree.

What do you need to apply?

Below is a list of what you will need to apply:

  • Your full contact details
  • Your qualification details
  • Your employment details
  • Copy of passport (photo page) or EU National ID card
  • Your referees’ details (full names and email addresses)
  • Your personal statement
  • Research degree proposal (mandatory)
  • DrPH only - Organisational and/or Policy Analysis outline (mandatory)
  • CV / resume
  • Academic transcripts
  • Degree certificates / relevant professional qualifications
  • Evidence of English language ability (if applicable)

Please note that your application will not be forwarded for faculty assessment until all documents and both reference forms have been received. 

Application steps

There are four ways of doing a research degree at LSHTM:

If you are applying for a studentship please check the relevant information as well. You may still need to submit an application using the application portal.

For more details see the How to Apply section.

In general the steps are:

  1. Check that you meet, or are expecting to meet, the School's general entry requirements
  2. Decide which research degree programme you want to apply for
  3. Clarify your research topic Identify a prospective supervisor
  4. Identify how your research degree will be funded
  5. Draft your research proposal outline
  6. Check the application deadlines (below) associated with your chosen programme
  7. Apply online using the LSHTM's application portal
  8. Await a decision - LSHTM aims to provide a decision on all complete research degree applications within 12 weeks. A complete application consitutes all mandatory documents and two received references. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that everything is submitted, in order that their application is forwarded for review. 
Identifying a supervisor

You do not have to name a supervisor on your application, but it is more likely to be processed quickly if you have already been in contact with a supervisor before making a formal application.

Where to look?

The best place to identify a potential supervisor is on our website: www.lshtm.ac.uk/people-search . You will be able to search an expert by research area, discipline or country.

For more details see the How to Apply section.

Tips on making first contact

If you have managed to identify a potential supervisor, it is worth contacting them directly to discuss your proposed research, and to establish whether they have the capacity to take on a new research student; if not, they might be able to recommend alternative staff at the School.

Make your email short and to the point. Don’t write a long email with too much detail, instead write a short paragraph about yourself and your research interest and how it matches with their own expertise. Many supervisors receive a large number of email enquiries from prospective applicants, so it is essential that you provide a clear outline of your proposed topic as broad suggestions will be less engaging.

Please be patient whilst awaiting a response and please avoid contacting several people at the same time, as this may cause confusion or mixed responses.

If you are unable to identify a supervisor, or do not get a response from the staff that you have contacted, please get in touch with either the relevant Department Research Degrees Coordinator, or the Faculty Research Degree Manager for further guidance.

Application deadlines (MPhil/PhD)

Applications for MPhil/PhD research degrees are considered throughout the year. However, there are only three fixed entry points when candidates are permitted to register. These entry points are on the first day of each academic term.  Each entry point has a corresponding application cut-off date:

JANUARY 2021 ENTRY

  • 4 October 2020 by 23:59 for 11 January 2021 entry for ALL students, including those who require a student visa and those who do not.

APRIL 2021 ENTRY

  • 24 January 2021 by 23:59 for 19 April 2021 entry for ALL students, including those who require a student visa and those who do not.

SEPTEMBER 2021 ENTRY

  • 31 May 2021 by 23:59 for 20 September 2021 entry for ALL students, including those who require a student visa and those who do not.

What do the cut-off dates mean?

If you submit a complete application by a cut-off date, we will start to process this for the next entry point (unless you have specified a later start date). However, it is not guaranteed that if you are made an offer it will be for the next entry point. If an offer cannot be made in time for the next entry point, your application can be considered for the subsequent entry point. If starting at a particular time is important to you then you are encouraged to apply well in advance. Please note that your application will not be forwarded for faculty assessment until all documents and both reference forms have been received. This guidance also applies to LSHTM staff. 

If you are applying for funding via non-LSHTM funding, please submit your application to LSHTM for your desired entry point regardless of whether you have received a decision about your funding, as late applications will be processed for the next entry. You can defer a place that is offered to you for the next entry point if you need to wait to hear about a funding decision.

Deadline for responding to your offer

Applicants are required to respond to their Offer of Admissions within 28 days of receipt, or their place will be released and the offer automatically declined.

Application deadline (DrPH)

Applications for the DrPH programme are considered throughout the year but there is only one fixed entry point which is at the start of the autumn term.

For 20 September 2021 entry, the cut-off date for application submission is:

  • 31 March 2021 for ALL students, including those who require a student visa and those who do not. 

What do the cut-off dates mean?

If you submit a complete application by a cut-off date, we will start to process this for the next entry point. The above deadline also applies to LSHTM staff.

If you are applying for funding via non-LSHTM funding, please submit your application to LSHTM for your desired entry point regardless of whether you have received a decision about your funding, as late applications will be processed for the next entry. You can defer a place that is offered to you for the next entry point if you need to wait to hear about a funding decision.

Deadline for responding to your offer

Applicants are required to respond to their Offer of Admission within 28 days of receipt, or their place will be released and the offer automatically declined.

The research proposal

Unless applying for a studentship with a project that has already been defined, applicants are expected to submit a research proposal with their application. Once you have a clear research topic, outline your proposal in a few paragraphs. This should include:

  • Research / topic area
  • Specific research question(s)
  • Study design
  • Data collection methods and analysis
  • Approximate research costs and planned funding source

Please be aware, the research proposal submitted with your application does not have to be the final research project: if you are made an Offer of Admission and complete registration at LSHTM you will have the opportunity to refine your project through discussions with your supervisor. The main purpose of the proposal is to demonstrate that you have the necessary critical thinking skills, an understanding of the relevant research area and an appreciation of the demands of a research degree.

The organisational and/or policy analysis outline (DrPH only)

Applicants need to provide an outline of how they intend to undertake their OPA project (topic for the OPA, type of organisation to target). The OPA project can be conducted in any institution that is engaged in public health practice or has a public health mandate. While many students have a clear idea about where they intend to carry out their OPA project, it is not mandatory to identify a specific host organisation before starting the degree programme at LSHTM. The recommended length for the OPA outline is 500 words.

Can't apply online?

If you are unable to apply online, please contact our Admissions team at admissions@lshtm.ac.uk to request a paper application form.

If you have any technical problems with the application portal, check our application FAQs.