Programme Specification: MPhil/PhD Demography/Population Studies
1. Awarding Body LSE
2. Details of accreditation by a The Department is recognised by ESRC for
professional/statutory body, FT + 3 research training
e.g. ESRC; BPS etc
3. Name of final award MPhil/PhD
4. Programme Title Demography/Population Studies
5. Duration of the course 3/4 years
6. Based in the Department/Institute: Social Policy
7. Relevant QAA subject benchmark N/A
8. UCAS Code M9ZD
9. First written October 2010
10. The programme aims to:
- provide students with research training to an advanced level on demographic and
- create an intellectual environment for students in order to develop their original
- enable students to develop their research skills to successfully complete the MPhil
and PhD thesis within the required time.
11. Programme outcomes: knowledge and understanding; skills and other attributes
- In the case of a PhD, an original research thesis on the basis of their own
investigation and research during the period at LSE
- In the case of MPhil, be either a record of original work or of an ordered and critical
exposition of existing knowledge and shall provide evidence that the field has been
- An analytical and comprehensive understanding of the main demographic and
population issues facing the world at present
- A broad knowledge of the current theoretical debates in the area of demography and
- The ability to conduct individual research, analyse data, design research methodology
and be able to present their own research findings to a wide audience of academics
and policy makers
12. Teaching, learning and assessment strategies to enable outcomes to be achieved
During the first year (MPhil), students are expected to learn from the research courses they
attend and focus on developing their skills in designing, conducting, writing and presenting
At the end of the first year, students undertake a major review of their research. The process
requires that students submit a 10,000 word document of work which should be of a standard
expected for a chapter of the final thesis, and are expected to go through a viva. If successful,
students are transferred to the PhD programme.
While in the programme students meet their supervisor(s) on regular basis to discus and get
feedback on their work.
Students attend the Research Students Seminar course SA550 lead by the Research Tutor,
the research seminar organised by Population studies and are normally required to attend
seminars provided by the Methodology Institute. They are asked to present their own research
at least once in SA550 course.
In subsequent years, students continue their research under the guidance of their supervisors
and are encouraged to present their ongoing work from time to time, which might include
seminar presentations and conference papers. Each year students are asked to write reports
on their progress for their supervisors, the Department and the School. Continued registration
depends on satisfactory progress.
13. Programme structures and requirements, levels, modules and awards
The programme regulations can be accessed here
14. Criteria for admission to the programme
Applications from students who have, or expect to obtain, a good master's degree,
together with an upper second or first class honours degree from a UK university or its
equivalent abroad are welcomed.
Applicants should have strong research interest and willingness to undertake
interdisciplinary research on a demographic/population studies topic that falls within the area of
expertise of at least one of the faculty members of population studies
The applicants are expected to have the necessary research training methodology that
would enable them to start their research once they are accepted for the programme.
15. Indicators of quality
- The main indicator of the research quality comes from the report of the PhD thesis
- The success in publishing their research in peer-reviewed journals.
- The increased steady demand for the programme.
- The high rate of passes
- The number of scholarships accredited to demography/population studies from
external funding bodies for this programme
- The School participates in the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES)
which provides indicators of student satisfaction with various aspects of their research
degree programme. Results from this survey have been positive for the School.
- examiners’ reports from viva examinations are also considered centrally within the
School and provide indicators on the quality of the research student experience and
- The LSE Careers Centre website provides data on career destinations of LSE
16. Methods for evaluating and improving the quality and standard of teaching and
- the Department holds termly staff-student meetings at which student representatives
from all programmes are able to raise issues of concern. It takes forward suggestions
and proposals coming from that meeting;
- each programme in the Department has one or two elected student representatives
who bring issues of concern to the staff member with management responsibility for
the Programme and to the staff-student meeting;
- there is feedback provided at PhD seminar course SA550
- the Department has a Teaching Committee; part of its remit is to plan provision and
- TLAC Review of the Department once every five years.
- The Teaching and Learning Centre (TLC) runs the Postgraduate Research
Experience Survey (PRES) and distributes results to departments. Survey results are
considered by School Committees (Research Degrees Sub-Committee & Teaching,
Learning and Assessment Committee) as well as within academic departments. Any
issues arising from the PRES would be addressed by the appropriate
- Taught courses on MPhil/PhD programmes are included in the School’s internal
student satisfaction survey, where such courses are provided at the Masters’ level, as
conducted by the Teaching Quality Assurance and Review Office.
- Departments review their programmes according to their own system of periodic
- The Methodology Institute offers methodological training across all MPhil/PhD
programme and transferrable study skills training courses are offered by the TLC for
all MPhil/PhD students: this central resource enhances the standard of teaching and
learning for all research students across the School.