London School of Economics (LSE)
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About the Program
The London School of Economics is one of the foremost social science universities in the world. Direct enrollment study abroad students participate in the General Course, a fully-integrated year of study in which you may select any combination of LSE courses from a variety of social science disciplines. LSE, as an institution, seeks to promote the impartial pursuit of knowledge and understanding about how people organize themselves into, and interact within, social groupings. The social sciences offer a number of ways of investigating and thinking about these questions: they do not teach you a correct way to solve the world's problems. The focus of LSE teaching is on helping students learn some of the different ways to test ideas and, in the words of our motto, rerum cognoscere causas, 'to understand the causes of things'.
LSE offers courses not only in economics and political science, but also in a wide range of social science subjects, taught within a number of departments and interdisciplinary institutes. It is the only university in the UK specializing in the study of the social sciences, and has a worldwide reputation in the field.
While aiming for the highest standards of independent judgment, the work done at LSE is always focused on being practical and relevant to the real world. Teaching draws on the insights derived from LSE academic staff's current research. The school is known around the world as one of the premier producers of important social science research. At LSE, you will study alongside high-caliber students selected for their academic ability, enthusiasm for the subject matter, and motivation to learn.
London is one of the biggest and most exciting cities in the world, unlike anywhere else you’ve experienced. The city contains some of the world’s best museums, galleries and libraries. While you’re studying at LSE, these extra facilities can be invaluable for your research, and your affiliation with the university can provide you with access to rare and special collections. The sheer concentration of academic resources in London is unrivaled in the UK and arguably in the world.
London truly is a melting pot. More than 300 languages are spoken in London, more than any other city in the world. For centuries, London has welcomed people from across the globe, and these people have helped create a vibrant, multicultural city. In terms of studying, this diversity is a great advantage because students encounter ideas from all over the world as part of their daily life. LSE students often have classes where every other participant is from a different country. Studying in London enables you to challenge preconceptions and gain new perspectives – which is invaluable in our globalized world.
London offers so many options when it comes to entertainment, culture and experiences that it’s virtually impossible to list them all. But, LSE has tried; their guide to Essential London is available on their website.
- 3.3 CGPA; 3.5 CGPA is recommended for students pursuing Economics, Math and Statistics
- Completion of 3-4 courses within the chosen field or department of study.
Fields of Study
Anthropology, International Economics, Economics, Government, Policy, History, Political Science, International Relations, Math, Philosophy, Sociology, Statistics
The General Course is a fully-integrated year of undergraduate study at LSE. General Course students will join the same classes and sit the same end of year examinations as our regular, degree-seeking undergraduates.
The academic year at LSE is divided into three terms: Michaelmas (Autumn), Lent (Spring) and Summer. Courses at the School are year-long in duration, with teaching taking place in the Michaelmas and Lent terms, and examinations in the Summer term. The year-long structure means that students are able to cover topics in considerably more depth and breadth than in an equivalent single-semester course. General Course students will take four courses.
At LSE there is a strong focus on independent, self-motivated study. The School takes a well-established approach to teaching, which takes the form of a mixture of lectures and classes. In some advanced final year courses, the two functions of lectures and classes may be combined in seminars or small-group tutorials. Lectures are attended by all the students taking the course, which could run to several hundred for popular courses.
Classes, by contrast, are a much more intimate affair, consisting of no more than 15 students. In your classes you will work through questions, problem sets and issues raised in lectures, and you are also expected to contribute your own ideas, researched independently, to class discussions. The number of formal contact hours will vary with the type of course you are taking but will normally be between 8 and 12 hours per week. While this may not seem like much, your formal contact hours are intended as a framework to provide you with a structure for your own research and reading. It is expected that you will spend at least another 20 hours per week pursuing independent study.
While we believe our students should be responsible, self-motivated and self-disciplined, we will not simply leave you to "sink or swim". There are a number of avenues of academic support available to our students. For guidance about a particular course there is the individual class teacher, and an academic who has overall responsibility for each course. These teachers will hold regular office hours where you can discuss aspects of the course about which you may need extra help.
You will be allocated an academic adviser, who will meet you regularly over the course of the year, receives regular reports from your class teachers and is able to advise on your progress. Your academic adviser is also there to help with any academic, administrative or personal questions that you may have during your time with us.
Throughout the year you will be asked to submit formative coursework in the form of written essays or problem sets. At the end of the year you will receive an overall class grade for each of your courses, which will be based on your formative coursework and any presentations you made in your classes.
You will also be required to sit the end-of-year examination for each of your courses, which will take place in May or June. Exams usually take the form of a single three-hour unseen paper for each of your four courses.
You will have access to all of the resources as degree-seeking students at LSE. On the academic side, in addition to your class teachers and an academic adviser, the Dean of the General Course is available to deal with any academic, administrative or pastoral support issues you might have. This includes advice on housing, course choices and credit transfers to your home institution. You are encouraged to contact the Associate Dean whenever you need assistance.
Socially, you will be a member of the LSE Students’ Union which supports over 200 social, political and cultural clubs and societies. These range from professional, such as the Hedge Fund and Sustainable Investment Societies, through to those of a more light-hearted nature, such as Beekeeping and Salsa Dancing. LSE also operates a wide range of intramural sports teams, and runs a calendar of social events for all students.
LSE offers a variety of styles of accommodation, all of which is within walking distance of the School. There will be a diverse mix of students in your Hall: undergraduates and postgraduates, home and overseas, men and women. All rooms feature high-speed internet access, and the vast majority of rooms are single, although there are a limited number of twin rooms available for those who prefer to share.
Should you wish to live with students from other institutions, the University of London also provides intercollegiate accommodation in seven mixed halls.
You may also live in private housing if you prefer. There is plenty of rented housing available in London, but you will need to allocate some time to 'shopping around' in order to get a good price and a good location. The LSE Accommodation Office is very happy to help you in your search, and it is usually possible to stay temporarily in LSE Halls before the start of year while you look for private housing.
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