University profile

The London School of Economics and Political Science

2018/19 edition

About The London School of Economics and Political Science

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The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) is the world's leading dedicated social science institution. LSE enjoys a global reputation for academic excellence and cutting edge research. In the most recent national Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) the School had the highest percentage of world leading research of any university in the United Kingdom.

About LSE

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The decision to create the School was made by four leading members of the Fabian Society (Beatrice and Sidney Webb, Graham Wallas and George Bernard Shaw) at a breakfast party in August 1894. By studying poverty issues and analysing inequalities, it was hoped that the School would help to improve society in general. The School's motto was adopted in February 1922 and is taken from Virgil's Georgics, the phrase rerum cognoscere causas means to know the causes of things. The industrious beaver emblem was chosen in the same year.

All LSE's teaching and research is undertaken from a social science perspective, giving the institution a unique approach to otherwise common fields. Many of the world's leading experts can be found at LSE; individuals who are at the forefront of developments in the social sciences. Their expertise is called upon by governments, companies and media around the globe and they share their real-world experience with the School's students.

Students from all over the world have been welcomed at LSE since the foundation of the School. 69 per cent of LSE's students, and more than 40 per cent of its academic staff, originate from outside the UK. At present there are over 150 countries represented on campus, making LSE a uniquely international and cosmopolitan university in the centre of an equally cosmopolitan world city, London. In an increasingly globalised world, LSE provides students with an opportunity to study the social sciences in a truly international way, surrounded by an entirely international community.

LSE's location in the heart of London is fundamental to its identity. It enjoys an easy interchange of ideas with the external environment – Westminster, the City, the Law Courts and the media are all on the School's doorstep. The central location of LSE and it's reputation as a centre of global debate are some of the reasons why the School has one of the most prestigious public events programmes in the world. Leading figures from all walks of life have spoken at LSE, including Aung Sung Suu Kyi, Nelson Mandela, Dmitry Medvedev, Bill Clinton, Angela Merkel, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron.

An LSE education is valued by employers because of the intellectual rigour of its courses, the breadth of the student experience and the global focus of the School. According to the Destinations of Leavers of Higher Education Survey the average salary for LSE graduates six months after graduation is £35,671. LSE alumni and former staff include 16 Nobel Prize winners in Economics, Peace or Literature. In all, 35 past or present world leaders have studied or taught at LSE and 31 current members of the UK House of Commons and 42 members of the House of Lords have also either taught or studied at LSE.

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LSE offers over 140 taught master's of science (MSc) programmes across 30 departments or institutes. As a 'laboratory of the social sciences', the School's academic profile spans a wide range of disciplines, from accounting to law, management to urbanisation. The majority are taught in a single academic year but an increasing number of two-year dual degrees provide students with the opportunity to study both at LSE and at other leading institutions around the world.

Graduate research degrees (MPhil/PhD) are offered by all LSE departments and institutes. Students are invited to submit applications that complement the academic interests of the School's staff. A full-time research degree takes 3-4 years to complete and consists of both taught courses and primary research leading to a 100,000 word thesis.

A wide range of international qualifications are accepted but applicants should have the equivalent of at least an upper second class undergraduate degree.

Applications can be submitted online from mid-October in the year prior to entry and are considered on a rolling basis until all the available places are filled.

Financial Support

LSE makes over £13 million of need and merit-based financial aid available to its students each year. Awards range from a contribution to tuition fees to full coverage of all expenses and are usually awarded to students from a certain country or region or to students on a specific degree programme.

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LSE offers a comprehensive range of services to help students succeed in their studies. These range from an academic adviser, to the LSE Language Centre, IT Services, specialist study skills and professional development opportunities offered by the Teaching and Learning Centre and the world-renowned British Library of Political and Economic Science (BLPES). Designed by Norman Foster, the BLPES is the worlds largest political and social sciences library. It has over 50km of shelving (enough to stretch the length of the channel tunnel) which house over four million printed items as well as over 1,700 study spaces, 450 PC's and 226 laptop drop in points.

LSE offers a variety of styles of accommodation within a choice of ten residences. In all of them there will be a varied mix of students, undergraduate and graduate, home and overseas, men and women.

Student Life

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London is an exciting, vibrant and colourful city. Whatever your interests or appetite you will find something to suit your palate and pocket in this truly international capital. Whether you are into art, architecture, dance, film, music or theatre, sport, shopping or even green spaces and the great outdoors, London really does have it all. Major attractions such as theatreland, the West End, the Royal Opera House and the British Library and Museum are right on the doorstep. A short journey by bus, tube or even river boat will bring you to the wide open spaces of the Royal Parks or Hampstead Heath, to the homes of internationally renowned sporting events such as Wimbledon and to the many unique and varied parts of London – whether your taste is for chic boutiques and bright city lights, or quirky cafés and a village atmosphere. It is truly one of the most dynamic and exciting cities in the world. International in flavour, London offers students an unparalleled environment in which to live and study. It is a centre for government and law, Europe's leading financial market and a style-setting centre of cultural life. Educational benefits include libraries, professional institutes and all the resources of the University of London.

Contact details

020 7955 6613
London School of Economics
Student Recruitment Office