London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) is a public research university founded in 1895 and located in London, England. It is a constituent college of the federal University of London. This institution has more than ten thousand students and three thousand staff from all over the world, which offers a truly international environment.Show more
London School of Economics and Political Science is ranked thirty-five in the world and recognised among the world’s best universities. Among its notable Alumni, many stand out in the areas of history, law, economics, philosophy, business, literature, media, and politics. Alumni and staff include numerous past or present heads of state or government as well as many members of the current British House of Commons. LSE alumni and staff have also won 3 Nobel Peace Prizes and 2 Nobel Prizes in Literature to date in 2018.
London School of Economics and Political Science also runs many research centres which include the Centre for the Analysis of Social Exclusion, the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy, the Centre for Macroeconomics, the Centre for Economic Performance, LSE Health and Social Care, and the Financial Markets Group, among others.
LSE has academic partnerships in teaching and research with six universities: Columbia University in New York City and the University of California, Berkeley, in Asia with Peking University in Beijing and the National University of Singapore, in Africa with the University of Cape Town and Europe with Sciences Po in Paris.
The school’s main library is the British Library of Political and Economic Science and is located in the Lionel Robbins Building. It contains over 4 million print volumes, 60,000 online journals, and 29,000 electronic books. It was founded in 1896 and is the world’s largest social and political sciences library. In addition, it is the national social science library of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.
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Facilities/Location – LSE is a small university and has an even smaller campus, which in my opinion makes it hard to foster a school spirit where people can come together to enjoy an event. Where LSE lacks space, they do not make up for it in resources for example the amount of money put into sports/Athletics Union is minuscule when the AU is arguably one of the best places you can feel a sense of community with since they put on numerous large events during the school year. Having grounds far away puts people off from getting involved which I think is a big part of why participation rates in sport may be low. Having said that, LSE is located in the heart of London and there is always something to do. First year halls location is amazing (20 mins walk to uni) and the quality of the accommodation is decent. Leaving halls to live on your own with friends means a steep jump in rent prices so you see people compromise on quality of house conditions or fork out ridiculous amounts for a nice-ish flat. No living room is practically a given in London.____Teaching – hit and miss. You have to be very proactive in your learning. You only get out what you put in and no one is going out of their way to help you. It’s a big jump from the school education system so being prepared to learn on your own for the majority of your time since contact hours are minimal is a must before coming here. ____Student life – again its a ‘you get out what you put in’ thing. If you’re lucky, you find great friends in halls. But if not, you have to make sure you immerse yourself in whatever society/sports club takes your fancy – be that keen year 7 person you used to make fun of! The Athletics Union/ sports clubs is a great community because you see your team mates 3 times a week (if not more) and become a close-knit group. ____Career prospects – if finance/banking isn’t your thing, don’t get sucked into that mentality just because others are doing it! If it is, great! Career prospects are great regardless.______
University is a big change of scenery from high school and unfortunately, you really get thrown into the deep end at LSE. Especially if you live at halls, the first week of uni is basically a flurry of faces and introductions thrown your way whether you like it or not. The rhythm gradually settles about a month into the term. The rigorous academic environment is definitely a highlight. Lectures are given by professors—generally people who really care about the subject and have made significant impact in their field. Classes and lectures are intensive. How much effort you put in really determines how much you get out of the teaching. The student body is very diverse—a great opportunity to meet new and different people. But it can also be intimidating, and it’s easy to fall out of the environment without actively keeping engaged with the community. Because the campus is so diverse, it takes some time and effort to find the community that fits. LSE is a great place if you love social science. Getting through LSE in one piece might take more than a bit of self-motivation though. If supply depends on demand, you can tell something with there being one café some every 10 meters around campus for people looking for an espresso fix.
When applying to such a renowned institutions as LSE, people always highlight the stereotypes of LSE being an overly competitive university with rude, arrogant, and unfriendly people. While, yes it is true LSE is very competitive and the student body is very career driven and very determined; but to my surprise the people you met are actually extremely caring, helpful, and always willing to have a chat or grab a drink! The competitive aspect of LSE sometimes, a lot of the times, can be rather overwhelming I must say. When everyone is rushing so fast to fill out internship forms and going to interviews, you feel a bit lost— but then again, this super fast paced environment really encourages you to do research and find internships and experiences that suit your needs and encourage self- reflection about your career options! ____The academic level is very high at LSE, yet we do have very very very limited contact hours for the amount of money we are paying. It is usually one lecture ( 1 hour) and one class ( 1 hour) per each course each week. So there is a lot of content to cover in little time, so as you can imagine a lot is left to “independent studying” which basically means doing 50-80 pages readings and ‘teaching’ yourself a lot of the material! But LSE very much emphasizes independent studying which yes is good because it helps you with time management, nonetheless some times there isn’t enough time to do all the work set! ____LSE is in the heart of London, Holborn, yet it often feels like we are in the middle of a construction site, there are always construction noise distributing my classes or my study sessions in the library. The campus is filled with construction equipment. I completely understand that this is to expand the LSE campus to make it even more vibrant and dynamic, however it is definitely not the most appealing thing to walk around a middle of a construction zone to get to your next class.____But despite all these criticisms , I think LSE is a great institution where you will meet people from every corner of the world, and it will equip you with great tools, especially if you want to pursue a career in the politics/ economics environment!
The campus is rather small and has little facilities. Unfortunately, I am the graduating batch who will have to lived through all three years with plenty of scaffoldings and barricades around campus as LSE is undergoing some changes, which is an eyesore with plenty of noise pollution.
LSE is a very competitive university, people are very career and goal driven. This was a cultural shock for me since my high school and sixth form were not that competitive.__But I also think LSE is a socially active university since it’s a small campus. Although you do need to make an effort with that. If you’re not involved in societies or the AU, there aren’t that many events or social gatherings that bring people together.
As a university, LSE has both many downsides and many upsides but I’d say ultimately it boils down to how involved you get within the university. ____Personally I have enjoyed my time at LSE immensely, as I was lucky enough to try out and find societies I enjoyed throughly. Through those I managed to make really great friends, and I’ve had an active University life which ill look back on fondly.____However there are discernable issues with LSE, and I’m not sure whether they’re specific to this uni alone. Firstly if you don’t happen to find a society you enjoy, which may be the case, ive heard from friends it can be dull, especially if your hall isn’t good with arranging events. Something about LSE is inherently not great in generating a vibrant atmosphere unless you are proactive about it.____Additionally personally, I think it’s easy to get sucked into the corporate/job searching abyss, which honestly detracts from the university experience a fair bit. Especially if that’s all your peers prioritize, it’s hard to not follow suit, which is unfortunate.____Overall I’d say LSE can be a great experience, but it’s up to how you utilize your opportunity there.
Good place to do a social sciences degree. Lectures are pretty engaging (in IR at least) and the classes (1hr per week per module) are not that long, but still enough time to discuss. Personally I really enjoy the topics. Some seminar teachers are better than others. Learning is quite independent – most of the information comes from the three readings you do each week – but the uni are doing things to try and offer more support. ____Nothing comes close to LSE if like me you like to learn languages as a way of getting to know the society and politics of other countries. It’s one of the only places where you can do a language within a social science degree at 5 levels going from beginner to advanced. Since it’s LSE, the courses focus on politics and economics as opposed to literature for example. ____There isn’t quite the same close-knit community feel that some campus/collegiate unis have but so many other things go into making friends anyway. The buildings are mostly modern, unlike Durham or Oxbridge. It’s very multicultural and at least 50% of students are from outside the UK. Halls vary but Rosebery is very good. Nights out are expensive as it’s London but at least it’s not too far to get home. There are lots of societies – not quite 200 like the website claims as some are from previous years – but still plenty to do. And if it’s your thing there are talks about politics, economics etc. from renowned speakers almost every day.