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
LSE is definitely a different type of university compared to other British ones. For one, it feels more like a business rather than the classic university experience which the majority of your friends will have if they go to a campus university such as Nottingham or Birmingham. Despite the perceived lack of student satisfaction, I really think that to enjoy LSE, you need to make the most of it and get stuck in to the university life. Join the AU, stay at halls in first year, meet others in your department, join a committee, get an SU job, go to the LSE events.
This will massively improve your time here, especially if you’re a sociable person. You’ll definitely encounter a mix of people – a lot are here to get the advantage of connections and go into banking and finance but don’t let that deter you. Use it to your advantage and let that work ethic motivate you rather than hate on it like most of us do. The modules are really interesting and the degrees here are intense but it gives a good amount of preparation for the future. LSE is also extremely small so at times it does give off a boarding school vibe – this appeals to some and doesn’t to others. But being in London is one of the biggest advantages so utilise that well. Overall, I’d recommend it if you’re proactive with your social life and enjoy being surrounded by intellectual and interesting people from across the world.View more
My experience at LSE has been positive, but sadly this isn’t the case for everyone. If you get involved and make the most of what’s on offer, it’s an amazing experience, especially through the History department. Courses at the LSE are rigorous and there is a noticeable jump from earlier studies – you are expected to learn a large volume of content in immense detail, and qualitative subjects offer a limited number of contact hours. For history courses, there is a lot of reading required, and it can be overwhelming at times. However, the content is almost always fascinating, and I have learned so much about the world through my studies. Learning at the LSE is interesting and broadened my horizons, particularly through the regular event lectures welcoming notable speakers. There is also the opportunity to learn languages. There is undoubtedly variation in what departments offer, but the History department is certainly one of the best and is recognised as one of the best in the world. The academic staff cover a broad range of periods and regions/themes, with research interests focused on international history post-1900. Lecturers are friendly and approachable (if you make the most of office hours) and are genuinely keen to support one’s studies. Feedback on essays is prompt and detailed, although the quality of classes and seminars can vary with some teachers. The administrative staff are also exceptionally friendly and supportive. One of the first things I noticed was the disparity between the quality of the History and IR departments. The social life is available, but you have to go out and make the most of it. There is a careers focus which can be difficult to avoid, but it is possible. Societies and sports clubs offer a useful way to meet others with likeminded interests, and help to balance the workload and improve the university experience. Most of my friends were made through halls (Passfield is amazing) but I have made other friends through social activities. The Union offers a variety of events, but their work is often not advertised widely and requires seeking out opportunities. Studying in London is an incredible experience, but the wealth of activities such as museums and parks come at the expense of expensive rents. I’ve loved my time at LSE, and would recommend my course to anyone with a genuine interest. LSE is challenging in both an academic and developmental sense, but in my opinion is the best in the world for certain subjects. Living in London, meeting likeminded people, learning about topics I am passionate about and exploring new hobbies through societies offered everything I wanted out of my university experience. There is room for improvement, but that’s true of any university. If you come to LSE with an ingrained suspicion, you inevitably hunt for faults. But if you come to LSE with an open mind and get involved in all the LSE and Union have to offer, you will likely have an amazing experience and gain a world-class education.View more
Pros – the student body includes people from everywhere, people are eager to make friends as they’re commonly far from home, most professors really care and are super knowledgeable, it has a great international reputation so there’s name recognition, a lot of classes are very engaging ____Cons – they’re somewhat disorganized when it comes to actually running the school and could put students at the center more often, some professors clearly just want to do researchView more
LSE is, of course, a well-renowned university and one of the best in its field. When I first joined LSE the university had shortcomings in many areas. To name a couple: the university struggled to provide opportunities and insights to those not interested in pursuing a corporate careerView more
I find LSE an academically very good and challenging university. It is a kind of place where, if you know how to seize the resources and connections of an institution, you will thrive and benefit from being at LSE. LSE, however, exhibits a quite similar pool of socioeconomic backgrounds and mindsets. Yes it is international, but due to the difficulty of getting in you will find the same busy, self-serving, if bright people on campus.
It is a huge asset that LSE is in London. It is an experience of a lifetime to have your degree blend with one of the most dynamic cities in the world.
If you value social life, chill people- you need to think twice about going. If you value nature and time, think twice. I recommend, however, joining a sports society. And, as always, if you want to see change – be the change.
Also remember, there is no such thing as a right decision. Often, we just need to take a decision – and the make it the right decision as we go along.View more
LSE provides students opportunities to grow beyond what they even believed was possible. It has brought out a side of me that I did not know existed and now admire. I love going to the many events held every month on a wide array of topics and discussing current affairs with my peers.View more
From my personal experience and what I’ve heard from other people your satisfaction at the LSE will greatly vary depending on the department. My own is very small and very proactive in providing us support and contact with teachers and academics, fostering a lovely community which I feel very comfortable in. But many of my friends in larger departments don’t feel this way, and I’ve heard many stories of over-work and loneliness. The corporate environment is also very taxing, even if you have no involvement in it. I would recommend finding creative societies to balance all that out!View more
LSE is a really cool place; there are lots of interesting people, the classes are good and the courses cover a wide range of material. It’s also amazing to live in Central London, there is always so much going on. The campus, however, doesn’t really have a social hub and so most big friendship groups are made in halls. I was in an intercollegiate halls so didn’t really have this. It can also be a bit intimidating because everyone is smart so you just have to remember that you also do belong there!View more
Being a student here is hard work – a lot of independent study is required, and it’s important to try and stay on top of things so that you can get benefit out of the classes and be able to participate. The workload can feel a bit much sometimes, but everyone is in the same situation and if you feel overwhelmed other people on your course are probably feeling the same way, so don’t be afraid to reach out and ask others for help or to work together on things. The teaching is good and lecturers are experts in their fields, so take advantage of this and ask questions when you need to. There are complaints that the social aspect of uni isn’t great here, but even with the hard work you can have a good time – people probably don’t go out as much as at other unis but the opportunities to go out are still there once or twice during the week. There are a lot of societies that you can get involved in that put on their own events, and joining a sport is also a good way to make friends and improve your social life, as the AU puts on a number of events throughout the year and teams practice at least once a week. The location of the LSE campus is great, you’re right in the centre of London and there’s always something to do on the weekends. The campus is small and all the buildings are close together, which is good because it only takes a few minutes to walk to different classes/lectures.View more
I overall enjoyed my experience at LSE. The many student societies and sports clubs offer a wide range of events and opportunities, where everyone can find something that interests her/him. The student community is also extremely diverse and relatively inclusive. Academically, the professors are often well known academic scholars who are experts in their fields, although the actual teaching is not always great. LSE is however a very career-minded university and you will find a lot of students who will focus on their career goals and prioritise them over their course or extra-curricular activities, especially in courses like Economics, Finance, or Law. This can be a good thing, as it will help you prepare for your professional career, but if you are not so career-minded, you will easily find friends who share your interests. Finally, the only major criticism I have about LSE, is that they don‘t offer re-sits for exams. This can be an issue especially if you fall sick during the exam period. If a student is unable to attend two exams (e.g. due to illness), then she/he will have to re-take these courses in the following year, causing them to lose a full year of their life. However, it seems like LSE is planning to introduce re-sits in the years to come, hopefully eliminating this problem.View more