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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My relationship with the LSE is a peculiar one. It is a love/hate relationship. It truly has some of the world’s best teachers. I was shocked at how high the level of teaching is: coming from another Russell Group, Red Brick, University, I can tell you right now it is the difference of day and night. The LSE’s lectures are very fast paced and intense, a LOT of reading is required BEFORE the lecture (otherwise you wouldn’t understand what is going on!), the lectures are actually more like in-depth discussions, and the lecturers are truly geniuses in their respective fields (one of my lecturers, literally had a major role in drafting the European Union’s laws on ‘Securities’!). Because of all this, know that if you want to keep up with your classmates, you need to treat your course as if it is a 9-7:30 job, 6-7 days a week (no joke, it is that intense and most others do it even if they deny it!). Also, get it out of your head that you will get 8 first classes and/or top your cohort – not going to happen!
That being said, I love this environment! I got to learn more at LSE in a few weeks than I did at my previous university in a few months (at I was ranked in the top 3% so I wasn’t that bad!). I really really really recommend you go to LSE if you get the chance and are willing to shoulder the intensity described above.
Nevertheless, with this environment, life becomes very stressful, artificial, and almost robotic and meaningless. You will not have enough time to pursue your hobbies if, like me, you do stuff most days. I train martial arts at a professional level and have done so for 8 years now, but after the first terms, I gave in and accepted the fact that I had to drastically reduce my training hours (which I was easily able to maintain at my previous university). I also found it quite hard to start new hobbies or activities: I wanted to start learning the Piano this year, but the intensity made this quite difficult (got there in the end but it is hard to manage around studies and training!). The last thing I would like to say is that your socials will be very generic and artificial: you will drink once or twice a week with colleagues and maybe club, and thats it – pretty hollow and meaningless for me but maybe not for others.
So, overall, I really recommend you bear the above in mind. In deciding whether you want to go to the LSE, you have to consider the academic intensity required and balance this against your social life and satisfaction as a student. No matter who you are, I really do recommend you give your social life a major consideration: I came in with the mindset that I was willing to sacrifice on this – turned out it was easier said than done. Ultimately, if you can mentally prepare yourself for it, the LSE is a great institution to study and develop yourself at.
I could not decide between good and very good at the overall rating. What I really loved about LSE was the professors and their willingness to listen to you and help you. The courses were also interesting, as well as some of the public lectures. However, there are other things that I did not expect to come across when studying at a leading university. For example, they are slightly unorganised when it comes to course selection (a lot of the courses advertised were not available), we had issues with one of our exams at the department of statistics, as the professor had not prepared us for the questions given and finally, there were not a lot of case studies offered that would help us understand the theory better.
The LSE is a great university for those who are self-motivated, curious and willing to learn new things. It is definitely a studies-focussed institution so if you’re looking for a wild social life, this probably isn’t the place for you. Having said that, societies and clubs offer great opportunities to meet new people and have loads of fun!
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.