London School of Economics and Political Science - LSE Review

London, United Kingdom
International Relations ...
and History
Alex
LSE is what you make of it!

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.

Programme: International Relations and History
Degree: Bachelor's
Graduation: 2019
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