LSE’s renowned slogan ‘learning the causes of things’ was one of the first things I saw on the university prospectus before I joined. This phrase was constantly repeated during my induction sessions in the first year, but is it really true? I can absolutely say that after 4 years at the LSE studying a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, I have been encouraged to critically engage with debates, theories, peers and academic staff to truly get to know the causes of various phenomena. A crucial aspect of studying at the LSE is learning that you will very rarely find the true causes of things, but that is ok too. Understanding the limitations of what we can know is a key aspect of social science. From supportive academic staff, engaging curriculum and a variety of societies to choose from, my experience at the LSE has been an incredible (very steep) learning experience where I have felt challenged and stretched. I have enjoyed being a student on a modern campus in the heart of London and would most definitely recommend the experience to others. If you want to study at one of the best and most renowned institutions in the world (and have a whole lot of fun too) then I definitely recommend the LSE.View more
Currently at the end of my second year, I have a love-hate relationship with LSE.
I came to LSE with high hopes. I knew that the social life there is widely known to be non-existant, but I figured, it’s what you make of it! And it only takes a few meaningful encounters to kickstart your social life.
I quickly found that meeting people at LSE is not easy, although it does depend a lot on the effort you put in. One huge factor is the hall you’re in during your first year – I didn’t take my choice of hall seriously enough as I didn’t think it would have a huge impact. But it really does. Do your research on which halls are more social (spoiler: Bankside) and which you should avoid if you really want to spend your daily life with people. This is super important if you’re considering going to LSE. I found myself held back by the hall I was in (Northumberland House) and its tragic lack of any social life. Thankfully, I came to London with close friends in other London unis, so I wasn’t alone, and I did meet some very close friends both in my hall and on campus. But finding LSE people is harder when you don’t share much except maybe a class or a society.
The thing with LSE is that there is no sense of community. And that is true whether you have a good experience or not. There is no sense of belonging, as there is in most other unis. That’s not the end of the world as long as you find your place at uni, friend-wise and also activity-wise. It is super important to get involved in one or two societies, as that really ties you to uni life and avoids you getting completely disconnected from it.
What made me choose LSE over my other options was undeniably its reputation. This will not fail you if you choose to go to LSE – it will open doors for sure, wherever you want to go. Its reputation is based on the genuine level of the courses. The expectations are high, and almost all degrees have a strong quantitative aspect. The quality of the teaching itself is ambiguous, and depends a lot on the lecturers and TAs – in any case your independent study will be the defining factor so you need to be able to work independently and put in the hours. But that’s true for the UK system as a whole.
Overall I have felt very stimulated here and I have enjoyed my degree (PPE). I would definitely recommend it even though it’s 4 years. You just need to come prepared to pour a lot of effort and friendliness into your social life, especially at the beginning. But if you’re lucky you’ll meet the right people right away and then you can expect a great experience. I just think it’s good to be aware before you start, and not expect a sense of belonging or community because you won’t find one here.
I would recommend LSE for the opportunities that it will give you, for the vibrancy of its location, and for the intellectual level of people here – you will find your people if you choose the right hall and if you get involved from the start!
Best of luck!View more
LSE varies in what it is successful in. The research done by academics is good and it has an excellent international reputation. However, the teaching in earlier years is often of low quality. Researched focused academics may not see the need to teach first years well and this is reflected in the breadth of the course content (particularly economics) and the exam papers. The sports facilities are also poor and international students particularly often have mental health issues.View more
I wold recommend this university. It is difficult to settle in at first because all the initiative is with the student. This makes it quite difficult to get out of the habit of not putting in much effort and not getting much out of classes once you have it. However, if you are passionate about something, you will always be able to find faculty or fellow students that you can talk to. It is good to realise that at LSE you are in charge of your degree, so again, if you put in the time, you will get out results eventuallyView more
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.View more
Exciting location, especially 1st year accommodation. there’s a variety of events going on in London that suit everyone. But there’s a real lack of community events at LSE. Unnecessarily stressful job searching culture. Teaching quality varied.View more