Programme related questions
Course related questions
Why study Government at the LSE?
The LSE is a specialist school in the social sciences of which political science is the oldest component. The full title of the School is the London School of Economics and Political Science. The LSE is undoubtedly a world leader in its field. The Department is one of the largest in the UK and offers students at the graduate level an unrivalled choice of subjects in their various degrees taught by some of the very best known academics in their field.
Our situation in London gives students opportunities to participate in political discussion on a scale difficult to find elsewhere. There is much interest shown in politics by most of our students and LSE is a Mecca for leading politicians, public figures and visiting academics.
In both practical and theoretical terms LSE offers the student a complete experience of politics.
It is partly a matter of tradition and usage - there are distinguished Government Departments in various universities. Government is wider than politics. It can refer to the entity 'the government'; an activity 'the government of ...' and the general principle of ordering, 'good government.' Politics is studied as a part of the activity of governing.
People choose to do an MSc programme for a variety of reasons. Our advice is for you to look through the different programmes available and the courses offered under each to decide which course is suitable for you.
The specifications for all of our programmes are available in the Graduate Prospectus and on our website .
Guides for each course under each MSc are available in the Calendar as well programme specifications .
Graduates of programmes in the Government Department go on to work in a wide range of fields and careers. For more information see here.
Information about where Government Department graduates go can be found in Graduate Destinations .
Careers advice and opportunities can be found at the LSE Careers Services.
Most information about our programmes is available on our website. However, feel free to stop by the department during our open hours (Term time: 10:30-12:30 and 13:30 to 15:30 – Non-term time: 10:30-12:30 14:00-15:30) if you wish.
We have a graduate open evening every year. If you cannot make this you can come to LSE any weekday and pick up a copy of LSE Explorer for a self guided tour or come along on days when we are giving guided campus tours. If you are unable to visit in person you may wish to see this virtual tour. Further details including maps and directions are available here.
If you would like to schedule a meeting with an academic, you will need to contact them directly yourself. Contact information is available here. Be aware that our academics are busy and do not always have the time to meet with prospective students. Further, outside of term time, many academics are not in London and are unavailable.
Applications for each academic year open in October every year. We encourage applicants to apply as early as possible. Once all the places on a programme have been filled, we can no longer accept new applications for that programme. Popular programmes usually start to fill up around March of the year of entry. Please check the link marked availability of programmes page before you apply.
Your application will only be considered if your chosen programme is still open and your application is complete.
For more info, see Graduate Admissions FAQ's .
Unfortunately, due to the scarcity of places, and the existence of the reserve list, when a course has been officially declared closed there is no chance of being considered for a place. You cannot be considered for the waiting list either, as once the programme has closed all the waiting list places will also have been allocated.
Yes, you can apply for an MSc programme before taking an English language test. If you receive an offer, it will be made conditional on you passing an approved language test.
For more info, see the Graduate Admissions FAQ's.
You do not need to submit either GRE or GMAT at the time of application, though if you are accepted it is possible it may be added as a condition to your acceptance.
Requesting a deferral for the following academic year is a possibility. Please write to Graduate Admissions and state your reasons for wishing to defer - you can contact them via this online form. Your application will then come back to the department and the deferral will be considered, then Graduate Admissions will let you know the outcome of the request.
If your Deferral request is not accepted then your offer for this year still stands. Please be aware that if you have been offered a Graduate Support Scheme award this will not automatically be transferred to the following year if your deferral request is granted.
Unfortunately our funds for MSc students are extremely limited so we urge you not to rely on awards from us.
For all funding information please visit the Financial Support Office web page. We recommend that you visit this page as early as possible during the admissions process if you need to secure funding. Many scholarships have relatively early deadlines (i.e. March - April).
All Class Teacher positions in the Government Department are reserved for Research students.
It may take up to two days to process your official offer pack once the decision is posted on the website. This time is taken to check the letter and assemble the offer pack itself. In addition to this processing time, you should then make the normal allowance for postage times and so on. For post within the EU it will usually take no more than a week, but for international applicants in distant countries like China, it may take several weeks for documents to arrive. Offer packs are sent by airmail from London. You can also download copies a certificate confirming your offer from the online status tracker .
We make our best effort to process applications as quickly as possible. The most up to date information is available on the application tracker. The application tracker draws its information from the same database that we look at.
Be aware that it can take time for documents received to be processed by Graduate Admissions and included in your application. For the current processing times, see here .
You can request a condition of your offer to be waived or changed using this online form .
Please be aware that it is not possible to waive or lower the English language conditions.
For more answers concerning conditional offer, see the Graduate Admissions FAQ's .
Your offer reply form can be found on your LSE for You account
You should submit this form to let us know whether you intend to accept your offer or not.
We must receive the form to officially record your acceptance of our offer. The form is also used to
generate your student card with the photo you upload to set up your LSE computer network account
We ask that you submit the form within six weeks of receiving your offer, if possible. If you are not able to submit the form within this time, DO NOT WORRY. You will not lose your offer, nor will we assume that you do not wish to take up your place. You do not need to contact us to inform us that you will be accepting, just submit the form when you can.
Please return the form as soon as you can to enable us to plan for the coming year, and to make the registration process easier for you when you arrive.
For more information, see Graduate Admissions FAQ's.
Programme related questions
If you do the degree full-time, it will take 12 months and you will do courses to the value of four units (from October to September). If you do the degree part-time it will take 24 months as you will take courses to the value of two units each year (from October in academic year one to September in academic year two). Teaching hours are exactly the same, whether you are full or part time. PLEASE NOTE THAT WE DO NOT OFFER EVENING CLASSES.
Full-time students should expect around 8 to 12 hours of class time per week consisting of lectures and/or seminars. Part-time students should expect around 6 to 8 hours per week.
You will be assigned a supervisor during induction at the beginning of the year. Your supervisor is there to advise you on choosing courses, style and formatting of your dissertation, and not necessarily content. Students are free to, and encouraged to, approach any member of academic staff for discussion.
Thursday 30th September. For further details please visit the New Arrivals page.
The year is divided into three terms: Michaelmas (October to December), Lent (January to March) and Summer (April to July). A full unit course will run over Michaelmas AND Lent terms. A half-unit course will only run for one term (please note that half-unit courses are only available in one or the other term - they are NOT available during both terms). In the Summer Term there are usually revision classes and examinations. The dissertation is due at the beginning of September. Full term dates are available at Term dates. You do not HAVE to stay in London to write your dissertation but it is your responsibility to ensure that it reaches us by the due date.
You can view the term dates for various academic years by looking at the section above. However, your dissertation is not due until the 1st September, and results won't be available until mid-October or later, you will use the summer to write your dissertation. You are not expected to stay at the LSE/London at this time as you can send your dissertation via registered post.
Some students when they arrive in the department and consider the courses available find that they might be better suited to a different programme. If you find this to be the case it may be possible to change programmes, though this cannot be guaranteed. You would need to discuss the change with your supervisor who will advise you to contact the Convenor of the course you wish to transfer to in order to gain their permission.
Your dissertations are due to be submitted on the 1st September. Once your exams have finished you are not required to stay in London as you can post your dissertation to us to arrive by the 1st.
Course related questions
Please refer to the 2011-12 Course and Staff Schedule to check which Government Department courses are available. We update this page as soon as we know that a course may not be available but this can only be done from March 2011 onwards. Course availability does change from time to time, and so it is always worth checking.
For non-Government Department programmes, see the Calendar.
A half unit runs for just one term - either the Michaelmas (first term) or Lent term (second term). On the regulations a M stands for Michaelmas and a L for Lent. That means these courses are 10 weeks of teaching - and then usually two weeks of revision in the summer term (third term). A full unit course runs for both the Michaelmas and Lent term - and has 2-4 revision sessions in the summer term.
When you arrive and register you will be given a course choice form in your registration pack. This will need to be completed by the end of the second week of Michaelmas term. So the first three weeks you can attend whichever courses you are interested in to make sure you choose the ones that suit you best. At this point you do also need to register your Lent term courses - although at the start of Lent term (again for two weeks) you do get the chance to change these.
For further information on registering for course, see Information for Government Department MSc Students on Registering for Courses.
A capped course is a course to which student numbers are limited. If a course is capped, you must request a place on that course. Different departments have different means of accepting such requests. If a course code starts with GV, it is a Government Department course, and if it is capped you should follow the procedures for applying below. Courses preceded by other letters (such as IR, EU, LLM) are in other departments, and if such a course is capped, you should read the instructions in the course description, or contact the relevant teacher to find out how to apply. The following procedures are only for GV capped courses.
If you are from another department and are interested in a capped GV course, you must also follow the procedures below. How do I know if a course is capped?
In the Graduate Course Guide in the School Calendar, if you click on a GV course to read a description of it, it will state under "availability" if the course is capped.
For more information about applying for capped courses, see Applying to GV Capped Courses.
Most subjects are assessed with an unseen examination during the Summer Term. However, some courses require assessed essays, which may account for 25% or more of the final mark with the exam counting for 75%, or for the full 100%. How a course is assessed is indicated in the course guide for each course under the 'Assessment' heading.
The written unseen examinations are held between mid-May and early June.
Outside options are courses run outside the Government department and not in your regulations. All Departments in the School offer a range of courses, which can be taken by any student provided the course requirements, are met. If you wish to take a course not in regulations (including GV courses) then you would need to get both the teachers permission and the course convenor's permission.
For questions concerning admission procedures, see Graduate Admissions FAQ's.
For information on accommodation, see Accommodation Office.
For financial support and scholarships, see Financial Support Office.
For visas, see ISIS.
If after having read through all the questions and you still have questions or concerns, contact the Government Department:
+44 20 7955 6816