At LSE, you will have the chance to study a broad range of subjects; some of them you may have studied in school, some will be new to you. At one end of the spectrum are subjects you might consider 'arts' subjects like history, at the other end you will find mathematics and related subjects; some subjects have a direct vocational or professional link, like law or actuarial science. All are a useful intellectual training in different approaches to social questions.
Each subject has its own section describing the degrees and courses available; use the degree programmes menu item on the left to find what is on offer.
The School offers a unique opportunity to study the social sciences in a university institution with a worldwide academic reputation, while enjoying the cultural, social and recreational facilities of one of the world's great capital cities. Many influential developments in thinking about society, economics and politics have originated in work carried out at the School, including the basis of the modern welfare state and the development of free-market economics.
What we study
LSE seeks to promote the impartial pursuit of knowledge and understanding about how people organise themselves into, and interact within, social groupings. The social sciences offer a number of ways of investigating and thinking about these questions: they do not teach you a 'right' (or left, or centre!) way to solve the world's problems. The focus of our teaching is on helping you to learn some of the different ways to test your - and other people's - ideas: and, in the words of our motto, rerum cognoscere causas, 'to understand the causes of things'. In most of our degrees, we expect students to take at least one course in a subject outside their particular specialism.
The School offers courses not only in economics and political science, but also in a wide range of social science subjects, taught within a number of departments and interdisciplinary institutes. It is the only university in the UK specialising in the study of the social sciences, and has a worldwide reputation in the field. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise the School had the highest percentage of world-leading research of any university in the country. LSE's academic departments have also achieved outstanding results in the HEFCE/QAA teaching quality assessment/ subject review exercises; and a range of independent and authoritative assessments have judged the School to be among the world's leading institutions for study of the social sciences.
While aiming for the highest standards of independent judgement, we seek to make our work practical and relevant to the real world. Teaching draws on the insights derived from our academic staff's current research. This can be an exploration of theoretical or technical developments in an academic subject, but much is also applied to topical and practical concerns.
Many past and present members of staff act as expert advisers to political parties, the Civil Service and policy pressure groups. For instance, Professor David Metcalf is chair of the independent UK Migration Advisory Committee, Emeritus Professor Lord Desai is a regular speaker in House of Lords debates and Emeritus Professor Lord Wallace is a government whip in the coalition government. Emeritus Professor Lord Layard, founder of the Centre for Economic Performance, is a prominent expert on happiness and well being.
The School's international reputation and London location ensure that in times of crisis it is to LSE that the media turn first for a response. Professor Nicholas Stern (climate change), Professor Conor Gearty (human rights), Professor Tim Newburn (crime), Professor Anne Power (housing policy), Tony Travers (London and local government) and Professor Danny Quah (the weightless economy) will all be familiar names to the average news addict. To further strengthen LSE's academic excellence the School will be appointing an additional 20 world-leading academics in 2013.
LSE100 - The LSE Course: Understanding the causes of things
LSE is a unique institution with a distinctive teaching programme. A new element of this is LSE100, which introduces first year undergraduates to the fundamental elements of thinking as a social scientist by exploring real problems and real questions. LSE100 is a compulsory course for all undergraduate students.
Why choose LSE?
The School's location in central London is fundamental to its identity. When you choose to be an undergraduate at LSE, you are choosing not only a course of study, but a place to live and work for three years. LSE looks out over the London skyline, rather than over green fields. It is stimulating, cosmopolitan and very much a part of the 'real world'.
These qualities derive from the variety of its staff and students (about half our undergraduate students come from outside Britain, and about half the student body are postgraduates), from its active academic debate on current social, economic and political concerns, and from the easy interchange of ideas between the School and the world outside. Government, Parliament, the business and financial institutions of the City, the Law Courts and the media are all on the School's doorstep. Each year, there are many influential outside speakers at the School (politicians, business leaders and industrialists) as well as leading academics from all around the world who visit to participate in teaching, to give public lectures and to pursue their own research. LSE is compact and full to the brim with students and staff - this just contributes to the vitality and friendliness of the place.
LSE offers you the opportunity - and the challenge - to study different ways of understanding human society together with people from all parts of the world, with radically differing experiences, views and beliefs, in an atmosphere that encourages you to question ideas and to seek solutions to problems. If you welcome the stimulus of new experiences and ideas in a lively capital city - then choose LSE.
We understand that the application process can be an anxious time. Please read carefully the information in this section and follow the instructions given; this will help to ensure that everything runs quickly and smoothly.
Once we have received your application you will receive an email acknowledging its receipt. This email will include your unique application number as well as details of how to contact us if necessary. Your application will then be passed to the selectors for your assessment. Your application will only be considered for the programme, year and point of entry stated on your application form. If you have accidentally chosen the incorrect year, point of entry or programme you should contact the School and UCAS immediately. You cannot amend your application once a decision has been made.
You should also inform us of any changes to your contact details or A Level subject combination (or other qualifications) by emailing us at email@example.com.
The School make admissions decisions based solely on the information presented on the application form. Therefore we will not consider any additional academic references, examples of academic work, testimonials or other supporting documents.
We aim to keep you fully informed of the progress of your application through UCAS Track, and by publishing any details of events that may have had an impact on our processing times on our website.
Make a note of your application number and use it when checking your status and in all correspondence with the Undergraduate Admissions office, including by telephone.
To see the current status of your application, go to UCAS Track – this information is linked directly to our computer system. What you see here is the same information we hold centrally. If you need to advise us of a change of address, you should contact UCAS.
Telephone +44 (0)20 7955 7125 either to speak to a member of the Undergraduate Admissions Team Monday to Friday 9.15am-5.00pm (local time)
All of your personal data is kept confidential, and we are therefore not able to discuss your application with any third party unless specifically nominated by you on your UCAS application form.
An offer is authoritative and official only if it has been sent in writing from the Undergraduate Admissions Office. All decisions will also be sent to you via UCAS Track. Decisions on admissions are made on the basis of academic merit, contextual data, and the availability of places on specific programmes.
You will receive one of these decision on your application:
An unconditional offer;
You satisfy all of the academic conditions required before entry and we are offering you a place. You may still need to supply originals or certified copies of some documents.
A conditional offer;
You do not yet satisfy the academic conditions required before entry but you propose to do so. The conditions are given in the offer letter and may include tests such as English language as well as A Level results, or equivalent.
We are unable to offer you a place. This decision is final and only open to appeal in exceptional circumstances.
Full details about your offer, including any outstanding conditions or official documents that are required, are in your offer letter. You should also look at all our online Information for offer holders webpage.
We will continue to keep you up to date with email newsletters, and your department will also be in touch with information about reading lists, etc.
You will also receive an invitation in May to submit your Student Verification and Financial Undertaking forms.
You should look at the Programme regulations and courses to get an idea of which options will be available to you once you register in early October; these are updated regularly to let you know about possible changes for the new academic session. Please see the Student Services Centre pages for more details.
Useful links for offer holders:
Information for Offer Holders (UG Admissions)
LSE International Student Immigration Service (ISIS) (Visa and Immigration Advice)
Fees Office (Information on making a payment)
Financial Support Office (Scholarships and other funding options)
Accommodation Office (Residential halls and private housing information)
Disability and Well-being Service (Information for Disabled Students)
Pre-Departure Event Information (for Overseas offer holders)