Teaching and assessment 3

Teaching and assessment

How you'll be taught and examined during your degree

Your degree

In almost all our undergraduate degrees, you will normally take the equivalent of four courses in each year, made up of full and half-unit courses, plus LSE100 in your first year.

Teaching style

In each course, teaching will consist of a mixture of lectures and smaller group sessions such as seminars, tutorials, workshops, classes and Harvard style teaching sessions, running in parallel. During these smaller group sessions you will work through questions and problems raised in the lectures and present and discuss your own papers or essays. 

Lectures are attended by all those taking the course and on a popular course, there could be as many as 300 students in a lecture. Group sessions are much smaller, with usually no more than 15 students.

Lectures are not compulsory but are strongly recommended. Group sessions such as seminars, classes and tutorials, however, are obligatory and you will be expected to prepare and fully participate in every one you attend.

The format for smaller group sessions varies considerably depending on the subject and level but you are usually expected to submit two written pieces of work per course during the year. Teachers report each term on your attendance, work in the session and written work submitted. Your academic mentor will receive these reports and although they do not contribute to your final degree result, they can affect whether you are allowed to continue on the course and to take the examination.

Course office hours

Our academics will be available for course office hours.

Independent study

We expect that in addition to formal contact time, you will spend at least double the amount of contact time pursuing your own research. A typical undergraduate timetable involves 8 to 14 hours of teaching per week, but the associated reading and writing of essays, projects and other course work assignments make up a full working week.

The Autumn and Winter terms include space for departmental reading weeks, which allow those in participating departments to read around the subject, engage in project work or attend course events.

Individual degree programme pages contain specific details on teaching methods for each programme.

Examination and assessment

In almost all of our undergraduate degrees you will be examined at the end of each year in at least some of the courses taken in that year. In line with our increasingly diverse curricula, however, there is a growing use of alternative ways of assessing progress, such as in-year essays and projects, that complement exams and contribute to end-of-year grades. Our assessments aim to enhance broader skills development to prepare students for life beyond LSE.

Individual degree programme pages contain specific details on examination and assessment for each programme.