Information for Government Department MSc Students on Registering for Courses

Registering for courses can be confusing and time-consuming if you aren't sure about how to proceed. However rest assured that the instructions below and the staff in CON3.18, as well as your supervisor, will help you proceed and get into the courses you want to take.

I've attended registration, and received my student card-what do I do next in terms of registration?

You have registered to take up your place on your programme at the LSE. Now you need to attend induction, and then over the next few weeks, register for your specific courses.

Once you have registered as an LSE student, you have a week to settle in and enjoy yourself. Be sure to check the New Arrivals Website| to find out when your various induction meetings are. (Your registration dates are also listed on the New Arrivals Website.)

The LSE is organised with a Central Administration ("The School"), under which each of the individual Departments sit, and each Department then runs various degree programmes (the Department of Government, for example, runs six different MSc programmes|).

You should therefore attend a School induction, a Government Department induction, and an induction for your individual MSc programme. You may also be alerted during the first few weeks to additional induction sessions that are useful to attend-such as a library induction.

The New Arrivals Website| will alert you to other Fresher's events you may want to attend (like the Fresher's fair).

When will I be assigned a supervisor?

At your programme induction you will be assigned a supervisor, who will then arrange a meeting with you (normally for within the next week). At that meeting, you will have the opportunity to discuss your course options and programme regulations.

As the administrators in office CON3.18 are not able to offer advice on academic issues such as course choices, please wait until your meeting with your supervisor in order to get informed and accurate advice. You are not doing anything wrong by waiting until your first meeting with your supervisor to make decisions about your course choices!

If you are decided on your courses at your first meeting with your supervisor, and don't have any courses that are capped, you may discuss your choices with your supervisor and get their verbal approval. You will then need to fill out your electronic course registration form (on LSE For You|) and submit it electronically to complete your course registration.

If you are not yet decided on your course choices after your first meeting with your supervisor, feel free to continue sitting in on lectures until you know what you want to take. You must finalise your decision and electronically submit your course registration form.

However please be aware that if you are potentially interested in any capped courses, there are extra procedures, and if it is a GV course (Government Department course) you will need to submit a request to take that course by Monday 15th October 2012. More information on the page, Applying to GV Capped Courses|).

What form do I need to register for courses?

You need to fill out the form called "Graduate Online Course Registration" available on LSE for You|. (More information on Graduate registration on the webpage Course Choice (graduate students)|. If you do not want to apply for any capped courses (see information on Applying to GV Capped Courses|), you can fill out this form, have your supervisor verbally approve it, and submit the form electronically.

If you are interested in a capped course, you must read and complete the instructions on Applying for a GV Capped Course|. The section below also explains how to know if a course you are interested in is capped.

Do I need anyone else's verbal approval for the courses I want to take? What if I want to take a course outside of the Government Department?

You only need your supervisor's approval on your course choices, unless you want to take a course not specified in your programme regulations.

If you want to take a course outside of your programme regulations, you also need the approval of your MSc's Convenor. To see your programme regulations, choose your MSc Programme from the list on the Calendar| and then click on the relevant programme. You may also discuss this with your supervisor if you are confused.

If you are taking a course outside of your regulations and need the convenor's approval, once your supervisor has verbally approved your choices, attend the Programme Convenor's office hours, or email them and ask when an appropriate time to come see them would be (or if they will give you approval via email).

Academics' office hours are posted on the bulletin board by the Government Department administrative office CON3.18, or you can view them electronically on the Government Department website.

Once the convenor verbally approves your course choice (or writes you an email with approval), you may go ahead and electronically submit your course registration form. The convenor will then be emailed by the School's administrators to confirm that they have agreed to your taking a course outside of your programme regulations.

Course Convenors

MSc Programme


Comparative Politics (and Research track)

Dr John Chalcraft

Politics and Government in the European Union

Prof Simon Hix

International Migration and Public Policy
Dr Eiko Thielemann

Global Politics

Dr Mathias Koenig-Archibugi

Political Theory (and Research track)

Prof Chandran Kukathas

Public Policy and Administration (and Research track)

Prof Ed Page

Regulation (and Research track)

Professor Martin Lodge

 Political Science and Political Economy

Dr Cheryl Schonhardt-Bailey

How do I know which courses I should take?

First of all, don't worry that you should know fully which courses you should take/ want to take before you meet with your supervisor.

You should start by reading through information in the Graduate Course Choice| page. On that page you will find a link to the Graduate Course Guide|, which is also part of the LSE calendar|, and from which you can see which courses are available, and which sound interesting to you.

The Calendar lists all courses available in the School according to course code-Government Department courses are listed as "GV###". Your programme may also allow you take some external (non-GV) options.

You can also see which courses your specific programme may require you to take/ what options are specific to your programme by looking up your programme regulations|.

Can I get a paper copy of course choices (the School Calendar)?

No. The School strives to reduce paper consumption where it is not necessary, and therefore the courses are only listed online in the Graduate Course Guide| of the School Calendar. You may want to print off information about the courses you are most interested in.

It's worth noting that the paper-copy of the course guide given to academic staff has abbreviated course information only anyway, so the best place to get thorough and up to date information on course choices is online.

I wanted to take a course that was available last year, but it is not available this year. What do I do?

We apologise if you became interested in a course that was available last year, but that is not on offer this year. Academics, of course, go on sabbatical, become pregnant, ill, move institutions, retire, etc, so our course choices do change every year.

The course guide clearly states that a course which is available one year may not be available the next year.

The LSE website also discourages you from making a decision on an MSc programme based on interest in specific courses, due to the fact we cannot guarantee course availability from one year to the next.

Again, we apologise for the disappointment, and please see your supervisor to choose another module that you are interested in.

My programme regulations say I should take 4 units. What is a unit?

A one year course is one full unit. A half year course is half a unit. Your dissertation is one full unit.

I haven't met with my supervisor nor completed my Graduate Online Course Registration, yet lectures are starting. What do I do?

Don't worry if you haven't completed your course registration prior to lectures starting. The LSE encourages students to spend a few weeks attending lectures and "shopping around" for courses. You may sit in on any lecture (not seminars though) in the first few weeks.

Your Graduate Online Course Registration isn't officially due until Monday 22nd  October 2012.

Capped Courses

Information about capped courses and registering for capped courses in the department can be found on a separate page|.