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COVID-19: Delivering 2019/20 teaching online

in the Department of International Relations

The Department is still very much here to support you during this time, both in your learning and development, but also in terms of offering any support that we can, during what is a difficult and changing situation

Professor Karen E Smith, Head of Department

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A Message from the Head of Department

On 12 March, LSE Director Dame Minouche Shafik announced that as a result of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak, teaching for all undergraduate and taught postgraduate students will be delivered online from Monday 23 March or before, for the remainder of the 2019/20 academic year.

We wanted to reiterate to you that despite the move online, the Department is still very much here to support you during this time, both in your learning and development, but also in terms of offering any support that we can, during what is a difficult and changing situation.  We thank you in advance for your understanding as we adapt to the changing circumstances, but we are confident that as a community we can continue to support each other. 

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, we would encourage you to get in touch with your academic mentors, programme directors, course convenors, teachers or professional service colleagues as appropriate. 

You can find full Department contact details here.

If you are unsure who to contact with a specific query, please contact:

For Undergraduate Students – ir.bsc@lse.ac.uk

For Postgraduate Students – ir.msc@lse.ac.uk

Please note that the International Relations Department is now working remotely so there are no staff on campus. Please email us with any queries.

Professor Karen E Smith
Head of Department


Can I come to campus?

From Monday 23 March, LSE’s campus will operate with a reduced presence. 

Based on the instruction of the UK government:

  • All LSE catering outlets are now closed until further notice
  • The LSE Library is closed until further notice
  • The LSE Nursery is closed until further notice.

We advise that you do not come to campus. 

Our halls of residence will remain open and we support and welcome all students who may wish to stay in their accommodation. 

Follow the LSE Coronavirus FAQs for the latest information.

Please note that the International Relations Department is now working remotely so there are no staff on campus. Please email us with any queries.

I do not have access to a laptop or PC at home - what should I do?

LSESU Advice Service are able to provide up to £200 for the purchase of a laptop or computer for those students who do not have home access to either and who cannot afford to purchase one themselves.

It is important to note, however, that the fund is means tested and so LSESU will only be able to support those students who are able to demonstrate that they cannot afford to purchase one with their own money.

Find out more about the hardship fund.

What do I need to do to get set up for online learning and assessment?

Read the guidance from DTS and LSE Life on how to be online-ready:

How to get set up for online learning and assessment.

How can I attend office hours and dissertation supervision online?

  • Academic colleagues will set up their new office hours via Bookings on Student Hub.
  • They will inform you the best way for you to engage with them during office hours (whether this is by Zoom, Skype, email, phone call). They will be in contact with you, or please do contact them for information.
  • Please email ir.bsc@lse.ac.uk or ir.msc@lse.ac.uk if you need any help on this.
  • Feel free to email your academic mentor / dissertation supervisor as you would normally.

How can I attend lectures online?

  • Audio/video recordings of lectures will be posted onto the relevant course Moodle page, alongside the accompanying presentation (if appropriate).
  • Lecture recordings, notes, and/or presentations will be uploaded in a timely manner and organised in a way that will make sense for students to access them.

How can I attend seminars/classes online?

  • Class/seminar teachers will have been/will be in touch directly with you (either via email or through Moodle) to advise how seminars/classes will be delivered until the end of term, and which online technologies will be used.
  • An Announcements Forum will be placed on each Moodle page so that updates can be provided on a timely basis.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about the delivery of online classes/seminars, please contact ir.bsc@lse.ac.uk or ir.msc@lse.ac.uk as appropriate.

How can I register attendance online?

Teachers will use online involvement on Moodle discussion forums/Zoom calls etc, as evidence of attendance and engagement with learning.

You should engage with your seminars/classes as required by the class/seminar teacher, so that the teacher knows you are there.

If you will be absent, please let your class teacher know in advance, as you would under normal circumstances.

How to I apply for authorised absence?

If you wish to request an Authorised Absence at this time please contact us as follows:

BSc students

Please email the Department Tutor Luca Tardelli on l.tardelli@lse.ac.uk

MSc students

Please email the appropriate Programme Director:

MSc IR - Katerina Dalacoura on k.dalacoura@lse.ac.uk

MSc IPE - Jeffrey Chwieroth on j.m.chwieroth@lse.ac.uk

MSc IRT - William Callahan on w.callahan@lse.ac.uk

If you have any visa concerns, please visit COVID-19 immigration advice for students for the most up-to-date advice.

I need immigration advice or have a question about my visa

Visit the LSE FAQ page for immigration and visa advice for students which is updated regularly.

What does this mean for assessment?

  • Formative work: you will receive feedback via email, unless you are told otherwise by your teacher/a member of professional services.
  • Summative assessment: you should submit these in the normal way to Moodle, unless advised differently by the class/seminar teacher. At present deadlines will remain the same.
  • Extensions: please submit extension requests in the normal way by emailing ir.bsc@lse.ac.uk or ir.msc@lse.ac.uk.
  • Exams: The School has made the decision to move the Summer Term Examinations online. At present, the School and Department are working to identify what the arrangements may be, but in the immediate future, we are prioritising ensuring that your teaching can be completed. You should receive notification about online assessments for each of your courses by the end of Lent Term on 3 April.

What does this mean for PhD Researchers?

  • PhD supervision will continue. Supervisors will contact PhD supervisees to discuss the best method of communication.
  • If PhD Researchers are employed by the Department, they should get in touch with the academic they are working with (for paid teaching/research work) or Department Manager Andrew Sherwood on a.sherwood@lse.ac.uk (for administrative paid work).
  • For guidance and advice on travelling for research and/or personal reasons, visit the LSE Coronavirus FAQ webpage for up-to-date information. 
  • PhD Researchers can always contact the PhD Academy for support and guidance.

What does this mean for MSc applicants for 2020/21?

We expect to deliver all taught postgraduate teaching in 2020/21 on campus as usual.

You can find out more about our MSc programmes and how to apply for them on our Study webpage.

Social media and blogs

Our social media channels remain active, please follow and engage with us there!

Where can I go for advice and guidance on Coronavirus/COVID-19?