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Want to find out how knowledge is created? Maybe understand the processes underpinning your degree subject? Perhaps build up your team working skills?  Even get a taste of the life of an academic researcher? If so, then LSE GROUPS might be of interest to you!

Starting in 2011, since then GROUPS has been run annually for LSE undergraduate students. It is an immersive, engaging and unique learning experience that offers students the chance to do original research and present it to their peers. It usually runs over two weeks at the close of Summer Term.

In Lent Term 2017, we also ran LSE GROUPS/Imperial Horizons 2017 in a new, weekly format in the Spring Term, as a collaborative project with Imperial College, and you can see more information on this at the hyperlink above. 

LSE GROUPS 2017 has just concluded, and further information on this run follows below.


Tuesday 30 May to Friday 9 June 2017

We are living in uncertain times. How can social scientists study change and instability? How do individuals and communities live with uncertainty? Are there uncertainties within our research tools themselves, and the conclusions we draw?

LSE GROUPS just returned for its seventh year to offer LSE undergraduates an exciting end-of-year opportunity to conduct research under the topic of ‘Uncertainty’. You can read the 2017 Conference Programme here for a summary of the various topics which were explored.

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(left) Group 5 presents their findings to the other participants at Conference; (right) Group 1, having just been awarded the Popular Prize AND best Presentation from the judges, pose for a photo with their supervisor Joseph Lane (sans certificate!)

The GROUPS participants spent a fortnight working in small collectives, of mixed years and mixed disciplines, with a supervisor. They chose a research question and methodology, collected and analysed data, and wrote and presented a paper at conference. Participants also attended workshops to develop student skills in literature searching, research tools and data analysis.

Here is a list of the twelve questions that were researched. Clicking on the titles below will take you to the full research papers. 

Group 1 - To Gamble or Not to Gamble:  An empirical research into LSE students’ risk-taking behaviour and their performance on negatively-marked MCQs in EC102 exam (WINNER - BEST PRESENTATION & POPULAR VOTE)

Group 2 - Too little too late, useless words? An Analysis of the Impact UK Threat Levels have on the Public Perception of their Safety

Group 3 -  Public perceptions amongst Londoners following terrorist attacks in the UK in early 2017

Group 4 -  Heuristics, Uncertainty and Terrorism; Estimations of the Likelihood of Fatality due to Terrorist Events -  Do people overestimate the likelihood of fatality due to terrorist events?

Group 5 - Fear and Anger: How does the emotionalisation of news reports affect perceptions of terrorism risk?

Group 6 -  Apprentices of automation: adapting career paths to ever-smarter machines  (WINNER - BEST RESEARCH PAPER)

Group 7 -  To Vote or not to Vote: Does uncertainty in public opinion affect political engagement in US Presidential elections?

Group 8 -  Brexit matters? Different Brexit Scenarios’ Impact on Undergraduates’ Decision to Pursue Postgraduate Study in the UK

Group 9 - The Truth Behind Fake News: Insights into the perceived trustworthiness of news and its link to policy decisions

Group 10 -  Brick-and-Mortar Barriers:  The Impact of Uncertainty Avoidance on Purchase Probability under Personalized Pricing

Group 11 - #Hashtags and Bullets: Mapping Citizen Journalism and unarmed U.S. Police Shootings

Group 12 -  All lime and salt, no tequila: questioning the impact of Trumpian uncertainty on Mexico’s economy



Dr Esther Saxey and the LSE GROUPS 2017 supervisors


"LSE people provided very helpful analysis on causation and correlation .... Imperial people had a good grasp of the quantitative side of things and had more focus on scientific rigour. The diversity of students in the group also made for supporting sources and research in more diverse places." - GROUPS participant


Group 3 and Group 4 answering questions from the audience following their presentations

"Freedom to choose what to study. Greater independence. Learning by doing. More contact time than undergraduate studies!" -  GROUPS participant


Two participants discuss their work during a break from a research session

GROUPS in previous years

Some of our GROUPS alumni recently won the prestigious Booth Prize at the LSE Research Festival, for presentation of their work in GROUPS 2016.

You can watch a film that we commissioned to document the experience of students who took part in GROUPS in 2016:

To find out more about LSE GROUPS in previous years, including photos, films and details of winning projects, see our LSE GROUPS past projects page


"An incredible two weeks"


 "LSE GROUPS was the key factor that drove me to pursue my own research with an undergraduate dissertation, so thank you very much for your work on that project and for providing me with my first opportunity to conduct academic research!" - GROUPS participant


"Different to anything else I've done at LSE"