School closure and term dates
The last day of Michaelmas Term is Friday 11 December 2015.
The School is open outside of term-time, however there may be a reduced service in operation. No services will be available while the School is closed over the Christmas period between Wednesday 23 December 2015 - Sunday 3 January 2016 inclusive.
Lent Term exams (for students who have them) will take place between Monday 4 - Friday 8 January and Lent Term begins for all students on Monday 11 January 2016.
Student Services Centre
There are several changes to SSC opening times over the Christmas period:
Wednesday 9 December: the SSC is open between 10am and 12pm only
Monday 14 - Thursday 17 December inclusive: the SSC is closed for the graduation ceremonies
Friday 18 December: the SSC is open as normal between 11am and 4pm
Monday 21 December: the SSC is open as normal between 11am and 4pm
Tuesday 22 December: the SSC is open between 11am and 1pm only
Wednesday 23 December 2015 - Sunday 3 January 2016 inclusive: the SSC is closed during the LSE closure period.
Monday 4 January 2016: the SSC will reopen at 11am
If you think that you may require documentation over the break, please plan to request and collect items as early as possible.
If you have any urgent enquiries about Lent Term exams, please see the "LT0 exams" tab at the top of this page for information about how to get advice.
IT resources and support
During the Christmas vacation the IT Help Desk and Laptop Surgery will remain available except on normal School Closure Dates (see above) when all facilities will be closed. You can also access your LSE resources such as email and H: space remotely when away from campus.
IT Help Desk
Mon - Fri: 09:00 – 19:00
Sat - Sun: Closed
NB: Closed during School Closure days
Mon - Fri: 11:00 – 13:00
Sat - Sun: Closed
NB: Closed during School Closure days
Student Computer Rooms
Some student computer rooms will also remain open. For more information on specific rooms availability, please visit Student Computer Facilities on the IMT website.
You can still access your LSE resources remotely, such as your email or files, even when you are off campus or away from your residence over the holiday period. To find out how to access your LSE email, H: space, specialist software, and more, visit IMT's Remote Access webpages.
LSE catering outlets
Visit the catering webpages to find out when you can enjoy a traditional Christmas lunch in your favourite LSE catering outlet. You can also find information about outlet opening hours during the Christmas period.
LSESU catering outlets
Information will be added as soon as it is confirmed.
If you have any questions in the meantime, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Information about library opening times will be added as soon as it is confirmed.
If you have any questions in the meantime, please email email@example.com
Various social events will be held in halls during the vacation period to help you get involved in festive activities and make contact with others staying in London over Christmas. Details will be sent to you via email, included in halls newsletters, advertised on Facebook and displayed on posters and leaflets in-house.
There will also be staff from the Warden’s Team on site and available throughout the holidays, including during School Closure time, and you will be able to contact them in the same way as you do during term time.
If you want to know more about what’s happening in your hall, contact your Warden Team or email firstname.lastname@example.org
LSE Christmas Carol Service
Staff and students are invited to join the LSE Chaplain for traditional carols (sung by the LSE Choir) and readings to celebrate the festive season. The Christmas Carol Service will take place in the Shaw Library from 5:30pm on Wednesday 9 December 2015. This event is free to attend and there will be mulled wine and mince pies.
The Chaplain’s Christmas Drinks Party
All students are warmly invited to attend the Chaplain’s Christmas drinks party at 9pm on Christmas Eve in Bankside House. This precedes Midnight Mass at St Paul’s Cathedral, which is the biggest event of its kind in London. The service is very popular and often sees queues to attend, but LSE students can request a reserved seat.
Places are limited and restricted to LSE students only. Email Faithcentre@lse.ac.uk after 14 December to RSVP for the drinks party and request a place at the service.
There are many ways to get involved during the holiday season which are rewarding as well as fun. Check out the latest Christmas volunteering opportunities available to students from the LSE Volunteer Centre. They range from carol singing to working in a homelessness centre. Many more can be found on LSE CareerHub too.
LSE Choir and Orchestra Concert
The LSE Choir and Orchestra Christmas Concert will be held Tuesday 8 December 2015 at 7pm in St Clement Danes Church on the Strand. Tickets are £7.00 per person and can be purchased online via the LSE Online Shop.
The choir will perform music from Messiah by GF Handel and a selection of Christmas carols.
The LSE Orchestra will perform:
Mendelssohn - Hebrides Overture
Dvorak - Czech Suite
Nielsen - Flute Concerto
Beethoven - Symphony No.1 in C
LSE Students' Union
Free hot chocolate, free mince pies, Christmas music
Monday 7 - Friday 11 December, 2pm-3pm
First Floor Cafe, Saw Swee Hock Student Centre
Monday 7th December - 10am-3pm
Outside Saw Swee Hock Student Centre
Free tea, cake and advice about managing stress over Christmas.
The LSE Christmas Pub Quiz!
Monday 7th December, 6.30-8pm
£1 entry, teams of six
The Three Tuns, Saw Swee Hock Student Centre
Free roast chestnuts for everyone!
Tuesday 8th December, 1pm onwards
Outside the Saw Swee Hock Student Centre
PhD Christmas Lunch
Thursday 10th December, 12 noon - 1pm
6th Floor Studio, Saw Swee Hock Student Centre
Join the Facebook event
The Postgrad-Only Christmas Party
Thursday 10th December, 10pm-3am
The Venue, Level -2, Saw Swee Hock Student Centre
This event is open to all postgraduate students at LSE, but tickets are required.
Join the Facebook event
HOST is a volunteer organisation of UK residents who welcome international students to their homes for a weekend or Christmas visit. Application deadlines for Christmas visits have now passed, however there are still opportunities to arrange winter visits for early 2016. Their purpose is to give students an insight into the way of life in Britain while learning more about the cultures of the students who visit them. Please note that there is an application fee to join the HOST program and you will need to pay your own travel costs to your host. For details on the program, see HOST UK.
International Students House (ISH)
International Students House is a centre in London available for all students. It offers a varied Christmas events programme throughout the holiday season for its members. In 2015, this will include a Christmas Eve Winter Wonderland Trip and a Christmas Day traditional Christmas lunch. You can fInd more information about ISH membership rates on their website.
Wrap up warm and set off around the city to admire some of London’s Christmas light displays. Here are some of the best displays near LSE:
Oxford Street, Bond Street and Regent Street.
Brave the Christmas shoppers (or make a start on your own gift buying!) while you admire the spectacular displays suspended above you. London’s busiest shopping streets have pulled out all the stops with glowing orbs, illuminated peacock feathers and golden cogs and coils.
Take a loved one to admire the mistletoe themed lighting displays inside London’s most famous Market Halls. Outside on the cobbled square there is also a giant Christmas tree and magnificent silver reindeer statue. Visit on a Saturday afternoon in December for the opportunity to pet real life reindeer, too.
Walk along the Strand (which has been lit up with its first ever Christmas lights display) to Trafalgar Square to see the towering Norwegian Christmas tree which is a gift to the people of London from the people of Norway. It is a time honoured tradition dating back to 1947, and the tree is a symbol of gratitude for Britain’s support for Norway during World War II.
Christmas carol concerts will take place throughout the city in December. They are a Christmas tradition in the UK and an opportunity to experience an evening of Christmas cheer with songs, candelight and often a mince pie or two. Some of these are held in grand venues, such as Westminster Abbey or St Paul's Cathedral, while others are smaller affairs to raise money for charities.
Soak up the holiday atmosphere and visit on of London's many Christmas Markets. Traditional European-style markets sell handmade gifts, German sausages and gluhwein within festive wooden chalets. There are also smaller independent markets which sell a range of original artwork, handmade goods, or ethical items. Visit Time Out for a comprehensive list of markets around the city.
Winter theme parks
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
In addition to a Christmas market, there are over 100 rides and attractions, many bars and restaurants, and even a magical ice kingdom. Entry is free, although there are additional charges for many of the attractions. As such, Winter Wonderland can get very busy, especially at weekends, so it may be advisable to visit on weekdays.
Southbank Winter Festival
German-style wooden chalets line the southern bank of the River Thames, selling hot drinks, festive foods, and plenty of gifts or treats. The market forms part of a Winter Festival which also includes a cider lounge, roller disco and a calendar of shows.
Located in Victoria Park in east London, Winterville describes itself as the “antithesis” of Christmas theme parks. You can explore the Christmas Market for gifts you won’t find on the High Street, eat at one of the many street food stalls or buy a ticket for one of Winterville’s attractions. Entry is free, although there are additional charges for many of the attractions.
Admission to these attractions is free, however there is a charge for rides and ticketed entertainment.
As the weather gets colder, ice rinks open throughout London for the winter season. Somerset House and the Natural History Museum are home to two of the most recognisable ice rinks in the city. The London Eye, Canary Wharf and the Tower of London also provide spectacular settings to skate within. Visit Time Out for a list of all the city's rinks, including Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is the biggest outdoor rink in the UK.
Festive films and theatre
Catch a showing of your favourite festive film in one of London's Christmas film screenings this December. The Prince Charles cinema has a packed schedule of holiday films and there are pop-up cinemas in the Royal Academy, a bakery and even a former workhouse and psychiatric hospital. On a budget? Cinemas often offer reduced price tickets for students (£5 for some screenings at the Barbican). You can also pick up pre-watched DVDs relatively cheaply from charity shops and online movie-streaming services will likely add Christmas titles throughout December.
Many theatres will also stage Christmas-themed plays, musicals and ballets throughout December and January. Traditional festive tales include The Little Match Girl (Hans Christian Anderson), a Christmas Carol (Charles Dickens) and the Nutcracker. The Snowman will be on at the Peacock Theatre, which is right on LSE's doorstep, and the popular movie Elf has been adapted into a West End musical for the first time. Look out for reduced-price student tickets and last-minute ticket returns to cut costs.
A pantomime is a form of theatrical entertainment which involves music, topical jokes and slapstick comedy. They are a Christmas tradition in the UK which is usually aimed at children but enjoyed by audiences of all ages. Visit the Big Panto Guide for a list of all the pantomimes taking place in London this Christmas.
Museums and galleries
Many museums and attractions will be closed for several days over the Christmas and New Year period. Opening hours will vary between each individual museum or gallery, so it's best to check with them directly before travelling.
Here are the Christmas closure dates of the biggest museums and galleries in London:
The British Museum: closed 24, 25, 26 December 2015 and 1 January 2016.
Imperial War Museum: closed 24, 25, 26 December 2015
Museum of London: closed 24, 25, 26 December 2015
National Portrait Gallery: closed 24, 25, 26 December 2015
Natural History Museum: closed 24, 25, 26 December 2015
Victoria and Albert Museum: closed 24, 25, 26 December 2015
What's open on Christmas Day
Christmas Day is a national holiday in the UK and virtually all shops and attractions will be closed. This includes most supermarkets, so you're advised to plan your shopping in advance. Some restaurants will open, although many will require advance booking.
Most churches will be open on Christmas morning for their Christmas Day service.
Public transport does not operate on Christmas day, although Cycle Hire bikes are available. There will also be a reduced service on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day (the days immediately before and after Christmas Day) so check with TFL before you plan to travel.
The streets of London are quiet on Christmas Day, so take this rare opportunity to wrap up warm and hire a bike or take a walk around the city in relative peace. The Peter Pan Cup is a swimming competition that is held each year in the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park. Only swimming club members can take part, but it's a fun tradition to spectate!
Boxing Day is the UK's name for the day after Christmas. It was traditionally a day when eompleyers gave gifts their their employees, but it's now a day when the post-christmas retail sales begin. Oxford Street and other shopping centres are likely to be filled with bargain-hunters and can get very busy.
New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve is one of the biggest celebrations in London. There will be parties across the city and a number of fireworks displays to welcome in the new year at midnight.
The biggest fireworks display is the Mayor of London's New Year's Eve fireworks along the Thames, centred upon on the London Eye and Houses of Parliament. This extremely popular event is ticketed and costs £10 per person. Although the initial allocation of tickets has now sold out, there are likely to be returns on sale throughout December. If you haven't got a ticket, you could join many londoners in places like Parliament Hill or Primrose Hill to watch the fireworks for free.
Most bars, restaurants and clubs will hold special New Year's Eve parties. Parties in the capital are extremely popular, but they can be quite expensive. Most are ticketed and tickets usually sell out in advance.
TFL usually offer free transport for much of New Year's Eve in order to make sure londoners get home safely after their celebrations.
St. Philips Medical Centre
The Medical Centre plans to be open throughout the break, with the exception of the following closure dates:
Friday 25 - Monday 28 December 2015 inclusive
Friday 1 - Sunday 3 January 2016 inclusive
This information is subject to change, and so be sure to check with the Medical Centre directly to confirm this information.
If you require medical assistance while the practice is closed, please call the out of hours service on 0207 611 5131 for guidance.
Please note: the St Philips Medical Centre can usually only treat registered patients.
The Student Counselling Service
The Student Counselling Service can support and help you get the most from your time at LSE. As part of the School's Student Wellbeing Service, they can help with personal and emotional problems, whether or not they affect your studies. The SCS can provide a free and confidential service to all students and is open outside of term time, but not during the School closure dates.
Stay healthy and well
Visit the NHS Live Well webpages for information about how to have a healthy Christmas. It includes information about eating well, celebrating safely, and how to access medical services near you over the Christmas break.
Parkrun organise free weekly timed runs in parks throughout London and the UK. Some Parkrun locations will hold festive runs on Christmas day, which are open to everyone.
If you experience an emergency on campus, Security will maintain a reduced service throughout the School closure period. They can be contacted by telephone: 020 7955 6555 or EXT 666.
Contact the UK Emergency Services (Fire / Police / Ambulance / Lifeboats) by dialling 999 from any telephone.
Non-emergency medical advice can be sought by dialling 111 and the police non-emergency number is 101.
For information about what to do in a mental health emergency, visit the Student Counselling Service's Emergencies / feeling suicidal webpage.
If you are staying in an LSE-owned hall of residence over the Christmas break, there will be staff from the Warden's Team on site throughout. You can contact them in the same way as you do during term time.
The Christmas break is a great opportunity to get out of London and explore new places in Britain. The official UK tourism website has plenty of information about great places to visit in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
If you plan to use public transport, visit our travelcards webpage for information about discounted travel for students and young people.
New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve is a popular time of year for a city break to experience another country's traditions and celebrations.
Some people choose to visit Edinburgh for Hogmanay, which is the Scottish word for New Year. There will be a torchlight procession, a ceilidh (traditional Scottish dance) and fireworks.
Time Out provides a summary of the different celebrations taking place in European cities. Like New Year's Eve in London, holidays on these days are often much more expensive than at other times of the year, so you should bear that in mind when making any plans.
Visa information for travelling overseas
If you are planning to travel outside the UK during the holidays, it is a good idea to take photocopies of your passport, visa and a stamped copy of your Certificate of Registration with you when you travel.
International students are also strongly advised to review the ISIS information on travelling during your studies including the visa newsletter about travel.
You should always check to see if you need a visa for the country you are travelling to and review visa application instructions carefully. The ISIS webpage provides guidance on Schengen visas for travel in Europe. You can also find further information on the UK Council for International Student Affairs website. You will need a letter from LSE, so be sure to plan ahead, as it can take 3-5 business days to produce a letter for you.
Remember: the Student Services Centre operates reduced opening hours in December so any document requests should be made as early as possible.
Keep your passport and visa safe
If you have a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), this is your visa and you should
carry it with you while you travel to prove your entitlement to return to the
UK. Please keep it as safe as you do your passport and don’t risk
travelling without it.
If your passport/visa is lost or stolen whilst travelling, please read the information online and contact the International Student Immigration Service for advice if required.
Don’t forget to arrange travel insurance as your NHS cover will not apply outside the UK. You should be careful to choose insurance which is suitable for international students. If it is only suitable for permanent UK residents, you will not be able to make a claim if anything happens.
In case of emergency while travelling, please contact your Embassy in the country you are travelling in.
The International Student Immigration Service also contains visa information for current students.
LT0 exam dates
The Lent Term Week 0 exam period will take place from Monday 4th January – Friday 8th January 2016 inclusive.
Visit Lent Term week 0 examinations to view the timetable and find information about IEAs, resits and deferrals, visa guidance for non-UK / EEA students with re-sits and overseas examination arrangements.
Advice during the holiday
The Student Services Centre will remain open outside of term time, however it will be closed from Monday 14 - Thursday 17 December for the graduation ceremonies and from Wednesday 22 December - Sunday 3 January 2016.
Most questions will be answered on the following webpages:
If you cannot find the answer to your question online, please email email@example.com. This inbox will be checked occasionally throughout the School closure period and members of the Advice Team will respond to any emails they consider urgent. All other emails will be answered as soon as possible when the School reopens on Monday 4 January 2016.
Telephone calls will not be answered while the Centre is closed.