Contact hours and independent study
Within your programme you will take a number of courses, often including half unit courses and full unit courses. In half unit courses, on average, you can expect a minimum of 20 contact hours; for full unit courses, a minimum of 40 contact hours in total. Timetabled contact hours include sessions such as lectures, classes, seminars and/or workshops. Hours vary according to courses and you can view indicative details in the Calendar within the Teaching section of each course guide.
You are also expected to undertake independent study outside of class time. This varies depending on the programme, but requires you to manage the majority of your study time yourself, by engaging in activities such as reading, note-taking, thinking and research.
LSE is internationally recognised for its teaching and research and therefore employs a rich variety of teaching staff with a range of experience and status. Courses may be taught by individual members of faculty, such as assistant, associate and full professors. Many departments now also employ guest teachers, visiting members of staff, and LSE teaching fellows, who are usually final stage doctoral research students or post-doctoral scholars. You can view indicative details for the teacher responsible for each course in the relevant course guide.
All taught courses are required to include formative coursework which is unassessed. It is designed to help prepare you for summative assessment which counts towards the course mark and to the degree award. LSE MSc Urbanisation and Development courses use a range of formative exercises such as essays and student presentations. Summative assessment may be conducted during the course or by final examination at the end of, or after, the course.
For the core courses on MSc Urbanisation and Development, GY459 entails a summative assessment and unseen exam, whereas GY452 is assessed on the basis of two written summative assignments (essay and dissertation proposal) plus a seminar presentation on the student’s intended dissertation topic. Further details, and an indication of the formative coursework and summative assessment for each of the optional courses can be found in the relevant course guide.
Aside from the Programme Director (or nominated Acting Director), who will be available for general guidance and advice on academic or personal concerns throughout the year, by week 8 or 9 of Michaelmas you will also be assigned a dedicated dissertation supervisor.
There are many opportunities to extend your learning outside the classroom and complement your academic studies at LSE. LSE LIFE is the School’s centre for academic, personal and professional development. Some of the services on offer include: guidance and hands-on practice of the key skills you will need to do well at LSE: effective reading, academic writing and critical thinking; workshops related to how to adapt to new or difficult situations, including development of skills for leadership, study/work/life balance and preparing for the world of work; and advice and practice on working in study groups and on cross-cultural communication and teamwork.
LSE is committed to enabling all students to achieve their full potential and the School’s Disability and Wellbeing Service provides a free, confidential service to all LSE students and is a first point of contact for all disabled students.