Contact hours and independent study
Within your programme you will take a number of courses, often including half unit courses and full unit courses. Teaching on each half unit lasts for roughly ten weeks, with lectures, and classes or seminars. The average number of taught contact hours is approximately 12 hours per week (depending on the courses chosen). Hours vary according to courses and you can view indicative details in the Calendar within the Teaching section of each course guide. Lecturers also offer weekly office hours.
You are also expected to complete 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 lecturers, senior lecturers, readers, associate professors and professors. Many departments now also employ guest teachers and visiting members of staff, LSE teaching fellows and graduate teaching assistants who are usually doctoral research students and in the majority of cases, teach on undergraduate courses only. 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 uses a range of formative assessment, such as essays, problem sets, case studies, reports, quizzes, mock exams and many others. Summative assessment may be conducted during the course or by final examination at the end of the course. In addition, you will undertake a project, equivalent to a full unit, in an appropriate branch of mathematics, and present your work in the form of a dissertation. An indication of the formative coursework and summative assessment for each course can be found in the relevant course guide.
The Department's relatively small size enables us to pay greater attention to individual students' needs. You will also be assigned an academic mentor who will be available for guidance and advice on academic or personal concerns.
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.