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 30-40 contact hours in total and for full unit courses, on average, you can expect 60-75 contact hours in total. This includes sessions such as lectures, classes, seminars 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 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. An indication of the formative coursework and summative assessment for each course can be found in the relevant course guide.
Extra-curricular activities and learning
You have the opportunity to attend a departmental weekly lecture series that brings to the School prominent scholars and practitioners who discuss the findings and methodological dimensions of development research and/or problems of development practice.
The programme also benefits from its own voice of experience lecture series (previous speakers have included senior staff from major UN and NGO organisations), a free weekend workshop on humanitarian programme management and evaluation, and an opportunity to attend an optional three day trip to Geneva in order to visit key humanitarian organisations.
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.
Through the Language Centre, you can access English language support both before you start at LSE and during your studies. Our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) programme focuses on the skills required to perform in an English speaking academic environment across the core subject areas you will encounter during your time at LSE.
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.