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. Hours vary according to courses and you can view indicative details in the Calendar within the Teaching section of each course guide.
During Michaelmas Term you have the opportunity to attend a weekly lecture series in development research offered by faculty members based on their first-hand research experience. On average you will have about 13 hours of lectures and classes a week during Michaelmas Term and nine and a half hours during Lent term, plus the opportunity to meet with a faculty adviser during weekly office hours. You will also participate in a dissertation workshop during Summer Term, where you present and discuss your dissertation proposals.
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, critical thinking and secondary 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 professors, associate professors and professors. Many departments now also employ LSE Fellows, graduate teaching assistants, guest teachers and visiting members of staff. 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 to name a few. 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.
You will also be assigned an academic mentor who will be available for guidance and advice regarding 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.