Programmes

BSc International Relations and Chinese

  • Undergraduate
  • Language Centre
  • UCAS code L2T1
  • Starting 2019
  • UK/EU full-time: Open
  • Overseas full-time: Open
  • Location: London, Shanghai

The aim of this joint honours programme is to develop graduates who are able to combine theoretical and applied knowledge of international relations as a discipline, and of China as a global power, with linguistic proficiency in Mandarin and competence in navigating Chinese and international settings relevant to diplomacy, international organisations and corporations.

It will offer you a foundational theoretical underpinning in the discipline of international relations, as well as the opportunity to specialise in particular thematic and regional areas of IR research, with an emphasis on China as a globally active state. You will develop linguistic proficiency in Mandarin through two study abroad periods at Fudan University in Shanghai, and through increasingly specialist language courses that focus on international relations and professional practice. Students will start as beginners in Mandarin, but will graduate able to work in Mandarin-language settings.

This programme was formerly known as BSc International Relations and Mandarin

Programme details

Key facts


 
Academic year (2019/20) 30 September 2019 - 19 June 2020
Application deadline 15 January 2019
Duration Four years full-time
Applications/offers/intake 2017 New programme for 2019
Availability Open from September 2018
Tuition fee UK/EU fee: £9,250 for the first year
Overseas fee: £19,920 for the first year
Programme requirement Applicants should have successfully completed at least a GCSE in a modern language (or equivalent). There is no Mandarin pre-requisite as the programme is designed for beginners rather than fluent Mandarin speakers
Usual standard offer A level: grades A A A
International Baccalaureate: Diploma with 38 points including 7 6 6 at Higher level
English language requirements Proof of your English language proficiency may be required
Location  Houghton Street, London, with a compulsory summer and year abroad at Fudan University, Shanghai, China

For more information about tuition fees, usual standard offers and entry requirements, see the fees and funding and assessing your application sections below.

Programme structure and courses

For the first, second and fourth years, the degree involves studying courses to the value of 12 units, including a dissertation, plus LSE100. Approximately half of your courses will be in international relations, and half in Mandarin within the Language Centre.

You will spend a summer and the third year of your degree studying abroad at Fudan University (see the study abroad section).

In your fourth year, you will return to LSE and complete a dissertation and take other courses.

First year

(* denotes a half unit course) 

Concepts of International Society
Examines the concepts designed to explain the nature of contemporary international relations.

Contemporary Issues in International Relations
Provides an opportunity to reflect critically upon some of the political, economic, military and social issues that confront international relations and which have influenced and shaped the development of the contemporary international order.

Mandarin Language and Society, Beginner
Beginners to intermediate study of the Mandarin language within the framework of social sciences and culture. 

Intercultural Communication and Management

LSE100
Beginning in the Lent term of the first year and running through the Michaelmas term of the second year, LSE100 is compulsory for all LSE undergraduate students, and introduces you to the fundamental elements of thinking like a social scientist.

Second year

Two from:
International Political Theory
Combines classical theory with modern ways of explaining and understanding international relations. 
Foreign Policy Analysis

Analyses various theoretical perspectives on foreign policy, and the means of conduct of the main actors in the international system towards each other.
International Organisations
Examines major theoretical and empirical aspects of the role of international organisations in international politics.
International Security
Gives students a thorough introduction to the literature on international security, both theoretical and policy-oriented
International Political Economy
Examines the role of power and politics in international economic relations.

Mandarin Language and Society, Advanced
Advanced study of the Mandarin language within the framework of social sciences and culture.

Mandarin for International Relations, Elementary

LSE100
Beginning in the Lent term of the first year and running through the Michaelmas term of the second year, LSE100 is compulsory for all LSE undergraduate students, and introduces you to the fundamental elements of thinking like a social scientist.

Third year  

Study abroad year at Fudan University, China. See the study abroad section for more details

Fourth year

In your fourth year, you will choose to either complete a dissertation, or to take courses to the value of one unit from a range of options both in international relations, politics, and related courses in other departments. You will also take a further international relations option and take two language focussing on international relations and the workplace.

Academic Chinese for International Relations

Mandarin in the Global Workplace

One further course from the options from second year

Either
Dissertation

An independent research project of 10,000 words.
Or
Courses to the value of one unit from a selected list.
 

Shortly, you will be able to find the most up-to-date list of optional courses in the Programme Regulations section of the current School Calendar.

You must note however that while care has been taken to ensure that this information is up-to-date and correct, a change of circumstances since publication may cause the School to change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. The School will always notify the affected parties as early as practicably possible and propose any viable and relevant alternative options. Note that the School will neither be liable for information that after publication becomes inaccurate or irrelevant, nor for changing, suspending or withdrawing a course or programme of study due to events outside of its control, which includes but is not limited to a lack of demand for a course or programme of study, industrial action, fire, flood or other environmental or physical damage to premises.

You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee you a place. Please note that changes to programmes and courses can sometimes occur after you have accepted your offer of a place.  These changes are normally made in light of developments in the discipline or path-breaking research, or on the basis of student feedback.  Changes can take the form of altered course content, teaching formats or assessment modes. Any such changes are intended to enhance the student learning experience. You should visit the School’s Calendar, or contact the relevant academic department, for information on the availability and/or content of courses and programmes of study. Certain substantive changes will be listed on the updated undergraduate course and programme information page.

Study abroad at Fudan University

During the summer between your first and second year, you will take part in an eight-week summer study programme at Fudan University, Shanghai. You should expect to pay approximately £2200-£2400 towards flights, accommodation and subsistence.

You will also spend the third year of your programme studying abroad in China at Fudan University. During this third year, you will follow a bespoke course at Fudan, which will involve Mandarin classes, as well as opportunities to audit international relations course lectures. You will pay a reduced tuition fee to LSE which will cover your tuition fees at Fudan University.

In recent years, the Home/EU fee for a year abroad has been set at 15 per cent of the full time Home/EU undergraduate fee. The Overseas fee level for a year abroad is determined by the LSE. Fees for 2019 will be announced in June 2018. Additional information about specific fees for the year abroad will be published via the Table of Fees as soon as it is available: lse.ac.uk/tuition-fees.

During this year abroad you will be expected to pay for your own flights, accommodation and subsistence.

The Fred Halliday language award is an annual fund available to students undertaking study abroad as part of their degree programme. Applications are made by individual students to the Language Centre to access the fund. Any additional information will be published online as soon as it is available.

In your fourth year, you will return to LSE and complete a dissertation and take other courses.

Indicative international relations courses

Contemporary Chinese Diplomacy
The Political Economy of China
Debating Globalization
The Chinese Metropolis: Shanghai in Comparative Perspective 

Teaching and assessment

Teaching

For LSE Language Centre courses, teaching follows the "communicative method", involving students in participation and personalisation of input and skills development. This approach prioritises individual attention and planning for attainment, and enables teachers to adapt to your needs and to tailor delivery and practice opportunities. The Language Centre is also a leader at LSE in the use of learning technology, in particular with "students as producers", nominated for and winnning national awards for this work.

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. You can view indicative details for the teacher responsible for each course in the relevant course guide.

You will have an academic mentor who will provide general guidance and assistance with both academic and 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.

Your timetable

The lecture and seminar timetable is published in mid-August and the full academic timetable (lectures/seminars and undergraduate classes) is published by mid-September and is accessible via the LSE Timetables webpages.

Undergraduate student personal timetables are published in LSE for You (LFY). For personal timetables to appear, students must be registered at LSE, have successfully signed up for courses in LFY and ensured that their course selection does not contain unauthorised clashes.

Every effort is made to minimise changes after publication, once personal timetables have been published any changes are notified via email.

The standard teaching day runs from 09:00-18:00; Monday to Friday. Teaching for undergraduate students will not usually be scheduled after 12:00 on Wednesdays to allow for sports, volunteering and other extra-curricular events. 

Assessment

Assessment in Language Centre courses is "progressive" with an emphasis on using continuous assessment to generate learning. 

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 over the course of the three years will be assessed through a variety of means. In the first and second year, the majority of our courses rely on examinations at the end of the year. In the third year courses are assessed through a variety of means: some through end of year examinations; some through a piece of assessed coursework; and some through a combination of the two. Please note that assessment on individual courses can change year to year. An indication of the current formative coursework and summative assessment for each course can be found in the relevant course guide.

Feedback on coursework is an essential part of the teaching and learning experience at the School. Class teachers must mark formative coursework and return it with feedback to you normally within two weeks of submission (when the work is submitted on time). You will also receive feedback on any summative coursework you are required to submit as part of the assessment for individual courses (except on the final version of submitted dissertations). You will normally receive this feedback before the examination period. 

Find out more about LSE’s teaching and assessment methods

Preliminary reading

If you wish to gain further insight into the subject we suggest that you look at one or more of the following books:

D Crystal How Language Works (Penguin, 2005)

S Pinker The Language Instinct (Penguin, 1994)

G Yule The Study of Language (Cambridge University Press, 4th ed, 2010)

As this is a joint degree programme you should also refer to the preliminary reading for the BSc International Relations.

Careers

The degree programme will prepare you for a career in politics and government, diplomacy of international organisations, NGO charities and international development (including multi-national corporations).

Further information on graduate destinations

Support for your career

Many leading organisations give careers presentations at the School during the year, and LSE Careers has a wide range of resources available to assist students in their job search.

Assessing your application

We welcome applications from all suitably qualified prospective students and want to recruit students with the very best academic merit, potential and motivation, irrespective of their background. The programme guidance below should be read alongside our general entrance requirements information.

We carefully consider each application on an individual basis, taking into account all the information presented on the UCAS application form, including your:

- academic achievement (including predicted and achieved grades)
- subject combinations
- personal statement
- teacher’s reference
- educational circumstances

You may also have to provide evidence of your English proficiency, although you do not need to provide this at the time of your application to LSE. See our English language requirements page.

What we are looking for in an application for BSc International Relations and Chinese

Academic achievement

Successful applicants for this programme are usually predicted to achieve or have already achieved a minimum of A A A in their A levels (or 38 and above International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB) points, including 7 6 6 at Higher level). 

Applicants should have successfully completed at least a GCSE in a modern language (or equivalent). There is no Mandarin pre-requisite as the programme is designed for beginners rather than fluent Mandarin speakers. In addition, applicants should also have already achieved a strong set of GCSE grades including the majority at A (or 7) and A* (or 8-9), or equivalent. Your GCSE (or equivalent) English Language and Mathematics grades should be no lower than B (or 5). We also consider your overall GCSE subject profile, and your AS grades, if available.

Competition for places at the School is high. This means that even if you are predicted or if you achieve the grades that meet our usual standard offer, this will not guarantee you an offer of admission. Usual standard offers are intended only as a guide, and in some cases applicants will be asked for grades which differ from this.

We express our standard offers and where applicable, programme requirement, in terms of A levels and the IB, but we consider applications from students with a range of qualifications including BTECs, Foundation Courses and Access to HE Diplomas as well as a wide range of international qualifications.

Information about accepted international qualifications
Information about other accepted UK qualifications

Subject combinations

We consider the combination of subjects you have taken, as well as the individual scores. We believe a broad mix of traditional academic subjects to be the best preparation for studying at LSE and expect applicants to have at least two full A levels or equivalent in these subjects.

Applicants should have successfully completed at least a GCSE in a modern language (or equivalent). There is no Mandarin pre-requisite as the programme is designed for beginners rather than fluent Mandarin speakers.

We are looking for academic students with a genuine interest in and enthusiasm for the social sciences. There is no one ideal subject combination, however, as with all degree programmes at LSE, at least two traditional academic subjects are preferred. Common sixth form subject choices include a combination of History, English, Economics, Government and Politics, Sociology, Geography, Languages, Psychology and Philosophy. 

If you have taken Mathematics, Further Mathematics and one other subject at A level, this may be considered less competitive for this programme.

Find out more about subject combinations.

Personal characteristics, skills and attributes

For this programme, we are looking for students who demonstrate the following characteristics, skills and attributes:

- genuine interest in international society, its institutions, governance, rules and relationships
- views and opinions on current and public affairs
- ability to read extensively
- ability to evaluate and challenge conventional views
- good communication skills
- creativity, flexibility and initiative
- capacity to work independently
- attention to detail
- intellectual curiosity
- motivation and capacity for hard work

Personal statement

In addition to demonstrating the above personal characteristics, skills and attributes, your statement should be original, interesting and well-written and should outline your enthusiasm and motivation for the programme.

You should explain whether there are any aspects of particular interest to you, how this relates to your current academic studies and what additional reading or relevant experiences you have had which have led you to apply. We are interested to hear your own thoughts or ideas on the topics you have encountered through your exploration of the subject at school or through other activities. Some suggestions for preliminary reading can be found above in the preliminary reading section, but there is no set list of activities we look for; instead we look for students who have made the most of the opportunities available to them to deepen their knowledge and understanding of their intended programme of study.

You can also mention extra-curricular activities such as sport, the arts or volunteering or any work experience you have undertaken. However, the main focus of an undergraduate degree at LSE is the in-depth academic study of a subject and we expect the majority of your personal statement to be spent discussing your academic interests.

Please also see our general guidance about writing personal statements

Fees and funding

Every undergraduate student is charged a fee for each year of their programme.

The fee covers registration and examination fees payable to the School, lectures, classes and individual supervision, lectures given at other colleges under intercollegiate arrangements and, under current arrangements, membership of the Students' Union. It does not cover living costs or travel or fieldwork.

Tuition fees

The 2019 tuition fees are:

UK/EU* students: £9,250 for the first year
Overseas students: £19,920 for the first year

UK/EU undergraduate fees may rise in line with inflation in subsequent years and the overseas fee usually rises by between 2.5 per cent and 4 per cent each year.

*The UK Government confirmed in July 2018 that the fee level for EU undergraduate new entrants in 2019/20 will be the same as Home UK for the duration of their undergraduate degree programme. Further information can be found on gov.uk website.

The amount of tuition fees you will need to pay, and any financial support you are eligible for, will depend on whether you are classified as a home (UK/EU) or overseas student, otherwise known as your fee status. LSE assesses your fee status based on guidelines provided by the Department of Education.

Scholarships, bursaries and loans

The School recognises that the cost of living in London may be higher than in your home town or country. LSE provides generous financial support, in the form of bursaries and scholarships to UK, EU and overseas students. 

In addition, UK Government support, in the form of loans, is available to UK and some EU students. Some overseas governments also offer funding.

Further information on tuition fees, cost of living, loans and scholarships.

Please note that for students to be eligible for funding from Student Finance England, they must be studying on an eligible course at a provider registered with the Office for Students (OfS). The OfS is the new independent regulator for higher education in England and all higher education providers need to register with the OfS for their students to be eligible for student support in the 2019-20 academic year. The OfS will start publishing providers on its Register from July 2018. We have made an application to register and expect a decision by September 2018. No provider will be able to confirm whether student support is available until it has a decision from the OfS. Visit www.officeforstudents.org.uk for more information.

Key Information Set

From September 2012, every undergraduate programme of more than one year's duration will have a Key Information Set (KIS). The KIS allows you to compare 17 pieces of information about individual programmes at different higher education institutions.

Please note that programmes offered by different institutions with similar names can vary quite significantly. We recommend researching the programmes you are interested in and taking into account the programme structure, teaching and assessment methods, and support services available.

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