student studying at desk

Independent learning

The University of London offers opportunities to study from anywhere in the world, to fit any schedule

The learning technology team, based here at the LSE in London, is responsible for the online course content delivered through the VLE.

We create new and engaging resources, in collaboration with LSE academic authors, and ensure that existing content remains up-to-date and relevant.

Dr. Steve Bond, Learning Technology Manager

A University of London qualification is highly regarded worldwide. Given the academic rigour of our programmes, to achieve good results requires a high degree of self-motivation. Find out more about studying as an independent learner.

Flexible study

You can manage your studies to fit in with your own schedule. As a guide, you should dedicate at least 35 hours per week for approximately 34 weeks of the year if you intend to complete the maximum of four courses in any one year.

You can either study our Online Taught programmes, or pay for face-to-face tuition at a local teaching institution, either full time or part time, and benefit from the more formalised support this provides.

The University of London and London School of Economics and Political Science does not provide personal tuition to International Programmes students, although staff can help you with administrative queries.

For further information on the Online Taught programmes, please follow the link above. For students who are studying with a local teaching institution, we also offer a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)

Front page of VLE site

By supporting your studies and helping you feel part of a community, the VLE forms an important part of your study experience with us. It provides:

  • Electronic study materials
    All of the printed materials which you receive from the University of London are available to download, to give you flexibility in how and where you study.
  • Student discussion forums
    An open space for you to discuss interests and seek support from your peers, working collaboratively to solve problems and discuss subject material. Forums on many of the larger courses are supported by LSE course moderators.
  • Videos
    Recorded academic introductions to many subjects; interviews and debates with academics who have designed the courses and teach similar ones at LSE.
  • Audiovisual tutorials and solutions
    Audiovisual tutorials are available to help you work through key concepts and to show the standard expected in examinations.
  • Self-testing activities
    Allowing you to test your own understanding of subject material.
  • Study skills
    Expert advice on getting started with your studies, preparing for examinations and developing your digital literacy skills.

Students registered for Laws courses also receive access to the dedicated Laws VLE.

Perry Jackson graduate diploma studentPerry Jackson, New Zealand
Graduate Diploma in Economics, University of London
MSc in Environmental Economics and Climate Change, London School of Economics

While I was doing the graduate diploma, I was working full-time for the Tasmanian government in Australia. They provided a few hours every week to help me study for it, but I admit that it was really important to have those one or two hours a night, every night reflecting and working through my readings and study materials.

Specially written study materials

Developed by LSE academics, our specially written study materials guide you through textbooks. The cost of your study pack is included in your initial and continuing registration fees. We also provide Examination Preparation Resources which are available on the VLE, inluding past papers and examiner commentaries.


You will need to purchase your own books. We ensure all key books are widely available either from internet bookshops or by mail order. Find out more information on

LSE Library: Registered students may have access to the main LSE Library for reference only.
Senate House Library: Registered students are entitled to use Senate House Library. 

Student Portal

Once registered, we will send you a University of London username and password enabling you to log in to the Student Portal. You can then access your University of London email account and learning resources.

The Online Library

The Online Library holds thousands of journal articles which you will be able to access free of charge. Many of the courses on the EMFSS programmes make use of journal articles in the essential reading lists. The Online Library with its state-of-the-art search engine, Summon, is accessed via the Student Portal.

For many students, using an Online Library and reading journal articles are new skills. We provide support and guidance on the best way to approach journal resources and a range of materials are available designed to improve your reading and information skills. A dedicated helpdesk is also available if you have any difficulties in finding what you need.



LSE provide academic direction for these courses, however students studying University of London Programmes are registered with the University of London and awarded a University of London degree on successful completion of their studies.

University of London graduates are invited to attend a ceremony in London. The 2017 London Graduation Ceremony took place on Tuesday 7 March 2017 at the Barbican Centre.