The academic year at LSE is made up of the Michaelmas (autumn), Lent (spring) and Summer terms.
Most taught master's programmes span a full calendar year (September - September), though a few are only nine or ten months long, finishing in July or August, and a few others span two years. Certain programmes, notably in the Departments of Economics, Finance and Management, require attendance at introductory courses before main teaching begins.
The majority of taught programmes comprise:
taught courses, usually including substantial independent study, lectures, seminars and other group activities. These may be examined through sit down examinations, essays and other assignments
a piece of independent research culminating in a dissertation
Teaching is usually spread over the Michaelmas and Lent terms, with the Summer term generally reserved for a few weeks of teaching and revision sessions at the start, followed by preparation for exams or other assessment, and/or the writing of a dissertation.