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Lectures, classes and independent study

Independent study

Most LSE graduate programmes expect students to manage the majority of their study time themselves. This varies depending on the programme of study but you will certainly find plenty of opportunity to read and research those aspects of courses that most interest and excite you. You should expect to spend a significant amount of your time reading, note-taking, thinking and undertaking research.


Most taught master's students can expect to have between three and eight hours of lectures each week. All students on a given course attend the same lecture, with anything from a handful to more than 50 students in attendance. Academic lecturing styles vary considerably - some will be highly interactive, others more didactic.

Seminars and classes

In addition to lectures, most courses will have an associated series of seminars or classes. A few courses opt to have a longer session, incorporating more formal lecturing with group activities/discussions built in. Some seminars will be run by the lecturer responsible overall for the course, others may involve other teachers from the department. The purpose of seminars and classes is to give you the opportunity to discuss the reading or preparatory work done for the seminar and building on the lecture. It is very important therefore that you prepare for each seminar carefully and bring questions you would like to raise.

Course capping (master's and diploma courses)

To keep within School guidelines on graduate class size (a preferred maximum of 15) and/or in the event of demand exceeding departmental expectations, the School may limit the number of places on certain optional courses.