Here is some information to help you to start thinking about course choice.
Don't be overwhelmed by the amount of information provided here! Rest assured that we will discuss course choice procedures in detail during Welcome, with lots of opportunities for questions at that time.
What courses am I permitted to take?
Every MSc programme at LSE has a set of Programme Regulations, which outline the courses that you are permitted to take. Some courses will be compulsory for your programme, or you may be permitted to choose from a list of required or suggested options. Unless your regulations specifically state that you are able to take a course from outside the regulations with permission, then you are expected to only choose courses listed in your Programme Regulations.
Important: Your programme regulations will be published in August 2022. In the interim, we have provided you with links below to regulations from the 2021/22 academic year to give you an idea of the types of courses that are typically on offer. Please note that regulations are strictly subject to change until they are officially published.
Note: Places on courses are limited and all are offered subject to availability.
Where can I find details about course content and format?
Course guides provide descriptions of every individual course at the School, including info about content, teaching methods, types of assessment, and more. Visit your regulations at the link above and then click on course codes to view each course guide.
The method of teaching and types of assessment for LSE courses vary. Some courses will operate a combination of online lectures, in-person and/or online seminars and workshops, or include online real-time discussions. Each course guide will clarify what to expect.
In addition to course guides, the European Institute will offer Course Options Presentation videos during Welcome. In the videos, course convenors for EU-coded courses will give a short presentation about their courses.
What is the difference between a half unit and a full unit course?
A half unit course typically runs for just one term - either the Michaelmas (first term) or Lent term (second term) and typically comprises around 20-27 hours of teaching (lecture/seminar) over ten weeks. A full unit course, on the other hand, usually runs for both the Michaelmas and Lent term and typically comprises 40 hours of teaching (lecture/seminar) over 20 weeks. The course guide for each course will indicate the number of units for each course.
Who can give me advice on which courses to choose?
Rest assured that the department will be running a number of course choice sessions before and after you arrive for Welcome to answer questions about the process. You will also be assigned to an Academic Mentor during Welcome, who will discuss your course choice options with you. (See the Academic Mentor section to learn more about your relationship with your mentor). Your Academic Mentor is responsible for approving your course choices to ensure you meet all of the requirements to graduate.
If you have questions about course choice and how it relates to your future career goals, you could also consider speaking to LSE Careers for advice.
Where/when do courses take place?
A provisional timetable will become available online in late August 2022 on the LSE Timetables website. Unfortunately, timetables are decided at a School level, and the European Institute does not have access to the timetable until it is formally released. Although courses are typically scheduled Monday-Friday, some courses may be offered on weekends in some exceptional circumstances. The number of hours/minutes and days of the week that lectures and seminars will run will vary from course to course.
It is important that you take the time to review the Timetable before selecting your courses to ensure that you do not select courses with a timetable clash (courses scheduled at the same time), as this is not permitted. Although the system will allow you to sign up for clashing courses, you will be contacted by the EI Programmes Team and asked to make a different course selection. It is better to check the Timetable before choosing your courses to avoid disappointment.
You may consider using Course Finder to build a shortlist of courses and compare the Lecture Timetables for that shorlist. Course Finder will become available in September 2022. However, please note that Course Finder can only be accessed once you have activated your LSE IT Account closer to the start of term. It is also important to note that selecting a course in course finder does NOT formally register you on the course. Formal enrolment on a course can only be done via LSE for You (see below)
Where do I apply for courses?
You will select for your courses online via LSE for You. You do NOT need to be on campus when you select your courses. You can sign up for your courses anywhere with internet access that will allow you to log into LSE for You.
When do I apply for courses?
Course choice typically takes place during the main Welcome week and closes at the start of Michaelmas Term Week 2. The exact dates and deadlines will be published on the Course Selection website over the summer.
How do I apply to take a course?
Some courses at LSE will allow anyone to sign up to take the course while space is available. Others courses are known as "controlled access courses" which means that space is limited and priority may be given to students from particular programmes or departments before others are offered any remaining spaces on the course.
You will apply to controlled access courses of interest in LSE for You with a written supporting statement of no more than 200 words which succinctly address your reasons for wishing to take the course and how it fits with your overall research interests. Statements are reviewed by course convenors who decide who will receive an offer to join a course. Although we are unable to guarantee availability on any courses, European Institute students do have priority access to EU-coded courses.
Once course convenors have made an offer, you will see the offer in LSE for You. You have 48 hours to accept your offer in LSE for You before it is automatically withdrawn.
Please note that the online system will only permit you to request up to four units of courses. When course choice opens, we recommend that you sign up to take the courses which you are most interested in first. If you are unable to obtain a spot on a course of choice, then you should have a few backup options in mind to ensure that you are able to sign up for courses that will meet your programme regulation requirements.
Do I need to sign up to take compulsory courses?
Yes, you MUST register for compulsory courses in LSE for You, (for example, dissertations, policy incubators, or applied policy projects). The system does not do this automatically for you.
Can I take more courses in one term than another?
We strongly recommend that you plan to take a balanced course load across terms. The academic year is a very busy one, and students who balance their course choices evenly find it easier to manage their time. If you do want to take more courses in one term than another, then you must discuss this with your Academic Mentor. Your Academic Mentor has final approval of your course choice selection.
Can I take more than 4.0 units of courses?
No. However, it may be possible for you to audit courses of interest. Auditing is when you follow the recorded lectures and online materials of a course on Moodle, with the permission of the lecturer. Do note that you are not formally enrolled on the course when you are auditing. This means that you are not permitted to attend seminars or to take the assessment of course, and details about this course will not appear on your final transcript. You do not need to request to audit a course via the course choice system. Instead, you should email the course convenor directly to ask for permission to audit their course.
I've accepted an offer on a course! How do I sign up for a seminar group?
Each course may operate a different system for seminar sign up. Here are some top tips:
- Some courses will assign you to a group, whereas others will allow you to select a group while there is space available.
- Some courses will immediately allow you to sign up for a seminar group, and others will have a set date/time when seminar group sign-up takes place.
- Most EU-coded courses will allow you to choose your own seminar group where space permits. You will do this via the Seminar Sign Up option in LSE for You.
- Seminar groups are typically limited to 15 students. Students will be unable to select a particular seminar group once it reaches capacity. Where this happens please select another seminar group.
- In some cases, it may be necessary for us to ask students to change groups to assist other students with clashes.
What if I want to make changes to my Lent Term courses later in the year?
The Graduate Course Choice module reopens in January should you wish to revise your Lent Term options only. However, it is not possible to drop a Michaelmas Term course after the Michaelmas Term course choice deadline.
I'm a part-time student - what courses should I select for this year?
You should only select the courses that you will be studying for in this academic year. You will be able to register for your second-year courses in the next academic year. Part-time students are required to take the dissertation in their second year of study. You are strongly encouraged to work closely with your Academic Mentor to split your teaching load equally across the two years of your study.
When can I start accessing online course materials?
You will automatically be given access to the relevant Moodle pages for your courses a few hours after you accept an offer of a place on a course.
Where can I find more useful info about course choice?
Here are some links that you may find useful: