LSE Orientation


Frequently asked questions from prospective students

When should I send my application?

We do not have a deadline for receiving applications, although once we have reached our target, the programme will be closed. Applications open in October for MSc and November for PhD, both for admission in the following September. You should send your application as early as possible to avoid disappointment. Make sure that you send your application to Graduate Admissions - do NOT send your application to the department as this will delay it. You may check to see which programmes still have places by visiting the Available Programmes page

How can I check on the progress of my application?

Do I have to send two academic references? Can I send a work one instead?

If you graduated in the last five years you MUST supply two academic references. If you wish you may also submit a further professional reference. If you graduated more than five years ago you may supply one academic and one professional reference. Applicants who graduated more than ten years ago may supply two professional references if no academic ones are available.

What is the difference between doing a full-time and a part-time degree?

If you do the degree full-time, it will take 12 months and you will do courses to the value of four units (from October to September). If you do the degree part-time it will take 24 months as you will take courses to the value of two units each year (from October in academic year one to September in academic year two).

Do you offer distance-learning / online courses / evening and weekend study?

Distance learning is not an option we offer. Lectures and seminars will all take place on campus during the daytime Monday-Friday.

What are the fees?

Full details of fees information are available on the Table of Fees website

See Entry Requirements on the website for prospective Graduate Students

We have students from very different backgrounds - no specific subject is required. See Entry Requirements on the Graduate Prospectus website. If your first language is not English and if your previous degree has not been taught entirely in English, you will be required to provide evidence of your English language ability 

Do you interview students?


What do people do after doing a degree with you?

All sorts of things! Please see Career Prospects for information. Individual careers profiles of alumni can also be found under each Programme page.   

How is the academic year structured?

The year is divided into three terms: Autumn (October to December), Winter (January to March) and Spring (April to July). For MSc students, a full unit course will run over Autumn AND Winter terms. A half-unit course will only run for one term (please note that half-unit courses are only available in one or the other term - they are NOT available during both terms). In the Spring Term there are usually revision classes in the first week, dissertation workshops in the second week and examinations usually take place in June. The dissertation is due at the end of August. Full term dates are available at Term Dates.  

Does the European Institute have reading weeks?

Week 6 of both Autumn and Winter terms will be classed as mixed reading weeks within the department, which means that while some courses will be holding pure reading weeks, other courses will be using the time to hold additional learning activities, such as research methods workshops.  

How are the courses structured?

Usually each course will consist of one lecture and one seminar each week. These are usually between 90-120 minutes long and are spread throughout the week. 


Where can I get more information on individual courses?

See Taught Masters on the LSE Calendar for rules and regulations for each degree, and Graduate Course Guides for further information on individual courses. 

How many hours of study are involved?

Overall, if you are studying full time, you should expect to spend approximately 30 hours a week in academic study (this includes attending lectures, seminars and independent study), although that number will fluctuate according to course requirements. 

What about supervision?

Each student will be allocated an Academic Adviser at the beginning of the year. This may change from term to term, depending on staff availability. Students are free to, and encouraged to, approach any member of academic staff for discussion. You will be allocated a Dissertation Supervisor suited to your chosen dissertation topic during Winter Term. This may be a different person to your Academic Advisor. You will have until the end of Spring Term to discuss your Dissertation with your Supervisor. There will be no supervision once Summer Term ends. 

How big are classes?

Although lectures can be very large as all students taking the course attend these, classes or seminars are usually held to a maximum of 20 people. 

I need help finding accommodation.

Full details are available at Accommodation

Where is the department located?

The European Institute is based in Centre Building, on Houghton Street. Lectures and seminars take place in various locations around the campus. A campus map can be found here

Is there a separate study space for European Institute students?

The department has access to two European Institute only study rooms, one for MSc students and one for PhD students. 

I have more questions - what should I do?

Further information about the application process and requirements can be found in the Graduate Admissions Knowledge Base. Alternatively, you can contact Graduate Admissions.  

Graduate Admissions Knowledge Base:  

Contact Graduate Admissions: