Why did you choose LSE and the programme?

When studying economics as an undergraduate, I find some of the underlying assumptions of economic models deeply confusing. I then realise that the MSc programmes at the LSE offers a perfect opportunity for those of us who has a non-philosophy background but are interested in the philosophical aspects of economics or social sciences in general. The sort of philosophy we do at the LSE is by no means armchair philosophy, but closely related to our life.

Which aspects of your studies were the most beneficial for your professional as well as personal development?

For someone outside academia, the word ‘philosophy’ may be a bit intimidating, for it often reminds people of big jargon words like ontology, epistemology and all sorts of -isms. However, during our study, we are encouraged to write essays in a such a clear fashion, to the extent that the essay should ideally be maximally accessible to the widest audience possible. I have since developed my own writing style in accordance with that principle, and I find it hugely helpful to keep that in mind when doing my PhD which involves a huge amount of essay writing.

What is your fondest memory of your time here? 

Unfortunately, I did my MSc at the height of the Covid Pandemic. So, social activities were largely limited. Nevertheless, I am deeply grateful to the support network of my peers at the LSE. The sort of bonding we developed during those difficult times is to be remembered with joy. Another memorable moment happened during the office hour of Prof Richard Bradley, whose kind words and encouragement helped me make up my mind to pursue further study at the doctorate level after my MSc.

Why would you recommend studying at LSE and the Philosophy department in particular?

The philosophy programmes at the LSE are friendly to those from a non-philosophy background. The course choice can be tailored quite flexibly according to your own research interest. The intellectual environment is challenging but stimulating.

Your LSE experience in your own words

I very much enjoyed being intellectually grilled every week

Zhongwei Xu is currently doing his PhD at our Department (Last update: January 2023).