Guidelines for interpreting programme regulations


Programme regulations provide students with a description of which courses a student can or must take during their programme of study. Information in programme regulations includes:

  • The programme title and award type – this is displayed at the top of the page, for example BSc in Economics.
  • The programme code is displayed for reference and is used by academic and professional services staff to identify relevant programme records and associated student records.
  • The department - the department listed in the programme regulations is the owning department; however, some programmes are jointly run by multiple departments.
  • Which group of students the regulations apply to. For example, “For students starting this programme of study in 2019/20.”
  • The regulations are divided by year of study (Year 1, Year 2, Year 3 etc.). LSE offers programmes that vary in duration from 9/10 months to four years.
  • In each year of study, the courses are divided into ‘papers’. Each paper will include a course or group of courses that can be selected as options, or must be taken as a compulsory element of the programme.

    In simple terms, dividing the regulations in to papers enables staff and students to break down the programme into smaller, more manageable pieces.

    - Undergraduate programme regulations have four papers each year, for example Year 1 (Papers 1,2,3,4), Year 2 (Papers 5,6,7,8) and so on.
    - Taught master's programmes are less rigid in structure and may include a different number of papers each year.
  • Courses can be assessed or unassessed. Assessed courses carry a unit value of either one full unit or one half-unit. Programme regulations will often explain what course options are available by describing the number of units that must be taken, for example ‘Two full units from the following list’ (followed by a list of courses of both full and half unit value).

Additional information:

  • In some cases, in addition to the list of courses displayed under each paper, there may be additional notes that provide further guidance about specific course options.
  • In some cases, in addition to the list of courses displayed under each paper, there may be a separate options list or lists. The list of courses will be labelled (for example ‘Selection list A’) and will be referred to in the regulations.
  • Some regulations will include additional detail about the programme, such as accreditation by a Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) or additional guidance about the programme or the department.
  • Some taught master’s programme regulations for programmes of more than one year will include information about ‘progression’ from one year of study to the next, including requirements about specific courses that must be passed or the required mark that must be achieved in order to proceed to the following year.
  • All programme regulations can viewed in 'printer-friendly view' or 'original view'. The printer-friendly view will allow the regulations page to be printed with all regulations lists expanded for ease of viewing. Original view will hide these lists and will display the list headings only, for example, 'MPA Options List' 'Undergraduate Outside Options List (Year 1)', 'History List A', etc.

Changes and course availability:

Please note that while care has been taken to ensure that programme information is up-to-date and correct, a change of circumstances since publication may cause the School to change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. The School will always notify the affected parties as early as practicably possible and propose any viable and relevant alternative options. Note that that the School will neither be liable for information that after publication becomes inaccurate or irrelevant, nor for changing, suspending or withdrawing a course or programme of study due to events outside of its control, which includes but is not limited to a lack of demand for a course or programme of study, industrial action, fire, flood or other environmental or physical damage to premises.

Changes made to your programme, since your acceptance of an offer to study, can be found on our CMA homepage, which lists programme changes by category. These match categories of course information defined as ‘material information’ in the guidance from the Competition and Markets Authority, i.e. information that allows you to make “an informed choice about which universities and courses to apply for”.

Places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee you a place. Please note that changes to programmes and courses can sometimes occur after you have accepted your offer of a place. If changes are made it is normally in light of developments in the discipline or path-breaking research, or on the basis of student feedback. Changes may include altered content, teaching formats or assessment modes for example within specific courses, and any such changes are intended to enhance the student learning experience.

Changes may also be made to the availability of compulsory and optional courses. New courses may be added and old courses removed. Optional courses may also on occasion not be available. This can be due to different reasons, for example:

- A course may be suspended for one year due to staff sabbatical and so a different optional course can be offered;
- A course may be unavailable due to unavoidable timetable clashes. In such cases the course would usually be removed from the regulations;
- A course may be suspended due to an unforeseen lack of demand or unexpected staff absence due to illness for example.

You should visit the School’s Calendar or contact the relevant academic department, for information on the availability and/or content of courses. The Calendar is published each year in late August before the start of each academic session and certain substantive changes will be listed in advance on the updated undergraduate and graduate programme and course information pages, including details of planned course suspensions and withdrawals.

Undergraduate and Post Graduate Taught programme regulations:

Undergraduate programme regulations
Post Graduate Taught programme regulations

Post Graduate Research programme regulations:

MRes/PhD programme regulations
MPhil/PhD programme regulations