Teaching in the Department of Social Policy


Under current conditions, LSE and the Department of Social Policy have given careful consideration as to how we can deliver your learning this year in a safe COVID-secure environment.

LSE has announced Teaching plans for the Academic Year which include a mixture of recorded and face-to-face teaching. The Department of Social Policy will be implementing this blended teaching model in a way suited to providing you with as positive a learning experience as possible.

Teaching and learning in Social Policy Courses will have five main elements:

  • Lectures (where you will be introduced to topics, debates and issues), will be recorded by the lecturer(s) and uploaded online each week on Moodle (LSE’s Virtual Learning Environment). Lectures will take approximately 30-40 minutes per week (normally in 2 mini-lecture/sections of 15-20 minutes each)

    These will be available for you to stream when convenient to you; and will be uploaded in sufficient time to enable you to review the lecture, follow up with any reading you wish to, and formulate any questions or consider any issues you would like to discuss with your teachers and/or classmates. 
  •  ‘Question & Answer’ sessions will be held on each course, following on from the Lecture, so that you can clarify issues with the lecturer. These will normally last 30 minutes each week.

    Question and Answer sessions will be online but ‘live’ – you will be able to join these live sessions at the time specified in the LSE Timetable (in the LSE Timetable, these appear as ‘lectures’). You will be able to submit questions in advance for these sessions, and the live session will be recorded so that you will be able to access the recording on Moodle if you were unable to attend for any reason or wish to review the session.
  • Seminars/classes will be held each week to allow small groups of students to discuss that week’s topic/theme in depth, led by a class teacher or seminar leader. Seminars/classes will predominantly be in-person, face-to-face on LSE campus. Seminars/Classes will last 45 minutes per week.

    Attention has been paid to ensure that in-person seminars/classes in Social Policy are small and held in rooms large enough to facilitate socially distanced teaching. In addition, LSE is adopting a number of policies to ensure that the campus is COVID secure, such as the use of face coverings within campus buildings, social distancing measures and ‘track and trace’. You can find details here.

    While the majority of students will be in London in Michaelmas term (MT), and the majority of Seminars/classes will be conducted in person, due to the current pandemic circumstances there are a number of reasons why some students will attend their Programme virtually in MT. For these students there will be online seminars/classes. In some cases where there are not sufficient students taking a course to have separate seminars/classes, the Department will arrange blended classes including both face-to-face and online students.
  • Study group activity: Between the Q and A session and the class/seminar, students will be given activities or tasks to work on in smaller groups in their own time, in person or online, as preparation for the class/seminar. Study group membership will be determined for you within each course. This model is designed to help you get to know your peers on the programme, as well as giving you more time to discuss course material.

    Please note that Students will also be allocated to ‘Peer Groups’ as a major part of their learning Development. You can find information about Peer Groups here.
  • All members of teaching staff hold weekly Advice and Feedback Hours, which you can attend individually or in a small group to (for example) clarify points, discuss feedback on assignments or seek further ideas for reading. These sessions will be held online. Details on times and how to sign up are available on the staff pages of the departmental website.

Whether you are at LSE in-person or online this MT, the Department is committed to ensuring that you have a positive and fulfilling student experience. Please be assured that the Department has put a lot of thought into how we can provide the same level of support and community to all of our students however they may be attending this year.


Please note: the above outlines how the Department of Social Policy will organise Social Policy Courses this year.Other Department’s at LSE will deliver their courses in ways suitable to their subject. If you are interested in taking a course from another Department and wish to know how it will be taught, you should contact the relevant Department to inquire.