MSc Part Time Student FAQs

Frequently asked questions

The Department of Statistics is home to a diverse student body, and we welcome part-time students on all of our MSc degree programmes. We recognise that not all of our students are at the same stage in their journey and as a part-time student, the Department is dedicated to providing a supportive and inclusive environment that allows you to successfully balance your studies with any other commitments you may have. 

How your studies will be structured as a part-time student

Part-time study is spread over a two-year period (rather than the standard one-year period), with students typically taking two units per year, ideally spread equally across Autumn Term (AT) and Winter Term (WT). Aside from the duration of study, you will be subject to the same timetable as a full-time student.

For each half unit course, contact time is typically three hours per week, consisting of a two-hour lecture and a one-hour class (or two-hour class each fortnight) but this may vary according to the course so please check the timetable carefully.

The detailed timetable for the forthcoming academic year is normally available from mid-August. You can view the current timetable here but please note that this is subject to change for the following year. 

For each of our programmes, there is a recommended structure for part-time students, taking into account any compulsory and foundational courses.

This should be read in conjunction with the Programme Regulations for your particular programme. 

MSc Statistics, MSc Statistics (Financial Statistics) and MSc Statistics (Social Statistics)

As a part-time student on any of the MSc Statistics programmes, you must take the core module, ST425 Statistical Inference: Principles, Methods and Computation in AT of your first year.

If you choose to take the twelve-month programme, you will take the dissertation option during the second year. A list of potential topics is circulated early in AT, and you will be required to identify a supervisor by Week 6 and submit your research proposal in Week 9.

If you are taking the MSc Statistics (Social Statistics) programme, you could take the core course ST411 in AT of either Year One or Year Two, depending on your other choices and your preferred spread of your workload over the two years. You should talk to your Academic Mentor to decide on the best option for you.

MSc Quantitative Methods for Risk Management

You are expected to attend the pre-sessional MA400 September Introductory course which takes place full-time over two weeks at the beginning of September. Therefore you must plan to be available during this period of time. Additionally, you must take the core module ST409 Stochastic Processes in AT of the first year. 

MSc Data Science

On the MSc Data Science programme you will have mandatory and optional courses. The mandatory ones consist of three 0.5 unit courses (ST443, ST445, ST447) and the Capstone Project (one unit).

Year One: You take ST443 Machine Learning and Data Mining and ST445 Managing and Visualising Data in AT.

Year Two: You take ST447 Data Analysis and Statistical Methods in AT. In addition, you will take the Capstone Project in your second year. Supervisors and projects are allocated in AT and, as part of a project group, you will be required to deliver regular progress updates throughout WT. You will receive feedback from LSE supervisors and industry partners during this time.

However, there is flexibility as to how the 1.5 units are structured. Do discuss your options with your Academic Mentor at the beginning of term to agree what works best for you.

How your Academic Mentor can help

You will meet with your Academic Mentor (also your Programme Director) at the beginning of AT of both Year One and Year Two to discuss your course choices. This is a good opportunity to discuss how best to structure your courses to ensure you are able to balance your studies with your other commitments.

You will be invited to meet your Academic Mentor at least twice during AT and WT. These meetings may take the form of 1-2-1 sessions or small group gatherings, so that mentees can meet one another and discuss issues of mutual interest. Please do make sure you attend these meetings, as they are an important check point as to your progress throughout the two years.

Your Academic Mentor is also available for academic guidance and feedback throughout the year. If you are facing any academic challenges outside of the twice-termly meetings, you are encouraged to discuss this with them.

Your work commitments

If you are balancing your studies with employment, it is particularly important that you maintain a good relationship with your employer and communicate openly about how you are coping with the situation. Make sure that they are aware of your timetable, as well as homework and coursework submission deadlines.

Lectures are non-compulsory so while it may be tempting to prioritise your work commitments over these, you should make the effort to attend, as they are guides to understanding the overall topic for that week. Some lectures are recorded, so please check with your course leader about this. Group sessions such as seminars, classes and tutorials are obligatory, so it is important to keep up your attendance at these. If you are absent from more than two consecutive classes, your Mentor will be advised so we can discuss this with you and try to address any difficulties you may be facing.

Changing from part-time to full-time study

If you decide that part-time study is not working for you or your circumstances change, it  is possible to change from part-time to full-time study partway through the year, but this would require the approval of your Programme Director. Please read the change of mode of study guidance carefully and note that permission to make either of these changes would only be granted in exceptional circumstances and would depend on the time of year and the teaching and assessments that you had already undertaken.

Going into your second year and graduating

As a part-time student you will be required to re-register at the beginning of your second year. Further information about this will be made available by Student Services nearer the time.

Note that the timing of your graduation ceremony will depend on the length of your programme. For students on nine or ten-month programmes (MSc Health Data Science, MSc Quantitative Methods for Risk Management, or any of the MSc Statistics nine-month programmes), your ceremony will take place in July following your second year. For students on our twelve-month programmes (MSc Data Science or any of the MSc Statistics (Research) programmes), the ceremony will be in December.