Contact hours and independent study
Within your programme you will take a number of courses, often including half unit courses and full unit courses. In half unit courses, on average, you can expect 20-30 contact hours in total and for full unit courses, on average, you can expect 40-60 contact hours in total. This includes sessions such as lectures, classes, seminars or workshops. The majority of the teaching takes place in the Michaelmas and Lent Terms. Hours vary according to courses and you can view indicative details in the Calendar within the Teaching section of each course guide.
You are also expected to complete independent study outside of class time. This varies depending on the programme, but requires you to manage the majority of your study time yourself, by engaging in activities such as reading, note-taking, and research.
LSE is internationally recognised for its teaching and research and therefore employs a rich variety of teaching staff with a range of experience and status. In the International Relations Department, courses at masters level will be taught by members of faculty, including LSE teaching fellows, assistant professors, associate professors and professors, as well as guest teachers and visiting members of staff who are experts in their field. You can view indicative details for the teacher responsible for each course in the relevant course guide.
All taught courses are required to include formative coursework which is unassessed. It is designed to help prepare you for summative assessment which counts towards the course mark and to the degree award. LSE uses a range of formative assessment, such as essays, problem sets, case studies, reports, quizzes, mock exams and many others. Summative assessment may be conducted during the course and/or by final examination at the end of the course. You must also submit a 10,000-word dissertation by the end of August 2019. An indication of the formative coursework and summative assessment for each course can be found in the relevant course guide.
You will also be assigned an academic mentor who will be available for academic guidance and wellbeing advice.
There are many opportunities to extend your learning outside the classroom and complement your academic studies at LSE. LSE LIFE is the School’s centre for academic, personal and professional development which offers guidance and hands-on practice of the key skills you will need to do well at LSE: effective reading, academic writing and critical thinking. They also run workshops on adapting to new or difficult situations, developing leadership skills, striking a good study/work/life balance and preparing for the world of work.
LSE is committed to enabling all students to achieve their full potential and the School’s Disability and Wellbeing Service provides a free, confidential service to all LSE students and is a first point of contact for all disabled students.