Why LSE?

LSE is stimulating, cosmopolitan and very much part of the 'real world'.

LSE offers a unique opportunity to study the social sciences in a university institution with a worldwide academic reputation, while enjoying the cultural, social and recreational facilities of one of the world's greatest capital cities. You may wish to also explore the Life at LSE pages.

The heart of London

The character of LSE is inseparable from its location. Situated in the heart of central London, the School is located in one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. Only a short distance from Europe's financial, legal and cultural centres, LSE stands at the crossroads of international debate, fundamental to our identity as an outward looking institution with an active involvement in UK and world affairs.

LSE is stimulating, cosmopolitan and very much part of the 'real world'. These qualities derive from the variety of its staff and students, from its active academic and political concerns, and from the easy interchange of ideas between the School and the world outside - Government, Parliament, the business and financial institutions of the City, the Law Courts and media are all on the School's doorstep.

Each year there are many influential outside speakers at the School (national and international politicians, business leaders, industrialists and civil servants) as well as leading academics from all around the world who visit to participate in teaching, to give public lectures and to pursue their own research. LSE is compact and full to the brim with students and staff - this contributes to the vitality and friendliness of the place.

A world centre of research and teaching

Our research informs and constantly invigorates our teaching. Graduate students also play a valued and important role in the School's contribution to scholarship, through the research they undertake during their studies. LSE supports the research of its staff through academic departments and institutes, and also through a range of interdisciplinary research centres. Some 97 per cent of LSE academics are actively engaged in research. Staff are regularly sought out as advisers, consultants and commentators, becoming involved in the practical impact of the subjects they teach and research. Many past and present members of staff act as expert advisers to political parties, the Civil Service and policy pressure groups. For instance, Professor David Metcalf was chair of the independent UK Migration Advisory Committee from 2007 to 2016 and has been named as the first Director of Labour Market Enforcement, Emeritus Professor Lord Desai is a regular speaker in House of Lords debates and Emeritus Professor Lord Wallace was a government whip in the coalition government, and Emeritus Professor Lord Layard, founder of the Centre for Economic Performance, is a prominent expert on happiness and well being.

The School's international reputation and London location ensure that in times of crisis it is to LSE that the media turn first for a response. Professor Nicholas Stern (climate change), Professor Conor Gearty (human rights), Professor Anne Power (housing policy), Professor Tony Travers (London and local government) and Professor Danny Quah (the weightless economy) will all be familiar names to the average news addict.

Please see for a guide to staff research and consultancy experience, and their leading publications.

Research quality

The Research Excellence Framework (formerly the Research Assessment Exercise - RAE) is a UK-wide assessment of research excellence at universities undertaken by the Higher Education Funding Councils every five to seven years. Results from the 2021 REF reconfirmed LSE's position as a world-leading research university, with the School topping or coming close to the top of a number of rankings of research excellence.

In addition to excellent overall results, the REF also shows a number of LSE departments leading the way in national research rankings. The departments of Economics, Anthropology, Social Policy, Health Policy and Media and Communications did particularly well, with their Units of Assessment coming top overall. Academics from the Departments of Gender Studies, Methodology and Psychological and Behavioural Science also contributed to these top scoring Units of Assessments.

More information about the REF and individual subject areas can be found at Research Excellence Framework 2021.