The Science and Art of Decision Making

  • Summer schools
  • Department of Management
  • Application code SS-MG110
  • Starting 2020
  • Short course: Closed
  • Location: Houghton Street, London

UPDATE: Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic we will no longer be offering this course in summer 2020. Please check our latest news on this situation here.

If you already have a few years of professional expertise, you may be interested in the LSE Executive Education course Strategic Decision Making – to be delivered online commencing 1 June 2020.

In this era of deep uncertainty, rapid change and big data, making the right judgment calls and strategic decisions is more vital than ever. This course takes an interdisciplinary approach, boosting both decision intuition and analysis, and preparing you to kick-start change, one decision at a time.

How to choose in tough situations where stakes are high, and there are multiple conflicting objectives? What are the common ‘decision traps’ we fall into and how can we avoid them? Why do projects often take us longer and cost more than planned, and how should we get rid of this problem? How do we perceive risk, and how to act when there are risks and uncertainties involved in a decision? How can we create options that are better than the ones originally available?

Decision making is a central aspect of both everyday life and any business activity. The ability to understand how decisions are made, and to predict, guide and improve those decisions will be an invaluable part of every change maker’s toolbox. It is this ability that will be developed in this course, which introduces students to insights from behavioural science and decision analytics and its application to management and policy making.

Our journey will begin with an exploration of systematic biases and errors, to raise your awareness about these “traps” with a view to becoming a better intuitive decision maker. The adventure will continue with the discovery of both qualitative and quantitative solutions, that will equip you with a key analytical framework for successful strategic decisions.

Note: This course focuses on behavioural decision science. Students who are more interested in behavioural economics should consider EC200. Moreover, this course is an introductory course, tailored for undergraduates, or new graduates. If you are already familiar with decision science concepts and theories, or if you already have a few years of professional expertise, you are welcome instead to apply to the executive course Strategic Decision Making taught on the LSE Executive Education programme. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a 4-week virtual delivery of this course will commence 1 June 2020.

Session: Two
Dates: 13 July – 31 July 2020
Lecturers: Dr Barbara Fasolo  (Top-10 Teachers in Department of Management at LSE) and Dr Valentina Ferretti (Winner of the LSE Teaching Award for Inspirational Teaching in Risk and Decision Analysis)


Programme details

Key facts

Level: 100 level. Read more information on levels in our FAQs

Fees:  Please see Fees and payments

Lectures: 36 hours 

Classes: 18 hours

Assessment*: Class attendance, participation, assignments and two examinations

Typical credit**: 3-4 credits (US) 7.5 ECTS points (EU)

*Assessment is optional

**You will need to check with your home institution

For more information on exams and credit, read Teaching and assessment


This course is for anyone intrigued by the fascinating field of decision making and interested in rebooting their “decision-ware”. There are no prerequisites, as we will boost both your intuitive and analytical skills to analyse and interpret information.

Programme structure

  • Behavioural science
  • Decision biases and heuristics
  • Choice Architecture
  • Decision analytics
  • Risk Analysis

The course builds on interactive lectures, hands-on exercises and experiments, as well as thought-provoking case studies and projects from real organizations and public policy settings. Bring your own decision dilemmas: you will consolidate strategies and tools to solve them!


Course outcomes

During the highly interactive three weeks, participants will develop their decision readiness and confidence by:

  • Becoming aware of systematic cognitive biases and traps that operate on individuals and groups;
  • Learning how to effectively develop winning solutions for the key traps in strategic decision making;
  • Discovering how to recognize when you have the “green light” on the decision making process and it is time to go ahead and commit to the developed recommendation.


LSE’s Department of Management is a  world-leading centre for research and education in business and management. Its location within a world-class social science institution at the heart of a leading global city makes it unique among other management and business schools. This position gives the Department the unparalleled capability to deliver research and education which advance the frontiers of understanding in management through an integrated view of the economic, psychological, social, political and technological contexts in which people, teams, organisations and markets operate worldwide.

Proud to be part of LSE, an institution that ranks #2 in the world for social sciences and management (QS World University Rankings 2018) and #1 in the UK for research in business and management studies (REF 2014). LSE Management currently ranks #1 in the world for thought leadership in management (QS Master's in Management Rankings 2018). The Department engages with people and organisations worldwide, across the private, public, and third sectors, who are motivated to improve the world through better understanding and practice of management.

On this three week intensive programme, you will engage with and learn from full-time lecturers from the LSE’s management faculty.

Reading materials

Kahneman D., Thinking, Fast and Slow, 2012, Penguin.

This text is recommended for background reading, and as a resource. Throughout the course chapters and articles will be assigned and distributed electronically.

*A more detailed reading list will be supplied prior to the start of the programme

**Course content, faculty and dates may be subject to change without prior notice

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How to Apply

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