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COVID-19: Update for applicants

Last updated: 23rd July 2020



The LSE campus is currently closed to help limit the spread of coronavirus and, as such, the General Course team are currently working remotely.

We would like to reassure any current or prospective applicants that we are processing applications as normal. We understand that this is an uncertain time, and we can confirm that if you accept your offer to study with us there will be no financial penalty should you later wish to decline before registering at the School.

Please see the below for updates regarding changes to the application process during the COVID-19 situation:

Conditions of Registration FAQs - updated 22nd July 2020

I am not able to arrive on campus for the start of Michaelmas Term. Can I access online teaching and learning? 

If you are not able to make it to London for the start of Michaelmas Term due to travel restrictions, visa delays, health/medical–related issues, or other COVID-19 related circumstances outside of your control, you will be given access to online teaching until you are able to travel to campus. 

LSE has introduced a new online registration process for 2020/21, which means that you can be a fully registered student without being on campus.  During the registration process you will be asked if you need to study remotely (online only) for a fixed period because of the ongoing impact of COVID-19.  It is currently not expected that this fixed period of remote study will extend beyond the end of the Michaelmas Term 

You will be asked to tell us when you are likely to arrive (it is ok to give us an approximate date) and then provide us with a little more information on the reason for your delay so we can provide you with the right guidance and support. You will subsequently be contacted with the information you need to access teaching and learning online.

Why are you recording lectures and classes?

 We are recording lectures and classes, some of which will be recorded ‘live’ at the point of delivery, so that all students can access them online at the most appropriate time for them. Online lectures form a key part of our flexible teaching approach next term and their availability is a useful learning resource for all students.

Why would LSE change the Conditions of Registration?

The School does not alter the Conditions of Registration very often. We have set out in the updated Conditions some of the scenarios where it may be necessary to do this. In particular, we are mindful that government advice and guidance from regulatory bodies may change over time, as the pandemic evolves. The health and wellbeing of our student community is our top priority and therefore it may be necessary to adjust the Conditions once again. We will always make every effort to keep changes to a minimum and to notify students in good time of any changes that are going to be made.

Why do I need to follow LSE’s health and safety measures on campus?

LSE has undertaken extensive and rigorous risk assessments and health and safety assessments on all rooms and communal areas of the LSE campus. The measures we are putting in place are designed to keep our community as safe as possible. We will sometimes go beyond UK government guidance on social distancing or the use of face coverings to ensure our campus is safe. 

Online teaching and learning in the Michaelmas Term 2020  - updated 7th July 2020

In June we published our plans to welcome General Course students to LSE’s campus and halls of residence in the Michaelmas Term. Small in-person classes, seminars, and tutorial groups will run on campus, all in socially distanced environments. Lectures will be delivered online throughout the Michaelmas Term, and they will be recorded and made available for students to access. 

Flexible teaching and learning arrangements in the Michaelmas Term 2020

However, whilst we expect all General Course students to come to, and be resident in, London for the start of term, we know that some won’t be able to, for a variety of reasons including visa delays, medical-related concerns and the prohibition of overseas study by some of our partner institutions. That's why we are introducing flexible arrangements, so that you have a range of options that work for you and we can put in place the support you need, whether you are in London or elsewhere for all or part of the Michaelmas Term.

If you cannot make it to LSE for the first week of term we encourage you to arrive as soon as possible after that date. This will ensure a better experience for you and your fellow students as you will be engaging with teaching and learning on campus and with your peers and academic faculty. This will also provide you with access to the various services LSE has on offer that are important for a positive student experience outside the classroom.

If you cannot make it to the LSE campus for the start of term, we will provide online substitute teaching and learning until you are able to join us. Online provisions will vary across departments, but besides pre-recorded or synchronous online lectures, these may take the form of online tutorial sessions, Q and A sessions with faculty, peer study groups for both on-campus and online students, or similar activity designed to build and strengthen our student community. While we will try to schedule teaching to accommodate General Course students studying remotely, some synchronous teaching may not always be available within normal teaching hours in your location.

General Course students studying online will also have access to support from a range of LSE services. While we will try to provide as much as we can to students studying remotely, there may be some activity which we cannot offer online. Examples of these are likely to include work and volunteering opportunities, as well as access to some on-campus events.

Further information 

Our flexible approach with online teaching and student support will be in place for the duration of the Michaelmas Term for General Course students unable to be in London. If you cannot arrive on campus for the start of term, you will be asked, prior to the start of the programme, to let us know your likely date of arrival and to request online teaching in the Michaelmas Term.

If you need to study remotely for some or all of the Michaelmas Term, you should also check, and take responsibility for, any other arrangements that may be impacted by a period of online study. These may include accommodation contracts, scholarships or loans, and visa conditions for international students and EU students (who, post-Brexit and under current rules, would need a visa if they do not take up residence in the UK before 31 December 2020). It is also your responsibility to ensure that you are able to study remotely in an appropriate environment.

LSE will not discount the General Course tuition fee for students who study for some or all of the Michaelmas Term online. However, you are able to take advantage of our standard payment plans whereby fees can be paid in instalments and details can be found on our Tuition Fees pages.

The option to follow the General Course remotely via online study is currently available for the Michaelmas Term only. Subject to updates, we expect all General Course students to arrive on campus for in-person teaching at the start of the Lent Term, and we very much hope to deliver as many face-to-face teaching and learning opportunities as soon and as safely as possible.

Support, guidance and advice 

Our priority remains the health and wellbeing of our community. We know that you will have lots of questions about living and studying in London and we are here to help and support you however we can. Our FAQs contain the most up to date information about measures in place on campus and in halls, as well as information about your studies in the Michaelmas Term 2020, and how we want to help you feel #partofLSE. We will continue to update these pages as we count down to you registering in September.

General Course 2020/21 FAQs - updated 23rd July 2020


When should I register?

General Course students will be able to register online from August 2020. We will send you information about this shortly.

Welcome 2020 events will be running from 21 September, both online and on campus, and we hope that students will travel to London to take part in these activities.

Term begins on 28 September. We ask students to make every effort to come to campus for the start of term. This is because we are planning to run teaching and learning sessions, e.g. seminars, tutorials and classes, on campus in a socially distanced environment. However, if your travel plans are impacted by COVID-19 we will put support in place for you to access your teaching and learning remotely in Michaelmas Term.  

If I arrive after the start of term, can I still access Welcome information?

We will be providing much of our Welcome activity, videos and presentations online this year so you will be able to access them wherever you are and whenever you arrive on campus. We will also be running some on-campus activity throughout the term to ensure that all General Course students are welcomed to LSE, regardless of when they arrive.

Teaching and learning

What are the teaching and learning arrangements for the Lent and Summer terms 2021? 

Our flexible approach to teaching and learning will be in place for the duration of Michaelmas Term. We will deliver seminars, classes and interactive teaching sessions face-to-face on a socially distanced campus, and online for students whose arrival is delayed, with all lectures delivered online.

We will monitor and review these arrangements regularly throughout the term and follow government guidance to keep our LSE community safe. We will keep you updated as our plans for the Lent and Summer terms develop. 

How will I attend classes and seminars?

We will run classes, seminars and tutorial groups, as well as Harvard style teaching sessions, face-to-face on campus in a socially distanced environment, wherever possible. These classes will also be accessible by General Course students unable to access campus in the Michaelmas Term. 

Where departments are running synchronous classes/seminars, they will run at least twice so that students in different time zones can engage with them at the start of term.

As term progresses, we expect all students to take part in face-to-face classes, seminars and tutorial groups on the LSE campus if they are able to. 

How will I access lectures?

All lectures will be delivered online for the Michaelmas Term.  All lectures will be recorded and made available to students to access wherever they are. 

Will I be able to work with fellow students and faculty?

All students will have the opportunity to work together between classes in Peer Study Groups on tasks or activities (academic and social).

What will my timetabled contact hours look like?

Timetabled hours of study for students should stay broadly the same as they would in a ‘non-socially distanced’ LSE environment.

How will LSE ensure high quality teaching and learning?

Experts in our Eden Centre for Education Enhancement have guided the development of our flexible approach to teaching and learning to ensure that you benefit from LSE’s high standards in education in a safe environment. Our flexible teaching approach will be subject to our stringent quality assurance processes, ensuring that there is no compromise in the rigour or standard. We will continue to apply our validation, monitoring and review mechanisms to assure the quality of our courses.

Campus life

Can I access the Library?

General Course students will be able to access the LSE Library, in person, from September 2020, observing social distancing rules. Of course, all students and staff are able to access the Library’s digital materials remotely at any time.

Will the Students’ Union be running clubs and societies?

The Students’ Union is working with students and its clubs and societies to provide a programme of events and activities for the 2020-21 academic session. More information will be available on its website over the Summer.

If I have booked a place in an LSE Hall of Residence what support will be offered if I have to quarantine?  

The UK government has established travel corridors with a number of countries. The most up to date information on UK quarantine rules can be found here.

If quarantine controls are in place for your home country at the time of your arrival in London then General Course students who have booked a place in one of the LSE halls of residence will be able to quarantine there. Residences staff will provide you with support and guidance on how to do this safely in your hall. We are also looking at measures to support those who need to quarantine but have not booked a place in one of the LSE halls of residence. 

Further information about the measures we are putting in place in our Halls of Residence can be found on our Residences web pages.

Teaching and learning at LSE in Michaelmas Term 2020 - updated 9th June 2020

We hope that you are safe and well and that your preparations for study abroad in the autumn are progressing smoothly.

As we plan for the new academic year your health and well-being are our top priorities. We are now in a position to share information with you on how LSE will ensure our campus and residences are safe for you.

The Start of Michaelmas Term at LSE

LSE's campus and halls of residence will be open to welcome all of our new students for Welcome (Monday 21 September) with a range of enhanced safety measures in place to protect and support you. We expect students to register at LSE for the start of term as our campus will be open. However, if your enrolment is delayed by travel restrictions or problems obtaining your visa, support will be available for you from the General Course team and from central support services until you are able to join us later in Michaelmas Term.

  • General Course students will be able to register for the academic year online, which will be followed with an on-campus enrolment event when you arrive in London.

  • We do recognise that it may be difficult for some General Course students to travel to London for the start of term and support will be put in place so that you can access online provision for some or all of the Michaelmas Term if this is required.

Teaching and learning at LSE in Michaelmas Term 2020

To ensure an excellent educational experience, we are taking a flexible approach to your teaching and learning throughout the Michaelmas Term. Here are some key elements that will shape your term:

  • Lectures will be delivered online for Michaelmas Term 2020. All lectures will be recorded and made available for you to access off-campus.

  • Small in-person classes, seminars, tutorial groups, as well as Harvard style teaching sessions, will run on campus where possible, all in socially distanced environments. These activities, as well as other student support, will also be accessible to students unable to access campus if there is a delay to you joining us in London.

  • All programmes will continue to maximise students' ability to work together, both online and on campus, and contribute safely to your learning community. A mix of interactive activities between classes will give you the opportunity to connect with our world-leading faculty, share ideas with fellow students and engage with LSE's rich education and research culture.

  • We know your experience at LSE is shaped outside of the classroom too, and we will offer you a range of exciting opportunities to develop skills and try new things. These include giving back through volunteering, developing your entrepreneurial ideas via LSE Generate, shaping your community through LSE Students' Union activities and societies and our new online public lecture programme. All activity will start from Welcome 2020, which will be delivered digitally and in-person. You can also access thriving regional alumni groups too which operate across the globe.

  • We are committed to working in partnership with you to enhance your experiences and Disability and Wellbeing Services, Careers, Student Advice and LSE LIFE will continue to be available through excellent online and in-person services where possible.

Keeping the LSE Campus Safe

Across campus and halls of residences, we will introduce enhanced health and safety measures. Where appropriate it is likely that we will go beyond government guidance, based on scientific advice and the expertise of our academic faculty.

  • Face coverings whilst indoors on campus in shared areas and in communal spaces in residences will be mandatory.

  • A robust set of protocols will also be put in place that take a holistic view of how to keep our community safe and well. This includes enhanced cleaning and hygiene practices, recalibrating space, floor markings to ensure social distancing, controlled access to campus buildings and mechanisms to identify and assist individuals and our community more widely if people are unwell.

  • We will also explore what contributions 'test, trace and isolate' processes and temperature checks at key points on campus can make to safety, amongst other measures such as hand sanitizing stations, disinfectant wipes for classroom settings, one way circulation routes and reduced capacities in teaching and social learning spaces.

A Word from LSE’s Director, Dame Minouche Shafik

"I very much look forward to welcoming our new students to London for the 2020/2021 academic session in September. The wellbeing of our School community is paramount and our flexible approach to teaching and learning will ensure an excellent education and student experience continues safely for all. We are a global community at LSE, and we are committed to sustaining that openness as we shape the world in partnership with students, staff and friends of our School in the academic year ahead."

If you have any questions the General Course team are here to help. You can email us at or contact us through Live Chat every weekday. Please also continue to check this COVID-19: update for applicants page for the latest information.

Best wishes,

Kathryn, Loris, Mark, Nathan and Will

English language tests - updated 24th June 2020

A number of providers are now offering at-home tests which we will accept alongside an assessment by LSE's Language Centre which is carried out online using Moodle (LSE's virtual learning environment) and Zoom.

To pursue this option, you first need to take the alternative test and achieve the required score. You should send your results to us using the new information form and, once these are processed, we will contact you with details on how to log into Moodle and to schedule your assessment. 

You should be aware that LSE's language assessment is for in-house use in conjunction with your test score only.

The alternative tests we currently accept can be found here.

Sending official transcripts

Whilst we are working remotely, we are unable to process hard copy documents. We can instead accept etranscripts sent to from:

  • a service such as Parchment or National Student Clearinghouse

  • your study abroad adviser or registry, if sent from an institution email address

If an etranscript is not available, we will process hard copy documents upon our return to the office, and you will be notified once this has been done. We require an official transcript by the end of August in order for you to register for your LSE courses online in early September.


You can view our guidance for current students here, and LSE's coronavirus updates here