Programmes

BSc Language, Culture and Society

  • Undergraduate
  • Language Centre
  • UCAS code L3R9
  • Starting 2021
  • UK/EU full-time: Open from September
  • Overseas full-time: Open from September
  • Location: Berlin, Houghton Street, London, Paris, Shanghai, St Petersburg, Valladolid

This joint honours programme is offered by the LSE Language Centre and the Department of Sociology. It combines the study of social and cultural theory, identity and cultural forms with the development of advanced language skills. Students can choose one of five modern languages: French; German; Mandarin; Russian or Spanish.

Previous language study is desirable, but not required. You can start as a complete beginner, post-GCSE or post-A-level. Throughout the degree, you will take a mix of courses from the Department of Sociology, choosing between a range of options, as well as language, linguistics and literature courses from the Language Centre.

The programme also includes a compulsory year abroad in the third year, where you will study at one of five partner institutions. During your year abroad, you will study courses in your chosen language, but also have the opportunity to audit Sociology classes at your host university. Opportunities for short internships may also be available.

The degree will prepare you for a career in government, corporate organisations, research and advisory organisations and social care, as well as further study.

Watch a recording of the 2020 Virtual Open Day BSc International Relations and Chinese & BSc Language, Culture and Society Q&A session

Programme details

Key facts


Academic year (2021/22) September 2021 to June 2022
Application deadline 15 January 2021
Duration Four years full-time
Applications/offers/intake 2019 165/45/10

For information about tuition fees, usual standard offers and entry requirements, see the sections below.

Entry requirements

Below we list our entry requirements in terms of GCSEs, A-Levels and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma. We accept a wide range of other qualifications from the UK and from overseas.

GCSEs
A strong set of GCSE grades including the majority at A (or 7) and A* (or 8-9)
GCSE English Language and Mathematics grades should be no lower than B (or 6)
We also consider your overall GCSE subject profile

A-levels
AAB
We also consider your AS grades, if available.

IB Diploma
37 points overall, including 666 at higher level 

Competition for places at the School is high. This means that even if you are predicted or if you achieve the grades that meet our usual standard offer, this will not guarantee you an offer of admission. Usual standard offers are intended only as a guide, and in some cases applicants will be asked for grades which differ from this.

We express our standard offers and where applicable, programme requirement, in terms of A-levels and the IB, but we consider applications from students with a range of qualifications including BTECs, Foundation Courses and Access to HE Diplomas as well as a wide range of international qualifications.

Information about accepted international qualifications
Information about other accepted UK qualifications

Subject combinations

  • Language study at GSCE or A level or equivalent is not required, but it is desirable. Language courses will be available from both beginner and intermediate level. 
  • We consider the combination of subjects you have taken, as well as the individual scores.
  • We believe a broad mix of traditional academic subjects to be the best preparation for studying at LSE and expect applicants to have at least two full A-levels or equivalent in these subjects.
  • We are looking for academic students with a genuine interest in and enthusiasm for the social sciences. There is no one ideal subject combination, however, as with all degree programmes at LSE, at least two traditional academic subjects are preferred. Common sixth form subject choices include a combination of History, English, Economics, Government and Politics, Sociology, Geography, Languages, Psychology and Philosophy. 
  • If you have taken Mathematics, Further Mathematics and one other subject at A-level, this may be considered less competitive for this programme.

Find out more about subject combinations.

Assessing your application

We welcome applications from all suitably qualified prospective students and want to recruit students with the very best academic merit, potential and motivation, irrespective of their background. The programme guidance below should be read alongside our general entrance requirements information.

We carefully consider each application on an individual basis, taking into account all the information presented on the UCAS application form, including your:

- academic achievement including predicted and achieved grades (see 'Entry requirements' for programme specific information)
- subject combinations (see 'Entry requirements' for programme specific information)
- personal statement (see below for programme specific information)
- teacher’s reference
- educational circumstances

You may also have to provide evidence of your English proficiency, although you do not need to provide this at the time of your application to LSE. See our English language requirements page.

Personal characteristics, skills and attributes

For this programme, we are looking for students who demonstrate the following characteristics, skills and attributes:

- an interest in relationships between peoples and society
- social awareness
- an ability to ask incisive questions
- an ability to work independently
- an ability to read widely
- communicate with clarity
- a creative and flexible approach to study
- intellectual curiosity
- motivation and capacity for hard work

Personal statement

In addition to demonstrating the above personal characteristics, skills and attributes, your statement should be original, interesting and well-written and should outline your enthusiasm and motivation for the programme.

You should explain whether there are any aspects of particular interest to you, how this relates to your current academic studies and what additional reading or relevant experiences you have had which have led you to apply. We are interested to hear your own thoughts or ideas on the topics you have encountered through your exploration of the subject at school or through other activities. Some suggestions for preliminary reading can be found above in the preliminary reading section, but there is no set list of activities we look for; instead we look for students who have made the most of the opportunities available to them to deepen their knowledge and understanding of their intended programme of study.

You can also mention extra-curricular activities such as sport, the arts or volunteering or any work experience you have undertaken. However, the main focus of an undergraduate degree at LSE is the in-depth academic study of a subject and we expect the majority of your personal statement to be spent discussing your academic interests.

Please also see our general guidance about writing personal statements

Fees and funding

Every undergraduate student is charged a fee for each year of their programme.

The fee covers registration and examination fees payable to the School, lectures, classes and individual supervision, lectures given at other colleges under intercollegiate arrangements and, under current arrangements, membership of the Students' Union. It does not cover living costs or travel or fieldwork.

Tuition fees

UK/EU* students:

The 2021 tuition fee for new UK/EU students has not yet been set. As a guide the 2020 fee for UK and EU students* is £9,250 per year. The UK/EU undergraduate fee may rise in line with inflation in subsequent years.

*Please note that the EU tuition fee level for 2021 entry cannot be confirmed until later in 2020.

Overseas students:

The 2021 tuition fee for international students has not yet been set. As a guide the 2020 fee for international students* is £21,570 per year. Once announced, the overseas tuition fee will remain at the same amount for each subsequent year of your full time study regardless of the length of your programme. This information applies to new overseas undergraduate entrants starting their studies from 2020 onwards.

The amount of tuition fees you will need to pay, and any financial support you are eligible for, will depend on whether you are classified as a home (UK/EU) or overseas student, otherwise known as your fee status. LSE assesses your fee status based on guidelines provided by the Department of Education.

Scholarships, bursaries and loans

The School recognises that the cost of living in London may be higher than in your home town or country. LSE provides generous financial support, in the form of bursaries and scholarships to UK, EU and overseas students. 

In addition, UK Government support, in the form of loans, is available to UK and some EU students. Some overseas governments also offer funding.

Further information on tuition fees, cost of living, loans and scholarships.

Information for international students

LSE is an international community, with over 140 nationalities represented amongst its student body in 2019. We celebrate this diversity through everything we do. 

If you are applying to LSE from outside of the UK then take a look at our Information for International students.

1) Take a note of the UK qualifications we require for your programme of interest (found in the ‘Entry requirements’ section of this page.

2) Go to the International Students section of our website.

3) Select your country.

4) Select ‘Undergraduate entry requirements’ and scroll until you arrive at the information about your local/national qualification. Compare the stated UK entry requirements listed on this page with the local/national entry requirement listed on your country specific page.

Programme structure and courses

For the first, second and fourth years, the degree involves studying courses to the value of 12 units half of which will be in the Department of Sociology, and half in the Language Centre.

You will spend the third year of your degree studying abroad at a partner university (see the study abroad section).

First year

(* denotes a half unit course) 

Key Concepts: Introduction to Social Theory
Introduces students to sociological theory by examining the work and ideas of normally eight key thinkers in social thought.

Power Inequality and Difference: Contemporary Themes in Sociology
Provides an introduction to critical areas of theory and analysis in contemporary sociology. 

Language and Society 1-3 (choosing between French, German, Mandarin, Russian and Spanish)
Beginners to advanced study of the specific language within the framework of social sciences and culture.

One from:
English Literature and Society
Study of 20th Century British literature in its socio-political context; Study of individual authors, and study of major cultural themes running through the century.
Intercultural Communication and Management
Looks at the main theories and concepts involved in inter-cultural communication to explain and analyse how they apply in real life, in business and in political communications.
LSE100
Beginning in the Lent term of the first year and running through the Michaelmas term of the second year, LSE100 is compulsory for all LSE undergraduate students, and introduces you to the fundamental elements of thinking like a social scientist. Please note that the LSE100 course is under review.

Second year

Key Concepts: Advanced Social Theory
Engages key sociological issues through the critical reading of theoretically informed empirical research studies.

Language and Society 2-4 (choosing between French, German, Mandarin, Russian and Spanish)
Intermediate to proficiency level study of the specific language through themes related to societies speaking the language within the framework of social sciences and culture.

Courses to the value of one unit from a range of Sociology options

LSE100
Beginning in the Lent term of the first year and running through the Michaelmas term of the second year, LSE100 is compulsory for all LSE undergraduate students, and introduces you to the fundamental elements of thinking like a social scientist. Please note that the LSE100 course is under review.

One from:

Comparative Literature and 20th Century Political History
Comparative literature of the twentieth century leading up to and including the Cold War.

Literature and Aspects of Ethics
Literary treatment/projection of the aspects of ethics, focusing on the classical ideas of Aristotle and Kant, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche, developed in modern times by Sartre, Lacan, Bernard Williams and Michel Foucault.

Society and Language: Linguistics for Social Scientists
Introduces students to key (socio)linguistic concepts (semantic and pragmatic meaning, discourse, register, genre, dialect, idiolect, sociolect) employed in the analysis of language use as a social process.

Third year  

Study abroad year at one of five partner universities (see the study abroad section).

Fourth year

Language and Society 4-5 (choosing between French, German, Mandarin, Russian and Spanish)
Further advanced (up to mastery) study of the chosen language within the framework of social sciences and culture.

Courses to the value of two units from a range of sociology options

One from:
Contemporary Literature and Global Society
Studies contemporary (chiefly post 1990) world literature in the context of modern globalised society, covering prose, poetry and drama.
European Literature and Philosophy
Literary treatment of the major philosophical trends of the twentieth century, including the aesthetics of Bergson and Nietzsche, the analytical school of Russell; political philosophy of Isaiah Berlin, the existentialism of Heidegger and Sartre, the paradox of the absurd of Camus, French and East European Phenomenology; Wittgenstein and philosophy of language.
Society and Language: Linguistics for Social Scientists
Introduces students to key (socio)linguistic concepts (semantic and pragmatic meaning, discourse, register, genre, dialect, idiolect, sociolect) employed in the analysis of language use as a social process.

 

For the most up-to-date list of optional courses please visit the relevant School Calendar page

You must note however that while care has been taken to ensure that this information is up-to-date and correct, a change of circumstances since publication may cause the School to change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. The School will always notify the affected parties as early as practicably possible and propose any viable and relevant alternative options. Note that the School will neither be liable for information that after publication becomes inaccurate or irrelevant, nor for changing, suspending or withdrawing a course or programme of study due to events outside of its control, which includes but is not limited to a lack of demand for a course or programme of study, industrial action, fire, flood or other environmental or physical damage to premises.

You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee you a place. Please note that changes to programmes and courses can sometimes occur after you have accepted your offer of a place.  These changes are normally made in light of developments in the discipline or path-breaking research, or on the basis of student feedback.  Changes can take the form of altered course content, teaching formats or assessment modes. Any such changes are intended to enhance the student learning experience. You should visit the School’s Calendar, or contact the relevant academic department, for information on the availability and/or content of courses and programmes of study. Certain substantive changes will be listed on the updated undergraduate course and programme information page.

Study abroad year

You will also spend the third year of your programme studying abroad at a partner institution in one of five countries, depending on your language choice. The partner institutions are Universidad de Valladolid, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Liden & Denz Intercultural Institute of Languages-St Petersburg, SciencesPo and Fudan University.

During this third year, you will study your chosen language and also have the opportunity to audit Sociology lectures at your host institution. You will pay a reduced tuition fee to LSE which will cover your tuition fees at your host institution.

The fee level for Home/UK undergraduates is set by the UK government and will be confirmed once the fee has been agreed and announced. In recent years, the Home/UK fee for a year abroad has been set at 15 per cent of the full-time Home/UK undergraduate fee.  The fee level for a year abroad for non-UK students is determined by LSE and has previously been set at 50 per cent of the Home/UK fee. Additional information about specific fees for the year abroad will be published via the table of fees as soon as it is available.

During this year abroad you will be expected to pay for your own flights, accommodation and subsistence.

The Fred Halliday language award is an annual fund available to students undertaking study abroad as part of their degree programme. Applications are made by individual students to the Language Centre to access the fund. Any additional information will be published online as soon as it is available.

In your fourth year, you will return to LSE to complete your degree.

Indicative courses

Language study and Sociology lectures from the host institution’s main degree
Specialist lectures on local cultural or historical contexts
Students will also conduct data collection for a research project on socio-cultural issues in the target language society

Teaching and assessment

Teaching

Format and contact hours: For LSE Language Centre courses, teaching follows the "communicative method", involving students in participation and personalisation of input and skills development. This approach prioritises individual attention and planning for attainment, and enables teachers to adapt to your needs and to tailor delivery and practice opportunities. The Language Centre is also a leader at LSE in the use of learning technology, in particular with "students as producers", nominated for and winnning national awards.

Hours vary according to courses and you can view indicative details in the Calendar within the Teaching section of each course guide.

Independent study: 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, thinking and research.

LSE teaching: 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. Courses may be taught by individual members of faculty, such as lecturers, senior lecturers, readers, associate professors and professors. Many departments now also employ guest teachers and visiting members of staff, LSE teaching fellows and graduate teaching assistants who are usually doctoral research students. You can view indicative details for the teacher responsible for each course in the relevant course guide.

Academic support

Academic mentor: You will have an academic mentor who will provide general guidance and assistance with both academic and personal concerns. 

Other academic support: 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. Some of the services on offer include: guidance and hands-on practice of the key skills you will need to do well at LSE: effective reading, academic writing and critical thinking; workshops related to how to adapt to new or difficult situations, including development of skills for leadership, study/work/life balance and preparing for the world of work; and advice and practice on working in study groups and on cross-cultural communication and teamwork.

Disability and Wellbeing Service: 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.

Your timetable

  • The standard teaching day runs from 09:00-18:00; Monday to Friday. Teaching for undergraduate students will not usually be scheduled after 12:00 on Wednesdays to allow for sports, volunteering and other extra-curricular events. 
  • The lecture and seminar timetable is published in mid-August and the full academic timetable (lectures/seminars and undergraduate classes) is published by mid-September and is accessible via the LSE Timetables webpages.
  • Undergraduate student personal timetables are published in LSE for You (LFY). For personal timetables to appear, students must be registered at LSE, have successfully signed up for courses in LFY and ensured that their course selection does not contain unauthorised clashes. Every effort is made to minimise changes after publication, once personal timetables have been published any changes are notified via email.

Assessment

Formative unassessed coursework:Assessment in Language Centre courses is "progressive" with an emphasis on using continuous assessment to generate learning.  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 (assessment that counts towards your final course mark and degree award): Summative assessment over the course of the three years will be assessed through a variety of means. In the first and second year, the majority of our courses rely on examinations at the end of the year. In the third year courses are assessed through a variety of means: some through end of year examinations; some through a piece of assessed coursework; and some through a combination of the two. Feedback on coursework is an essential part of the teaching and learning experience at the School. Class teachers must mark formative coursework and return it with feedback to you normally within two weeks of submission (when the work is submitted on time). You will also receive feedback on any summative coursework you are required to submit as part of the assessment for individual courses (except on the final version of submitted dissertations). You will normally receive this feedback before the examination period. 

Please note that assessment on individual courses can change year to year. An indication of the current formative coursework and summative assessment for each course can be found in the relevant course guide.

Find out more about LSE’s teaching and assessment methods

Student support and resources

We’re here to help and support you throughout your time at LSE, whether you need help with your academic studies, support with your welfare and wellbeing or simply to develop on a personal and professional level.

Whatever your query, big or small there are a range of people you can speak to and who will be happy to help.

Academic mentors – an academic member of staff who you will meet with at least once a term and help with any academic, administrative or personal questions you have. (See Teaching and assessment)

Academic support librarians – they will be able to help you navigate the library and maximise its resources during your studies.

Accommodation service  - they can offer advice on living in halls and offer guidance on private accommodation related queries.

Class teachers and seminar leaders – they will be able to assist with queries relating to a specific course you are taking.

Disability and Wellbeing Service – the staff are experts in long term health conditions, sensory impairments, mental health and specific learning difficulties. They offer confidential and free services such as student counselling, a peer support scheme, arranging exam adjustments and run groups and workshops.

IT help– they support available 24 hours a day to assist with all of your technology queries.

LSE Faith centre – a place for worship, prayer and quiet reflection. It includes Islamic prayer rooms and a quiet cave for individual meditation. It is also a space for wellbeing classes on campus and a centre for transformational leadership programmes promoting interreligious understanding across the diverse student body.

Language Centre– the centre specialises in offering language courses targeted to the needs of students and practitioners in the social sciences. We offer pre-course English for Academic Purposes programmes; English language support during your studies; modern foreign language courses in 10 languages; proofreading, translation and document authentication and language learning support. lse.ac.uk/language

LSE Careers ­- with the help of LSE Careers, you can make the most of the opportunities that London has to offer. Whatever your future career plans, LSE Careers will work with you, connecting you to opportunities and experiences from internships and volunteering to networking events and employer and alumni insights.

LSE Library - Founded in 1896, the British Library of Political and Economic Science is the major international library of the social sciences. It stays open late, has lots of excellent resources and it’s a great place to study. As an LSE student, you’ll have access to a number of other academic libraries in Greater London and nationwide.

LSE LIFE – this is where you should goto develop skills you’ll use as a student and beyond. The centre runs talks and workshops on skills you’ll find useful in the classroom, offer one-to-one sessions with study advisers who can help you with reading, making notes, writing, research and exam revision, and provide drop-in sessions for academic and personal support.(See ‘Teaching and assessment).

LSE Students’ Union (LSESU) – they offer academic, personal and financial advice and funding.

Nursery it offers places for 63 children (aged three months to five years) which are discounted for children of students and staff.

Sardinia House Dental Practice - offers discounted private dental services to LSE students.

St Philips Medical Centre - based in Pethwick-Lawrence House the centre provides NHS Primary Care services to registered patients.

Student Services Centre – our staff here can answer general queries and can point you in the direction of other LSE services.

Student advocates and advisers– we have a School Senior Advocate for Students and an Adviser to Women Students who can help with academic and pastoral matters.

Preliminary reading

If you wish to gain further insight into the subject we suggest that you look at one or more of the following books:

D Crystal How Language Works (Penguin, 2005)

S Pinker The Language Instinct (Penguin, 1994)

G Yule The Study of Language (Cambridge University Press, 4th ed, 2010)

As this is a joint degree programme you should also refer to the preliminary reading for the BSc Sociology.

Student life

As a student at LSE you’ll be based at our central London campus. Find out what our campus and London have to offer you on academic, social and career perspective.

Student societies and activities 

Your time at LSE is not just about studying, there are plenty of ways to get involved in extracurricular activities. From joining one of over 200 societies, or starting your own society, to volunteering for a local charity, or attending a public lecture by a world-leading figure, there is a lot to choose from.

The campus

LSE is based on one campus in the centre of London. Despite the busy feel of the surrounding area, many of the streets around campus are pedestrianised, meaning the campus feels like a real community.

Life in London

London is an exciting, vibrant and colourful city. It's also an academic city, with more than 400,000 university students. Whatever your interests or appetite you will find something to suit your palate and pocket in this truly international capital. Make the most of career opportunities and social activities, theatre, museums, music and more.

Want to find out more? Read why we think London is a fantastic student city, find out about key sights, places and experiences for new Londoners. Don't fear, London doesn't have to be super expensive: hear about London on a budget.

Careers

The degree programme will prepare you for a career in government, corporate organisations, research and advisory organisations and social care, as well as further study.

Further information on graduate destinations

Support for your career

Many leading organisations give careers presentations at the School during the year, and LSE Careers has a wide range of resources available to assist students in their job search.

Find out more about LSE

Discover more about being an LSE student - meet us in a city near you, visit our campus or experience LSE from home.

Experience LSE from home 

Webinars, videos, student blogs and student video diaries will help you gain an insight into what it's like to study at LSE for those that aren't able to make it to our campus. Experience LSE from home.

Visit LSE 

Come on a guided campus tour, attend an undergraduate open day, drop into our office or go on a self-guided tour. Find out about opportunities to visit LSE.

LSE visits you 

Student Marketing and Recruitment travels throughout the UK and around the world to meet with prospective students. We visit schools, attend education fairs and also hold Destination LSE events: pre-departure events for offer holders. Find details on LSE's upcoming visits.

UNISTATS data

Every undergraduate programme of more than one year duration will have UNISTATS data. The data allows you to compare information about individual programmes at different higher education institutions.

Please note that programmes offered by different institutions with similar names can vary quite significantly. We recommend researching the programmes you are interested in and taking into account the programme structure, teaching and assessment methods, and support services available.

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