Frequently Asked Questions

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Teaching and learning in Michaelmas Term 2020

Teaching and learning in Michaelmas Term 2020

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 your programme teams and from central support services until you are able to join us later in Michaelmas Term. 

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: 

New 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. 

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. 

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

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.

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 sanitising stations, disinfectant wipes for classroom settings, one way circulation routes and reduced capacities in teaching and social learning spaces.

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 to guide you through the next academic year and beyond through excellent online and in-person services where possible.  

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


LSE's Director, Minouche Shafik said:  

“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."



When should I register?

New students will be able to register online for their LSE programme 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.

For the majority of students 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, eg. 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 our students are welcomed to LSE, regardless of when they arrive. 

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. Online provision will only be made available for Michaelmas Term. 

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. The information you give us will then be sent to your academic department who will contact you with the information you need to access the teaching and learning for your programme online. Online teaching will only be made available for Michaelmas Term. 

I will have to study online for some time in Michaelmas Term. What is the latest deadline for arriving in London and enrolling on campus?

The option to follow your programme remotely via online study is currently available for Michaelmas Term only. We expect all new and continuing LSE students who do not have January exams to arrive on campus for in-person teaching at the start of Lent Term (Monday 18 January). We will provide an update on January exams shortly.

If you need to study remotely for some or all of 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.

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.

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 students unable to access campus in the early weeks of the 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.

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.

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. 

I will not be able to study in the evenings or weekends due to caring or work commitments. What can I do?

We aim to timetable classes/seminars during regular hours on weekdays as far as possible. We will only schedule classes/seminars in the evenings and weekends when there is no other option.

Where possible, we aim to ensure that the classes/seminars scheduled in the evenings and at weekends have alternative classes/seminars timetabled during weekday hours. This means that, for the courses in which we can achieve this (and keeping in mind that we will not be able to achieve this for all courses), for undergraduate classes, you should be able to request a change to your allocated class via LSE for You; and that, for graduate seminars, you should be able to select an appropriately timed group via ‘LSE for You’ or via your department.  

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 on the rigour or standard of LSE degrees. We will continue to apply our validation, monitoring and review mechanisms to assure the quality of our courses and programmes.

What is the tuition fee for the 2020-21 academic year?

LSE will be open for the Michaelmas Term and all students are expected to come to London for teaching and learning. The School is putting in place a range of measures to ensure you continue to receive high quality education and support, on campus and online, through our flexible approach in Michaelmas Term that will also enable you to develop new skills and be part of LSE’s learning community.

The UK Government Department for Education has outlined that you should not expect any refund if you are receiving adequate online learning and support, and we are confident that we will deliver positive experiences that are beneficial for all of our students. The tuition fee for your programme remains the same as published on the LSE Table of Fees. You are able to pay your fees in instalments, details of which can be found on our Fees pages. 

Campus life

Can I access the library?

The Library will be open for all students and staff at the beginning of Michaelmas Term. Students will be able to access study spaces and the LSE collections, all in a socially distanced environment. We have worked hard to make core books and texts available online for students to access remotely, and we will continue to add to these collections through the academic year. 

On top of our current online provisions, including one-to-one support and increased e-book access, the team are also developing further services to support you, details of which will be shared when finalised. For further information on what is currently accessible and the latest updates, check the LSE Library web pages.

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 https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-corridors

If quarantine controls are in place for your home country at the time of your arrival in London then 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.

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 are unapologetic about the fact that we will sometimes go beyond UK government guidance on social distancing or the use of face coverings to ensure our campus is safe.

 Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQs

Will LSE be taking part in Clearing or Adjustment for 2020 entry?

We do not anticipate entering Clearing for 2020 entry but it is possible that we will participate in Adjustment for 2020 entry. This information will only be available from the day before A level results day, 12 August 2020. Details of any course vacancies will be listed on our website.

How will GCSEs, AS and A-Levels be graded and awarded in the Summer?

On 3 April, Ofqual published further guidance on how GCSEs, AS & A levels will be awarded in summer 2020. The Gov.UK link tells you more about the process and includes the letter which Ofqual has sent a letter to all students explaining the grading. 

The exam boards aim to deliver these grades in August. We will use these grades as the basis for our confirmation decisions. In the meantime, we continue to work with UCAS, exam boards, schools and the rest of the university sector to make the necessary arrangements for our offer holders and to communicate information to you on a regular basis.

If you do less well in one or more of your A-Levels in August you may choose to sit an exam, as soon as it is reasonably possible to do so in Autumn 2020, to improve your grades. If, having taken these exams, you meet or exceed your offer condition to study at LSE, we will guarantee you an offer of a place in 2021, but you must submit a new application through UCAS in the normal way.

We are also monitoring closely the situation with schools overseas and their exam boards.

We appreciate that this is a frustrating and anxious time for our offer holders but please be assured we are doing all we can to support you and to develop processes in this fast moving situation.

What does the decision to cancel all IB exams mean for my offer of a place at LSE?

The International Baccalaureate has published guidance on how students will be awarded an IB Diploma or Certificate in 2020. The IB website provides more information on this and their grading.

The International Baccalaureate intends to release results to universities and schools as planned on 5 July 2020. LSE will use these grades as the basis for our confirmation decisions, as normal.

Please continue to check this page regularly for the latest information.  

If test centres in my country are closed, what can I do to meet my English language requirement?

The position of test centres in certain countries is changing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The webpages below are being regularly updated with the latest advice for candidates:


 ETS will be offering candidates in certain countries the opportunity to take the TOEFL iBT at home until test centres reopen. LSE will accept the at-home TOEFL iBT with a minimum score of 100 overall, and a minimum of 27 in Writing, 25 in Reading, 24 in Listening, 24 in Speaking. Details can be found here.

We will also be accepting the MyBest Scores option for TOEFL, provided your grades meet or exceed those mentioned above. 

IELTS is offering an online test which is available for candidates to take at home while testing centres are closed due to covid 19. LSE will accept the IELTS indicator* with a minimum score of 7.0 overall and a minimum of 7.0 in each of Writing, Reading, Listening and Speaking. Details can be found here

*A further English language assessment will be required, which will be facilitated via the LSE Language Centre. We will arrange this for you upon verification of your results.

 A list of the English language tests we currently accept for undergraduate study, including additional alternative tests that we are accepting during the coronavirus pandemic, is available on our website.

We plan to make English language assessments available via the LSE Language Centre where required.

The deadline for receipt of a qualification meeting our requirements has been extended to 7th September 2020.

How do I verify my qualifications with LSE?

If you have been made an offer of admission, you may have been asked to supply evidence of qualifications by posting the original documents to LSE. However, many postal services are currently disrupted, and LSE’s Undergraduate Admissions team is currently working remotely. As such, you are able to verify your qualifications in alternative ways and we advise against posting any documents (particularly original documents). Do not bring them to the School in person.

Please note that these measures are being implemented to support offer holders, but the School reserves the right to amend this information and to ensure that original academic credentials are verified at a later stage.

Verifying high school documents

As we are currently unable to confirm receipt of, or verify, documents that have been sent to us via post, documents can be sent to us directly via email at ug.admissions@lse.ac.uk. However, in order for your documents to be accepted, such emails must:

  • be sent directly by an official at your school/ institution;
  • be sent from an official school/institutional email address (not Hotmail, Gmail etc.);
  • contain the full name and job title of the official who sends the email;
  • provide your final and not your provisional results; and
  • include your name and UCAS or LSE ID number.
  • include your date of birth.

Verifying English language test results

If you have been asked to demonstrate your English language proficiency, we may be able to verify your test results online if you have taken an IELTS, Pearson, TOEFL or Cambridge Advanced/Proficiency tests:

For IELTS, you can provide your Test Report Form Number or a scanned copy of your certificate to the Undergraduate Admissions Office at ug.admissions@lse.ac.uk

For Pearson, ensure you have sent your scores to LSE via your Pearson PTE account. You must contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office at ug.admissions@lse.ac.uk to enable us to retrieve your results.

For TOEFL, you can confirm your date of birth and your TOEFL appointment number with the Undergraduate Admissions Office by emailing us at ug.admissions@lse.ac.uk

For Cambridge Advanced and Proficiency Tests, email your Candidate ID No (3 Letters + 6 Numbers) and Secret No (4 digits) to the Undergraduate Admissions Office at ug.admissions@lse.ac.uk

If you have completed another one of LSE’s accepted English language qualifications, such as IGCSE English, please refer to the information on verifying school documents above.

Will LSE make all offer holders unconditional now that exams are cancelled?

No, we will await the grades which will be issued for UK-based students in the summer. Once we have received the grades we will make our decisions on whether or not to confirm offer holders as unconditional.

Will LSE only confirm places for those who make LSE their Firm choice?

No, confirmation decisions will be made in the summer using the grades issued by the exam boards following the UCAS process and timetable.

I’ve read that universities in England could face limits on how many undergraduate students they enrol. Will this affect my offer to study at LSE?

The UK government is discussing with the higher education sector how universities can manage student enrolments in September 2020. However, we want to reassure you that if you meet the conditions of your offer this year we will honour your place.

We will keep you updated as and when further government announcements are made.

Can LSE take back someone’s offer if they do not accept the offer straight away on UCAS?

We will continue to follow the standard UCAS process and timetable. Offer holders can accept or decline our offer until the 18th June. If UCAS adjusts its processes we may have to change the way we do things. Continue to check our website for the latest information.

Has the UCAS reply deadline been extended?

Yes. If you receive your last decision on or before 4th June, the UCAS reply deadline has been extended to 18th June.

Can I visit LSE before deciding whether to accept my offer?

Whilst we will no longer be holding an on-campus Offer Holders’ Day in 2020 we have created some Virtual Offer Holders’ Day pages. These include departmental information; advice from students and staff; videos and blogs, and the opportunity to ask LSE staff and students questions about life at LSE. 


General Offer Holder Frequently Asked Questions

What are the terms of my offer?

Your offer of admission to the School has been based on the information you provided on, or with, your UCAS application form. It is your responsibility to provide official evidence of your qualifications if we require it (please see your offer letter). If you are unable to provide such evidence, we reserve the right to review, and possibly withdraw, your offer of admission.

I have been asked to provide evidence that I meet LSE's English Language proficiency requirements as part of my offer. I already have an acceptable qualification and declared this on my UCAS application. Is this a mistake?

No. You may have already declared a qualification we would accept (pending verification), or may be exempt, based on your nationality. However, you are required to clarify your circumstances via the questionnaire in your offer email.

Is it possible to lower the terms of my offer?

No. The School will not enter into negotiations with successful applicants over the terms of their offer. Each offer has been made taking into consideration all the information included on your UCAS form and the Admissions Selector's decision is final.

I have decided to drop one of my subjects, is this ok?

It is important that you email the Undergraduate Admissions Office before you drop any subject – even if this subject does not form part of your offer. An Admissions Selector will consider your request and we aim to provide you with a final decision within two weeks.

What should I do if I want to decline my offer?

You can decline your place on the UCAS Track system.

When do I have to send off my certified documents?

You should send any certified official documents we have requested as soon as possible, and no later than 7 September 2020. It will also be a requirement of your visa application that you have an unconditional offer, so it is in your interests to send your documents as soon as you can. More information on submitting certified documentation of your qualifications.

Is it possible to change programmes?

If you have decided you no longer wish to study the programme for which you have been made an offer, then - under exceptional circumstances - you may be able to be considered for a different programme.

If you decide before 15 January that you want your application to be considered for a different programme, you should contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office outlining the reasons for the change. Your application would then be in competition with all other applicants to that programme.

If your request to change programme comes after 15 January, your application will be classed as late. This means that we will only be able to look at your late application if there are still places available on the programme once all on-time applications have been assessed. However for the vast majority of programmes, we do not look at any late applications.

If the Admissions Selector for your new programme choice decides not to offer you a place, or you are happy for your application to be considered as late and we do not look at your late application, your new programme choice will be unsuccessful and you will lose your offer on your original programme choice at LSE.

Please also note that it is not possible for your application to be considered for a programme from which you have already been unsuccessful.

I have changed my correspondence address. What should I do?

Please notify UCAS and the institutions to which you have applied of your new address in writing as soon as possible. Please note that if you have indicated your term-time address in the correspondence address section of the UCAS application form, do not assume that all correspondence will be automatically sent to your home address once term finishes. You should notify UCAS and the institutions as soon as you leave your term-time address so that all correspondence can be sent to the correct address.


Frequently Asked Questions before registration:

Can I defer my place until next year?

If you wish to defer your entry, you will need to submit a written request (an email will suffice) to the Undergraduate Admissions Office by Friday 17 July at the latest. Requests received after this date will not be considered as UCAS will not allow any institution to make any amendments to applications after 1 August. Your email needs to state your reasons for your request and what you plan to do on your gap year. The Admissions Selector will then consider your request and you will be contacted once a decision has been made. Should your request be granted, your UCAS record will then be changed to reflect your change of year.

We aim to respond to all deferral requests by Friday 31st July.

If your request for deferral is refused, your offer is still valid for 2020.

LSE does not offer the option of a two year deferral, unless the applicant has extenuating circumstances preventing them from beginning their programme in 2020 or 2021. Please note that compulsory National Service is not considered as an extenuating circumstance for two year deferral requests.

What happens if I fail to meet the conditions of my offer?

If you marginally fail to meet the conditions of your offer, your application is automatically referred back to the Admissions Selector for reconsideration in August. Your application is then considered in competition with all the other applicants who have marginally failed to meet the conditions of their offer. There is no guarantee that LSE will be able to confirm your place at the School.

We will send our decision to UCAS as soon as possible, so please do not contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office as it may delay the processing of your application.

What happens if I ask for a re-mark?

If you plan to ask for a re-mark for any of your exams, then you should inform the Undergraduate Admissions Office as soon as possible. For speed, you should ask for a priority re-mark from the relevant exam board/s.

The office needs to receive official confirmation of the results of your re-mark by 7 September 2020 at the very latest. Providing your re-mark grades meet the original grade conditions of your offer, we will overturn the unsuccessful decision and your offer will be reinstated. Please note: we will be unable to reinstate offers if we receive revised grades after 7 September 2020.

What happens if I experience difficulties at examination time?

We understand that circumstances can arise which have a detrimental impact on exam performance. If you marginally miss the conditions of your offer at Confirmation, the School is only able to give due consideration to those with severe extenuating circumstances. However, we can only consider information regarding extenuating circumstances which has been sent to us by 30 June 2020 for applicants studying the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma and 31 July 2020 for all other qualifications, including any corroborating evidence that you can offer such as a doctor's note, a note from your school or other official documentation.

It is highly unlikely that we will be able to consider any appeals which are received after results have been published, as many of our candidates meet, if not exceed the conditions of their offer and we do not have the places to admit additional students at this stage.

Therefore if you feel that your exam performance has been affected, you should contact us in writing by 30 June (for the IBDP) or 31 July (for all other qualifications). 

It is also advisable for your school to notify the examination boards of any such extenuating circumstances, along with relevant medical notes, as they can then be taken into consideration when your scripts are being marked.

What happens if I can't provide certified verification of my English language qualification which you have requested before 31 August?

If you cannot provide certified documentation of a recognised English language qualification, we will not be able to confirm your place at the School. If you cannot meet this deadline for any reason, it is important that you inform us before 7 September 2020. 

Please refer to the information at the top of this page for the latest guidance and advice on our deadlines.

Note for international students: Submitting your certified documentation late can result in delays in issuing your CAS number to the Home Office, which you will require to apply for your visa. It is important that you apply for your visa early enough to allow sufficient time for you to attend Registration. More details can be found on the LSE International Student Visa Advice Team (ISVAT) website.