Teaching and assessment 3

Teaching and assessment

How you'll be taught and examined during the academic year

All students are expected to arrive on time for the start of their programme for in person teaching for the 2023/24 academic year. We will deliver lectures, classes, seminars, workshops and all related teaching and learning activities in-person on-campus. This is the default position for all teaching and learning.

Your degree

In almost all our undergraduate degrees, you will normally take the equivalent of four courses in each year, made up of full and half-unit courses, plus LSE100 in your first year.

Teaching style

In each course, teaching will consist of a mixture of lectures and smaller group sessions such as seminars, tutorials, workshops, classes and Harvard style teaching sessions, running in parallel. During these smaller group sessions you will work through questions and problems raised in the lectures and present and discuss your own papers or essays. 

Lectures are attended by all those taking the course and on a popular course, there could be as many as 300 students in a lecture. Group sessions are much smaller, with usually no more than 15 students.

Lectures will be recorded at the point of delivery and made available for students to access outside of the usual teaching and learning timetable, unless academic staff opt out of this provision.

In exceptional circumstances, a small number of lectures will only be available pre-recorded and outside of the usual timetable. Where this is the case, academic staff will offer additional timetabled on-campus sessions to allow students to engage with topics and ask questions in person. In exceptional circumstances because of pedagogic reasons only, a small number of lectures and computer workshops will be delivered online as part of the usual teaching and learning timetable. 

Lectures are not compulsory but are strongly recommended. Group sessions such as seminars, classes and tutorials, however, are obligatory and you will be expected to prepare and fully participate in every one you attend.

The format for smaller group sessions varies considerably depending on the subject and level but you are usually expected to submit two written pieces of work per course during the year. Teachers report each term on your attendance, work in the session and written work submitted. Your academic mentor will receive these reports and although they do not contribute to your final degree result, they can affect whether you are allowed to continue on the course and to take the examination.

Additional teaching and learning materials will be available online via Moodle, our School’s virtual learning platform. Resources and activities on Moodle will be accessible outside of the teaching timetable and will enhance rather than replace in-person learning.

Course office hours

Our academics will be available for course office hours, the majority of these will take place on-campus.

Community building activities

All students will have opportunities to interact with fellow peers and academic faculty outside of the classroom in LSE’s many social spaces, halls of residence, cafés and Students’ Union societies. The Library, support services and all campus buildings will be open for you to use and enjoy, with face-to-face community-building and networking activities taking place across the year. 

Independent study

We expect that in addition to formal contact time, you will spend at least double the amount of contact time pursuing your own research. A typical undergraduate timetable involves 8 to 14 hours of teaching per week, but the associated reading and writing of essays, projects and other course work assignments make up a full working week.

The Autumn and Winter terms include space for departmental reading weeks, which allow those in participating departments to read around the subject, engage in project work or attend course events.

Individual degree programme pages contain specific details on teaching methods for each programme.

Examination and assessment

In almost all of our undergraduate degrees you will be examined at the end of each year in at least some of the courses taken in that year. In line with our increasingly diverse curricula, however, there is a growing use of alternative ways of assessing progress, such as in-year essays and projects, that complement exams and contribute to end-of-year grades. Our assessments aim to enhance broader skills development to prepare students for life beyond LSE.

Individual degree programme pages contain specific details on examination and assessment for each programme.

What will LSE do if the government announces another 'lockdown' in London?

Should the health situation in London change, and in line with UK Government policy, LSE would strive to retain as much as possible of its student education provision on campus. In the case of more stringent public health measures, all teaching provision and any campus-based assessments would also move to a fully online format based on educational and disciplinary informed choices about the most appropriate combination of live and pre-recorded delivery.