Choosing your courses

 Course guides

The undergraduate course guides represent the 300+ courses available in the current academic year. General Course students may study any combination of undergraduate courses, and you should look at the guides in detail before deciding on your courses.

There are three steps to choosing your courses at LSE:

1) Indicate your course preferences on your application form. These will be used by the selectors when assessing your application. However, this is not a confirmation that you will be taking the courses when you arrive at LSE and you can change your mind later on.

2) Fill in the Course Preference Survey. This will be sent to you in the summer if you have been made (and accepted) an offer and will be used to allocate you to an academic department. Your courses are not officially confirmed until step 3.

3) Register for your courses in LSE for You at the beginning of September. You will be sent instructions on how to do this closer to the time and will have a meeting with the General Course Dean upon arrival at LSE to discuss your choices. If a course is capped or requires permission, please see the relevant section below. 

When choosing your courses, you should pay attention to the following course information:

Course Level

There are three levels for undergraduate courses at LSE, designated 100, 200 and 300 level:

  • 100 level courses are introductory courses suitable for students with no previous undergraduate study in the subject. These are typically taken by LSE students in their first year of study.
  • 200 level courses are intermediate courses broadly equivalent to junior year courses in the US. These are typically taken by LSE students in their second and final years.
  • 300 level courses are advanced courses equivalent to senior year or master’s courses in the US. These are typically taken by LSE students in their final year.


In selecting your courses, you should be aware of any pre-requisites in order to be eligible to enrol. In addition, because of the tightly constrained nature of degree regulations at LSE, many 300 level courses have ‘unspoken’ or ‘assumed ’pre-requisites where the material covered in 200 level courses is simply taken as a ‘given’ starting point for the 300 level course.

This means that General Course students predominantly take 200 level courses, and we do not usually recommend that students take more than one or two 300 level courses as they are exceptionally demanding.

Permissions and 'capped' courses

Some courses require you to obtain the permission of the Course Coordinator in order to enrol on them. This can only be obtained once you have arrived at LSE in late September.

A small number of courses are listed as “not available to General Course students”. Please do not select any of these courses as you will be asked to change them at a later date.

Some departments have capped courses, which means that places will be limited. On the LSE for You course choice system these courses are labelled as ‘capped’. These courses are offered on a first come first served basis and as soon as the number of students registered reaches the capped number, the status of these courses will change to “full” and no one else will be able to select them.

Students can change their courses with relative ease in the first week of Autumn Term.  Requests for late course changes may be approved until the end of the third week of the Term. As such, capped courses may become available during this period. They are again offered on a first come first served basis within LSE for You. During this time you can also audit lectures from different courses.

Units and credits

Courses at LSE are either a Full Unit (1.0), or Half Unit (0.5). Full unit courses run across the whole year, whereas half unit courses will typically take place in one term only, either Autumn Term (AT) or Winter Term (WT).

As a General Course student, you must select four units’ worth of courses, or the equivalent in half units. You should take no more than four half units, combined with two full units, and these should ideally be balanced between the two terms.

The course guide will show how many units the course is and when it runs, as well as how it is assessed.

The number of credits a course is worth, and whether it is eligible for credit transfer, is determined by your home institution and not LSE.

If you are considering studying economics at LSE, please read the course selection notes in our guide.