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How to select your LSE Summer School course(s)

A blog article from Summer School student Jude Ogbonna.

Image of Summer School student Jude Ogbonna

5 min read

How to select your LSE Summer School course(s)

An important step in making the most out of your Summer School experience

Broadly speaking, the motivations for taking a course at a summer school are to gain knowledge and experience and to earn academic credits that will contribute towards your degree. Depending on your motivations, there are a number of factors that will influence your decision regarding which course to take at LSE Summer School. I identified five factors to consider when making this decision.

These are: whether you’d be able to transfer the credits to your home academic institution, the dates for the sessions you’d like to attend, whether you’d be able to apply the knowledge gained from the course to your other activities, the level of challenge posed by the courses, and the experiences of past students. I’ll briefly discuss each of these factors below.

Transferability of academic credits

If your primary aim is to earn academic credits, you need to find out beforehand if the credits obtained from a course can be transferred to your home academic institution. You also need to find out what the requirements for transferring the credits are. It’ll be a very unfortunate (and expensive!) mistake to take a course in which you’re unable to transfer credits without realising it until it’s too late.

Preferred dates of sessions

The range of courses offered at the Summer School differ depending on the session. Hence, depending on the flexibility of your schedule over the summer, you could either attend the sessions during which your preferred courses are taught, or select your preferred courses from the sessions held during dates when you’re free to attend the Summer School.

Applicability of gained knowledge

The main question to ask yourself here is ‘Which courses will best prepare me for my immediate and future plans?’ If there are activities such as courses, degree programmes, internships, or jobs that you’re currently involved with or targeting, it’ll be useful to select a course where you can gain knowledge that is applicable to those activities.

Level of challenge posed by the course

In general, the higher the course level, the more difficult the course content will be. This is denoted by the number in the course code, ranging from 100-300, with 300 level courses being the most advanced. Another consideration is whether you’d prefer to take a course from a subject area that you’re already familiar with or take a course from a less familiar subject area (you could do both if you’ll take more than one course). You’ll probably find courses from subject areas that you’re less familiar with more difficult. It is important to keep the potential difficulty of a course in mind especially if you intend to transfer the academic credits, in which case you must write and pass the course exams. However, to gain meaningful knowledge, it’s not useful to select a course solely because you may find it easy. It’s more worthwhile to select a course that will pose the right level of challenge.

Experiences of past students

Chances are most of the courses you’re considering taking at the Summer School have already been taken by students in previous years. First-hand accounts are some of the most valuable ways to gain insight into a course. You can join live webinars hosted by LSE Summer School and listen to the experiences of past students, or use Unibuddy (an online chat platform for connecting prospective students and academic institutions) to directly contact past students. If you know someone from your home university who’s previously attended the Summer School, or you’re fortunate enough for LSE to organise an event in your town or city, it’ll be a great opportunity to ask your questions in person.

In addition to the points above, some courses may be eligible for a tuition waiver through the Academic Director's Scholarship, which could also influence your course of choice. Whatever your motivations are, selecting the right course will make your stay at LSE Summer School more productive and fulfilling, thereby enhancing your overall experience.


This blog was written by one of our 2022 Student Ambassadors, who are here to share their stories and help you understand the summer school experience at LSE.