Personal Statement Lse Word Limit For Common

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It's the ultimate challenge: write to your prospective university proving that you're 100% committed to your chosen subject, capable of studying it at degree level – and that you should be chosen above other candidates.

Oh, and by the way, you only have 4,000 characters to play with.

My predicament, as I muddled through my Ucas application two Septembers ago, was that I was interested in too many subject areas – and some of them were completely unrelated.

How do you prove to a university that you're the most suitable candidate to study computer science, but also art, accounting and architecture?

I'm not the only one who has found the personal statement requirements limiting, and thankfully it looks like things are about to change.

A recent review of the university admissions process suggests that Ucas should cater to students with varying interests.

It proposes "allowing an optional section of the personal statement to be tailored to each choice and allowing additional personal statements in defined circumstances."

Providing an optional section with the application form seems like a good idea. The alternative – simply allowing students to submit several, entirely distinct personal statements – could lead many to waste time in the run up to exams.

Students invest a lot of effort to ensure their personal statements are engaging and, most importantly, that they relate their skills and extra-curricular achievements to the chosen subject area.

Unfortunately, this year's sixth formers won't benefit from the changes since they are unlikely to be implemented for another four years. So what should students do in the meantime?

The Ucas website recommends students speak to a careers adviser if they are thinking about applying for courses that share no common themes.

It's also a good idea to speak to current students and visit campuses to get a feel for each course.

In the end, I decided to dedicate my personal statement to one subject area, knowing that eventually I'd need to make up my mind anyway. I picked five computer related degrees and with some trepidation, hit the submit button.

The Ucas process is a distant memory now and, having just finished my first year of study, I'm convinced that I made the right choice.

But I wonder about the students who will begin the process in September – will they restrict themselves to one subject area, and then live to regret it?

Coat of arms of the London School of Economics and Political Science

MottoRerum cognoscere causas (Latin)

Motto in English

"To Understand the Causes of Things"
TypePublic research university
Endowment£132.7 million (as of 31 July 2017)[1]
Budget£347.4 million (2016–2017)[1]
ChairmanDame Shirley Pearce
ChancellorThe Princess Royal(as Chancellor of the University of London)
DirectorDame Minouche Shafik
VisitorAndrea Leadsom(ex officio as Lord President of the Council)

Academic staff

1,655 (2015/16)[2]
Students10,440 (2015/16)[3]
Undergraduates4,700 (2015/16)[3]
Postgraduates5,740 (2015/16)[3]
LocationLondon, United Kingdom
Coordinates: 51°30′50″N0°07′00″W / 51.51389°N 0.11667°W / 51.51389; -0.11667
NewspaperThe Beaver
ColoursPurple, black and gold[4]
AffiliationsACU, CEMS, EUA, G5, Russell Group, University of London, Universities UK, Golden Triangle

The London School of Economics (officially The London School of Economics and Political Science, often referred to as LSE) is a publicresearch university located in London, England and a constituent college of the federal University of London. Founded in 1895 by Fabian Society members Sidney Webb, Beatrice Webb, Graham Wallas, and George Bernard Shaw for the betterment of society, LSE joined the University of London in 1900 and established its first degree courses under the auspices of the University in 1901.[5] The LSE has awarded its own degrees since 2008,[6] prior to which it awarded degrees of the University of London.

LSE is located in Westminster, central London, near the boundary between Covent Garden and Holborn. The area is historically known as Clare Market. The LSE has more than 10,000 students and 3,300 staff, just under half of whom come from outside the UK.[7] It had a consolidated income of £353.1 million in 2016/17, of which £32.1 million was from research grants.[1] One hundred and fifty five nationalities are represented amongst LSE's student body and the school has the highest percentage of international students (70%) of all British universities.[8] Despite its name, the school is organised into 25 academic departments and institutes which conduct teaching and research across a range of legal studies and social sciences.[7]

LSE is a member of the Russell Group and is generally considered a part of the "Golden Triangle" of universities in south-east England, along with the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, University College London, Imperial College London, and King's College London.[9][10][11][12][13][14][15] It is second in the world for social sciences in the QS Rankings behind Harvard University, ranked in the top twenty in the THE Rankings and in the top fifty by all four major global rankings.[16][17][18][19] Overall, it is ranked among the top ten universities nationally by two of the three UK tables,[20][21][22] while internationally it is ranked in the top 50 by two of the four major global rankings[23][24] and in the top 100 by a third.[19][25] In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, the School had the highest proportion of world-leading research among research submitted of any British non-specialist university.[26] The LSE is also a member of academic organisations such as the Association of Commonwealth Universities and the European University Association.

LSE has produced many notable alumni in the fields of law, history, economics, philosophy, psychology, business, literature, media and politics. Alumni and staff include 52 past or present heads of state or government and 20 members of the current[when?]British House of Commons. To 2017, 26% (or 13 out of 49) of all the Nobel Prizes in Economics have been awarded or jointly awarded to LSE alumni, current staff or former staff, making up 16% (13 out of 79) of all laureates. LSE alumni and staff have also won 3 Nobel Peace Prizes and 2 Nobel Prizes in Literature.[27][28] Out of all European universities, LSE has educated the most billionaires according to a 2014 global census of U.S dollar billionaires.[29] LSE graduates earn higher incomes on average than those of any other British university.[30]


Main article: History of the London School of Economics


The London School of Economics was founded in 1895[31] by Beatrice and Sidney Webb,[32] initially funded by a bequest of £20,000[33][34] from the estate of Henry Hunt Hutchinson. Hutchinson, a lawyer[33] and member of the Fabian Society,[35][36] left the money in trust, to be put "towards advancing its [The Fabian Society's] objects in any way they [the trustees] deem advisable".[36] The five trustees were Sidney Webb, Edward Pease, Constance Hutchinson, William de Mattos and William Clark.[33]

LSE records that the proposal to establish the school was conceived during a breakfast meeting on 4 August 1894, between the Webbs, Louis Flood and George Bernard Shaw.[31] The proposal was accepted by the trustees in February 1895[36] and LSE held its first classes in October of that year, in rooms at 9 John Street, Adelphi,[37] in the City of Westminster.

20th century[edit]

The School joined the federal University of London in 1900, and was recognised as a Faculty of Economics of the university. The University of London degrees of BSc (Econ) and DSc (Econ) were established in 1901, the first university degrees dedicated to the social sciences.[37] Expanding rapidly over the following years, the school moved initially to the nearby 10 Adelphi Terrace, then to Clare Market and Houghton Street. The foundation stone of the Old Building, on Houghton Street, was laid by King George V in 1920;[31] the building was opened in 1922.[37]

The 1930s economic debate between LSE and Cambridge is well known in academic circles. Rivalry between academic opinion at LSE and Cambridge goes back to the school's roots when LSE's Edwin Cannan (1861–1935), Professor of Economics, and Cambridge's Professor of Political Economy, Alfred Marshall (1842–1924), the leading economist of the day, argued about the bedrock matter of economics and whether the subject should be considered as an organic whole. (Marshall disapproved of LSE's separate listing of pure theory and its insistence on economic history).[38]

The dispute also concerned the question of the economist's role, and whether this should be as a detached expert or a practical adviser.[39] Despite the traditional view that the LSE and Cambridge were fierce rivals through the 1920s and 30s, they worked together in the 1920s on the London and Cambridge Economic Service.[40] However, the 1930s brought a return to disputes as economists at the two universities argued over how best to address the economic problems caused by the Great Depression.[41]

The main figures in this debate were John Maynard Keynes from Cambridge and the LSE's Friedrich Hayek. The LSE Economist Lionel Robbins was also heavily involved. Starting off as a disagreement over whether demand management or deflation was the better solution to the economic problems of the time, it eventually embraced much wider concepts of economics and macroeconomics. Keynes put forward the theories now known as Keynesian economics, involving the active participation of the state and public sector, while Hayek and Robbins followed the Austrian School, which emphasised free trade and opposed state involvement.[41]

During World War II, the School decamped from London to the University of Cambridge, occupying buildings belonging to Peterhouse.[42]

The School's arms,[43] including its motto and beaver mascot, were adopted in February 1922,[44] on the recommendation of a committee of twelve, including eight students, which was established to research the matter.[45] The Latin motto, "Rerum cognoscere causas", is taken from Virgil's Georgics. Its English translation is "to Know the Causes of Things"[44] and it was suggested by Professor Edwin Cannan.[31] The beaver mascot was selected for its associations with "foresight, constructiveness and industrious behaviour".[45]

21st century[edit]

LSE continues to have a wide impact within British society, through its relationships and influence in politics, business and law. The Guardian described such influence in 2005 when it stated:

Once again the political clout of the school, which seems to be closely wired into parliament, Whitehall and the Bank of England, is being felt by ministers.... The strength of LSE is that it is close to the political process: Mervyn King, was a former LSE professor. The chairman of the House of Commons education committee, Barry Sheerman, sits on its board of governors, along with Labour peer Lord (Frank) Judd. Also on the board are Tory MPs Virginia Bottomley and Richard Shepherd, as well as Lord Saatchi and Lady Howe.[46]

Commenting in 2001 on the rising status of the LSE, the British magazine The Economist stated that "two decades ago the LSE was still the poor relation of the University of London's other colleges. Now... it regularly follows Oxford and Cambridge in league tables of research output and teaching quality and is at least as well-known abroad as Oxbridge". According to the magazine, the School "owes its success to the single-minded, American-style exploitation of its brand name and political connections by the recent directors, particularly Mr Giddens and his predecessor, John Ashworth" and raises money from foreign students' high fees, which are attracted by academic stars such as Richard Sennett.[47]

As of 2006, the School was active in opposing British government proposals to introduce compulsory ID cards,[48][49] researching into the associated costs of the scheme, and shifting public and government opinion on the issue.[50] The institution is also popular with politicians and MPs to launch new policy, legislation and manifesto pledges, prominently with the launch of the Liberal Democrats Manifesto Conference under Nick Clegg on 12 January 2008.[51][52]

2010 to present[edit]

In the early 2010s, its academics have been at the forefront of both national and international government consultations, reviews and policy, including representation on the UK Airports Commission,[54] Independent Police Commission,[55] Migration Advisory Committee,[56] UN Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation,[57] London Finance Commission,[58]HS2 Limited,[59] the UK government's Infrastructure Commission[60] and advising on Architecture and Urbanism for the London 2012 Olympics[61]

Craig Calhoun took up the post of Director in September 2012. Its previous Director, Judith Rees, is also chair of the school's Grantham Institute on Climate Change, an adviser to the World Bank as well as sitting on the UN Secretary General's Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation and the International Scientific Advisory Council (ISAC).[62] She is also a former Convenor of the Department of Geography and Environment and served as Deputy Director from 1998–2004.

In February 2016, Calhoun announced his intention to step down at the end of the academic year, in order to become president of the Berggruen Institute.[63] In September 2016, Bank of England Deputy Governor Nemat Shafik was announced as LSE's new Director and she is set to assume the position in September 2017.[64]


See also: London School of Economics Gaddafi links

In February 2011, LSE had to face the consequences of matriculating one of Muammar Gaddafi's sons, while accepting a £1.5m donation to the university from his family.[65]

In March 2011, Howard Davies resigned over allegations about the institution's links to the Libyan regime.[66] The LSE announced in a statement that it had accepted his resignation with "great regret" and that it had set up an external inquiry into the school's relationship with the Libyan regime and Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, to be conducted by the former lord chief justice Harry Woolf.[66]

In 2013, the LSE was caught in a furore over a BBCPanorama documentary on North Korea, filmed inside the repressive regime by undercover journalists attached to a trip by the LSE's Grimshaw Society, a student society of the international relations department. The trip had been sanctioned by high-level North Korean officials.[67][68] The trip caused international media attention, as a BBC journalist was posing as a part of LSE.[69] There was debate as to where this put the student's lives in jeopardy in the repressive regime if a reporter had been exposed.[70] The North Korea government made hostile threats towards the students and LSE, after the publicity, which forced an apology from the BBC.[68]

In August 2015, it was revealed that the university was paid approximately £40,000 for a "glowing report" for Camila Batmanghelidjh's charity, Kids Company.[71] The study was used by Batmanghelidjh to prove that the charity provided good value for money and was well managed. However, the university did not disclose that the study was funded by the charity and claims made by the report have since been discredited.[72]

Campus and estate[edit]

Since 1902, LSE has been based at Clare Market and Houghton Street in Westminster. It is surrounded by a number of important institutions including the Royal Courts of Justice, Lincoln's Inn, Royal College of Surgeons, Sir John Soane's Museum, British Museum, London's Theatreland and the shops of Covent Garden and the West End. It lies near The City of London financial district and the Houses of Parliament.

In 1920, King George V laid the foundation of the Old Building, which remains the principal building on campus, though the focus of the campus has moved towards the adjacent Lincoln's Inn Fields in recent years. The campus now occupies an almost continuous group of around 30 buildings between Kingsway and the Aldwych. Alongside teaching and academic space, the institution also owns 11 student halls of residence across London, two public houses, a West End theatre (the Peacock), early years centre, NHS medical centre and extensive sports ground in Berrylands, south London. The School's campus is noted for its numerous public art installations which include Richard Wilson's Square the Block,[73] Michael Brown's Blue Rain,[74]Christopher Le Brun's Desert Window.[75]

Since the early 2000s, the entire campus has undergone an extensive refurbishment project and a major fund-raising "Campaign for LSE" raised over £100 million in what was one of the largest university fund-raising exercises outside North America. This process was begun with the £35 million renovation of the Lionel Robbins Building by Sir Norman Foster to house the British Library of Political and Economic Science (BLPES), the world's largest social science and political library and the second largest single entity library in Britain, after the British Library at King's Cross.[76]

In 2003, LSE purchased the former Public Trustee building at 24 Kingsway, and engaged Sir Nicholas Grimshaw to redesign it into an ultra-modern educational facility at a total cost of over £45 million – increasing the size of the campus by 120,000 square feet (11,000 m2). The New Academic Building opened for teaching in October 2008, with an official opening by Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh on 5 November 2008.[77] In November 2009 the School purchased the adjacent Sardinia House to house three academic departments and the nearby Old White Horse public house, before acquiring the freehold of the grade-II listed Land Registry Building at 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields in October 2010, which was reopened in March 2013 by HRH The Princess Royal as the new home for the Department of Economics, International Growth Centre and its associated economic research centres.

Saw Swee Hock Student Centre[edit]

The first new building on the site for more than 40 years, the Saw Swee Hock Student Centre, opened in January 2014 following an architectural design competition managed by RIBA Competitions. The building provides new accommodation for the LSE Students' Union, LSE accommodation office and LSE careers service as well as a bar, events space, gymnasium, rooftop terrace, learning café, dance studio and media centre.[78] The building, designed as a showpiece for the City of Westminster and Midtown was recognised as having a low environmental impact receiving an 'Outstanding' status under BREEAM, and in 2012 was one of three winners of the New London Award in the Education category.[79][80] In May 2014 the Saw Swee Hock Student Centre won the RIBA London Building of the Year Award.[81]


It is currently embarking on redevelopment and expansion with the development of a £120 million new facility designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners following the completion of a global design competition managed by RIBA Competitions. Once complete in 2018 the new development - the Global Centre for the Social Sciences - will house the Departments of Government, International Relations and the European Institute and feature a new square at the centre of the campus.[82]

In September 2013, LSE purchased the freehold of 44 Lincoln's Inn Fields, previously the home of the Francis Crick Institute's laboratories until 2016.[83] The building will be demolished in 2017 to make way for the new Paul Marshall Building which will house academic departments (Management, Accounting and Finance), sports facilities and the new Marshall Institute for Philanthropy and Social Entrepreneurship.[84] In 2015, LSE brought its ownership of buildings on Lincoln's Inn Fields to six with the purchase of 5 Lincoln's Inn Fields on the north side of the square which has since been converted into faculty accommodation.[85]

On 15 November 2017, LSE announced that it has achieved contract completion on the purchase to acquire the Nuffield Building, which is adjacent to the Lincoln's Inn Fields, from the Royal College of Surgeons. According to the contract the building will be transferred to LSE after renovations in 2020.[86]

Location and transport[edit]

LSE is situated in the City of Westminster between Covent Garden, Aldwych and Temple Bar, bordering the City of London. It encompasses much of Lincoln's Inn Fields and lies adjacent to the Royal Courts of Justice and Kingsway on what used to be Clare Market. The School lies within the London Congestion Charge zone.

The nearest London Underground stations are Holborn, Temple and Covent Garden. Charing Cross, at the Trafalgar Square end of Strand, and the City Thameslink entrance at Ludgate Hill are the nearest mainline stations, whilst London Waterloo is a walk or bus across the River Thames. Buses to Aldwych, Kingsway and the Royal Courts of Justice contain stops which are designated as 'alight here for LSE'.

Organisation and administration[edit]


Although LSE is a constituent college of the federal University of London, it is in many ways comparable with free-standing, self-governing and independently funded universities, and it awards its own degrees.

LSE is incorporated under the Companies Act as a company limited by guarantee and is an exempt charity within the meaning of Schedule Two of the Charities Act 1993.[87] The principal governance bodies of the LSE are: the LSE Council; the Court of Governors; the Academic Board; and the Director and Director’s Management Team.[87]

The LSE Council is responsible for strategy and its members are company directors of the school. It has specific responsibilities in relation to areas including: the monitoring of institutional performance; finance and financial sustainability; audit arrangements; estate strategy; human resource and employment policy; health and safety; "educational character and mission", and student experience. The council is supported in carrying out its role by a number of committees which report directly to it.[87]

The Court of Governors deals with certain constitutional matters and has pre-decision discussions on key policy issues and the involvement of individual governors in the school's activities. The court has the following formal powers: the appointment of members of court, its subcommittees and of the council; election of the chair and vice chairs of the court and council and honorary fellows of the School; the amendment of the Memorandum and Articles of Association; and the appointment of external auditors.[87]

The Academic Board is LSE's principal academic body, and considers all major issues of general policy affecting the academic life of the School and its development. It is chaired by the director, with staff and student membership, and is supported by its own structure of committees. The Vice Chair of the Academic Board serves as a non-director member of the council and makes a termly report to the Council.[87]

Director and president[edit]

The director is the head of LSE and its chief executive officer, responsible for executive management and leadership on academic issues. Since 2013, the addition of the name 'president' has also been adopted alongside[88] signalling an additional title more widely understood when travelling or undertaking business globally. The director and president reports to and is accountable to the Council. The director is also the accountable officer for the purposes of the Higher Education Funding Council for England Financial Memorandum. The School's current interim Director is the Professor of Law, Julia Black, who is due to stand down on 1 September 2017 when she will be replaced by Dame Nemat Shafik.

The director and president is supported by a deputy director and provost who oversees the heads of academic departments and institutes, three pro-directors each with designated portfolios (teaching and learning, research and planning and resources) and the School secretary who acts as company secretary.

Academic departments and institutes[edit]

LSE's research and teaching is organised into a network of independent academic departments established by the LSE Council, the School's governing body, on the advice of the Academic Board, the School's senior academic authority. There are currently 27 academic departments or institutes.

  • Department of Accounting
  • Department of Anthropology
  • Department of Economic History
  • Department of Economics
  • Department of Finance
  • Department of Geography and Environment
  • Department of Gender Studies
  • Department of Health Policy
  • Department of Government
  • Department of International Development
  • Department of International History
  • Department of International Relations
  • Department of Law
  • Department of Management
  • Department of Mathematics
  • Department of Media and Communications
  • Department of Methodology
  • Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
  • Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science
  • Department of Social Policy
  • Department of Sociology
  • Department of Statistics
  • European Institute
  • International Inequalities Institute
  • Institute of Public Affairs
  • Language Centre
  • Marshall Institute for Philanthropy and Social Entrepreneurship[89]


The LSE group has an endowment (as of 31 July 2016) of £119M and had a total income for 2015–16 (excluding donations and endowments) of £311M (£293M in 2014–15) with expenditure of £307M (2014–15 £302M). Key sources of income included £177M from tuition fees and education contacts (2014–15 £167M), £25M from funding council grants (2014–15 £22M), £32M from research grants (2014–15 – £27M) and £5.3M from investment income (2014–15 £4.7M).[90]

The Times Higher Education Pay Survey 2017 revealed that, among larger, non-specialist institutions, LSE professors and academics were the highest paid in the UK, with average incomes of £103,886 and £65,177 respectively.[91]


The London School of Economics (LSE) is aiming to increase the size of its endowment fund to more than £1bn, which would make it one of the best resourced institutions in the UK and the world. The effort was initiated in 2016 by Lord Myners, then chairman of the LSE’s Council and Court of Governors. The plan includes working with wealthy alumni of LSE to make large contributions, increasing the annual budget surplus, and launching a new, widescale alumni donor campaign. The plan to grow LSE's endowment to more than £1bn has been continued by Lord Myners' successors at the LSE.[92] The LSE has stated that currently "limited endowment funding constrains our ability to offer 'needs blind' admission to students".[90]

Academic year[edit]

LSE continues to adopt a three-term structure and has not moved to semesters. Michaelmas Term runs from October to mid-December, Lent Term from mid-January to late March and Summer Term from late April to mid-June. Certain departments operate reading weeks in early November and mid-February.[93]

Logo, arms and mascot[edit]

The school's historic coat of arms is used on official documentation including degree certificates and transcripts and includes the motto – rerum cognoscere causas, a line taken from Virgil’s Georgics meaning "to know the causes of things", together with the school's mascot – a beaver. Both these symbols, adopted in February 1922, continue to be held in high regard to this day with the beaver chosen because of its representation as "a hard working and industrious yet sociable animal", attributes that the founders hoped LSE students to both possess and aspire to.[94] The school's weekly newspaper is still entitled The Beaver, Rosebery residence hall's bar is called the Tipsy Beaver and LSE sports teams are known as the Beavers.[95] The institution has two sets of colours – brand and academic – red being the brand colour used on signage, publications and in buildings across campus and purple, black and gold for academic purposes including presentation ceremonies and graduation dress.

LSE's present 'red block' logo was adopted as part of a rebrand in the early 2000s, before which the school's coat of arms was used exclusively to represent the institution. As a trademarked brand, it is carefully protected but can be produced in various forms to reflect different requirements.[96] In its full form it contains the full name of the institution to the right of the block with a further small empty red square at the end, but it is adapted for each academic department or professional service division to provide a cohesive brand across the institution.

Academic profile[edit]


Offer Rate (%)[98]38.437.137.036.428.7
Yield (%)24.324.825.527.028.8
Applicant/Enrolled Ratio10.7210.8710.6010.1912.12
Average Entry Tariff[100]n/an/a537518532

Admission to LSE is highly competitive: the school received 18,000 applications for 1,600 undergraduate places in 2016, or 11.25 applicants per place.[101] All undergraduate applications, including international applications, are made through UCAS.[101] LSE had the 4th highest average entry qualification for undergraduates of any UK university in 2015-16, with new students averaging 537 UCAS points (pre-2017 tariff),[102] equivalent to just below A*A*A*A in A-level grades.[103] The university gives offers of admission to 37.0% of its applicants, the 3rd lowest amongst the Russell Group.[104] For 2017 entry, the university was one of only a few mainstream universities (along with Cambridge, Imperial College, Oxford, St Andrews, UCL, and Warwick) to have no courses available in Clearing.[105]

Postgraduate students at the LSE are required to have a first or upper second Class UK honours degree, or its foreign equivalent for master's degrees, while direct entry to the MPhil/PhD programme requires a UK taught master's with merit or foreign equivalent. Admission to the diploma requires as UK degree or equivalent plus relevant experience.[106] The intake to applications ratio for postgraduate degree programmes is very competitive; the MSc Financial Mathematics had a ratio of just over 4% in 2016.[107][108]

31.6% of LSE's undergraduates are privately educated, the ninth highest proportion amongst mainstream British universities.[109] In the 2016-17 academic year, the university had a domicile breakdown of 33:18:50 of UK:EU:non-EU students respectively with a female to male ratio of 52:47.[110]

Programmes and degrees[edit]

LSE is the only university in the United Kingdom dedicated solely to the study and research of social sciences. LSE awards a range of academic degrees spanning bachelors, masters and PhDs. The post-nominals awarded are the degree abbreviations used commonly among British universities.

The School offers over 140 MSc programmes, 5 MPA programmes, an LLM, 30 BSc programmes, an LLB, 4 BA programmes (including International History and Geography), and 35 PhD programmes.[111][112] Other subjects pioneered by LSE include anthropology, criminology, social psychology, sociology and social policy; with international relations being first taught as a discipline at LSE.[113] Courses are split across more than thirty research centres and nineteen departments, plus a Language Centre.[114]

Since programmes are all within the social sciences, they closely resemble each other, and undergraduate students usually take at least one course module in a subject outside of their degree for their first and second years of study, promoting a broader education in the social sciences.[citation needed] At undergraduate level, some departments have as few as 90 students across the three years of study.[citation needed] Since September 2010,[citation needed] it has been compulsory for first year undergraduates to participate in LSE 100: Understanding the Causes of Things alongside normal studies.[115]

From 1902, following its absorption into the University of London, and up until 2007, all degrees were awarded by the federal university, in common with all other colleges of the university. This system was changed in 2007 to enable some colleges to award their own degrees.[citation needed] LSE was granted the power to begin awarding its own degrees from July 2008.[6] All students entering from the 2007-8 academic year onwards received an LSE degree, while students who started before this date were issued University of London degrees.[116][117][118] In conjunction with NYU Stern and HEC Paris, LSE also offers the TRIUM Executive MBA. This was globally ranked third among executive MBAs by the Financial Times in 2016.[119]


In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, LSE had the joint highest percentage of world-leading research among research submitted of any institution that entered more than one unit of assessment[120] and was ranked third by cumulative grade point average with a score of 3.35, beating both Oxford and Cambridge.[121] It was ranked 23rd in the country for research power by Research Fortnight based on its REF2014 results, and 28th in research power by the Times Higher Education.[120][122] This followed the Research Assessment Exercise in 2008 where the School was placed second equal nationally on GPA, first for fraction of world-leading (4*) research and fourth for fraction of world-leading or internationally excellent (3* and 4*) research in LSE's analysis of the results,[123] fourth equal for GPA and 29th for research power in Times Higher Education's analysis,[120] and 27th in research power by Research Fortnight's analysis.[122]

According to analysis of the REF 2014 subject results by Times Higher Education, the School is the UK's top research university in terms of GPA of research submitted in business and management; area studies; and communication, cultural and media studies, library and information management, and second in law; politics and international studies; economics and econometrics; and social work and social policy.[124]

Research centres[edit]

The School houses a number of notable centres including the Centre for the Analysis of Social Exclusion, the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy, the Centre for Macroeconomics, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE Health and Social Care, the Financial Markets Group (founded by former Bank of England governor Sir Mervyn King), the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment (chaired by Lord Stern), LSE Cities, the UK Department for International Development funded International Growth Centre and one of the six the UK government-backed 'What Works Centres' – the What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth.

LSE Institute of Global Affairs[edit]

In late 2014, LSE hired Erik Berglöf, former Chief Economist and Special Advisor to the EBRD to establish a new Institute of Global Affairs with seven regional research centres focusing on Africa, East Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, South Asia, South East Asia and the United States.[125][126] It is joined by the LSE IDEAS think tank, which in a global survey conducted by the University of Pennsylvania in 2015 was jointly ranked as world's second-best university think tanks for the third year running alongside the LSE Public Policy Group, after Harvard University's

Stonework featuring the initials of LSE
The New Academic Building houses the Departments of Management and Law
LSE Campus as viewed from the terrace of the New Academic Building in January 2018, showing the Centre Buildings redevelopment and the demolition of 44 Lincoln's Inn Fields
The George IV, a pub owned by LSE
John Watkins Plaza at the London School of Economics
Houghton Street is the centre of the LSE campus


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