- London School of Economics
London School of Economics
LSE is the leading social science institution in the world, with many of the world’s leading experts in their fields and cutting edge research.
The School offers courses not only in economics and political science, but also in a wide range of social science subjects, taught within 19 departments and a number of interdisciplinary institutes.
Undergraduate degree programmes:
(BSc/BA/LLB) – three-year or four-year first-degree programmes in a broad range of subjects, offering a useful intellectual training in different approaches to social questions.
Graduate degree programmes:
Taught: (Diploma/MSc/MA/MPA/LLM) – one or two-year programmes. Many blend practical experience with rigorous academic analysis so as to broaden the knowledge of practitioners in certain fields.
Research: (MPhil/MRes/PhD) – programmes producing professional social scientists, well versed in a range of social science techniques and methods, and in-depth knowledge of a particular area.
University of London International Programmes:
(BSc/Diploma programmes) – study through distance learning, with the aid of subject guides and other materials provided by LSE.
Students from all over the world have been welcomed at LSE since the foundation of the School in 1895. At present there are over 150 countries represented on campus, making LSE a uniquely international and cosmopolitan university. LSE provides you with an opportunity to study the social sciences from a truly global perspective, surrounded by an entirely international community.
As an international undergraduate student, you will be guaranteed accommodation in either an LSE or a University of London Hall of Residence, provided you apply by the deadline of 31 May. Unfortunately we cannot guarantee a place for every graduate student, although places are available in LSE halls and intercollegiate halls.
There are a number of ways in which you can find out more about LSE. Each year we hold two undergraduate Open Days. In 2016 these will be held in April and July.
Alternatively, you could join a campus tour, or undertake your own self guided tour, and staff are more than happy to answer any questions you have – simply stop by Student Marketing and Recruitment (6th Floor, Tower One).
If you can’t make it to us in person, you can view our Study at LSE videos, read one of our student bloggers, email an alum or meet one of our representatives when they visit your local area.
Schools / Colleges / Departments / Courses / Faculties
|Department of Accounting||Department of Media and Communications|
|Department of Anthropology||Department of Methodology|
|Department of Economic History||Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method|
|Department of Economics||Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science|
|Department of Finance||Department of Social Policy|
|Department of Geography and Environment||Department of Sociology|
|Department of Government||Department of Statistics|
|Department of International Development||European Institute|
|Department of International History||Gender Institute|
|Department of International Relations||International Inequalities Institute|
|Department of Law||Institute of Public Affairs|
|Department of Management||Language Centre|
|Department of Mathematics||Marshall Institute for Philanthropy and Social Entrepreneurship|
The London School of Economics was founded in 1895 by Beatrice and Sidney Webb, initially funded by a bequest of £20,000 from the estate of Henry Hunt Hutchinson. Hutchinson, a lawyer and member of the Fabian Society, left the money in trust, to be put “towards advancing its objects in any way they deem advisable”. The five trustees were Sidney Webb, Edward Pease, Constance Hutchinson, William de Mattos and William Clark.
LSE records that the proposal to establish the school was conceived during a breakfast meeting on 4 August 1894, between the Webbs,Graham Wallas and George Bernard Shaw. The proposal was accepted by the trustees in February 1895 and LSE held its first classes in October of that year, in rooms at 9 John Street, Adelphi, in the City of Westminster.
The School joined the federal University of London in 1900, becoming the university’s Faculty of Economics and awarding degrees of the University from 1902. 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; the building was opened in 1922.
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.)
The dispute also concerned the question of the economist’s role, and whether this should be as a detached expert or a practical adviser. LSE and Cambridge lawyers and economists worked jointly in the 1920s—for example, the London and Cambridge Economic Service—but the 1930s brought a return to the dispute as LSE and Cambridge argued over the solution to the economic depression.
LSE’s Lionel Robbins and Friedrich Hayek, and Cambridge’s John Maynard Keynes were chief figures in the intellectual disagreement between the institutions. The controversy widened from deflation versus demand management as a solution to the economic problems of the day, to broader conceptions of economics and macroeconomics. Robbins and Hayek’s views were based on the Austrian School of Economics with its emphasis on free trade and anti-interventionism, while Keynes advanced a brand of economic theory now known as Keynesianism which advocates active policy responses by the public sector.
During World War II, the School decamped from London to the University of Cambridge, occupying buildings belonging to Peterhouse.
The School’s arms, including its motto and beaver mascot, were adopted in February 1922, on the recommendation of a committee of twelve, including eight students, which was established to research the matter. The Latin motto, “Rerum cognoscere causas”, is taken from Virgil’s Georgics. Its English translation is “to Know the Causes of Things”and it was suggested by Professor Edwin Cannan. The beaver mascot was selected for its associations with “foresight, constructiveness and industrious behaviour”.
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 Giddensand his predecessor, John Ashworth”, and raises money from foreigner students’ high fees, which are attracted by academic stars such asRichard Sennett.
Recently, the School has been active in opposing British government proposals to introduce compulsory ID cards, researching into the associated costs of the scheme, and shifting public and government opinion on the issue. 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.
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, Independent Police Commission, Migration Advisory Committee, UN Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation,London Finance Commission, HS2 Limited, the UK government’s Infrastructure Commission and advising on Architecture and Urbanism for the London 2012 Olympics
It has ranked in the top four best global universities according to employers for the past five years. The vast majority of LSE students are engaged in employment or further study within six months of graduating and the School is listed first for employability in the 2012 Sunday Times Good University Guide. The most common sectors for LSE graduates to work in within six months of graduating are banking, finance and accountancy; development, NGOs and international organisations; consultancy; education; and central and local government. In addition, the average starting salary of graduates who have completed both undergraduate and graduate degrees with LSE is significantly higher than the overall national average salary with £28,100 (undergraduates) and £35,400 (graduates).
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). She is also a former Convenor of the Department of Geography and Environment, and served as Deputy Director from 1998–2004.
In 2013, the Grimshaw International Relations Society, one of the oldest and most prestigious student organisations on campus, was caught in a furore over a BBC Panoramadocumentary on North Korea, filmed inside the repressive regime, which had been sanctioned by high-level DPRK officials. The ‘edutainment trip’ caused international media attention, as a BBC journalist was posing as a professor from LSE covertly.There was debate as to where this put the student’s lives in jeopardy in the repressive regime if a reporter had been exposed. The North Korea government made hostile threats towards the students and LSE, after the publicity, which forced an apology from the BBC.
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