As a student at LSE, you're part of LSE Students' Union - a member led charity which aims to change your life. We're proud to be independent of the School, proud that we have one of the most active Unions in the country and proud that we want to make sure you have a great time at LSE.
If you have any questions about Orientation or anything else at LSE you can get in touch through our Twitter or Facebook, or email us at email@example.com. You can also get in touch with any of the Student Sabbatical officers on the 'Your Representatives' page.
Things to do right now
1. Sign Up for Freshers Updates
2. Like our Orientation Facebook Page
3. Read our Tumblr for stories about orientation
4. Check out our Life in London Page
5. Read about Life as an International Student
6. Fill out the incoming Postgraduate Student Survey
7. Check out all the amazing events happening!
Orientation 2012 is finally here! It's going to be an exciting week which will help you find your feet in London and at LSE, with loads of opportunities to meet fellow Freshers! We've got all of the confirmed Orientation week events up and more coming soon! In the meantime, head over to our Freshers Page on Facebook where we'll be posting the latest news and events over the summer. We'll also be posting on our blog with updates from us and the Sabbatical Team so make sure to check it out, along with our prospective student bloggers' Tumblr too who'll be sharing their summer with you as they move to London and start at LSE.
You can also find more infomation about Orientation on the LSE website with the School Orientation events timetable as well as details about Registration.
Our map to the right shows the locations of students starting at LSE this October. Click on the pins to find out more about individuals - you might find other students from your halls or course! Red Pins are Undergraduates, Blue Pins are Postgraduates, Postgrad Research and General Course Students.
What is LSE?
LSE is often referred to as ‘the School’ by its students.
LSE is a social sciences institution renowned for its research and teaching. Officially, it is a specialist single-faculty constituent college of the University of London, making it one of a kind in the UK. Until recently, LSE awarded degrees in the name of the University of London but, from 2008 onwards, it now awards its own degrees. LSE has 19 Departments, 30 Research Centres and a Language Centre. In total, the Departments and Centres of LSE run over 135 MSc programmes, 4 MPA programmes, 30 BSc programmes, 4 BA programmes, and the LLB and LLM for budding legal eagles.
The School is a member of the Russell Group, the top 20 research institutions in the UK, and the unofficial ‘G5’ of British universities (the institutions that regularly finish in the Top 5 of League Tables). In examples of recent league tables, LSE was named the world’s 3rd best social sciences institution. While league tables undoubtedly have problems of methodology and receive a lot of criticism, they can used to wow friends and family, and to win arguments. As for its students, the average course at LSE has around 17 applicants for 1 place, although many are even more competitive.
The top 10 employers of LSE graduates are mainly investment banks, consultancy groups, accounting firms, law firms and international organisations. LSE’s student population of around 10000 fulltime students is generally 55% postgraduate. In total, 70% of LSE students come from outside the UK (51% from outside the EU). Last year, female students ( 53%) narrowly outnumbered male students.
LSE offers an incredible public lectures programme throughout the year, so watch out for Heads of State or Government, top politicians, the biggest names in business, finance and economics and academics of the highest calibre who speak regularly at LSE. If you ever see an expensive entourage of vehicles or a gathering of people with placards and banners ready for a protest, it usually means somebody important or controversial is going to speak.
To modify the old phrase to know where you’re going to study, you have to know where it’s been!
In October 1895 the Fabian Society, a group of reformist socialists who believed that education was at the heart of transition to a fairer society, set up an institution called the London School of Economics and Political Science to promote research into the major social, economic and political problems of the day. Making the decision apparently on a whim at a breakfast party on August 4th 1894, and with the help of a £20,000 bequest from Henry Hunt Hutchinson, leading Fabians George Bernard Shaw (writer and Nobel Laureate), Sidney and Beatrice Webb, and Graham Wallas set up the School. By 1900, it joined the University of London as the Faculty of Economics and, from 1902, it began to issue degrees.
The British Library of Political and Economic Science (BLPES) was built at Number 10 Adelphi Terrace in 1896, and new buildings were constantly added by Shaw until 1902, when LSE outgrew its humble surroundings and moved to its present location. By this point, LSE had already been the scene of momentous events, especially the founding of the Suffragettes Movement for womens suffrage and liberation.
In 1967, David Adelstein, Students’ Union President, and Marshall Bloom, President of the Graduate Students’ Association, were suspended for protesting against the appointment of Director Walter Adams, during which time an LSE Porter died of a heart at tack (caused presumably by over-excitement at the sit-in protests). Adams, as head of a university in white-ruled Rhodesia (before it became Zimbabwe), was considered by many to be complicit with the racial policies of the Smith regime. After a week long sit-in of hundreds of students and particularly a hunger strike of around 100, the LSE gave in, and removed the suspensions on Adelstein and Bloom.
But 1968-9 would see more protests against Adams. Adams erected a security gate at the front of LSE, which students tore down in mass riots. This led to the School being closed for three weeks. Riots, sit-ins, occupations and other forms of mass protest received international attention. Since then, LSE has continued to expand, with the building of the Towers, and now has around 9,000 full-time students. The Summer School was set up in 1989, and numerous academic projects have proliferated since.
In the world of politics, 32 international Heads of State or Government studied at LSE, including John F. Kennedy, Kwame Nkrumah (first black African Head of State or Government) and Clement Attlee (British Prime Minister after World War Two). In the last Parliament, 28 British MPs and 42 Lords were LSE alumni. Business and financial leaders like George Soros, Mervyn King (Bank of England Governor) and Stelios Haji-Ioannou (Easyjet founder) once sat in the same lecture theatres and classrooms that you will soon fall asleep/learn in. Cherie Booth QC (wife of Tony Blair) is one of many leading legal figures among LSE graduates, along with Charles Webster, one of the founders of the UN. LSE’s most famous philosopher is arguably Karl Popper, who in fact founded the Department here, although one could argue this has caused more problems than it has solved.
Other famous alumni include Shami Chakrabarti (Director of Liberty, the human rights NGO), Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones, WWE wrestler Val Venus and TV naturalist Sir David Attenborough. In fiction, West Wing President Jed Barlett has a PhD from LSE. Recently, even Monica Lewinsky did a Master’s here.
Overall, LSE boasts 14 Nobel Prize Winners including Amartya Sen, Friedrich von Hayek and Bertrand Russell. It might seem hard to believe, but you too will meet people who will go on to change the world.
LSE Students’ Union was founded in 1897 – two years after LSE itself – under the name of the ‘Economic Students’ Union’. From the outset, it was characterised by vigorous political debate at its fortnightly meetings (referred to as the ‘Clare Market Parliament’). Read More..
Elections at LSE are many things to many people. For some, it’s a way to get involved with the Students’ Union and improve LSE. For others, it might be the start of a career in politics. Elections provide an opportunity for students to make their voices heard and express views on how the School and Students’ Union should be run. If nothing else, LSESU Elections are an amusing spectacle. Houghton Street turns into a swarm of budding politicians offering leaflets, begging for votes, wearing costumes, holding signs, and pledging to improve your student experience.
The Union General Meeting (UGM) is unique to the LSE Students’ Union – we are the ONLY Students’ Union in the country that still has a weekly meeting where any student can propose and speak on policy that shapes the Union’s campaigns and ultimately the School. The UGM has been the scene of fierce debate for decades on everything from the standard of teaching and the standard of sports facilities to the situation in Iraq – and even the situation in Neighbours!
Assemblies are networks of students wanting a bit more information about particular issues, helping direct the Union’s campaign activity, and ensuring students are being organised around the issues we should be focusing on as a Students’ Union. Only current LSE students can join an assembly (you can join the at any time through term) and the best way to join is simply pop along to the meetings, get involved In the campaigns or and guidance the assemblies are split into two distinct groups; Union and Liberation Assemblies. You can also visit our Assemblies page for more info and to join the Asssemblies you're interested in once you are enrolled as a student.
Help & Support
LSESU Advice & Support Service
The Students' Union's Advice & Support Service offers all LSE students-undergraduate, postgraduate taught and research, full time, part time, UK, EU and international- free, independent and confidential advice, support and representation on a range of issues that you may face during your time at University. The team of Advisers will provide you with expert knowledge and impartial support on academic misconduct and appeals, post study work visas, housing, finance and many other areas.
Drinking in moderation is usually harmless and can be very enjoyable. Not everyone drinks at LSE, some because of their religious beliefs and some because they just dont want to.
Almost half of all young people between the ages of 16 & 24 in the UK have tried at least one type of drug. In the UK, there are some drugs which are considered illegal, and are classified as either A, B or C. The scale aims to classify drugs according to how much harm they cause, with Class A drugs considered the most harmful. The higher up the scale, the more likely you are to get punished, and the longer the sentence for dealing or posession.
We know what it’s like when you come to uni – all that spare time, all those hormones, and all that excitement. So, your SU is there for you, every step of the way – from giving advice, to providing you with an interesting range of condoms and sexual health paraphernalia, to those lovely Chlamydia tests! Now this information is key to a successful, baby-free, STI-free sex life.
St. Philips Medical Centre
St Philips Medical Centre is an NHS general practice staffed by doctors and nurses who provide primary medical and nursing care to registered patients and anyone who becomes ill or requires medical advice whilst within the LSE campus. St Philips also provides a number of services run by visiting specialists and health practitioners.
To register as a patient at St Philips and for any further information on what the centre can offer please visit the Medical Centre's site.
Whilst in the UK if you experience or witness a significant medical emergency or accident that will require hospital treatment, you should phone 999 for an ambulance immediately. If you are unsure of your symptoms or are worried you are ill but you do not think it is critical then you can contact NHS Direct on 08454647.
Student Counselling Service
The Student Counselling Service is part of TLC and is located in the main TLC office on the 5th floor of 20 Kingsway. This free and confidential service aims to help you cope with any personal or study difficulties that may be affecting you while you’re at LSE. The service offers around 100 sessions of counselling each week, as well as group sessions and workshops on issues such as exam anxiety and stress management.
Teaching & Learning Centre (TLC)
The Teaching and Learning Centre (TLC) offers a wide range of support for your studies. A series of lectures and workshops runs throughout the academic year covering subjects such as essay writing, time management, preparing for exams and dealing with stress. A limited number of one-to-one appointments can also be booked with a TLC study adviser to discuss strategies for quantitative and qualitative subject learning, or with the Royal Literary Fund Fellow to improve your writing style. You can also register on the TLC Moodle course Learning World from the beginning of the Michaelmas term.
The Language Centre offers a range of language support, from helping you learn or improve a second language to taking a language as part of your degree. As well as the popular English for Academic Purposes courses, designed for students whose first language is not English and who are planning to study social sciences, the Language Centre offers degree and/or certificate options in French, German, Russian, Spanish, English Literature, Arabic, Mandarin, Japanese, Italian, Turkish, Greek and Portuguese. Courses are designed to meet students’ specific needs, and all teachers are native speakers who combine extensive teaching experience with a strong academic background in one of the specialisms offered at LSE.
Disability & Well Being Office
The TLC also runs a Disability and Well-being Office (DWO) to support you if you have a chronic medical condition, physical or sensory impairment, and/or specific learning differences such as dyslexia. It is not necessary to have previously disclosed an impairment in order to seek advice from the DWO
LSE has always been a focal point for campaigning and social justice on LGBT issues, and a hub of social activity for the LGBT community. LSESU proudly supports a variety of activities, events and opportunities that improve the experience of students that identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer or questioning at LSE and in the wider community.
Your LGBT Officer
The LGBT Officer is an elected representative of LGBT students to the School and other bodies, whose job is to coordinate the Students’ Union’s activities in tackling homophobia and defending, extending and deepening the rights of LGBT students. They are part of the committee coordinating the activities of the LGBT Alliance.
This year, your LGBT Officer is John Peart. You can contact him via email on firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to contact the LGBT Officer if you want to get involved with campaign work, or have concerns or questions during your time at LSE. You can also contact the LGBT Alliance via email on email@example.com.
The LGBT Alliance
The LGBT Alliance is an organisation run by and for LGBT students at LSE. The Alliance exists to promote the interests of LGBT students and represent their views to the School, the Students’ Union, and to the wider community. It also organises social events, careers opportunities and more for LGBT students on campus.
The best way to get involved with the LGBT community is to join the LGBT Alliance. You can do this in one of two ways – by signing up at the Orientation Fair in Orientation Week, or through the LSESU website later in the year.
You don’t have to be a member of the LGBT Alliance to get involved – anyone is welcome to our events – but being a member entitles you to extra membership benefits, like discounts at our events, members-only freebies, and more.
Useful information for LGBT Students
LGBT Alliance Events Calendar
Night life in London
Culture in London
Advice and Support
Your rights as an LGBT Person in the UK
Advice Services for LGBT Students
Sexual Health Advice and Guidance
LGBT Students of Faith
Ask Any Questions (Online Forum for LGBT Students)
A quick guide to... LSE's Library
LSE’s Library – to some, it’s the jewel in the crown. To others, it is a place of academic revelations. But to many, it is a big, beautiful place where you get fined a lot of money for hiring books you never read. But, without a doubt, LSE’s Library is an unique and amazing resource. And it’s not just any old library – it’s only the world’s largest social sciences libraries to boot!
The British Library Of Political and Economic Sciences (as it is otherwise known) is in fact effectively two libraries in one, the Course Collection and the Main Collection. The Course Collection is the smaller of the two as it houses multiple copies of the core reading texts along with other books on the reading lists. The different floors can be accessed by a lift or architect Norman Foster’s famous staircase which is unique and nothing like the circular staircase in the Reichstag in Berlin.
In Michaelmas Term there will be an Information Point near the entrance where you can get an audio tour of the library (also available online as a podcast). There are numerous guidebooks available, especially the Student Library Guide and the Floorplan and Location Tips guide.
During the first three weeks of Michaelmas Term there will be extra Library Staff on hand in the entrance area, to welcome you to the Library and answer any questions that you might have. You can also take an audio tour of the library (available online as a podcast) or pick up one of the numerous guidebooks or floorplans available.
The easiest way to find books is to use the online Library Catalogue to search by author, title, or keywords.
You can see:
Whether books are available (or when they will be returned) – you can reserve books for when they’re returned, except for Set Texts (and you can only reserve 6 at a time)
Whether they are in the Course Collection (Ground Floor, for most popular books, and only accessible via a turnstile to LSE people) or Main Collection (the rest of the Library, including journals and periodicals)
The classmark of the book (its unique alphanumerical code) – A-G on the Third Floor, H-JV on the Second and JX-Z on the First.
Then you go find it!
If want to do a more complex search you can use Summon, which allows you to search a wider range of LSE Library content all in one place. With Summon you can search for journal articles, e-books and databases, as well as all items from the Library Catalogue, LSE Research Online and LSE Theses Online.
The Library also has Closed Access Materials available on request by filling out a Fetch Request and giving it to staff who then, rather kindly, fetch it! There is also an Archives and Rare Books collection for PhD and MSc dissertation students.
All items in the Course Collection are three day loans. Full-time students can borrow them for 3 days, Part-time students can borrow them for 7 days.
Normal loans from the Main Collection have white labels. Course students can borrow them for 3 weeks while Staff and Research students can borrow them for up to 105 days.
Recommended texts carry yellow labels or yellow strips on their spines. These are books recommended as background reading on LSE course reading lists and can be borrowed for 1 week. You can renew your loans online by using the Self-Service option on the Library’s online catalogue.
There is now an extensive Electronic Library, with Electronic Journals and Article Finders that can be accessed on and off campus using the various Library Passwords you can find in your LSEforYou account.
Respect your library!
Beyond not bringing in food, good library etiquette is pretty simple – try to keep the noise down, don’t talk on your mobile (except in designated mobile areas, like toilets) and show respect to others. The Library is a large, open building, and noise travels – so please try extra hard to keep it down! As an LSE student you can use any of the libraries of the various institutions and colleges of the University of London. However in most cases you will not be allowed to borrow books. One exception is Senate House Library located on Malet Street which is about 15 minutes walk from LSE. It uses a different system from the BLPES, and the fines are cheaper as well.
Visit www.lse.ac.uk/library for more information.