They say hindsight is 20/20. Looking back there are always things we wish we’d known before starting something new, and postgraduate studies are no different! If you’re thinking about pursuing a master’s degree at LSE, there are a few useful things for you to know. And if you’ve already started your master’s, you might still learn something new! A year flies, so hopefully this guide can help you take full advantage of your time at LSE.
1. THERE ARE TONS OF WAYS TO GET INVOLVED IN SOMETHING THAT SUITS YOUR INTERESTS AND SCHEDULE
Naturally, a lot of your time at LSE will be taken up with courses, seminars and readings. But activities outside of the classroom can help you develop new skills, new connections, and can provide unique learning opportunities. It’s true that the more you put in, the more you can get out of your time here. Luckily, there’s a massive range of things to do when you’re not studying or skimming readings:
- One great place to look for a meaningful way to get involved is the LSE Volunteer Centre. You can visit their website or sign up to receive their weekly newsletter that details volunteer opportunities for you.
- You can also check out one of the more than 200 LSE Societies. Whether you're looking to take up a new hobby or want to keep up an existing interest, there is something for everyone.
- Another great thing about LSE is that it’s located in London, meaning there are hundreds of events, activities and clubs running every day across the entire city. You can check out local sports organisations, improv or art classes, one-off events like movie screenings, and more. Eventbrite and Time Out are great places to keep up with what’s happening in the city!
2. THERE ARE MANY RESOURCES AT LSE TO LEARN NEW SKILLS
Although getting your master’s at LSE can feel like a non-stop stream of constant learning, there might still be skills and topics you’re interested in that your classes aren’t covering. Whether you’d like to take up coding, get fluent in another language, learn to read more efficiently or brush up on a specific methodology for your dissertation, there are lots of options available to you:
- The Digital Skills Lab has workshops, self-study courses and drop-in sessions covering a wide range of digital skills, including R, Python, Excel, AI and machine learning, data visualisation, and more. They are also knowledgeable about what digital skills employers are looking for and offer sector-specific advice and training.
- LSE LIFE is another great resource to engage with a range of questions and skills, from how to conduct research for your dissertation to how to get the most out of London and LSE. They offer regular workshops and events on a variety of topics, and you can also book one-on-one appointments.
- Remember that you can always audit classes in addition to the classes you are actively taking! You can find all the postgraduate courses available in your course catalogue or by searching for keywords on Moodle. Once you have found a class you like, you can simply enrol yourself as an auditing student on Moodle, and you will have access to the class materials.
- The LSE Language Center offers non-degree courses in nine languages, normally starting in week 4 of Michaelmas Term - so if you already know you’re interested in taking a language course, it’s best to register as early as possible!
3. BALANCING YOUR PRIORITIES ISN’T EASY! BUT DON’T FORGET TO TAKE TIME FOR REST AND WELLNESS
- Studying is obviously important, but it’s easier to do a little bit each week (even if you don’t always manage to finish every single reading or task) than leaving things for the end of the term! If you are looking for help with managing your time, taking better notes or engaging more in class, LSE LIFE is a great place to start.
- Your mental and physical health is a top priority, even a few minutes a day to prioritise wellness can make a big difference. Take a look at the Athletics Union where you can get some exercise in a fun and social setting, or check out the gym located in the SU building!
- Don’t forget to ask for support! We all struggle with things sometimes, whether that’s a difficult exam, finding a place to live in London, or our mental health. The LSESU Advice Service is always happy to talk to you and offers free, confidential and impartial advice! You can also reach out to LSE Counselling, where you can access up to six counselling sessions with a trained professional.
4. EXPLORE THE CAMPUS CULTURE HERE AT LSE
- Time flies by during your master’s, especially if you’re only here for a year! Engaging with the different spaces on campus is a great way to meet new people, feel connected to the LSE community and really feel like you are getting the most out of your time here.
- Some of our favourite spots on and around campus:
5. IT’S OKAY IF YOU DON’T KNOW “WHAT YOU WANT TO DO WITH YOUR LIFE” YET
- It’s easy to get stressed out by the question “what are you going to do after you graduate” if you haven’t quite figured out the specifics. That’s okay! Chances are, many other postgraduate students around you feel the same way. You’re definitely not alone.
- Getting your master’s at LSE will provide you with great opportunities to explore future career paths, connect with people and figure out your next steps. Make sure you regularly check out LSE Careers for upcoming events, recorded materials and work, internship and volunteer opportunities. The more you do explore, the more chances you have to become inspired by something new that can put you on a completely unexpected path!
Blog written by Gerda Kovacs and Hannah Thomsen. Gerda and Hannah work as Advice Assistants for the LSESU Advice Service.
THE LSESU ADVICE TEAM
The LSESU Advice Team is based on the 3rd floor of the Saw Swee Hock Building and we provide free, independent and confidential advice to all LSE students on academic and housing matters. We also administer the Hardship Fund, the Childcare Fund and the Graduation Gown Support Fund (GGSF).
Our service is currently operating using a hybrid working pattern. We are still open and can be accessed by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also book a telephone or Zoom appointment with an adviser through Student Hub.