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Sources of support as an LSE Student

Welcome to LSE and to this exciting new chapter of your life. Hopefully the years you spend here will be happy, memorable and fulfilling.

And hopefully you’ll achieve all of these things (and more) without encountering too many obstacles along the way. However, if you do, rest assured that there are several sources of support open to you as an LSE student, both on and off campus.

This article provides a whistle-stop tour of some of the main places you can turn to for help, if and when needed.

Support with your studies

Whether you’re here for an undergraduate or postgraduate degree, it is likely that somewhere along the lines you’ll need some support from someone.

One of the first and most important relationships students form from both an academic and pastoral perspective is with their Academic Mentor. However, lecturers, teachers and academic tutors are also useful people to turn to if you’re having difficulties with your studies.

Outside of your department you have LSE Life, who are there to provide you with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed at LSE. And if English isn’t your first language and you need some additional help, you’ll find it at the Language Centre.

And then there’s the PhD Academy, providing a whole host of dedicated support services exclusively for those who are here to study for a postgraduate research degree.

Support with your studies… if things go wrong

Sometimes issues arise outside of the classroom, and which have an impact on students’ studies. The LSE Advice Team are able to provide advice on the different academic regulations and how to navigate various processes, such as exceptional circumstances claims and deferral requests.

The LSE Students’ Union (LSESU) Advice Service are also able to provide one-to-one advice on these areas, but the Students’ Union’s independence from LSE means that our Advisers are additionally able to work with you to support your claims, including by looking over copies of your forms and attending relevant meetings alongside you.

In addition to these, you’ll find a full list of some of the other individuals or services  available to help on this page.

Financial support

Financial difficulties can be stressful and distracting whilst taking a degree.

Fortunately, even in these testing times, there are places you can go to for monetary aid. Both the LSE Financial Support Office and the LSESU Advice Service have funds available to assist students who have fallen into unexpected hardship, thereby enabling them to continue with their studies.

There are also some external websites worth noting. Save the Student contains useful tips on everything from bills to banking, whereas Money Saving Expert, founded by LSE alumnus and former LSESU General Secretary, Martin Lewis, is one of the UK’s most respected sources of information on cost cutting and consumer advice.

And if in doubt, you can’t go wrong with Citizens Advice, a free advisory service which covers a range of issues, including debt, money and benefits.

Housing support

LSE Residential Services will probably be the first port of call if you’re looking to move into halls, or if you have any halls-related queries. If you’re already in halls and are experiencing issues, then you’ll find a full list of who to turn to here.

If you’ve found somewhere to live but are finding it difficult to make sense of your housing contract, or if you start experiencing issues once you’ve moved in (whether that’s in halls or in private accommodation), then you’ll find all the support you need once again at the LSESU Advice Service, but also at University of London Housing Services, both of which are able to assist in similar ways.

Outside of the university sector, you’ll find tons of useful information on the Shelter website. And housing is another area of specialism provided by Citizens Advice.

Health & wellbeing support

Managing your physical and mental health is important as a student, as it is in life more generally. LSE recognises this and has a whole swath of services dedicated to this important area.

The Disability & Wellbeing Service provides counselling and mental health advice as well as a series of support measures that are open to all disabled students on campus.

For students who prefer spiritual or other forms of support, you’ll find a listening ear and a sense of community at the Faith Centre.

And if you’d rather get that help from a fellow student, then a trained student volunteer in the Peer Support Scheme might be for you.

Similarly operated by students is Nightline, a confidential and non-judgmental service open to those taking a degree at a UK university. They’re there to provide a comforting and listening ear when needed, as are Samaritans and Papyrus, two mental health charities that specialise in helping people who are experiencing suicidal ideation. If you do ever find yourself in this situation, please do reach out for help. This page on the LSE website outlines all the places you can turn to when going through this, or when experiencing other emergency situations.

Finally, if you’re feeling unwell and are in need of medical attention, the St. Philips Medical Centre is on campus and open to all LSE students. The NHS 111 service provides non-emergency advice, whereas for anything more urgent, you’re advised to dial 999 as soon as possible.

Bullying, harassment & sexual violence

Hopefully these are issues which you won’t encounter whilst at LSE, but if you do, know that there are staff trained and able to provide you with any non-judgmental support and advice you might need.

If you know at the outset that you want to report an incident, you’ll find full details on how to do so here.

However, if you’re at this stage just looking for someone to speak to about your experience in a confidential and non-judgemental way, then you can turn to one of LSE’s Safe Contacts. Whether it’s bullying, harassment or sexual violence, they’re there to listen and support. You can also report your experience to them too should you wish, although the choice will ultimately be yours and whatever you decide will be respected.

If the issue relates specifically to sexual violence and you’d feel more comfortable speaking to someone outside of LSE, you’ll find a series of services here, including ones catering to members of the BME and LGBT+ communities.