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The Postgrad & PhD Hotlist: key initiatives you should know about

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Hello to all of our Postgraduate students! First and foremost, we want to wish you a very warm welcome to LSE. We are LSESU, your Students’ Union, and we are a student-led organisation that exist to represent you and ensure you have the best student experience possible. We are the home of many things – including extra curricular activities, your student representatives, the all-important student advice service as well as a range of initiatives and programmes for student enhancement.

This blog will give you a run-down of some of the key events and initiatives that you should know about as an incoming postgraduate student. So better keep some notes and save the dates!

First things first…You are the majority!

As postgraduate students, whether you are a postgraduate taught or postgraduate research student, you make up two thirds of the entire student body. You represent the heart and soul of the community at LSE, and the events and initiatives we’re about to walk you through, prove that! Whether you want to use your voice to change LSE for the better, or simply wish to join in for some postgraduate activities - we are here to support you and we have ways to help you do just that.

Representation

LSESU (your Students’ Union) is student-led, and at the forefront of this organisation are your Sabbatical Officers. These are students who campaign for and represent you, full-time. They are paid and work at LSESU for the current year, acting on the issues you care about! You can read more about them by checking out our Big Names on Campus Part 1 – Your Sabbatical Officers

But it doesn’t just stop there. In October, will be searching for a new addition to the Sabbatical Officer team – the Postgraduate Students’ Officer. This position is also paid, but is part time so that the Postgraduate that is elected can balance it alongside their studies. You can nominate yourself for this position as part of the Michaelmas Term Elections! Keep an eye out on our website here for more details.

Wait! There’s still more…In addition to our full-time Sabbatical Officers, we also have Part Time Officers (‘PTOs’). They represent a wide variety of student demographics, ranging from Women’s Officer and Black and Minority Ethnic Officer to International Students and Mature & Part Time Students’ Officer.

Within the Part Time Officer roster, there are positions for PhD and Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) representatives. You can nominate yourself for these positions too! And could be working at LSESU to represent these student communities on a part time and voluntary basis. Find the full list, how to run for election, and how to get in touch with your PTOs here.

Create change

Every year, we facilitate a number of student-led changes to benefit and support the Postgraduate community here at LSE. All you need to have, is ideas! We have initiatives and programmes that can support you with the rest.

Here’s a few of the ways you can get involved:

  • Become an Academic Representative for your course! Represent your cohort and advocate your departments for change at termly meetings. If you have thoughts on how to improve your educational experience, consider putting yourself forward! Find out more here
  • Run a campaign! We can provide the resources you need to run a successful campaign. Make your ideas happen and create long lasting change to support your fellow Postgraduates at LSE by getting involved with the LSESU Campaigns Hub.
  • Have an idea? An initiative? An event? But no funding? Don’t let money be a barrier to you doing something awesome for yourselves and fellow postgraduates. Apply for the Student Union Fund and make it happen!

You can find out more by exploring our website.

Social

We put on a number of events throughout the year specifically for postgraduate students. Past events have included a free breakfast social, a postgraduate party, or thesis writing events in our cafes. This year, while they will undoubtedly look a little different in accordance with the recommended advice and guidance, we will still be putting together a number of virtual events to ensure you can keep in touch with your community here at LSE.

Why not check out some of our upcoming (virtual) Welcome events:

  • PhD Students Intro to LSESU
  • Environmentalism at LSE
  • Campaigns Showcase
  • Morning Yoga 
  • Language Cafe

But there’s lots more! Check out our Welcome website for details on the events and for upcoming announcements on further event releases. And if you want to be notified when the next events go live, sign up to our exclusive welcome mailing list.

Community

Student groups, meaning our sports clubsmedia groups and societies, are the heart and soul of student life at LSE, and becoming a member is the best way to get more out of your time at university. Like us, they also have your safety as their priority, and will be adjusting their activities to support the safe participation of their members.

Societies are groups of students who share a common interest and provide opportunities for you to meet new people, pick up skills for later life and have fun while you do it. The media groups facilitate the voices of the LSE community through their high quality journalism, reporting and content production. Our sports clubs play a combination of social and competitive sport, all while enjoying the community benefits of being a member of the Athletics Union. Best of all, all of these are entirely student-led!

Whether you’re looking to take up a new hobby or want to keep up an existing interest, there is something for everyone – from academic and political endeavours to celebrating culture, as well as more light-hearted interests such as music, dance and games.

There are even some societies that have committee members dedicated to Postgraduate engagement and support through their society activities. With 250+ sports clubs and societies, we guarantee that there will be something for everyone. See our full list here.

At the same time, we appreciate that student group memberships aren’t necessarily for everyone. If you would like to seek out other ways to connect with Postgraduates, you can request to join our LSE Postgraduate Community or LSE PhD and MPhil Community on Facebook to reach out to your peers digitally.

Support

We know that life as a postgraduate can have its ups and downs, and your Students’ Union is here to support you throughout all aspects of your LSE journey.

We offer students the opportunity to receive free, confidential advice from our LSESU Advice Service. The service is completely independent from LSE, and our advisers can support you on academic, housing and financial matters including access to hardship and childcare funds. Here are some of the ways that the Advice Service can assist you:

Academic Support:

  • Appeals: We can assist when appealing an Upgrade (MPhil to PhD).
  • Complaints: We can support you in pursuing the formal Complaints procedure. This can be about other students, academics, departments or procedures.
  • Academic Misconduct: We are on hand to support any student who undergoes the academic misconduct procedure if they have been accused of academic misconduct, plagiarism or collusion.
  • Disciplinary: We can support you if you are called in for a Disciplinary meeting.
  • General: We can provide general advice on any other academic process, such as Inclusion Plans, Deferrals, Extensions, Interruptions, Withdrawal or Fitness to Study.

Housing

  • We can provide general advice on any housing matter either for private rented or halls and can signpost to relevant agencies. This includes contract checks, advice on landlord/agents issues, deposits, and council tax.
  • Make sure you check out our All you need to know about housing event as part of Welcome Week. Reserve your free place and tune in from the comfort of your own home. 

Funding

  • Hardship: This fund is available if something unexpected happens that means you are struggling to pay for basic living expenses such as rent or food
  • Childcare: This is similar to the Hardship fund, but when students are struggling to meet childcare costs
  • GGSF (Graduation Gown Support Fund): For students who cannot afford the cost of gown hire for their graduation ceremony.

Get in touch!

We are here to support you in making the most of your time here at LSE! Contact us at any time and we will be here to help.

Even if a service isn’t listed above, definitely reach out to us! It doesn’t matter if you aren’t sure who to go to for resolving an issue or to pursue any ideas you have, we can point you in the right direction.

You can email us at su.info@lse.ac.uk or drop us a DM on our FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

We hope you are looking forward to beginning your Postgraduate study here and we can’t wait to welcome you to LSE in a few weeks time. In the meantime, the best ways to stay updated are by signing up to the Welcome Mailing List and by keeping a close eye on our FacebookTwitterInstagram and Website.