LSE believes in a traditional approach to teaching, ensuring students have a solid understanding of the core elements of their subjects.
Teaching methods In each of the four courses you take over the year, teaching will consist of a mixture of lectures and linked classes, running in parallel, in which you will work through questions, problem sets and issues raised in the lectures or present and discuss your own papers or essays. Lectures are attended by all the students taking the course (and some auditing the lectures out of general interest); on a popular course, there could be several hundred students in a lecture. For the classes, you would be allocated to a much smaller group, generally consisting of no more than 15 students. In some advanced third year courses, the two functions of lectures and classes may be combined in seminars or small- group tutorials: this depends on the numbers taking the course, and on the subject being studied. The number of ‘formal’ contact hours will vary with the type of course you are taking but will normally be between 2-4 hours per course per week.
Lectures are not compulsory but are strongly recommended. Classes, however, are compulsory and you will usually be expected to submit two written pieces of work or a certain number of problem sets per course per term. Class teachers report each term on your attendance, work in class and written work submitted for the class. These reports are then sent to your academic adviser who will discuss them with you, as well as your overall progress. Your class teacher will also provide an overall grade at the end of the year. These will appear on your final LSE transcript, along with the grades for your final examinations, as a summary of your work at the School. The taught elements of our courses are intended only as a framework around which each student must work, providing you with a structure for your own research and reading. We expect that in addition to ‘formal’ contact time, our students spend at least double the amount of hours pursuing ‘independent study’ related to their four courses. The timetabled teaching might not look like all that many hours a week, but the associated reading and writing of essays, projects and other