About LSE100: The LSE Course

LSE100, LSE's flagship interdisciplinary course for all undergraduates, gives you the opportunity to explore transformative global challenges in collaboration with peers and leading academics from across the LSE. In this course, you will develop your analytical skills, explore insights and ideas from across the social sciences, and think creatively about how we might solve complex problems. LSE100 aims to broaden your education and intellectual experience at the School and to deepen your understanding of your own discipline.

In the below video, Baroness Minouche Shafik, Director of LSE, introduces LSE100. 


LSE100 Introduction by Dame Minouche Shafik LSE100 Introduction by Dame Minouche Shafik

In 2021/22, we will focus on one of the most critical challenges of our time, asking: ‘How can we control AI?’. Throughout the year, we will explore the growing role of artificial intelligence in everyday life and investigate the ways in which societies around the world are being transformed by rapid technological innovation. Together with experts from across the social sciences, we will assess the impact of AI on social systems such as the labour market, criminal justice, and warfare, as well as the ways these technologies may be used in pursuit of improved healthcare, education and environmental sustainability. In the Michaelmas term, we will explore the fundamentals of machine learning, the ways in which AI is created and used, and some of the most significant benefits and drawbacks to these technologies.  

In the Lent term, you will undertake a group research project where, working in small, multi-disciplinary teams, you will investigate an aspect of AI of particular interest to you and your group, with the aim of determining how you could change the system in which this technology is embedded in order to make the world better. With input throughout the year from LSE academics, you and your team will devise responses to your selected challenge and present your ideas about how to make meaningful, systemic change that harnesses the power of AI for good.  



How will LSE100 complement your degree program?

LSE100 gives all undergraduates the chance to explore new ideas and analytical approaches in a collaborative, intellectually challenging, and supportive environment. This course is an opportunity for you to take risks, work closely with people from very different disciplinary backgrounds, and learn about perspectives that diverge from those you are likely to encounter in your degree programme.

In addition to broadening your intellectual experience at the School, LSE100 will help you develop some of the key practical skills and intellectual creativity that will help you succeed in whatever path you might choose professionally. Employers are looking for graduates who can think creatively, analyse complex problems, deliver compelling presentations, and interact with a wide range of audiences. They want mathematicians who can write a persuasive report, historians who can create graphical representations of data, and most of all, employees who can work with stakeholders all over the world with confidence. LSE100 is designed to ensure that LSE graduates possess distinctive skills that cut across specialist subject areas.

What can you expect from LSE100?

  • You will take LSE100 as a half unit across the Michaelmas and Lent terms of your first year.
  • You will meet and collaborate with undergraduate students from departments across the School.
  • You will take fortnightly, 80-minute MSc seminar-style sessions, which you will prepare for by engaging with videos featuring leading LSE academics, alongside carefully selected readings. Seminars are led by academics with expertise in AI and interdisciplinary social scientific thinking.
  • Using contemporary social issues as case studies, you will analyse the ways in which complementary – and often contrasting – social scientific perspectives affect our understanding of complex problems and potential solutions.
  • Your mark for the course will be based on an individual written assessment due at the end of the Michaelmas term, and a group project that you will present at the end of the Lent term. Both projects will facilitate interdisciplinary analysis and develop your critical thinking and communication skills.

Learning how to evaluate evidence, how to assess positions and to think critically, how to structure arguments and how to argue persuasively orally and in writing are all part of the course.  A full list of the LSE100 learning outcomes can be viewed here.

Further information is available in the LSE100 Moodle site (LSE username and password required).