About LSE100: The LSE Course

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Dr Jessica Templeton


The LSE Course is LSE's flagship interdisciplinary course for undergraduate students. It is designed to broaden and deepen students' engagement with social scientific analysis by using pressing social issues as case studies for exploration of the ways different theories, methods and evidence can shape our understanding of events and phenomena. LSE100 brings you into the heart of the LSE tradition of engaging with big questions, with lectures by leading researchers and small, interactive classes that challenge you to confront different kinds of evidence, assess competing explanations for social phenomena, and decide which of these are most compelling.

All undergraduates take LSE100 in the second term of their first year and the first term of their second year. In each of these terms you will participate in one ten-week module, each of which explores a case study from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Each week you will draw on contributions from leading academics from across the School and attend 80-minute, MSc-style seminars, where you will have the opportunity to collaborate with students from a wide range of departments to explore and debate the causes of and potential solutions to salient social issues.


What will you learn?

Focusing on “big” questions, you explore the different types of evidence, alternative forms of explanation and different strategies for abstraction and modelling that are used in the different social sciences. LSE100 aims, in the first instance, to give you a broader and deeper understanding of what it is to think like a social scientist.

You will learn the core elements of social scientific reasoning and how they are applied across a broad range of social sciences. Whichever course you take at the School, your studies will touch on the common themes of evidence, explanation and theory. LSE100 uses important issues and debates to explore each of these themes.

LSE100 also aims to strengthen your critical research and communication skills. Regardless of which course you take at LSE, you will need these skills to succeed. These skills are also highly valued by employers.

Weekly online content, featuring leading academics from across LSE, combined with the team teaching and MSc seminar-style classes are designed to facilitate collaborative learning and debate. During each module, you will have the opportunity to attend specialist workshops, giving you the chance to discuss cutting-edge research with LSE’s senior academics and policymakers. 

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 the LSE100 Moodle site (LSE username and password required).