Frequently Asked Questions

What is LSE100?

LSE100 is LSE’s flagship interdisciplinary course taken by all LSE undergraduates in the first year of your degree programme. The course is designed to build your capacity to tackle multidimensional problems through research-rich education, giving you the opportunity to explore transformative global challenges – in collaboration with peers from other departments and leading academics from across the School.

What topic will I study?

Before you arrive at LSE you will choose one of three themes to focus on during LSE100. Each theme explores a different complex global challenge facing social scientists. In 2023/24, the LSE100 themes are:

How can I find out more about the three LSE100 themes?

You can access lots of information about each of the three themes on the LSE100 pages for prospective students

Undergraduate offer holders will receive information from the School over the summer about how to select your LSE100 theme as part of online pre-enrolment.

The LSE100 Co-Directors will also be hosting a series of online Q&A sessions where you can ask them questions directly about the LSE100 course and its themes. You can find the details of these sessions here.

When do I have to choose my LSE100 theme?

You will choose your LSE100 theme during the online pre-enrolment process before you arrive at LSE. You will be sent an email notification from the School with full instructions on how to complete the process.

To learn more about how to select your LSE100 theme, visit our pages for prospective students, which features a short video that explains the process.

You can also attend an online "Ask the Co-Directors" session where you can ask your questions about the LSE100 course and its themes directly to the LSE100 Co-Directors. You can find details of these sessions here.

Should the theme relate to my degree programme?

No, there is no need for the theme to have any direct relationship to the degree you will be studying when you get to LSE. LSE100 is founded on interdisciplinarity so whichever theme you choose you will hear from leading LSE academics from across the School, who will explore the theme from the perspective of their discipline. You will collaborate with your peers on different degree programmes and bring perspectives from your own discipline as you investigate the questions posed by the theme you select.

LSE100 will be an opportunity to develop skills that that you might not be exposed to on your degree programme. Regardless of the theme you select, you will learn how to write persuasive reports and how to interpret and produce graphical representations of data. You will work in small groups to carry out independent research and you will develop the skills needed to present your findings and proposals in a clear and compelling manner.

Which LSE100 theme should I choose if I am studying a qualitative/quantitative degree?

You should choose whichever LSE100 theme most interests you. All three themes will engage with both qualitative and quantitative data, and will have the same assessments. LSE academics from across a broad range of academic disciplines contribute to the development of each theme. 

Are the themes capped?

No, there is no cap on the number of students who can take each theme.

Will I be able to change my theme once I have arrived at LSE?

Once you arrive at LSE you will not be able to change your choice of theme on LSE100. This is not something that you should worry about when making your choice. LSE100 is a single course and the themes we have selected are highly interrelated. Climate futures are affected by developments in AI and has huge implication for fairness in society; the rapid growth in AI is already having an impact on social inequalities as well as environments across the world; and our conceptions of a fair society can only be properly understood in the context of technological and environmental changes.

In the second half of the course you, along with a small group of your peers, will investigate an element of your chosen theme in greater depth. At this point, if you have an interest in an aspect of one of themes you did not select, you will have an opportunity to focus on your research on your chosen theme on the areas where the two topics intersect.

As well as the interrelated nature of the themes, all students will study the concepts of systems thinking and systems change while on LSE100. These are fields of interdisciplinary research that are being adopted by academics, policy makers, corporations, NGOs and many other groups in order to think holistically about how systems work and how this understanding can enable change at a systemic level.

When will my LSE100 seminars take place?

You will attend LSE100 seminars fortnightly in Autumn and Winter terms. LSE100 seminars are timetabled as part of the same process that produces the timetable for all undergraduate lectures and classes. You will be placed in an LSE100 seminar according to the theme you have chosen, which fits the rest of your first year timetable.  

What can I do to prepare to study LSE100 before arriving at LSE?

You can prepare to study LSE100 in several ways prior to arriving at LSE. Visit our LSE Welcome page for indicative readings relating to each theme. You can attend one of our LSE100 welcome events during Welcome Week. Once you have completed the pre-enrolment process and selected your theme, you will be able to access LSE Moodle, the School’s virtual learning environment, to begin to access the readings and video lectures for your first seminar. 

How do I prepare for LSE100 seminars?

LSE100 uses a flipped classroom format, in which you watch videos with LSE academics in advance of the seminars instead of attending traditional lectures. For each seminar, you will watch two videos with LSE academics, each around 10 minutes in length. There will also be 1-2 short readings.

Videos and readings are accessed through LSE100's Moodle page, and are displayed in a lesson format, presented sequentially with accompanying notes and guiding questions. You will find the readings and videos for each week in that week's Moodle container. In Winter Term, as your group project progresses, you and your group members will prepare for class by completing a range of tasks and choosing readings which relate to your group project topic. 

How is the course assessed?

The course is assessed the same way regardless of the theme you choose. You will complete one individual assessment and one group research project. The individual assessment will be due towards the end of Autumn Term. The group assessment is due at the end of Winter Term, and will be completed collaboratively in a group of 4-5 students. Each assessment is worth 50% of your final LSE100 grade. There are no essays and no examination for LSE100. 

Does my LSE100 grade affect my degree classification?

LSE100 counts towards your first-year average. Your first-year average is calculated as the best 6 of your 9 first-year marks. LSE100 counts as one of these nine marks, equivalent to a half-unit course. For students studying LLB Laws, like all other first-year courses, LSE100 will not count towards your degree classification. LSE100 will appear on your degree transcript.