How can you use research to impact social causes and help change our world for the better? As an LSE student, you’re part of a community that aims to understand the causes of things for the betterment of society. Considering the real-world potential of your studies can empower you to investigate today’s most urgent social questions, expand your research abilities to make a practical difference, and develop knowledge-sharing skills to lead social change.
There are lots of ways to uncover causes that inspire you, from formal research opportunities to volunteering. The key is being motivated to make a difference. This page will help you think about the skills to develop and show you how to get started.
How can you continue making an impact on the wider world?
Volunteering is a great way to help develop new skills and meet new people while making a difference and the LSE Volunteer Centre is here to inspire and empower you to volunteer for causes that you are passionate about during your time at LSE. You can find out more about the services we can offer you at lse.ac.uk/volunteerCentre or by following @LSEVolunteering.
- Work together to solve a problem facing a charity in the Civic Engagement Challenge
- Join our Take Action seminar series, where we explore societal issues and highlight how students can contribute
- Meet charities at the LSE Volunteering Festival
- Engage with our partners through live Instagram talks every Tuesday
- Take part in our one-off opportunities programme if you’re short on time.
There are other opportunities to get involved in beyond volunteering:
- Accelerate your entrepreneurial skills with LSE Generate
- Get involved with a cause that matters to you via LSESU’s charity, campaigning and political societies
- Engage with LSE’s Shaping the Post-COVID World initiative and join the debate about the direction the world should take after the COVID crisis
- Celebrate with us and find out more at our Engaging with Civic Issues launch event (more information coming soon)
- Keep an eye out for new civic research opportunities through LSE Public Research Partners (more information coming soon)
What are students doing outside the classroom at LSE?
[Volunteering] has helped me to feel involved in the wider London community as well as helping me to gain an idea of what I want do in my future career
Emily, BSc Government and History talks about the impact her volunteering opportunity had on her LSE experience. Learn more about other students’ stories in the LSE Volunteers booklet.
Doing something that goes beyond academia and essays and having a real tangible impact on the world.
What skills are important when it comes to engaging with civic issues?
Developing a vision, laying out a path for how to get there and taking people along with you are key elements of leadership, and can help you turn an idea into positive action.
Whether in writing, in person, or through other media such as film or podcast, it’s a good idea to understand your audience and how best to engage them to convince people of the value and importance of your ideas.
As a social scientist, chances are you’re already keeping up with the news and have an interest in today’s social and political issues. Keep this up as term progresses and don’t get caught in a campus bubble! Develop a sceptical, questioning attitude to the world around you, but prepare to be convinced by solid, well-evidenced arguments. Find out more about the issues in your community, whether that’s in London, at home, or elsewhere.
To make a difference, your findings and recommendations need to be relevant and reliable. View our Investigating and Researching page for more.
Working together with peers, businesses or public interest organisations equips you to ‘scale up’ your impact. The key is reciprocity: devoting your intellect and energy to a cause while learning from those who have practical experience in that area. Sparks to civic innovation come from developing ideas, talking through problems and testing solutions in dialogue that connects people in academic and non-academic circles.
Want to boost your skills? Explore the LSE LIFE Moodle resources and workshop timetable!
Help shape the development of Student Futures
We want to know what extra-curricular opportunities and resources you'd like to see to support your development and help you make an impact on the world. Use the form below to share your feedback and suggestions.