Information for 1st year undergraduate students

Your first year at LSE can be both exciting and daunting. You will begin your studies by building a strong understanding of key themes and concepts in your discipline and developing the skills you'll need to succeed in your studies. 

Your Academic Mentor can support you to make the most of every opportunity and work with you to improve things if it's not quite going to plan. 

To help you make the most of your year and look forward to what's coming up, here is a summary of a typical first year.

What happens in Michaelmas Term and before?

August

If you haven't already, you'll get your results and confirm your place at LSE. Get ready by doing any pre-reading you've been assigned, finalising your living arrangements and, if you need to, making sure your Student Finance or Visa applications are in progress. Admissions, the International Student Visa Advice Team and your department can help you if anything isn't going to plan, but bear in mind, they'll be extremely busy and may not get back to you immediately.

September

You'll arrive at LSE in Welcome Week. Through the week you'll learn more about your courses, what we expect from an LSE student, your department, LSE's services and the clubs and societies you can join. People experience Welcome Week differently- some love how busy and energetic it is, others find it  overwhelming. However you find it, remember, it's not the last chance to meet new people and join societies or volunteering teams so don't worry if you don't quite work out which ones you want to join right away.

You'll start your classes and should now have access to all of LSE's resources. If you haven't already, you can download LSE's app, the Student Hub.

Opportunities for paid work are available all over London. The School and Students' Union will also recruit for student staff in Michaelmas Term.

If you have a disability and haven't done so already, get in touch with the Disability and Wellbeing Service to discuss adjustments and plans for your study.

October, November, December

You should now have a full timetable and understand the deadlines for any work you'll be asked to submit.

You'll meet with your Academic Mentor and can book appointments with any of LSE's services if you're interested in extra support in building your skills. LSE LIFE and LSE Careers run full programmes and it's likely your department will also have extra curricular activities you can attend and your teachers will run Office Hours.

You may decide to run as your course's Course Rep, and if elected, you'll attend training during this period. The first Staff Student Liasion Committee meetings of the year will take place in this period.

Larger companies offering internships will start to post them from September, with deadlines varying. Many expect to fill their places for the next summer by the December and January before. If you're hoping to do a summer internship, do plenty of research to make sure you have time to prepare good applications for the ones that most appeal to you. If you've missed a deadline or not been offered the placement you want this year, don't worry. Other opportunities will come up through the spring, and you can apply again in your second year. LSE Careers are there to support you with any questions you may have. 

If you're taking January exams, you'll receive your timetable as soon as it's ready and can start planning your revision and plans for the break. Even if you have revision or assignments to do during the break, remember to schedule in time to relax, catch up with friends and family and reflect on your first term at LSE. 

You may feel like the reading, assignments and studying should (and could) take up all of your time, but this is an ideal point in your time at LSE to start finding out what kind of activities benefit you, and which ones don't. Remember though, you can't do everything all the time and you don't need to feel pressured to get involved with things just because your peers are doing them. Try to keep up with your notes as you go or revision later will be more difficult.

What happens in Lent Term?

January

You may return straight to January exams or due assignments, or you might arrive with the chance to get ahead on your reading for your courses. As in Michaelmas Term, LSE LIFE, LSE Careers and your department will offer a range of extra curricular activities throughout Lent Term. You'll also start LSE100, and mix with students from across the School.

You should receive dates for assignments and know what your timetable for Lent Term will look like. 

You may want to meet with your Academic Mentor to check in or ask any questions you have now you've sat your first LSE exams.

February, March, April

Classes will continue and you'll be busy with reading, assignments and study. You should take time out each week to focus on other areas of your life, as well as making sure you stay on top of your notes.

You'll receive feedback and marks from assignments and exams. To make the most of this, you should arrange to meet with your Mentor or the course teacher to clarify what you can do to improve moving fowards.

You'll also get the chance to feedback on your experience through Staff Student Liaison Committees, either as a Course Rep, or by contacting your Course Rep ahead of the meetings.

Most teaching will finish before the Easter break, so you should make sure you understand concepts and attend any Office Hours where you're not sure or want to discuss a topic further.

It's a good time to meet with LSE Careers if you want to start making plans for your second year.

What happens in Summer Term and Summer

May and June

In some departments exams begin in May. Early Summer Term is a good time for revision and attending any revision sessions in your department or LSE LIFE that you think will help you. There's plenty of stress-busting activity and support on campus during this period, but you also need to be aware of your stress levels and look after yourself.

Attend and sit your exams. If for any reason you feel you're not fit to sit the exam, speak to the Student Services Centre as soon as possible to understand your options. If you cannot attend an exam, call the Student Services Centre as soon as possible on +44 (0)20 7955 6167.

July and August

Course choice for your second year will open in July, so make time to decide what you want to study and speak to peers and staff while you're on campus.

If you've lived in Halls during your first year, it's time to move out. Unlike many other UK cities, the rental market is fast-paced and unless you have very specific needs, you don't normally need to plan more than a few months in advance of your moving date. That said, you should bear in mind that renting in London is expensive, competitive and standards at the cheaper end of the market can be quite low so it's best not to leave your search to the very last minute if you can avoid it. Getting an idea of the market online and through a few viewings can help you make the best decisions later on. 

The LSESU Advice team and the University of London Housing Services (ULHS) can give you advice and answer any questions you might have.There are plenty of legitimate agents and legitimate listings online but each year, students fall prey to fraudsters so if you're not sure or if something looks too good to be true, check with LSESU or ULHS before handing over any money.

You should do some preparation for your next year of study and may undertake work or internships, but it's also really important to make some time over the summer for a proper break before you return to LSE in September as a second year student.

Quick checklists for the year

This year I will:

  • Start my programme and gain a good foundational knowledge in key concepts
  • Meet new people and join LSE's academic community
  • Complete assignments and exams
  • Receive feedback and plan how to improve work in the future
  • Choose my course options for my second year of study

This year I could:

  • Attend Office Hours to discuss theories and ideas and raise any questions I have
  • Join clubs, societies or volunteer groups
  • Attend LSE LIFELSE Careers and departmental extra curricular activities
  • Apply for paid work
  • Apply for internships
  • Look for private rented accommodation if I'm planning to live there in my second year of study