for undergraduate students


An immersive, engaging and unique learning experience [for] students.

Want to find out how knowledge is created? Maybe understand the processes underpinning your degree subject? Perhaps build up your group and team working skills? Even get a taste of the life of an academic researcher…

LSE GROUPS is an immersive, engaging and a unique learning experience, taking place in June each year. It offers undergraduates the chance to do original research and present it to their peers. 

Students spend two weeks working in small groups, of mixed years and disciplines, with a supervisor. They choose a research question and methodology, collect and analyse data, and write and present a paper at a final conference. Workshops and seminars develop student skills in literature searching, research tools, data analysis and more.


The theme for GROUPS in 2023 will be 'Connections'. 

It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one destiny, affects all indirectly.” 
― Martin Luther King Jr. 

Human connections are remarkably flexible: they can be taxed by separation, but sustained through technology. Communities can also connect physically, at specific times and places, or create their connectedness at a distance through shared practices and languages.  

In London in the last year, the new Elizabeth Line has connected East and West. We've also recently seen how individuals connect through national grief and political ideology. New technology for researching ancestral connections, or reading DNA, have opened up surprising relationships. 

Connection can be intuitive and immediate, or complex and requiring specialist knowledge and effort. Connection can be vital to wellbeing, and connections can make us more powerful. 

Connect with your peers and carry out some research - apply to take part here. Applications close on Monday 3 April at 5pm.

GROUPS in previous years

You can see information on some earlier GROUPS projects below...

"LSE people provided very helpful analysis on causation and correlation .... Imperial people had a good grasp of the quantitative side of things and had more focus on scientific rigour. The diversity of students in the group also made for supporting sources and research in more diverse places." - GROUPS participant

"Freedom to choose what to study. Greater independence. Learning by doing. More contact time than undergraduate studies!" - GROUPS participant
‘LSE GROUPS was the key factor that drove me to pursue my own research with an undergraduate dissertation, so thank you very much for your work on that project and for providing me with my first opportunity to conduct academic research!’


Our theme in 2022 was Resilience and London’s “new normal”. 

How can a city, an industry, or a community be resilient?  

After times of crisis, what stays stable, and what changes?

Resilience means different things in various disciplines, and academic research has investigated the idea of resilience at every scale: nations and ecosystems can be resilient, but so can societies and individuals. Is resilience an essential quality during taxing times? Or is ‘resilience’ a misleading term? Do calls for resilience ask (or expect) even more from the people (and things) under most pressure? 

GROUPS 2022 ran between Monday 6 and Friday 17 June. The winning groups in our three award categories were:

Best paper

Group 6

Nuzhat Choudhury, Sachin Tissera, Wange Li, Aalyan Malik, Mastura Omar, Magnus Yeung, Shimin Zhang and Shiqi Lu

#ShutdownLockdown: Compliance or Non-Compliance? A mixed/multi-method analysis of decreasing tendencies to comply with lockdown restrictions in the UK 

Best presentation

Group 11

Jai Patel, Alicja Ulejczyk, Julia Treuer, Jiayuan Wu, Adam Munandar, Elisa Crescenzo and Shaurya Chandravanshi

The Effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on diversity in friendship groups: negative effects of COVID restrictions on LSE students

Popular prize (student vote)

Group 8

Jingtong Lu, Theerisara Silaphatkul, Amneet Nandra, Helene Sentuc, Anzhen Gu, Sylvia Naneva and Hei Tong Tang

How do traits of introversion or extroversion influence the adaptation of LSE students to online learning?

You can download copies of all the groups' research papers below.

GROUPS 2022 research papers

“It is really wonderful how much resilience there is in human nature. Let any obstructing cause, no matter what, be removed in any way, even by death, and we fly back to first principles of hope and enjoyment.” 

Bram Stoker, Dracula (1897) 

Due to the global COVID-19 situation, GROUPS did not take place in 2020, or in 2021.


LSE GROUPS 2019 took place from 3 to 14 June 2019. Our theme this year was The Future of Work: from night-bus commuting to universal basic income, how does labour (or the lack of it) shape our lives? 

The winners were:

Best Paper - Group 10

Best Presentation - Group 2

Popular Vote - Group 2

LSE GROUPS 2019 - banner (sans details) for newsletter - March 2019

GROUPS 2019 research papers


Group 1

GROUPS 2019 - Group 1 research paper

How will online platforms facilitating the gig economy shape the UK healthcare sector in the near future?

Group 2

GROUPS 2019 - Group 2 research paper

Cracking the enigma of the hidden labour market: an analysis of the role of social and professional networking sites in the job-seeking process.


Group 3

GROUPS 2019 - Group 3 research paper

The Interplay of Ageing Population and ICT.

Group 4

GROUPS 2019 -  Group 4 research paper

Work hard – Play hard: The meritocratic narrative amongst London undergraduates.

Group 5

GROUPS 2019 - Group 5 research paper

Minds at Work: How can a universal basic income alleviate mental health problems caused by automation and work in the gig economy?

Group 6

GROUPS 2019 - Group 6 research paper

The STEM transition gap in the UK: Why women opt out of STEM careers after graduation?

Group 7

GROUPS 2019 - Group 7 research paper

Training for the Future: A Sector-Based Approach to the Analysis of the Relationship Between Automation and Training.

Group 8

GROUPS 2019 - Group 8 research paper

Gig it yourself: The impact of gig work on incidence of training cost in Australia, 2001-2017.

Group 9

GROUPS 2019 - Group 9 research paper

Survival of the Fittest: Artificial Selection in Recruitment How does the increasing use of artificial intelligence in the recruitment process influence candidate experience and behaviour?

Group 10

GROUPS 2019 - Group 10 research paper

Relationship between the share of women GPs and patient satisfaction: a case for gender equality∗ in the future healthcare workplace.



GROUPS 2018 took place as an intensive two week experience in Summer Term 2018.  Recruitment took place during Lent Term 2018.  

This year’s theme was belongings, a topic which touched on ownership, allegiance, place and identity. #groups2018 


You can download the students' research papers (pdf) below, by clicking on each group's title.

The winners were:

Best Paper - Group 4

Best Presentation - Group 1

Popular Vote - Group 5

Stairwell collective shot - final dayIMG_9216 v3

GROUPS 2018 research papers



 GROUPS 2018 - Group 1 research paper

Happy to be somewhere in the middle? Belonging among second-generation Chinese immigrants in London 



GROUPS 2018 - Group 2 research paper

Crossrail in the counties: a case study of place identity in Brentwood, Essex.



GROUPS 2018 - Group 3 research paper

 ‘They know me, they know me not’: investigating the influence of departments on student sense of belonging to LSE



GROUPS 2018 - Group 4 research paper 

Munching your way to integration: the making of a diverse community at LSE




GROUPS 2018 - Group 5 research paper 

Hello loneliness my old friend: exploring factors affecting loneliness at LSE



GROUPS 2018 - Group 6 research paper 

Expectations vs reality: a comparative study of the LSE’s discourse and students’ perspectives on the LSE community



GROUPS 2018 - Group 7 research paper 

“It’s about loving Chinese”: Exploring the impact of language on Chinese students’ sense of national identity



GROUPS 2018 - Group 8 research paper 

An investigation into the mismatch between self-identity and stereotypical image of affiliated LSE department



Michaelmas-Lent GROUPS 2017-18 (#giantGROUPS)

‘Beveridge 2.0’

In 1942, the Beveridge Report scrutinised British society, and laid the foundation for the welfare state. The report identified five dangerous ‘giants’: Poverty, Squalor, Idleness, Ignorance and Disease. Seventy-five years later, are the giants still strong? Is the welfare state the best way to defeat them?

Participants in GROUPS chose one ‘giant’ as their specific area of interest, and joined a group focusing on that topic, made up of students from mixed years and disciplines. They chose a research question and methodology, collected and analysed data, and presented their findings at a final conference.





We are living in uncertain times. How can social scientists study change and instability? How do individuals and communities live with uncertainty?

LSE GROUPS returned for its seventh year, offering LSE undergraduates an exciting end-of-year opportunity to conduct research under the topic of ‘Uncertainty’. You can read the 2017 Conference Programme here. Below are research questions from the twelve student groups

Group 1 - To Gamble or Not to Gamble:  An empirical research into LSE students’ risk-taking behaviour and their performance on negatively-marked MCQs in EC102 exam (WINNER - BEST PRESENTATION & POPULAR VOTE)

Group 2 - Too little too late, useless words? An Analysis of the Impact UK Threat Levels have on the Public Perception of their Safety

Group 3 -  Public perceptions amongst Londoners following terrorist attacks in the UK in early 2017

Group 4 -  Heuristics, Uncertainty and Terrorism; Estimations of the Likelihood of Fatality due to Terrorist Events -  Do people overestimate the likelihood of fatality due to terrorist events?

Group 5 - Fear and Anger: How does the emotionalisation of news reports affect perceptions of terrorism risk?

Group 6 -  Apprentices of automation: adapting career paths to ever-smarter machines  (WINNER - BEST RESEARCH PAPER)

Group 7 -  To Vote or not to Vote: Does uncertainty in public opinion affect political engagement in US Presidential elections?

Group 8 -  Brexit matters? Different Brexit Scenarios’ Impact on Undergraduates’ Decision to Pursue Postgraduate Study in the UK

Group 9 - The Truth Behind Fake News: Insights into the perceived trustworthiness of news and its link to policy decisions

Group 10 -  Brick-and-Mortar Barriers:  The Impact of Uncertainty Avoidance on Purchase Probability under Personalized Pricing

Group 11 - #Hashtags and Bullets: Mapping Citizen Journalism and unarmed U.S. Police Shootings

Group 12 -  All lime and salt, no tequila: questioning the impact of Trumpian uncertainty on Mexico’s economy


LSE GROUPS 2016: Poverty and inequality in London

Great news!!! our LSE GROUPS project Hipsters and spikes: mapping gentrification and defensive architecture inTower Hamlets’ won the Booth prize at the LSE Research Festival. 

In its sixth year the theme for participants to research was ‘Poverty and Inequality in London’.

The cross-disciplinary, cross-year groups spent two weeks at the end of Summer Term working on a research project of their choice under the umbrella of ‘Poverty and Inequality in London’.  Students formulated their own research questions, carried out a literature review, designed their methodology, conducted their research and then wrote up their papers, culminating in a series of short presentations at the conference on the last day of the project.

Have a look at a film that we commissioned to document the experience of students who took part in GROUPS in 2016: 



The 2016 GROUPS carried out research projects on the following topics:

Groups 1 & 4: Inequality in elite places: The experience of routine workers at the LSE (combined project)

Bashir Ali, Nadim Choudhury, Laura Ehrich, Jinchong Ho, Haowei Li, Reyss Wheeler

This paper explores the experiences of non-academic support staff at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). There has been much research on low paid workers in London, but this research paper seeks to outline whether the working environment has an impact on one’s perspective of the inequality they face. The LSE is an interesting institution to study in this respect, as it exudes immense privilege, yet maintains a strong verbal commitment to equality and has in the past been held to account for falling short of this commitment. Since the work of front-line, manual labour staff is often rendered invisible, at a prestigious institution like the LSE, they often become the face of the inequality. Surveys and on-campus ethnographic observations of LSE’s cleaning, catering, security and other support staff were used to inform in-depth interviews. Our findings suggest that staff are generally satisfied in their working environment and with their pay. The majority do not express feelings of inequality - but there may be issues about work hierarchies and inclusion. Some suggestions for how the LSE can further improve the experience of its lowest-paid staff will be put forward.

Group 2: Displacement and disenchantment: a longitudinal analysis of social housing provision in Earl’s Court

Hari Chitnavis, Hanumanth Karri, Helen Broad

This paper proves that there has been a statistically significant decrease in social housing in Earl’s Court over the past 15 years, particularly in relation to the rest of London. Additionally, through qualitative analysis, this study finds considerable evidence of potential future displacement of social housing tenants due to the Earl’s Court Regeneration Scheme. We conclude that a reduction in social housing is due to a lack of availability not a lack of need with regards to social housing. Our results are indicative of a mismanaged social housing system, which has led to distrust and social tension between local authorities and community members. Under proposed regeneration schemes, the wait for new “affordable” housing to be completed would force current social housing tenants to leave due to lack of feasible interval housing. This leads to an increase in people looking toward private rented housing which only further lowers their income after rental payments, causing them to fall further into poverty. Earl’s Court is a present day example of such circumstances.

Group 3: Overcoming educational inequality: An examination of the perceptions of Teach First

Jessica Pandian, Rachel Lim Pei Yi, Mohamed Hidayat Al Rahman, Jivan Navani, Puneet Minocha, Yun Zhang

This paper explores third-party attempts to alleviate educational inequality in London by focusing on the Teach First scheme. To provide a background of the rationale behind Teach First, a review of the existing literature on the relationship between education and poverty was carried out. In addition, visual analysis of the scheme’s promotional material as well as in-depth semi-structured interviews with current applicants were conducted. This enables the critical analysis and comparison of the perceptions of the Teach First scheme and the realities experienced by those who have applied and/or have taught with the initiative. Our results suggest that potential teachers in the Teach First scheme perceive it as being conducive to achieving educational equality. However, the largely selfinterested and non-altruistic motivations of our participants illustrate the disparity between the aims and reality of Teach First. Moreover, the underlying factors that contribute to educational inequality tend not to be addressed by the scheme due to the multidimensional nature of poverty and inequality. Consequently, this paper suggests that the Teach First scheme needs to be modified in order to align the values of its participants and the organisation.

Group 5 - WINNER - BEST PRESENTATION and POPULAR PRIZE - Hipsters and spikes: mapping gentrification and defensive architecture inTower Hamlets

Tatiana Pazem, Sofia Lesur Kastelein, Sally Park, Robert Clark, Xinyang Li

Within the context of London’s extensive redevelopment and rising poverty rates, “gentrification”, debates around redevelopment and who it should serve have gained widespread attention. Existing literature considers the role of defensive architecture in the context of securitisation of urban space, positing gentrification as a possible driving force behind this phenomenon (Petty, 2016). Gentrification here is understood as the “production of urban space for progressively more affluent users” (Hackworth, 2002). Defensive architecture, such as ground-level metal studs, is an aspect of urban design intended to render public spaces “unusable in certain ways or by certain groups” (Petty, 2016). This paper offers a pioneering attempt to link these two phenomena and contributes new empirical evidence to the debate. This research investigates the relationship between gentrification and defensive architecture. Using ArcGIS, it maps defensive architecture and ‘indicators’ of gentrification in the borough of Tower Hamlets. It then looks for qualitative causal links using questionnaires to examine its community impact. The research then explores the ownership, usage and perceptions of the social space in which defensive architecture is located, to answer questions about how and why urban design can be used to perpetuate social exclusion. Early-stage analysis indicates some relationship between hostile urban design and gentrified areas, tentatively suggesting wealthier owners of public space seek to discourage its use by less-wealthy individuals.

Group 6 - WINNER - BEST RESEARCH PAPER (TIED) - Coming in from the cold: A case study of community engagement in tackling fuel poverty

Chenxu Fu, Vitaliy Komar, Rebecca Rose, Usama Shoaib, Lay Sheng Yap

Despite the government’s top-down policies to reduce fuel poverty, the number of households considered fuel poor remains persistently high. This paper aims to assess the potential of local intervention in reducing fuel poverty through community-centred initiatives such as the Winter Warmth and Healthy Home campaigns. These schemes have been put in place within Kensington and Chelsea so that policy trickles down to the fuel poor through community-specific networks. Qualitative data was collected from different stakeholders within the network. This ranged from the use of semi-structured interviews with a host of national and local charitable organisations to surveys with borough residents. Through analyzing the interactions and relationships between stakeholders, the strengths and shortcomings of the networks were identified. Our findings indicate that information dispersed via local organisations is more commonly trusted and acted upon by the fuel poor. The deeper connection between the community and these organisations also allows identification of households vulnerable to fuel poverty; many of whom would have otherwise been missed by government policies. However, we recognize that there are coordination obstacles between national and local groups which create disparities in the support available to the fuel poor in different regions. Overall, a model of community-led initiatives has to be complemented with the strengthening of local networks and national support.

Group 7 - Degrees: the key to social mobility? The role of credential inflation in reinforcing inequality through employment

Neethi David, Fahmi Farid, Zhaobin Guo, Andrew Ying Han Loh, Hanqing Zeng

The London Effect has seen increased equalisation of educational qualifications across income and ethnic groups, causing London to be perceived as an extremely socially mobile city. However, evidence shows that equalisation of education has not translated into real social mobility. We hypothesize that credential inflation exists in London. Therefore education is insufficient in ensuring social mobility through employment, proposing a multitude of alternative factors which reinforce inequality in employability. By conducting semi-structured interviews with Londoners and social organisations within two London Boroughs, and through quantitative analysis of the London job market and the qualifications of its workforce, our study confirms our initial hypothesis. To analyse our data, we have coded the interviews according to broad themes, and constructed the Credential Inflation Index (CII) as a measure of the level of credential inflation in London and the UK. We find that saturation of higher education and heightened job competition cause qualifications to be worth less when finding a job. This in turn causes social capital due to family background and soft skills to become more important in the job market, causing household inequality during one’s educational years during to become more noteworthy in determining an individual’s employability when entering the workforce.

Group 8 - Can money buy access? Intersectional analysis of income and disability in London transport

Tong Li, Nathan Gu, Mahnoor Mir, Yash Salunkhe, Selin Esen, Szabolcs Botond Perniczki Bozsing, Tom Breheny

Mobility impaired individuals typically face lower incomes and restricted access options, hindering socio-economic engagement. Previous studies mainly focused on the contrast between the travel experience of the abled and disabled community. This paper aims to examine whether income divergence results in intra-group differences in travel experiences of the mobility-impaired community in London. Both qualitative and quantitative studies were conducted employing indepth interviews, surveys and focus groups to explore the travel experiences of individuals with mobility impairments. This paper incorporates the views of the mobility impaired population and experts. The findings demonstrated that high income cannot enable individuals to mitigate transport access issues. In addition, the extent to which the mobility impaired community within London is constrained in their transport access depends on a variety of factors, especially the severity of disabilities. The above factors produce a complex and nuanced picture. This paper complements existing research by assessing the impact of household income on the transport experiences of the mobility-impaired community in London.

Group 9 - Inequality in elite places: The experience of routine workers at the LSE

Bashir Ali, Laura Ehrich, Reyss Wheeler, Haowei Li, Nadim Choudhury, Jinchong Ho

This paper explores the experiences of non-academic support staff at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). There has been much research on low paid workers in London, but this research paper seeks to outline whether the working environment has an impact on one’s perspective of the inequality they face. The LSE is an interesting institution to study in this respect, as it exudes immense privilege, yet maintains a strong verbal commitment to equality and has in the past been held to account for falling short of this commitment. Since the work of front-line, manual labour staff is often rendered invisible, at a prestigious institution like the LSE, they often become the face of the inequality. Surveys and on-campus ethnographic observations of LSE’s cleaning, catering, security and other support staff were used to inform in-depth interviews. Our findings suggest that staff are generally satisfied in their working environment and with their pay. The majority do not express feelings of inequality - but there may be issues about work hierarchies and inclusion. Some suggestions for how the LSE can further improve the experience of its lowest-paid staff will be put forward.

Group 10 - WINNER - BEST RESEARCH PAPER (TIED) “On the fringes of LSE society?” – The impact of socioeconomic factors on student experience at the LSE

Stefanos Argyros, Sian Brahach, Jimmy Ka Fung Lam, Asia Lawrance, Shirley Wang Jia Ying

This paper aims to assess the impact of students’ socioeconomic background on their experience at the LSE, focusing on sociocultural and economic barriers to achievement and integration. There is a wealth of literature on the impact of socioeconomic background in pre-university education and on post-university career progression. However, past research on inequality at the LSE has mainly centered on ethnic factors, without a commensurate analysis of the role of socioeconomic factors in the student experience. The purpose of this research project is twofold. Firstly, the research draws on surveys (155 responses) and aims to compare the experience of students from a plethora of different socioeconomic backgrounds. Secondly, the survey is complemented by semi-structured interviews (8) with students from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds, to build a more in-depth understanding of this group’s subjective experiences at the LSE. The findings suggest that perceptions of the quality of teaching and support services at the LSE are similar across different socioeconomic backgrounds. However, students from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds appear to be more susceptible to exclusion - i.e. to lie ‘on the fringes of LSE society’, as one respondent put it. These students face distinctive challenges in their efforts to integrate socially and academically at the LSE. The findings of the study indicate the need to develop practical institutional solutions to promote a more inclusive environment for LSE students, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Group 11 - Benefit or burden? How Londoners view immigration

Grace Natusch, Mriga Chowdhary and Jialu Li

In this article, we compare the social representations of immigrants in two London boroughs (Hackney and Kensington & Chelsea) differing in income and patterns of immigration. Immigration is currently a salient issue on the public agenda and national discourses on immigration are a prominent area in social science research. However, there is need for more research on the variations of discourse at the local community level. We use the methods of critical discourse analysis (CDA) to uncover what kinds of discursive frames are used in the local media outlets and the popular vernacular in both boroughs. Drawing on qualitative analysis of articles from two local newspapers (Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea Today and Hackney Gazette), we shed light on the variations in the discourse of immigrants and immigration between the two boroughs. We then augmented our findings by conducting semi-structured interviews with people from both boroughs. The social representations found in the popular vernaculars echoed the media discourse in each borough. Our research makes the contribution to conceptualising the link between demographic properties of communities and the discursive frames on immigration that these communities use.



Those students interested in LSE GROUPS may also wish to consider Posters in Parliament.