Hello muhreeah! I'm a second year anthropology student at LSE, and I just thought I'd quickly answer some of your concerns.
First off, congrats on getting a place at LSE (and all your other offers)! I think you shouldn't listen to what people say about LSE; whilst the university can be a bit intense at times, it's full of passionate, interesting people, and I think sometimes it almost becomes the case that people care too much about their subject here. Talking about anthropology, as a department, I can't put in enough of a good word. I'm currently sat in the specialised anthropology library, where we have weekly tea parties w/ free coffee and homemade cake!! The department is really welcoming, I have made some of my closest friends from the course, and literally all of the professors and faculty members care so much about the students. Not only does the department have an amazing academic reputation (it's where British anthropology was founded), but the department has an amazing social reputation - often my friends from the government and economics departments moan to me because they wish there department was as good as ours.
Finally, the BA/BSc programmes are exactly the same, it just means you'll finish your degree with a BSc on the certificate, rather than a BA. You do the same modules and are in the same classes, and I have never heard of a situation where an employer or postgraduate scheme will differentiate between the two sets. It's just what you personally would prefer!
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- 15-03-2016 13:53
- 15-03-2016 21:36
Thank you crowthea! That's exactly the response I was hoping for, I'm grateful. My main concerns are about student-faculty relationships (whether I can get to know them and get meaningful assistance and guidance) and a vibrant social intellectual life. I don't care much for clubbing or anything but it would be gutting if I didn't have friends that would take their noses out of books to go discuss what they read over a drink or something. I've heard that the anthropology department has unusually high student satisfaction, and you've drawn a very nice picture, so I'm much less concerned than I was last night, haha.
Also, can I ask about the program itself? I've looked over the course and I really like it, my interest in anthropology arose from my interest in history and I doubt I'll ever leave the social sciences, but do you ever find yourself regretting that you didn't choose a broader anthro program? Despite loving anthro unequivocally, I was already kind of peeved that in the UK system you have to choose a program and not a school, and I have been beating myself up about not taking more hard sciences in high school for the hell of it. UCL's syllabus is less immediately intriguing but am I wrong in thinking it might give me a more holistic education and may be a better overall investment?
- 18-03-2016 14:39
Hiya! Firstly congrats to everyone who has received an offer! I've just received an unconditional offer for Bsc Social Anthropology (I already have my grades)
This means I am now faced with the UCL vs LSE battle... so I feel your pain Mureeah! Very torn between the two so any advice is welcomed
- 19-03-2016 09:35
I think I'm leaning more towards LSE now having thought about it. Importantly, it's cheaper and offers scholarships, but moreover it has the highest student satisfaction for anthro students in the Russell Group (though I imagine that varies from year to year), it's more generous about letting you take courses from other programs, I like its model of "contested knowledge" and focus on rigorous argument, I like that it's more international, and even though the careerist slant of the student body really turned me off at first, I'm excited to be surrounded by people at the top of their game interested in the same sphere of things as I am.
I've been worrying about it a lot but I'm comforted by the knowledge that really, both are world-class schools and either one will be incredible, I don't think you can really go wrong. I hate LSE's mascot, though.
Edit: If this helps anyone, I met with a trained anthropologist working in the market sector today and asked him for some advice, and he told me that UCL is probably the better call for the undergrad because it's broader and better for employers. Granted, it's been like twenty years since he did his undergrad, but he floats around academia and spent time growing up in the UK so I got the impression he knows things pretty well. I'm not completely convinced but every shred of advice helps.Last edited by muhreeah; 23-03-2016 at 05:47.