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    I'm applying for a course in geography with economics at LSE and have heard a lot of bad stuff about LSE, especially on TSR - poor contact time with professors, the postgrads are poor at teaching undergrads and so you pretty much have to learn the whole course independently, the social life is poor (maybe due to the amount of foreign students who prefer to stick with their own), and this contributes to an experience that doesn't reflect the reputation that LSE holds internationally. My general feeling is that LSE is a factory that churns out very bright undergrads (who have a great capacity to learn independently), and that it focusses very much on postgraduate study (after all, that is the reason why LSE is known as an international social science research powerhouse), much to the detriment of the undergrad experience.

    Is there anyone at LSE who can refute this with their own experiences? I'm also applying to do economics and geography at UCL, and having visited there numerous times (I have an older sibling who goes there), it seems like there is much more scope for opportunity in terms of societies, sports, meeting like minded people etc. If anyone could reply, this would be appreciated so much, I am undecided on where to go. And please could you be honest
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    Anyone??
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    .....
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    Doesn't look good does it....
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    (Original post by damidude)
    Doesn't look good does it....
    Do you go to LSE?
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    No. Just don't go to LSE
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    (Original post by damidude)
    No. Just don't go to LSE
    Could you possibly expand on that?? Or do you have the same information as me?
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    Gosh, you're impatient! There's no need to bump the thread quite so much :p:

    I love LSE and, to be honest, I can't relate to most of those criticisms. The social life is what you make of it: I go out min. 2 nights a week and I could easily be out every night if I wanted to. Most people I know at LSE go out more than me, actually, so there are plenty of people at LSE who like to party, & you're in London so the clubbing world is your oyster (plus, you can socialise with people at other London unis too). People I've met are almost always super-friendly, far removed from the over-competitive LSE caricature, and I don't even find campus to have a particularly corporate atmosphere. & some of the people I'm closest to are international students.

    Academics-wise, I love my course. The postgrad teaching I've had has been excellent; I have learnt a lot from the 1 hour classes (contact time at other top unis doesn't seem to be much different anyway). The self-studying aspect is overhyped, the lectures spoonfeed you a lot of the information (although this analysis may be skewed by the fact that I self-taught my A-levels and I've only been there for one term).

    Anyway, there's a lot of good things about LSE; in fact, i can't think of anything truly bad about it (although that's not to say that LSE is perfect, obviously!). All universities have these kind of rumours flying around and they almost all seem to be overhyped or just plain untrue. Of course, it may be the case that my experience is the exception and the ones of more critical LSE students here are the norm, but I really doubt it from what people I know have said; the only place I've heard of these kind of problems is on TSR. Feel free to ask any more questions.
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    (Original post by caroline147)
    Gosh, you're impatient! There's no need to bump the thread quite so much :p:

    I love LSE and, to be honest, I can't relate to most of those criticisms. The social life is what you make of it: I go out min. 2 nights a week and I could easily be out every night if I wanted to. Most people I know at LSE go out more than me, actually, so there are plenty of people at LSE who like to party, & you're in London so the clubbing world is your oyster (plus, you can socialise with people at other London unis too). People I've met are almost always super-friendly, far removed from the over-competitive LSE caricature, and I don't even find campus to have a particularly corporate atmosphere. & some of the people I'm closest to are international students.

    Academics-wise, I love my course. The postgrad teaching I've had has been excellent; I have learnt a lot from the 1 hour classes (contact time at other top unis doesn't seem to be much different anyway). The self-studying aspect is overhyped, the lectures spoonfeed you a lot of the information (although this analysis may be skewed by the fact that I self-taught my A-levels and I've only been there for one term).

    Anyway, there's a lot of good things about LSE; in fact, i can't think of anything truly bad about it (although that's not to say that LSE is perfect, obviously!). All universities have these kind of rumours flying around and they almost all seem to be overhyped or just plain untrue. Of course, it may be the case that my experience is the exception and the ones of more critical LSE students here are the norm, but I really doubt it from what people I know have said; the only place I've heard of these kind of problems is on TSR. Feel free to ask any more questions.
    Thanks for that! In all honesty, I'm not fussed about the independent learning, that is the point of going to university after all - too develop skills like that. Out of interest, which course do you do, what offer did you get, when did you apply and when did you receive the offer? Wow that was wordy. And also, what sports facilities can LSE students use that are actually in central London?
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    (Original post by therealOG)
    Thanks for that! In all honesty, I'm not fussed about the independent learning, that is the point of going to university after all - too develop skills like that. Out of interest, which course do you do, what offer did you get, when did you apply and when did you receive the offer? Wow that was wordy. And also, what sports facilities can LSE students use that are actually in central London?
    I do Politics & Philosophy (& I also do an Economics module), so I suppose the more quantitative courses may have different teaching standards. I had an AAB offer last year, I received it on March 1st and I'd applied on October 7th: a 5 month wait! Mmm, I don't know too much about sports facilities, to be honest, hopefully someone else can help you more with that. I do know that there are badminton courts, tennis courts and a very cheap gym on campus though, and another gym & a swimming pool at the UofL union in Bloomsbury. Good luck!
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    The pavements. They have such a nice shade of grey :daydreaming:
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    (Original post by therealOG)
    I'm applying for a course in geography with economics at LSE and have heard a lot of bad stuff about LSE, especially on TSR - poor contact time with professors, the postgrads are poor at teaching undergrads and so you pretty much have to learn the whole course independently, the social life is poor (maybe due to the amount of foreign students who prefer to stick with their own), and this contributes to an experience that does reflect the reputation that LSE holds internationally. My general feeling is that LSE is a factory that churns out very bright undergrads (who have a great capacity to learn independently), and that it focusses very much on postgraduate study (after all, that is the reason why LSE is known as an international social science research powerhouse), much to the detriment of the undergrad experience.

    Is there anyone at LSE who can refute this with their own experiences? I'm also applying to do economics and geography at UCL, and having visited there numerous times (I have an older sibling who goes there), it seems like there is much more scope for opportunity in terms of societies, sports, meeting like minded people etc. If anyone could reply, this would be appreciated so much, I am undecided on where to go. And please could you be honest
    all those things are true to a degree; although I've had some great postgrad teachers, there's just nothing comparable to having a senior lecturer teaching a class on something he's been studying intensely for 30-40 years...

    however i've found professors to be very very approachable; you just have to go to office hours/find other ways to get to know them. for instance, you'll find that most professors are actually quite eager to talk to students about stuff, course-related and otherwise. some professors are more reserved when it comes to talking about non-course-related stuff, but that comes down to personality more than anything else. some are very outgoing and friendly.

    as for social life, for me at least, i find mine pretty inactive, for a combination of factors some of which i control and some of which i consider to be structural limitations imposed by the conditions at LSE. for my part i am a bit of a workaholic, and definitely do not take advantage of all opportunities available to me socially; i'm also pretty shy and awkward, so there's the disclaimer. however, the fact that i have to get on a tube for a half hour every time i want to see one of my friends - i do not live at halls - every time i want to see one of them militates against having a very active social life. i wish people lived a lot closer. LSE does not really facilitate social interaction either, as most people I know only come to campus for class and leave right afterwards...

    that said, i like LSE a lot. it's possible that i'll be coming back here for a master's next year, so whatever qualms i have with the place, i like it a lot overall.
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    (Original post by Lou_Ferrigno)
    all those things are true to a degree; although I've had some great postgrad teachers, there's just nothing comparable to having a senior lecturer teaching a class on something he's been studying intensely for 30-40 years...
    What we did 40 years ago in economics is history.

    And my micro class teacher was a PhD student teaching the course for the first or second time, and not even doing his PhD in micro, and yet he was probably the best teacher I had at uni.
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    (Original post by caroline147)
    I do Politics & Philosophy (& I also do an Economics module), so I suppose the more quantitative courses may have different teaching standards. I had an AAB offer last year, I received it on March 1st and I'd applied on October 7th: a 5 month wait! Mmm, I don't know too much about sports facilities, to be honest, hopefully someone else can help you more with that. I do know that there are badminton courts, tennis courts and a very cheap gym on campus though, and another gym & a swimming pool at the UofL union in Bloomsbury. Good luck!
    Yes that is a long wait! But then again, you applied before the 15th October deadline (did you also apply to oxbridge?), and my economics teacher says LSE will take their time replying if you do that. Cheers
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      (Original post by therealOG)
      I'm applying for a course in geography with economics at LSE and have heard a lot of bad stuff about LSE, especially on TSR - poor contact time with professors, the postgrads are poor at teaching undergrads and so you pretty much have to learn the whole course independently, the social life is poor (maybe due to the amount of foreign students who prefer to stick with their own), and this contributes to an experience that does reflect the reputation that LSE holds internationally. My general feeling is that LSE is a factory that churns out very bright undergrads (who have a great capacity to learn independently), and that it focusses very much on postgraduate study (after all, that is the reason why LSE is known as an international social science research powerhouse), much to the detriment of the undergrad experience.

      Is there anyone at LSE who can refute this with their own experiences? I'm also applying to do economics and geography at UCL, and having visited there numerous times (I have an older sibling who goes there), it seems like there is much more scope for opportunity in terms of societies, sports, meeting like minded people etc. If anyone could reply, this would be appreciated so much, I am undecided on where to go. And please could you be honest
      More or less, this going on in every university.
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      (Original post by Tallon)
      I'm a first year doing the Actuarial Science Bsc course and I think you have summed up all the cons with LSE. But on the bright side, you have summed up all the cons. And that's not to say that LSE is the only university with these problems.

      I might bore you with a few stories of weird **** that has annoyed me at LSE actually.
      My first day, we all head downstairs to shake hands, ask generic questions about what course you're doing, how's life, where you are from, etc a million times over. I was talking to one guy and halfway through the conversation he literally said to me, "I need to find some Asians to talk to". Like, what? Weird.

      A day later I was playing pool with a friend. My friend is talking to some guy, who literally says, word for word to my friend (who's from pakistan) "Yeah, I don't tend to like English people" and he actually points to me as he says it. What?

      After the Actuarial Science induction talk I found myself talking to some girl, and then we head off with her friends to get dinner. And it's all going well, then it suddenly hits me that I have no place here whatsoever because all this group ever talked about, non stop, was who is from where, and how all Indians get on with all philapenies, and what all Chinese people think about it. It was just ridiculous. Like they're obsessed with it, or something. I had nothing to contribute. God, it's just weird. Someone who I was friends with but no longer am, always used to complain to me about "aspirational Indians" or something, as well :\. I look at my friendship groups at LSE now and although I'm usually the only white English guy, my groups are all full of people who grow up in England or who are very English. Not because we're racist at all, because God, we've tried to socialise, but I've come to realise that 's just how LSE and life is, which is awful.

      All the teachers I have are awful and classes are pointless. They go through solutions which are posted up on moodle anyway. I could do that for goodness sake. And all classes are so frustrating because for some reason unknown to me, nobody ever volunteers to answers a general question from the teacher to the class. It’s bull**** because they all know the answers anyway. Why wait literally minutes in completely awkward silence when you have the answer? Just share it so we can move on, for God sake. I used to volunteer answers but I got really sick of it after months, so now I just sit back and let us all die together.

      Lectures are more helpful than classes. LSE was like 3rd overall best university in the Uk according to league tables until they introduced student satisfaction ratings.

      I've only mentioned the bad points though. There are plenty of good points. It's central London so you can live a brilliant life. It not hard to find really good friends to have a great time with. And a degree from LSE does get you places.
      Thanks for your reply, the stories about your first day were actually quite interesting . Being a British Asian, I can imagine some of the awkward situations/conversations I could be having if I did go to a London Uni :rolleyes:. My older sibling at UCL has told me about some wierd encounters she had with international students....I suppose geography and economics classes will differ quite a bit from acturial science ones, at least the geography ones anyway...I'm guessing quite a large proportion of you classes are taken up with going through mathematical problems?
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      (Original post by Tallon)
      I told you (some of) the worse stories I could think of that have happened to me so far. LSE isn't always like that, and plenty of people have better experiences. I could tell you loads of good stories and fun times I've had as well. I've got drunk a few times, some good parties, seen some lesbian action, etc just hung out with mates messing around, we do joke about how lame we and LSE people are, which might seem bad, but it shows that we're human beings and not just LSE drones. We are at least aware that it's weird here. There is actually a facebook group from older students called “overhead at LSE...” where people volunteer lame quotes they have overhead at LSE apparently. Bit weird, but yeah.

      I have a friend in UCL as well who is a pretty normal, easy going person. And from what she tells me, it is very similar over there as well. Overworked, and the common room is always dead, etc. I think it might be a London university thing mostly since all my friends outside of London seem to be enjoying university a lot more.

      The majority of my classes?
      In MA103, which is the interesting abstract maths module, is too early at 9am on friday, so I manage to get out of bed and turn up to about 50% of them (then going to office hours and awkwardly handing in my homework then). It's exactly going though the solutions in moodle, which anybody could do in their room in solitude anyway. The teacher might ask the class a simple question occasionally, look at people trying desperately to avoid eye contact for en eternity, until either she gives up and chooses somebody at random who immediately gives the correct answer, or she gives up and just talks at us.

      MA100, which is the moiré routine maths module, is largely the same. Although I really like and respect Derek Wan a lot more so whenever there is an awkward silence I just volunteer the answer. The guy is so succinct and thorough. He reminds me of Frank Abignale from the film “catch me if you can” because we all thought he was a student until he ushered us in the class and started teaching us . He sounds kind of similar too in my opinion. Really nice bloke actually. I always learn a new word every lesson because of his amazing vocabulary as well.

      I changed economic classes as I was always late (all my classes are on friday). It's the same old jazz. Going through the homework pointlessly since we can check the answers online. The teacher is alright though because he just systematically asks people to answer questions so there's no awkward silences. Still, a very pointless class though. The class does seem a bit more friendly though. I’ve only just changed classes and gone to 2 lessons, but I might even occasionally here conversations or laughter.

      ST102 is where the teacher just talks at us, not asking anybody anything, and reads out the solutions. If I turn up I just doodle cartoons on my work. The most pointless class of all time, probably. Once I actually asked the teacher a question about standard deviations, and she tried to answer it on the board, but wasn't answering my question, so a classmate next to me tried to explain to her what my question was, but she nothing came of it. I think it was language barrier rather than the teacher being incompetent. Nevertheless, I still don’t know why we only square root the denominator, despite trying to check online. Who cares anyway? Won't matter for the exam and that's all that matters, obviously :\
      I'm kinda used to being surrounded by wierdness lol, I go to a state grammar school, and there's a lot of sheltered people, ignorant/prejudiced people, posh middle class people, nerdy introvert people etc...I'd put myself in the "normal" group with a hint of nerdiness hehe, and me and my friends also joke about this n stuff. If witnessing lesbian action is a regular occurance at LSE then I'm defo going there .

      If I'm being honest, I'm not too phased about the prospect of dodgy class teaching methods etc, I reckon I'm clever and motivated enough to handle the independent learning and I've had practice too - the geography department at my school is a complete joke, and so I've taught myself the entire GCSE and A level course over the past 4 years :cool:

      Just a couple of questions.......Do you ever venture quite far from your accomodation when out socialising? London is a massive place so I'm sure quite a lot of people just stick to their local surroundings....at the UCL Geography talk the lecturer said that some 2nd year students proudly told him that they had seen the River Thames, and I'm pretty sure he wasn't joking. I'm all for exploring places when out and about and trying new things, and I don't know if I'd enjoy it if it's the "given thing to do" to just hang about around LSE and its accomodation ALL the time.

      And also, what are the sporting facilities like? I know there's a sports park thingy 30 minutes away on the train, but what about the gym facilities? Is there one on the LSE campus/ near to the campus? Cheers
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      I do not attend LSE but I do live a mere 20 minutes away from the LSE library which I used last year with full advantage. Unfortunately as I'm not a student at LSE it expired early. The library and the resources are absolutely fantastic, and there is no doubt that studying there you will achieve your full potential. Having studied for my media exam there for 3 days straight and achieved B Grade is pretty good and the environment affects how well you can study.
      Central London is a fantastic place to do some socialising and shopping no doubt, and if you are lucky to get a room in the intercollegiate halls you'll meet some other student from UoL.
      Yes, it's strange that a non-applicant/student of LSE compliments the institution so much but I couldn't find a negative being there!
      Hope this helps
     
     
     
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