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M.M.
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#1
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I'm a Finn aiming to study sociology in the UK. I've got unconditional offers from LSE and a couple of other places. Naturally I'm most interested about the LSE offer so I'd like to ask a few things about the place.

I know that LSE is a world-class institution and that it has a great reputation in sociology but the student population and atmosphere make me wonder. Are these very conservative or is there a mix in the students? An intellectual atmosphere is a good thing but I'd appreciate it if there were different opinions around and not just people wanting to work in the City.

Also, does anyone know anything about Goldsmiths College, concerning sociology? They've got good ratings and they say their sociology department is recognised as good but is there really any comparison with LSE? I'll most likely want to continue to postgraduate studies after the BSc/BA.
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*Riz*
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(Original post by M.M.)
I'm a Finn aiming to study sociology in the UK. I've got unconditional offers from LSE and a couple of other places. Naturally I'm most interested about the LSE offer so I'd like to ask a few things about the place.

I know that LSE is a world-class institution and that it has a great reputation in sociology but the student population and atmosphere make me wonder. Are these very conservative or is there a mix in the students? An intellectual atmosphere is a good thing but I'd appreciate it if there were different opinions around and not just people wanting to work in the City.

Also, does anyone know anything about Goldsmiths College, concerning sociology? They've got good ratings and they say their sociology department is recognised as good but is there really any comparison with LSE? I'll most likely want to continue to postgraduate studies after the BSc/BA.
LSE is miles ahead of Goldsmiths in general, international reputation. LSE is arguabley one of the 3 best unis in the uk (along with oxford and cambridge). In terms of sociology I don't know, if Goldsmiths is well known for Sociology then you may want to conisder it - but either way I'd still definatly go for LSE.

From what I hear about LSE, it has a very multi-cultural student population, including many international students. Although a fair proportion of those are aiming for city careers in finance etc (which is to be expected considering its name), LSE do offer lots of none economics-buisness related courses (such a sociology, history etc) so I would expect you should still get a good mix of people.
Someone actually there would be able to give a better view of what that atmopshere is like there.....
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W.A.S Hewins
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Goldsmiths has a growing rep in the social sciences, especially for research. A lot of the emphasis in its sociology is more towards the cultural/media side. It's an interesting place in its own right: it has a name for both fine art and social sciences, which is an odd mix to say the least....

Of course it's not in the same league as LSE: especially as regards undergrads-a lot of Goldsmiths people will be mature single mums etc...

LSE really does have a stimulating atmosphere, and has a unique world reputation in its own right, regardless of comparisons to very different universities like Oxford (I base this on my own student experiences at all these institutions), and is uniquely tuned in to the world of politics and public life..Only a day or two ago I was reading about how Col. Gadaffi's son, an LSE doctoral student, was instrumental in cementing the new rapprochment with the West, and yesterday I read a Times piece about the Japanese Prime Minister, who studied at LSE in the late sixties...LSE has masses of such connections...

most of the students do not actually study economics, and the School is hugely distinguished across most of the subjects it teaches and the sociology dept was the founding sociology department in the UK...
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M.M.
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Thanks for the info. That was pretty much what I expected to hear. Goldsmiths seems eager to talk about their good reputation in sociology but I've understood that the undergraduates they get aren't quite as 'good' as in LSE (there must be some very bright at Goldsmiths too but I mean on average). And of course then there's the reputation. So LSE seems like a really smart choice but the thing that got me worried was a comment at unofficial-guides.com where someone said that people go to LSE to get a job and that people with long hair and baggy jeans don't fit in. I myself have neither but I would appreciate it if the atmosphere isn't quite that conservative.

Anyway, thanks again for the info. I'll be making my final decision really soon.
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W.A.S Hewins
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Don't let one comment distort your perceptions..the School has plenty of nonconformists...it's built into the genetics of the place..
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