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Carr Saunders Halls, LSE
London School of Economics
London

UCL vs. LSE

I got accepted at both LSE and UCL for Politics and International Relations and am struggling to decide between them. I heard that LSE is more prestigious, but heard that the social life/student satisfaction isn't all too good... does anybody have any advice?

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I don't know much about the course content on either, or how much you liked each uni based on visits there, but in your position I would take LSE due to the reputation - you can basically decide how good your social life is by how much you put yourself out there. These links might help if you haven't seen them before (the long term tables aren't very reliable though - they were done more than 10 years ago).
https://www.theuniguide.co.uk/london-school-of-economics-and-political-science-university-of-london-l72/courses/politics-and-international-relations-bsc-hons-2020-72bfa0d60182
https://www.theuniguide.co.uk/university-college-london-university-of-london-u80/courses/bsc-politics-and-international-relations-bsc-hons-2020-5862f8d33a99
Carr Saunders Halls, LSE
London School of Economics
London
Reply 2
i've got an offer for Politics and Economics at LSE and History, Politics and Economics at UCL (SEESS) and I'm struggling as well. UCL seems like a better social environment and better student support. But LSE is LSE
Reply 3
Also, it's easier to get a 2:1/1st in UCL
From someone who studies at the LSE, you may think I’d be biased towards LSE. So think how bad it must be if I’m telling you to go UCL.

The worst lie anyone can tell you is that student satisfaction/social life is just about how much effort you put in. LSE sucks the life out of you. There’s a reason it is ranked last for student satisfaction (CUG rankings) every year. Class sizes are a joke too (some 20-30). You might as well enrol in online university

Save your own soul, go to ucl. Especially if you’re a British student, you’ll feel like an alien. LSE is 70%+ international students, which are densely chosen from a select few countries, hence there really isn’t much “diversity”. And if you’re British BME, the representation barely exists.

For every pro to an LSE degree, there are 3 cons...

To top it off, LSE’s well-being service is underfunded, despite the extortionate costs of masters and international fees for undergrads.
Reply 5
Original post by econ.person
From someone who studies at the LSE, you may think I’d be biased towards LSE. So think how bad it must be if I’m telling you to go UCL.

The worst lie anyone can tell you is that student satisfaction/social life is just about how much effort you put in. LSE sucks the life out of you. There’s a reason it is ranked last for student satisfaction (CUG rankings) every year. Class sizes are a joke too (some 20-30). You might as well enrol in online university

Save your own soul, go to ucl. Especially if you’re a British student, you’ll feel like an alien. LSE is 70%+ international students, which are densely chosen from a select few countries, hence there really isn’t much “diversity”. And if you’re British BME, the representation barely exists.

For every pro to an LSE degree, there are 3 cons...

To top it off, LSE’s well-being service is underfunded, despite the extortionate costs of masters and international fees for undergrads.

Thank you so much for your response. I've heard a lot of similar accounts, but despite all of that have decided to firm LSE. I guess only time will tell now whether that was a mistake or not. The thing that surprises me, however, is that every offer holder I've talked to has had the fear about the bad social life at LSE and seemed really keen to have a different experience themselves. If there are really so many people that want to go out and make friends, can it really be so bad?

And by saying that LSE will suck the life out of you, do you mean the workload? Or the environment?
Reply 6
Original post by fhth
i've got an offer for Politics and Economics at LSE and History, Politics and Economics at UCL (SEESS) and I'm struggling as well. UCL seems like a better social environment and better student support. But LSE is LSE

Yeah, I know what you mean... have you made the decision yet?
Original post by LuziaKir
Thank you so much for your response. I've heard a lot of similar accounts, but despite all of that have decided to firm LSE. I guess only time will tell now whether that was a mistake or not. The thing that surprises me, however, is that every offer holder I've talked to has had the fear about the bad social life at LSE and seemed really keen to have a different experience themselves. If there are really so many people that want to go out and make friends, can it really be so bad?

And by saying that LSE will suck the life out of you, do you mean the workload? Or the environment?


Every year, every fresher says the same thing. They want to have fun. Yet every year there is no change. Your year will not be any different. Freshers week will be fun then everyone will start focusing on spring weeks and internships for investment banks.

The environment will suck the life out of you. It’s an extremely boring place to study with boring people who are only interested in getting finance roles. The workload isn’t bad if you actually focus. Most first years spend their time applying for spring weeks, so forget to study. Second years spend too long on internships. Third years spend too long on grad schemes. Hence people fall behind every year at LSE. I’m not interested in working for a big bank, so I’ve managed the workload well. I’m more interested in academia but I’ll be continuing my studies at Cambridge or ucl.
Reply 8
Original post by econ.person
Every year, every fresher says the same thing. They want to have fun. Yet every year there is no change. Your year will not be any different. Freshers week will be fun then everyone will start focusing on spring weeks and internships for investment banks.

The environment will suck the life out of you. It’s an extremely boring place to study with boring people who are only interested in getting finance roles. The workload isn’t bad if you actually focus. Most first years spend their time applying for spring weeks, so forget to study. Second years spend too long on internships. Third years spend too long on grad schemes. Hence people fall behind every year at LSE. I’m not interested in working for a big bank, so I’ve managed the workload well. I’m more interested in academia but I’ll be continuing my studies at Cambridge or ucl.

You're doing economics, do you think that this will be any different in Politics and International Relations? And does this mean you are transferring unis?
Original post by LuziaKir
You're doing economics, do you think that this will be any different in Politics and International Relations? And does this mean you are transferring unis?


People on literally every degree are obsessed investment banking. That’s because banks love LSE students too regardless of which degree.

Maybe Law students are the least interested as they’re more interested in the legal profession, but even some of them will apply to banks.

I’m not transferring. I’m in my final year and I’ve got masters offers for start in September!
Reply 10
Original post by econ.person
People on literally every degree are obsessed investment banking. That’s because banks love LSE students too regardless of which degree.

Maybe Law students are the least interested as they’re more interested in the legal profession, but even some of them will apply to banks.

I’m not transferring. I’m in my final year and I’ve got masters offers for start in September!

Hahah oh man xD this is going to be fun.. Well, I'm hoping I'll find some like-minded people.

Congrats! I'm happy to hear that :smile: I wish you all the luck in the world!
Hi everyone! This sounds all very grave... I'll probably accept a masters at LSE but I think for postgraduate education it's really more about getting a job then getting a life ^^
Though let me share something from my undergrad experience: It all depends on the people you meet and what's your inner drive. You can find the right people anywhere. If you're still afraid, then go to an intercollegiate hall where you'll have flatmates from other universities. When you start first year you'll feel the extreme urge to go to every event, do what others do and believe everything the popular kids tell you like how they already started their buisness at 18... Thats great for them! But you are your own person. Uni is not like highshool. You're not stuck there. Find your own path. Maybe LSE will not be your home or favourite place, but it can be an exciting and cherished part of your story. Join a sports or arts club and mingle there, it helps!
So in a nutshell: Chill. You'll be fine. Enjoy.
Reply 12
Original post by Miss_Thorn
Hi everyone! This sounds all very grave... I'll probably accept a masters at LSE but I think for postgraduate education it's really more about getting a job then getting a life ^^
Though let me share something from my undergrad experience: It all depends on the people you meet and what's your inner drive. You can find the right people anywhere. If you're still afraid, then go to an intercollegiate hall where you'll have flatmates from other universities. When you start first year you'll feel the extreme urge to go to every event, do what others do and believe everything the popular kids tell you like how they already started their buisness at 18... Thats great for them! But you are your own person. Uni is not like highshool. You're not stuck there. Find your own path. Maybe LSE will not be your home or favourite place, but it can be an exciting and cherished part of your story. Join a sports or arts club and mingle there, it helps!
So in a nutshell: Chill. You'll be fine. Enjoy.

thank you so much for your reply! I believe you're right, in uni you make your own path and you can find the right people anywhere :smile: Good luck with your program, I hope you enjoy your time at LSE!
Original post by LuziaKir
thank you so much for your reply! I believe you're right, in uni you make your own path and you can find the right people anywhere :smile: Good luck with your program, I hope you enjoy your time at LSE!

Sure! I have done a ton of research on this topic as well ^^. I also recommend you to search for alumni of the programme on LinkedIn and just shoot them a message as they'll be the most qualified ones to advice you (and they are not preselected by the uni). Most are really glad to help.
Original post by LuziaKir
thank you so much for your reply! I believe you're right, in uni you make your own path and you can find the right people anywhere :smile: Good luck with your program, I hope you enjoy your time at LSE!


I know she’s wrong. LSE students main complaints aren’t with the people tbf. It’s with in class teaching quality, class sizes, lack of student union events, prioritising postgrads over undergrads, broken toilets, constant construction noise, underpaid cleaners, compulsory non credit course (lse100) workload, lack of contact hours, the fact most academics care more about their research than their teaching, the time it takes to complete a degree due to high fail rates, the underfunded well being service, the accommodation pricing, the accommodation distance from LSE, the overpriced food, the awful food and much more.

Please understand university satisfaction is not about finding your own way and finding the right people. It’s about the university. The institution is awful to students, particularly undergrads.

Don’t be hypnotised by people who sugar coat. The person you replied to hasn’t even studied at LSE. In my 4 years, I’ve heard most of the complaints. They’re primarily focused on the institution not caring about student satisfaction.
Lse isnt even good in world rankings compared to ucl which is 7th or something. But in the UK ucl and lse are really good so just go where you feel like it. Both are target unis too so doesnt really matter. Social life isnt going to be raving because top unis in general arent like this
Original post by LuziaKir
Thank you so much for your response. I've heard a lot of similar accounts, but despite all of that have decided to firm LSE. I guess only time will tell now whether that was a mistake or not. The thing that surprises me, however, is that every offer holder I've talked to has had the fear about the bad social life at LSE and seemed really keen to have a different experience themselves. If there are really so many people that want to go out and make friends, can it really be so bad?

And by saying that LSE will suck the life out of you, do you mean the workload? Or the environment?

hey, i just wanted to ask how LSE is going?? i have offers from the same 2 courses and am in the same predicament, i’m leaning towards UCL but i feel like i’m wasting an opportunity not going to LSE!! thanks :smile:
Original post by Lashby537
hey, i just wanted to ask how LSE is going?? i have offers from the same 2 courses and am in the same predicament, i’m leaning towards UCL but i feel like i’m wasting an opportunity not going to LSE!! thanks :smile:

Choose LSE as your firm choice!!! :smile: Because I went to the LSE library and there was a clear divide in where everybody was sitting: The Caucasian's sat together near the windows and computers on the 1st/2nd floors. The Asian's sat near the 2nd/3rd/4th floors and were almost like they were non-existent but nor did they interact with anybody else except their own kind!!! :biggrin: lol Whilst the few African's were hiding together in the corners of the 5th uppermost floor and there were not many of them to be honest either?! But nevertheless it's such an awesome library that allows anybody with a ID card to sit and study in silence and get to know other students too.

FACT: There are 5,000 study spaces in the LSE library...it is insane?! :wink:
(edited 2 years ago)
Original post by thegeek888
Choose LSE as your firm choice!!! :smile: Because I went to the LSE library and there was a clear divide in where everybody was sitting: The Caucasian's sat together near the windows and computers on the 1st/2nd floors. The Asian's sat near the 2nd/3rd/4th floors and were almost like they were non-existent but nor did they interact with anybody else except their own kind!!! :biggrin: lol Whilst the few African's were hiding together in the corners of the 5th uppermost floor and there were not many of them to be honest either?! But nevertheless it's such an awesome library that allows anybody with a ID card to sit and study in silence and get to know other students too.

FACT: There are 5,000 study spaces in the LSE library...it is insane?! :wink:

Sorry, you think the informal racial segregation is a plus? Sounds horrid.
Original post by thegeek888
Choose LSE as your firm choice!!! :smile: Because I went to the LSE library and there was a clear divide in where everybody was sitting: The Caucasian's sat together near the windows and computers on the 1st/2nd floors. The Asian's sat near the 2nd/3rd/4th floors and were almost like they were non-existent but nor did they interact with anybody else except their own kind!!! :biggrin: lol Whilst the few African's were hiding together in the corners of the 5th uppermost floor and there were not many of them to be honest either?! But nevertheless it's such an awesome library that allows anybody with a ID card to sit and study in silence and get to know other students too.

FACT: There are 5,000 study spaces in the LSE library...it is insane?! :wink:

Am i reading this right? :confused:

Surely studying in a diverse and inclusive environment would be better?

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