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Oxford vs LSE

I hear that the teaching and learning style in Oxford and LSE is very different

Anyone can tell me what is the difference?
(edited 6 months ago)
Hi, I can only speak about my experience at Oxford. Unfortunately, unless you are looking to pursue either maths or medicine, Oxford has a dysfunctional/haphazard teaching style. Personally, I would recommend that most students take this into consideration before deciding whether to attend. I believe that, performance wise, Oxford offers an equal, if not worse, standard of teaching and support at undergraduate level compared to other Russel Group universities. Which evidently leads me to conclude that you should seek out an alternative institution to pursue your degree with.

An average week for me, a STEM student, would consist of around fifteen one hour long lectures and a couple of classes/workshops, alongside a six hour lab with one tutorial on average between me and two other class mates. I must commend the PhD students that taught me in my weekly classes for maths, physics and my lab work; they were singlehandedly the most hardworking, organised individuals I encountered when studying at Oxford.

The dysfunctional, unorganised method of teaching I mentioned previously, is due to an inherent lack of communication between college tutors and department lecturers. Timetabling at Oxford is a complete shambles. This would often lead to students being set work weeks in advance of receiving the introductory lectures to particular topics. For example, when arriving back for a new term, we were set an extensive essay on positive cooperativity in haemoglobin, with an introductory question asking about the molecular mechanisms leading to sickle cell disease. This specific topic was not due to be taught for another five weeks. I must say, I love my subject and researching these mechanisms is highly interesting and rewarding. However, the way Oxford presents its teaching, leads to an unsustainable working environment. At the end of the 8 week term, everyone is severely burnt out, leaving very little room for a passion for learning they once had. This is extremely demoralising.

Oxford may be fast with feedback on essays, yet it was always lacking. Comments were often cryptic and brief, with no quantitative mark available. I must say, I still struggle to know what exactly to target when writing scientific essays. This is not evident at other institutions. Although they may take longer to present you with feedback, it is often detailed and full of constructive criticism to aid improvement.

Overall, if I was given the chance to attend a different university, I would wholeheartedly take that offer in a heartbeat. Best of luck to you, I really hope you find a university that can care for you and offer you a productive and supportive learning environment.
Original post by Rainbow Rainbow
I hear that the teaching and learning style in Oxford and LSE is very different

Anyone can tell me what is the difference?

The main difference is the supervision/tutorial format at Oxford, where you will have weekly tutorials with an academic and one or two other students plus yourself, where they will go over an essay you have written for it (or a similar piece of work) in close detail, as I understand it. As above I gather the tutorial scheme does not always follow the lectures and so you may end up doing tutorials for one course that you did the lectures the previous year in (or vice versa).

Also for non-STEM courses especially, it's fairly typical at Oxford for your first public examinations (normally taken at the end of year 1) to not count towards your final degree classification, and your final honour school examinations (normally taken at the end of year 3 for a standard 3 year course) to cover all the courses you've taken over second and third year. So in effect most of your degree classification outcome ultimately falls upon a few weeks at the end of your third year where you are taking all those exams. In STEM subjects (and a couple others) it's more typical to do at least a few exams in second year (they also often have a 4th year which may entail further exams), spreading things out a bit.

At LSE it follows a more typical lecture-exam format, although sometimes your term 1 modules might not have an exam until the summer exam session. The degree classification for most courses there I believe incorporates both second and third year exam results, plus a small weighting of your first year average (I'm not sure what the weighting of each them is exactly though).

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