London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)
Wednesday 29 May 2013
Overall ranking: Came 3rd out of 124 in the Complete University Guide.
History: LSE was founded in 1895 by four Fabians: Beatrice and Sidney Webb, Graham Wallas and George Bernard Shaw, for 'the betterment of society' through the study of poverty and inequality. In 1902 the school moved formally to its present site, and in May 1920 King George V laid the foundation stone of the Old Building.
Address: Located smack bang in the heart of London, between the Strand and the beginning of Fleet Street.
Ambience: Forget the cramped site and feel the intellectual buzz as LSE is an international powerhouse. Where there were cruddy buildings, you will now find a fantastic new Foster-designed £30m library, a new research laboratory, a student services centre and the new Plaza café. LSE's eco-friendly £71m academic building was opened by The Queen in 2008. It provides state-of-the-art teaching facilities, including four lecture theatres, classrooms and academic offices spread over eight floors.
Who's the boss? Professor Craig Calhoun took up his post as director in September 2012.
Prospectus: 020 7955 6613 or download it here.
UCAS code: L72
What you need to know
Easy to get into? No. LSE does not use the UCAS points system but only the top grades will be accepted and it is very particular about which subjects are studied at A-level. Particularly difficult for law, economics, accounting and finance, government, international relations and management. New effort is being made to recruit disadvantaged youths from state schools in London through Saturday, winter and summer school schemes with help from external funds.
Vital statistics: Around 9,300 full-time students from 145 countries- nearly half come from outside Europe and over 100 languages are spoken on the campus. LSE is one of 24 Russell Group universities, dedicated to the highest levels of academic excellence.
Added value: Academics interact with the worlds of politics, business and industry. Houses more than 30 research centres and institutes, including the Grantham Research Institute on climate change economics and policy and the new International Growth Centre which helps developing countries strengthen their economies.
Teaching: Ranked 63rd out of 124 in the Complete University Guide.
Research: Came 3rd in the 2014 Complete University Guide.
Graduate prospects: Ranked 6th with 85.1% of graduates entering full-time employment upon leaving.
Any accommodation? Yes, in a big way. More than 4000 places are allocated across 20 sites but weekly costs start at £120 for a single room.
Cheap to live there? Nope – it's London. Private rents start from at least£100 per week.
Transport links: Excellent. London is an international hub and LSE is right in the centre.
Fees: LSE started charging tuition fees of £8,500 in September 2012- this will stand for 2013.
Bursaries: A bursary of up to £3,500 per year is available to current students from low-income families but this has not yet been confirmed for 2013. For more information click here.
The fun stuff
Nightlife: Has the Peacock Theatre, a cinema and several clubs. Pubs include the Underground for its Friday night discos and the popular Three Tuns, which hosts a weekly comedy night. Being London, students never lack somewhere to let their hair down.
Price of a pint: £3.60 based on a city-wide average.
Sporting reputation: Placed mid-way down the BUCS league at 70th.
Calendar highlight: The Graduation Ball will reward all your hard work at the end of your course- held in the exclusive Café de Paris in 2012 there is a three course meal and drinks deals all night.
Notable societies: If you're fond of Greek dips look no further than the Hummous Society or if lager and beer are more you thing, try Lara- the Lagar and Real Ale Society for pub crawls, brewery tours and their very own beer festival.
Glittering alumni: 31 members of today's House of Commons and 42 members of the House of Lords; 34 current or former heads of state, including John F. Kennedy; 16 Nobel Prize winners; Lord Saatchi, advertising baron; Mick Jagger; DJ Judge Jules.
Alternative prospectus: You can read the Students' Union blog here.
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