The Social Sciences programme is suitable for graduates of any discipline who, for professional or personal reasons, wish to secure a stand-alone qualification in social sciences. It is also ideal for those who wish to undertake postgraduate work and whose first degree is in an unrelated field. It aims to provide a thorough grounding in the principles of social sciences while developing critical skills for a wide range of real world professional situations.
The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) provides academic direction for this programme. LSE is regarded as an international centre of academic excellence and innovation in the social sciences.
When you register we will send you a username and password giving you access to the Student Portal. You can then access your University of London email account and two other key online resources:
The online virtual learning environment (VLE) provides electronic copies of all printed study materials. There are also forums that allow you to share interests and experience, and to work collaboratively with other students to solve problems and discuss subject material.
Online support materials are being developed continuously and for some courses audio-visual tutorials, recorded lectures, academic interviews and debates are available, along with self-testing activities and expert study skills advice.
When you decide you are ready, you enter for unseen written examinations. These are set and marked by our academics to ensure your work is assessed to the same standard as College-based students at LSE. Examinations are held once a year, in May/June, at local centres in over 190 countries as well as in London. You will be charged a fee by your local examination centre (this fee will vary).
LSE was founded 1895 by four idealistic young Fabians for the "betterment of society". It adopted rerum cognoscere causas, which means to know the causes of things, as its motto.
The desire to bring academic expertise to bear on the problems of society motivated the founders of LSE and underpins the School's vision and strategy today.
LSE’s vision for 2011-16
Teaching and student experience
Students at LSE receive research-led teaching from an internationally renowned academic staff. At the heart of this is intellectual challenge. Through exposure to the latest developments in social science and to the thinking of visiting world leaders, business figures and academics in debates and public lectures, students are challenged and inspired by LSE's vision of intellectual excellence combined with real-world engagement.
LSE is currently focusing on increasing contact hours between permanent academic staff and undergraduate students; reducing postgraduate class sizes; improving teaching quality; and improving staff and student contact and student satisfaction levels in relation to the academic experience, including Library and IT services. It will also continue to improve its estate, in particular the exciting Saw Swee Hock Student Centre which opened in 2014, having already been awarded an outstanding BREEAM rating.
LSE is a world leader in social science research. The School protects and encourages theoretical and "blue skies" research while promoting dynamic engagement with wider society.
The UK Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) in 2008 revealed LSE to have the highest percentage of world-leading research of any university in the country, topping or coming close to the top of a number of rankings of research excellence. LSE submitted over 90 per cent of eligible staff for assessment.
LSE is currently focusing on increasing the amount of research funding, especially from peer-reviewed external sources; learning lessons from RAE 2008; Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014; and improving the quality of research space.
LSE is an outward-facing university, constantly engaged with the big policy issues of the day and communities around the world. Its academics are frequently to be found in the media, commenting on issues from the global economy to the government of London. Many serve on government panels and advise international organisations, businesses and charities.
The public lectures programme at LSE embodies the School's engagement agenda and caters to the thirst for informed debate. Global leaders in politics, business and the academic world come to LSE to discuss the issues of the day. LSE also runs a prestigious executive education programme, with Summer Schools in London and Beijing offering intensive courses.
The School is committed to widening participation in higher education, through engagement with secondary schools and their pupils throughout London.
LSE promotes knowledge exchange by "translating" academic research into accessible formats and by better targeting of public lectures.
LSE will also develop our institutional partnerships overseas.
You can apply until:
Always verify the dates on the programme website.
You need the following IELTS score:
Minimum required score:
The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.Schedule IELTS
StudyPortals Tip: The UK government has confirmed new English-language testing requirements for visa and immigration purposes. Learn more
You need the following GPA score:
Your GPA (Grade Point Average) is calculated using the grades that you received in each course, and is determined by the points assigned to each grade (e.g. for the US grading scale from A-F).
In addition, you must demonstrate competence in Mathematics at least equivalent to UK GCSE/GCE 'O' level at grade C or above.
UK GCSE equivalents, including grade requirements can be found at Entrance Qualifications.
If you are not automatically eligible then you will be individually considered by the Admissions Panel. If not approved we will advise you on what is required to become eligible in the future. Furthermore those who are not approved for a Graduate Diploma programme are automatically considered for a full first degree (BSc) in the fields of Economics, Management, Finance and the Social Sciences (LSE academic direction).Where possible the University will always try and advise an applicant on eligibility prior to submitting an application. However, it should be noted that such advice is not always possible unless a formal application has been submitted.
This is an online programme. You can attend from the comfort of your chair! So you don't need a student visa!
Sponsorship from your employer
Many students receive financial support from their own employers. As you study by distance learning you can continue with your studies while you work, and do not need to take time away from the workplace. See the employers section on our website for guidance for employers.
Other sources of funding
The level of competition for sponsorship and educational awards is extremely high, so we recommend that you investigate funding early. Do not delay in making an application as in some instances an offer of a place can be advantageous in a funding application.
There are a variety of sources of funding available, dependent on your nationality, employment and other factors. We recommend that you look at the following, although this is not an exhaustive list:
StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.
Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, Studyportals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.