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Studying philosophy means engaging with some profound and fascinating questions; questions that any inquisitive and critical thinker will find her or himself asking at some point in her or his life, but which many non-philosophers do not pursue in depth.
Some of these questions are:
How does science generate knowledge? What distinguishes knowledge from superstition, ideology or pseudoscience? Does science discredit religious belief? What does morality require? What reasons do we have to act as morality requires? Is freedom of the will required for moral responsibility? Is the point of life to lead as pleasurable existence as possible?
Our graduates have excellent job prospects. A recent Guardian survey ranks us as the Department with far and away the best job prospects in the UK for philosophy graduates; we believe that this is because of the analytical rigour and interdisciplinary nature of our degrees. Recent graduates have gone on to work in banking and financial services, government, management consultancy, media and education, and have also proved very successful in gaining entry to postgraduate programmes.
Features of LSE courses
In studying philosophy at LSE you will debate and investigate the issues and problems which have preoccupied philosophers since Greek times, as well as learning the skills and techniques of reasoning. You will do so by studying works by the major authors of the Western tradition (including Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Kant, and Mill) and contemporary sources.
Our research and teaching programmes have two distinctive features. The first is a commitment to clarity of expression and argumentative rigour. This means taking great care to avoid obscure or grand statements that one cannot back up with precise arguments or evidence. Formal logic is an important part of the degrees, as too are the principles of evidence and of inductive reasoning.
The second is a commitment to doing philosophy in close contact with the social and natural sciences. We study questions of moral and political philosophy, knowledge acquisition, and scientific method in an interdisciplinary way. In addition to courses in familiar areas of philosophy (like moral philosophy and philosophy of mind and language), we therefore offer courses in the Philosophy of Economics, Philosophy of the Social Sciences, Philosophy and Public Policy, Evidence and Scientific Method and the History of Science. You will also have the opportunity to take a significant number of courses in other departments at LSE.
The skills in reasoning which you will gain can be applied to any subject matter, and your studies will provide you with a good general basis for a wide range of occupations and professions.
Detailed Course FactsApplication deadline January 15 Tuition fee Not specified Start date October 2015 Credits (ECTS) 180 ECTS
Duration full-time 36 months Languages Take an IELTS test
- Economics B
- LSE100 (Lent Term only)
- Quantitative Methods (Mathematics)* and Quantitative Methods (Statistics)*
- Mathematical Methods and Elementary Statistical Theory (Logic is then taken in the second year)
- Reason, Knowledge and Values: An Introduction to Philosophy
- An approved course from the philosophy option list below
- Either Logic (must be taken if not taken in the first year) or an approved course from the philosophy option list below
- Either Microeconomic Principles I or Microeconomic Principles II
- Macroeconomic Principles
- LSE100 (Michaelmas Term only)
- An approved course from the philosophy option list below
- Either an approved course taught outside the Departments of Philosophy and Economics or an approved course from the economics or philosophy option list below
- An approved course from the economics option list below
- Philosophy of Economics
In your first year you take a core course in economics and a core course in philosophy. Economics B gives you a thorough grounding in basic micro- and macroeconomic analysis. Reason, Knowledge and Values, gives a critical introduction to some of the central problems and classic texts of philosophy. You can then take either two half course units of mathematics and statistics (in order to master the basic skills that you will need for core second and third year economics courses) or a full unit of mathematics and a full unit of statistics (in order to provide yourself with a more comprehensive basis for advanced economics courses in your later years). If you take the two half course units of mathematics and statistics, you complete your first year by taking Logic, which introduces the basic system of modern formal logic, including propositional logic, predicate logic and the theory of identity. If you take the full units of mathematics and statistics, then you take Logic in year 2.
Second and third years
In these years you take the Philosophy of Economics and several core philosophy courses (including Logic, if not taken in the second year). There are also two core courses in economics: Microeconomic Principles (the study of households and firms) and Macroeconomic Principles (the study of unemployment, inflation, the balance of payments, etc). You complete your studies with philosophy and economics options as outlined above and one further course which may be chosen from any subject at LSE.
Philosophy option list
- Morality and Values: a discussion of selected topics in the history of moral and political philosophy; problems and topics in contemporary normative philosophy, including their relation to central metaphysical and normative disputes.
- Philosophy of Science: the nature of scientific reasoning and the principles of evaluating evidence; the problem of induction; the role of probability and the testing of hypotheses; also some central philosophical problems highlighted by the success and methods of modern science.
- Philosophy of the Social Sciences: a discussion of different views concerning the appropriateness and possible limits to the scientific approach to the study of society; the nature of social collectives (are they merely the sum of the individuals comprising them?); the nature of rational action and the role of values in social science.
- Philosophy of Economics: the nature of knowledge in economics, how it is acquired, how it is justified, and how (and to what extent) it can be used for forecasting. It also deals with the basis of collective and individual decision making; classical utilitarianism and the social interest; and individual rights and distributive justice.
- Problems of Analytic Philosophy: some of the main philosophical topics in philosophical logic, metaphysics, the philosophy of language and the philosophy of mind.
- Scientific Revolutions: Philosophical and Historical Issues: an examination of certain basic methodological and philosophical problems as they arise from detailed historical study of episodes of apparently radical theory change in science (so-called scientific revolutions). These include the Copernican and Newtonian revolutions; the Darwinian revolution and various revolutionary changes in accepted theories of light.
- Evidence and Scientific Method: this course focuses on philosophical issues that arise at the intersection of science and society, in particular on how evidence is used in so-called 'evidence based policy' and 'evidence based medicine', as well as on the validity of scientific results in a pluralistic society.
- Set Theory and Further Logic: the course is structured in two parts: (a) Set Theory, including: the axioms of set theory and their rationale; Russell's Paradox; relations, functions and orderings; ordinals and cardinals; infinity; the basics of transfinite arithmetic. (b) Extensions of and alternatives to classical Logic, including one or more of the following: Modal Logic; Intuitionistic Logic; Probability and Decision Theory; Deontic Logic: the logic of vagueness.
- Philosophy and Public Policy: this course will focus on the application of normative analysis of policy questions, such as the allocation of health care resources, the limits of autonomy and personal responsibility, freedom of speech and the moral advantages and disadvantages of markets
- Essay: on any approved philosophical topic relevant to your studies.
Economics option list
- Principles of Finance
- Introduction to Econometrics or Principles of Econometrics
- Advanced Economic Analysis
- Political Economy
- Economic Policy Analysis
- Development Economics
- History of Economics: How Theories Change
- Industrial Economics
- International Economics
- Labour Economics
- Economic Theory and its Applications
- Monetary Economics
- Public Economics
English Language Requirements
IELTS band : 7 CAE score : 80(Grade A) TOEFL paper-based test score : 627 TOEFL iBT® test : 107
To study at this university, you have to speak English. We advice you totake an IELTS test. More About IELTS
Course requirement: A level (or equivalent) in Mathematics is expected
Usual standard offer: A level: grades A A A, one of which must be Mathematics
International Baccalaureate: Diploma with 38 points including 7 6 6 at Higher level (with 7 in Mathematics)
Other qualifications are considered.
English language requirements
Although it is not necessary to have the required grade in an acceptable English Language qualification when you make your application to LSE, if you are made an offer of a place and English is not your mother tongue, it is likely that you would be asked to obtain an acceptable English Language qualification as a condition of your offer.
The following qualifications are acceptable to LSE:
- GCSE English Language with a grade B or better.
- International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) English as a First Language with a grade B or better including the Speaking and Listening coursework component (Edexcel) or grade 2 in the optional speaking test (CIE).
- International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) academic test with a score of 7.0 in all four components.
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 627 in the paper test including 5.5 in writing and 50 in TSE, or 107 in the internet based test with a minimum of 25 out of 30 in each of the four skills.
- Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) with grade B or better.
- Cambridge Advanced Certificate of English (CACE) with a grade A.
- Cambridge English Language (1119) conducted overseas by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate: B4 or better.
- O level (1120 Brunei, 1125 Mauritius A, 1127 Singapore) grade B or better.
- Singapore Integrated Programme (IP) Secondary 4 English Language grade B or better.
- Pearson Test of English (General) with a distinction at level 5 in both the written and the oral test.
If students offer the IGCSE in English as a First Language or O level (other than those specified above) and have been educated in the medium of English during their five most recent years of study (prior to 1 September 2011), then we will accept the qualification as sufficient evidence of English Language proficiency.
Please note that test scores must be achieved from one sitting of the relevant qualification. We will not accept individual component scores from multiple tests
No work experience is required.
- Academic Excellence Scholarship
"The Academic Excellence Scholarship can provide up to a 50 % reduction in tuition per semester. These scholarships will be renewed if the student maintains superior academic performance during each semester of their 3-year Bachelor programme. The scholarship will be directly applied to the student’s tuition fees."
- Access Bursary
Bursary for UK students all subjects where the variable tuition fee rate is payable.
- Alumni Bursary
Alumni Bursary for UK Undergraduate students
* The scholarships shown on this page are suggestions first and foremost. They could be offered by other organisations than London School of Economics and Political Science.
Financial support for 2011 entry
The School recognises that the cost of living in London may be higher than in your home town or country. Government support, in the form of loans and grants, is available to UK and some EU students, while LSE provides generous financial support, in the form of bursaries and scholarships to UK, EU and overseas students.
for students from England
Student loan for maintenance
The student loan for maintenance helps students pay living costs during term times and holidays. The maximum loan available for students studying in London and living away from their parents' home is currently £6,928.
The means-tested maintenance grant (currently worth up to £2,906) also helps students with living expenses during their time at university. The amount a student is eligible to receive is assessed by Student Finance England. The grant does not have to be repaid.
Special Support Grant
The special support grant replaces the maintenance grant for some students who during the course of the academic year, meet the conditions for being a 'prescribed person' under the income support or housing benefit regulations. Students who are likely to qualify include:
- Single parents
- Other student parents if they have a partner who is also a student
- Students with certain disabilities
Other students may be eligible for the Special Support Grant. You don't necessarily have to receive or even have applied for Income Support or Housing Benefit.
for students from elsewhere in the UK
Different financial support packages are available for students from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Students from these countries should refer to one of the following websites:
Student Finance Wales
Student Awards Agency Scotland
Student Finance Northern Ireland
for EU students
Students from the EU are not usually eligible for UK Government financial support. However, EU nationals (or children of EU nationals) who have lived in the UK or islands for three years before the start of their course (ie, since 1 September 2008 for a course starting on 1 September 2011) may now qualify for a student loan and grants.
for overseas students
Students from outside the EU are not eligible to apply for UK Government funds. However, there is a range of funding available for overseas students from external agencies, bodies or your home government, details of which are available from your home government or nearest British Council office (www.britishcouncil.org/learning), or UKCISA (www.ukcisa.org.uk).
LSE financial support
for UK students
The LSE Bursary is available for students from low-income backgrounds (from England and Wales) and is worth up to £7,500 over a three-year programme. The value of the LSE Bursary is linked to students' (or their family's) income levels, which will be assessed when calculating the maintenance grant. The maximum LSE Bursary of £2,500 per year is awarded to those students with the lowest residual income. These Bursaries do not have to be repaid.
LSE Discretionary Bursary
The LSE Discretionary Bursary is available for new LSE students (from the UK and the EU) who face exceptional financial needs, including, for example, caring responsibilities, financial need related to disability or an unavoidable requirement to live at home. The value of the award may vary according to need. These Bursaries do not have to be repaid.
Each year LSE awards a number of scholarships - funded by private or corporate donation - to UK applicants to the School. The number, value, eligibility criteria and type of awards vary from year to year. Awards are made on the basis of financial need and academic merit.
Four Stelios scholarships, currently worth £5,444 per year, are available for UK students applying for business subjects at LSE.
Access to Learning funds
Registered UK students from low-income households can apply directly to LSE for Access to Learning funds. These funds are designed for students who may need extra financial support for their course, and are provided by the Government to assist with living expenses.
for EU students
LSE Discretionary Bursary
The LSE discretionary bursary is available to EU students. For information about this bursary and how to apply, please see the section on LSE financial support for UK students.
LSE offers a number of undergraduate scholarships of varying amounts each year to EU students.
Six Stelios scholarships, currently worth £5,444 per year, are available for EU students applying for business subjects at LSE.
for overseas students
LSE undergraduate support scheme
The LSE undergraduate support scheme (USS) is designed to help overseas students who do not have the necessary funds to meet all their costs of study. In 2008, the School disbursed nearly £1 million in entrance awards available to self-financing students of all nationalities. This financial aid is available only for study at LSE. If you are made an offer of admission, we will advise you on how to apply to the USS online. This system is able to provide an immediate indication of an applicant's eligibility for assistance. In the first instance, you will be assessed on the basis of your financial circumstances. Awards are renewable for each year of your course. Applications will be considered between the end of February and the middle of August.
The School offers a limited number of undergraduate scholarships of varying amounts each year for overseas students.