LSE100 is a compulsory course that you’ll undertake for the duration of your first year. The aim of the course is to provide an interdisciplinary study on a modern-day issue. Before coming to LSE, I, like most students, did not even know what LSE100 was. Indeed, setting out a compulsory course for students of all degree programmes to partake in is not an approach adopted by many universities; as far as I’m concerned, the concept is very much exclusive to LSE.
This year, we had the opportunity to choose from three topics, all of which are some of the worlds most pressing questions: how can we create a fair society; how can we avert climate catastrophe; and how can we control AI. All of the options are fascinating as they incorporate elements from every degree programme available at LSE. They are highly interdisciplinary and force you to consider other social sciences. The sheer breadth of information presented to you in LSE100 makes for a highly stimulating course.
The course consists of a group project and an individual report. Starting in reverse, the group project runs throughout the second term. In this, you’ll create a presentation and a collaborative report on your chosen idea, centred upon the overall theme of your LSE100 class. The group project enables you to meet students of other departments. Your group work thus becomes the product of contributions from a multitude of academic perspectives. So far, the group project has taught me a lot about how to successfully work with other people. Collaborative work brings with it both challenges and rewards. It forces you to improve your ability to organise and forces a sense of responsibility.
In the first term, you’ll produce an individual report on a modern day issue, again relevant to the overall theme of your LSE100 class. In almost every case, what you learn will help your main degree programme. The individual project was particularly interesting to me as I got to research how history explains the modern-day event.
On another level, the project enabled me to read and write about modern day affairs, which is something I do not get to do in my main degree programme. It has enabled me to form opinions on highly relevant and topical matters, often subjects which I have looked at from historical perspectives only. A lot of the information is useful for increasing your general knowledge of the world and awareness of its most pressing issues.
The course offers you the chance to hone skills that you may not have the chance to develop in you main degree programme. For instance, the project is a good opportunity to write for those who have mathematical-based subjects. It is also an opportunity to learn how to reference, which may help later in life.
LSE100 most definitely hones your skills as a social scientist, rather than just increasing your expertise in your respective discipline. While the course may feel a bit unusual, you certainly get a lot out of it. I believe it provides a solid foundation for your studies at an institution such as LSE. It offers a range of benefits such as meeting students of different academic backgrounds, working with different minds and learning about new and relevant topics. I encourage you to put a lot into this course as you will only get more out of it.