Life at the London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

By Jonas Bjørnes (Class of 2018)

London is a city worth exploring.

This month it is exactly one year since I started applying to grad schools. At the time, I had no idea what to do, nor did I know where I potentially could end up. It was a stressful period, but luckily, I received a great amount of support from this department’s faculty, which helped me to have some sort of a red line in my application process. In April, I was accepted to a MSc program in International Social and Public Policy (1-year master’s program) at the London School of Economics & Political Science. The irony is that I missed the application deadline for my first-choice program, and in a stressful anticlimax, I decided to apply for this one. The truth is, I’m glad I missed that deadline because I’m happy I ended up in this program.

I’m studying social policy which is a field of study that focuses on examining how policy affects individuals in society. I’m narrowing down my degree towards welfare. My dissertation will examine the relationship between the welfare state (Norway) and minorities (including the indigenous population) and it will attempt to understand the underlying reasons for why certain citizens are at greater risk of dropping out of secondary education, as well as considering the effectiveness of the current policies.

Social policy is a huge field of study, with everything from focus on non-governmental organizations to migration. For example, last semester I had a course in social security policies, and this semester I have one course in behavioral public policy, and another course in social movements and activism. It is plenty of courses to choose between! Social policy is not a significantly recognized field within American academics. Usually it is a field that is blended into the political science or the sociology program at certain institutions. Nevertheless, it is an important field to study, especially in a reality with increasing inequality, and potential social paradigm shifts, or maybe a critical juncture? By the way, a background with political science from Eastern is extremely helpful, because the core classes covers theories and methods that will be examined to a greater extent in social policy related courses. If you have any questions about studying social policy or about how it is to be a student at the LSE, I am more than happy to talk to you! Email me at: j.b.bjornes@lse.ac.uk.

One of the old buildings that host LSE in the center of London.