In response to criticism over the complexity, fairness and structure of Graduate Course Choice, The Department of Government has said that there is “only so much they can do” according to Student Representatives, who attended the meeting last week. Graduate Course Choice, the means by which post-graduate students select units of study, has received widespread criticism this year from frustrated students.
Chief among student concerns were that each LSE Department, and often even different subjects within the same department, had different approaches to selecting students for units of study. Some approaches include first-come-first-serve, lottery, priority by Degree or Department, or by submission of personal statements of intent. The inconsistencies and often competing deadlines caused mass frustration among postgraduate students, which was then compounded by IT access issues.
For Department of Government students, academic staff have responded to these criticisms by agreeing to take student concerns up to the interdepartmental meeting later in the year. They have also pledged to work on improving the information that is provided to students, and would look into better ways to assess supply and demand of subjects. However, they highlighted that there is a School-wide disclaimer, which states that the School cannot guarantee a particular course will be running, or that a student will necessarily gain access to it, unless it is a compulsory course for their degree.
In regards to varying approaches to Graduate Course Choice across Departments, The Department of Government agreed with the importance of harmonising deadlines and processes, but stated that they have no direct input into how other Departments choose to implement Graduate Course Choice. Changes to implementation would need to be determined by consensus across Departments, or through a more definitive top-down set of guidelines provided by the School.
The prevalence of these concerns across the other LSE Departments will become clearer over the remainder of Michaelmas Term, as other Departments hold their respective meetings, shedding greater light on the likelihood and form of any future changes to the Graduate Course Choice process.