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Frequently Asked Questions

Can’t find the answer to your question below? Email us at hello@lis.ac.uk

About LIS

What does LIS stand for?

LIS stands for the London Interdisciplinary School.

What does "interdisciplinarity" really mean?

At LIS, “interdisciplinarity” means finding out what happens when you combine subjects—maths with design, anthropology with data science, statistics with philosophy—to generate hybrid knowledge. This approach differs from other interdisciplinary or liberal arts degrees in the UK.

What courses are available at LIS?

We offer a single Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) degree in Interdisciplinary Problems & Methods. Our students will focus their learning on a range of disciplines across the sciences, arts and design, technology, the social sciences, and the humanities.

Our curriculum is structured around real-world problems (e.g. plastic pollution, genome editing, and global pandemics). The problems provide a framework for you to deep-dive on different subject areas, to understand the issues from multiple perspectives.

Can I do the degree part-time?

We don't currently offer a part-time degree.

Application process

When do applications open?

Applications for our 2022 cohort will open in September.

Are there any application fees?

There are no application fees.

Is there a minimum age for enrolment to the degree?

Students must be at least 18 years of age by the end of the first academic year after enrolment at LIS. This means that for the 2022 cohort, only applicants who are 18 or over by 1st June 2023 will be considered eligible for entry.

How do I apply?

You will be able to apply online, directly to LIS. When you apply, we’ll ask you for some background information including your contact information, education, and predicted grades.

All applicants will be invited to a Selection Day. These days will consist of interviews and have been designed in line with how the world's leading companies are recruiting their employees today. No preparation is required.

Can I apply via UCAS?

You cannot apply to LIS via UCAS. Applications are submitted to LIS directly through the website, which means that LIS can be an additional option alongside your five UCAS choices. We also don't do clearing.

Why is your admissions process so different from other universities?

Because we’re new, we can do things differently. So we have no subject or grade requirements, and all applicants will be invited to interview at one of our Selection Days. This is an academically rigorous course, yet we know you’re more than your grades. We are curious about who you are as a person—what motivates and inspires you—and grades can’t tell us the full story.

Instead, we’ll look at your academic achievements in the context of your educational, familial, and personal background. We want to understand what you've achieved academically given your starting point in life.

What qualifications are acceptable?

We welcome A-levels, Scottish Highers and Advanced Highers, Irish Leaving Certificate, Welsh Baccalaureate, French Baccalaureate, German Abitur, Italian Maturita, and International Baccalaureate.

Please get in touch if you are unsure whether your qualifications will be accepted.

Are there any subject requirements?

We welcome candidates from all subject backgrounds—whether that’s arts, sciences, or a mix of subjects.

What grades do I need to apply?

We don’t have a minimum grade threshold; Instead, we aim to understand what you’ve achieved academically in the context of your personal background.

How do you look at grades in the context of personal background?

We’ll look at your grades in the context of:
1) Your school
2) Your family background
3) Any disadvantages you may have had

Can I apply if I already have A-levels?

We welcome applications from students at any stage in their higher education journey, including students who already have their grades and mature students. All applicants will go through the same Selection Day process.

What does a successful offer look like?

We will award contextual offers based on your performance at Selection Day, personal background and circumstances, individual learning needs, and academic achievement (grades).

Can I take a gap year and defer my entry?

We will make every reasonable effort to facilitate deferred entry for students who wish to enrol at LIS at a later date.

What work experience do I need to have?

Work experience is neither expected nor required.
If you do have work experience and would like to share this with us, our Selection Days are a great opportunity to do so.

Can I appeal an admissions decision?

You can appeal an admissions decision if you feel that it was not made fairly on the basis of the evidence you originally submitted.

However, you cannot appeal against admissions decisions based on the academic judgment of LIS staff about your suitability for entry to the degree. More information can be found in our Applicant Complaints and Appeals Procedure in the policies section on our website.

Can I request feedback on my application?

Yes, of course. Simply email admissions@lis.ac.uk if you would like to request feedback on your application.

If my application is unsuccessful, can I reapply?

You may reapply to LIS either the following year or in a future year. We strongly advise that you request detailed feedback on your original application if you are unsuccessful and wish to reapply.

Do I need an English language qualification?

The LIS degree is taught in English. If you've been taught and assessed in English for the past two years or longer, you do not need to provide an English language qualification.

If you have not been taught and assessed in English for the past two years or longer, you'll be asked to specify any English language qualifications that you hold. We will also ask that you email a copy of your qualification transcript to admissions@lis.ac.uk. If you do not have a valid or current English language qualification that is no more than two years old, you will be required to sit an English language test.

Can I apply if I have a criminal conviction?

If you have a criminal conviction that is both relevant and unspent, we'll ask you to disclose it on your application form. Please note, you will not be automatically excluded from the application process if you declare a conviction.

Failure to declare a relevant unspent criminal conviction could result in expulsion from the School, so we encourage you to seek advice if you're unsure whether or not you need to declare a conviction. If you receive a criminal conviction after you submit this application, you must inform us. For an explanation of what constitutes a relevant, unspent conviction, and how we use this information, please see our Admissions Regulations and Procedures for Students in the policies section on our website.

Will you take my background or personal circumstances into consideration?

It is our goal to ensure that no applicant is disadvantaged due to their background or personal circumstances.

We will take your personal and family background into account when considering your academic attainment. This will not impact the likelihood of your being made an offer. Only where we consider that you show strong academic attainment given your personal background will this have any bearing on our decision-making.

International students

Can I apply as an international student?

We currently hold a sponsorship licence which allows us to accept international students as part of the 2022 cohort.

An international student is someone who does not have “settled” status in the UK and would need to apply for a visa to study in the UK.

If you do have settled status, you should be able to apply and be admitted to LIS. Please get in touch with us to confirm (hello@lis.ac.uk).

I'm an EU national. Will I be considered an international student or am I eligible to apply to LIS?

From August 2021, students from the EU who do not hold settled or pre-settled status through the EU settlement scheme will be classed as international students. As ever, if you feel that you have any questions, we would encourage you to get in touch hello@lis.ac.uk

Selection Day

Who will be invited to a Selection Day?

All applicants will be invited to a Selection Day. These allow us to go beyond your grades: it's a chance for you to tell us what motivates and inspires you, and to show us your potential to tackle complex problems with imagination, energy, and intelligence.

When will Selection Days take place?

We will have 3 waves and Selection Days will take place in November 2021, February 2022, and April 2022.

What happens at the Selection Day?

During Selection Day, we will interview you so we can understand how you think. You don't have to prepare; just be yourself. It's a chance for us to get to know you, for you to get to know us, and hopefully to learn about yourself along the way.

What do you assess during the Selection Day?

We will assess your potential as well as your achievements.

What are you looking for in candidates at Selection Days?

We’re looking for candidates with the potential to become exceptional problem-solvers.

You’ll need to be comfortable accepting ambiguity, and you’ll need to show strong critical thinking skills. Ideal candidates will be open-minded, self-aware, reflective, and receptive to feedback. These criteria are based on the skills, mindsets, and behaviours you’ll need to succeed on our degree.

What if I can't make it to a Selection Day?

We will make every reasonable effort to accommodate students who are unable to attend a Selection Day. We are happy to offer alternative arrangements (e.g. Skype interviews) where it's sensible to do so.

Finance

What fees will I have to pay?

Our fees will be in line with the traditional university sector - c. £9,000 per year.

Will I be able to get a student loan?

LIS is an official provider of Higher Education and can be found on the OfS Register of Providers. Being a registered provider means that students who study at LIS will be able to access student finance (including both tuition fees and maintenance loans).

Can I get a Disabled Students’ Allowance grant?

If you have a disability you may be able to get a Disabled Students’ Allowance grant to help pay the extra essential costs that you have as a direct result of your disability. This could be things like specialist computer software, help with extra transport costs, or somebody to help you take notes in lectures. Our student support team will work with students with additional learning needs to ensure that anyone who is eligible is able access to these funds.

Will LIS be able to offer financial aid options?

Yes, we already have funds committed to support students with high financial need.

Mature students

How do you define a mature student?

If you’re over 21 when you enrol at LIS, then you are classified as a mature student.

Can I apply as a mature student?

Yes, we welcome applications from mature students.

Is the application process the same for mature applicants?

Yes, the application process is exactly the same—apply directly via the 'Apply Now' button in the top right corner of your screen.

The Degree

What’s teaching like at LIS?

The style of teaching will include a mix of lectures and tutorials, mostly in person to the extent possible. COVID-19 has taught us a lot about making the most of online resources, and we will also be using a blended learning approach. With a high student to faculty ratio (10:1), you can expect to have a lot of access to faculty with many opportunities for feedback.

How many contact hours will students have?

About 12-14 contact hours per week (the exact number may vary at times depending on the curriculum). This decision was made based on research showing that fewer contact hours are insufficient, while more contact hours can be too overwhelming. You will also have access to an academic tutor to provide additional support beyond the contact hours required for all students. You’ll have more independence in later years, but a higher percentage of contact time will be spent in one-to-one sessions with faculty.

What are assessments like?

We will have a mix of formative and summative assessments that go beyond traditional essay writing and will help you develop a range of skills. You will likely be asked to show your knowledge on a problem using the tools and methods you are learning throughout the course. For example, you might be asked to display your videography skills by making a video about a particular problem, or to use data visualisation to demonstrate your coding skills developed during a particular problem cycle.

How big will class sizes be?

We have a high student to faculty ratio at about 10:1. Students will be divided into smaller groups of 4-6 to work through problems. For the methods modules, there will be more individual work and some occasional group work. You’ll also have plenary sessions at least once or twice a week, either in methods modules or in the problem cycles.

Considering that this is an interdisciplinary degree, are there also opportunities to specialise in a certain area?

You can develop your own area of interdisciplinary expertise through the disciplines you choose. You can do this either by working through specific problem areas, your module choices during your second and third years on the course, and through your final capstone project.

Can I study a foreign language?

We do not currently offer the option to study a foreign language at LIS. However, you are welcome to speak with your academic tutor about how you might be able to include outside studies in a foreign language into your time at LIS.

Can I go abroad for a year?

We do not currently offer study abroad options for the 2021 cohort. This may be subject to change in future cohorts.

Professional development

How do internships relate to the course at LIS?

Professional development is a key component of the student experience at LIS, helping students to apply their learning in the classroom and understand how organisations across sectors tackle complex problems. The professional experience and access to a network also prepare students for the world of work. You will have the opportunity to apply for internships during each year of the course. This is strongly encouraged, but not required. We want students to have the flexibility to make decisions around where, when, and how long their internships will be. Career mentors will support students in making these decisions. For more information, visit the ‘Careers Support’ page.

Will all students be able to do internships?

All students are eligible to apply for an internship, and we commit to brokering internships for all students who apply, if they are in good disciplinary standing with LIS. While we can’t guarantee anyone’s top choices, we certainly take your preferences into account. There are a range of opportunities to work with outside employers along with LIS business units.

When will internships take place?

Internships will take place during the summer holidays and will not interfere with term time.

Student experience

What will student experience be like at LIS?

As an LIS student, you'll be part of the fast-paced, intensive, and fun journey of building a new university. That means you'll have a unique opportunity to play a key role in establishing processes, clubs, societies, and traditions that future students will enjoy for years to come. Visit our student life page to see all the ways you can get involved.

What will accommodations be like?

At LIS, we don’t have our own accommodation. Instead, we have established agreements with some of London’s leading accommodation providers. This means that you can socialise and live alongside students from a diverse range of international and national backgrounds from other universities in London. You can visit our accommodation page to learn more about the different options.

How much will accommodation cost?

Most halls will offer a range of room options at different price points. Options have been carefully chosen to reflect all budgets. You can explore individual hall details on the accommodation page.

How will students with additional learning needs be supported?

We want to ensure that students from a variety of backgrounds can access the degree, and this includes providing reasonable adjustments for students with additional learning needs. If this applies to you, we ask that you share these details with us as early as possible so we can take this into account from the application process onwards. We will also support students through the Disabled Students Allowance application process, and work with an educational psychologist to attend to any needs that might arise while students are on the course.

Will you have links to other universities?

Yes; We've partnered with Queen Mary's Student Union, a short walk from the LIS campus. This means you'll be able to access their sports and gym facilities, play in their recreational sports leagues, and join some of their clubs and societies. You'll also have access to their student bars and some jointly organised club nights.

Location

Where will LIS be located?

Our campus is located in Whitechapel (just off Brick Lane) in the heart of the city. Shoreditch will be right on your doorstep, with all the art, fashion, bars and restaurants that it has to offer. And, of course, there’s the City of London itself. One of the world’s most famous business districts, housing billion-pound organisations, purpose-driven start-ups, and everything in between.

Regulation

Is the degree accredited?

LIS has been granted degree-awarding powers by the higher education regulator in England, the Office for Students (OfS).
The degree is a Bachelor in Arts and Sciences (BASc) in Interdisciplinary Problems and Methods.

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