by Elizaveta Nidzelskaya
Level: Postgraduate, Master of Science (MSc)
University: London School of Economics (LSE)
Length, 12 months full-time, London (UK)
Location: London, United Kingdom
The compulsory elements of the course are a) two modules: Environmental Regulation: Implementing Policy, and either Economic Development and the Environment or Politics of Environment and Development, and b) the dissertation, which is completed during the Summer Term. The three remaining modules are chosen by each student from a wide range of options, such as Transnational Environmental Law, Planning for Sustainable Cities and Economic Appraisal and Valuation, among others. It is useful to bear in mind that you are not guaranteed your first choice of course and some of the courses, especially those in the Law department, are quite competitive. In addition, one of the three optional modules could be an approved module from a different department, or a methodology course. The latter offers a range of both qualitative and quantitative research design and evaluation skills, and is compulsory if you want to pursue a PhD at LSE. The variety of courses available allows students to tailor the MSc to their own interests, skills and career ambitions.
- What did you like most about the course?
The expertise of the professors is very inspiring. Not only are they excellent academics, but many are also involved directly in policy/consulting/other spheres; what we learn never feels as if it is just theory, or that it is removed from reality. EPR course coordinators are also invested into the students, and the cohort feels like a community, even with mostly online learning.
- What did you do before this course? Are there any specific requirements for being able to apply and take this course?
Prior to the MSc, I completed a History BA at University College London. Apart from achieving a minimum 2:1 grade (or equivalent), there are no specific entry requirements. In fact, EPR students come from an extremely wide range of backgrounds and experiences, which is in itself an asset to the course!
- What sort of work are you doing?
The work typically consists of weekly lectures and seminars with accompanying readings. In the seminars, there is often an emphasis on group work in class or preparing group presentations, and in some modules there is a presentation every week followed by a class discussion. The course is assessed through a mixture of coursework and exams, depending on the module. For example, the coursework for the compulsory course, Environmental Regulation: Implementing Policy, consists of a policy brief and an accompanying academic reflection, which is useful to practice writing for future jobs. The workload is significant, but fulfilling.
- Why did you choose this course over other courses you may have been considering?
Aside from the prestige of the institution and the reputation of the course, I knew from talking to alumni that both the course and LSE prepare students well for future careers.
- What is life at this university like?
This academic year (2020-1) is probably not the best representation of what LSE life could be like! However, despite the restrictions, I have made some great friends and participated in the societies on offer, such as organising a hackathon across five London universities and playing tennis (before the lockdown). LSE also hosts many interesting talks and offers an excellent careers service with alumni panels and other useful events.
- What are you planning on doing after you’ve graduated? What are typical jobs graduates do after completing the course?
Students go on to work for international environmental organisations, ESG agencies, NGOs, consulting firms, the civil service, and the list goes on! Personally, I want to work in the energy sector, perhaps in a think tank or an advisory agency working with governments to shape energy policy. I may pursue a PhD in a decade or so.
Elizaveta Nidzelskaya is a current student on the MSc Environmental Policy and Regulation at the London School of Economics, having previously completed a BA in History at University College London.