London Interdisciplinary School ©2019

Frequently Asked Questions

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About LIS

What does LIS stand for?

LIS stands for The London Interdisciplinary School.

What does interdisciplinary mean?

Real world problems don’t respect boundaries of subject or industry. Our interdisciplinary approach teaches you the most fundamental theories and models from across the arts and sciences, and then empowers you to make new connections and find new solutions.

What courses are available at LIS?

We believe that real-world problems require an interdisciplinary approach this is why we offer one course that cuts across disciplinary boundaries. Our course takes the most fundamental theories and knowledge areas from across the arts, sciences and humanities and applies them to real-world problems.

How many students will be on the programme?

Spaces are limited. There will be 120 students in our founding cohort. Don't miss your chance to help build and shape LIS for future generations.

Can I do the programme part-time?

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

Do you have degree awarding powers?

We’re also in the process of having our degree validated and expect to announce our validation arrangements by January 2020.

Are you a registered HE provider?

We’re currently in the process of being registered as a higher education provider by the Office for Students. Once we’re registered, you’ll be able to apply for student finance (tuition fee and/or maintenance loan) to support you while you study on our programme. We expect to have a decision on registration by January 2020.

Are you a 'university'?

We’ll be able to apply to be given the title of ‘University’ once we’ve been granted our own degree-awarding powers and have at least 1,000 students.

Application process

When do applications open?

Applications for our founding cohort (2020) will open in Autumn 2019. If you join our LIS network, you’ll be the first to hear when applications open.

Are there any application fees?

There are no application fees.

Is there a minimum age for enrolment to the programme?

You must be 18 years old at enrolment on 1st of October 2020.

How do I apply?

You apply online, directly to LIS. When you apply, we’ll ask you for some basic information:
- Your background and grades
- A reference from a teacher/employer (which can be the same one you submit via UCAS)
- You’ll also have the option to make a short submission saying why you’re applying to LIS

We will review all applications and invite shortlisted candidates to a Selection Day.

Can I apply via UCAS?

Rather than applying via UCAS, you can apply to LIS directly. You’ll also be able to apply to other universities in parallel via UCAS.

In applying for LIS, can my reference letter be the same one I use on UCAS?

Yes, you can use the same reference letter for both your LIS and UCAS applications.

Why is your admissions procedure so different from other universities?

We want to know who you are, how you think, and what you’re passionate about - and we don’t believe this can be summed up by your grades. Our admissions process empowers you to show us the person beyond the grades: what motivates and inspires you, and your potential to tackle complex problems with imagination, energy, and intelligence.

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 it’s arts, sciences, or a mix of subjects.

What grades do I need?

We don’t have a minimum grade threshold; instead, we look at your grades in the context of your education, family, and personal background to understand what you’ve achieved in the context of your educational advantages or disadvantages. This means that we want to look at what you’ve achieved academically given your starting point.

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 may have had

Can I take a gap year and defer my entry?

We will make every 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.

Will you consider late applications (i.e. after the closing date)?

We’ll only consider a late application if there are still places available on the programme and if we have time to fairly assess it alongside other applications.

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 programme. More information can be found in our Applicant Complaints and Appeals Procedure.

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.

International students

Can I apply as an international student?

At this time we can only accept students with a UK or EEA passport. We will apply for a Tier 4 license so that we can sponsor international students from outside these territories within the first three years of our operation. That is to say, right now we are unable to accept students who don't hold a UK or EEA passport, but we plan to do so in the next few years.

Do I need an English language qualification?

If your first language isn’t English, you’ll need to demonstrate your ability to understand and express yourself in English reading, writing, listening and speaking so that we can be sure you’ll be able to succeed on our programme. Our Admissions Policy will set out how applicants from outside the UK can provide evidence on their English language capabilities.

Is the application process the same for international students?

Yes – you can apply directly to LIS and, if you are shortlisted, you’ll be invited to attend our Selection Day.

Selection Day

How will you shortlist candidates for the Selection Day?

We are looking for strong academic attainment given your starting point. We’ll also consider your reference and any submission you’ve made to us. In doing so, we will consider your passions, mindsets, and behaviours.

What happens at the Selection Day?

The Selection Day will run from approximately 10am-5pm and does not require preparation. The day will consist of:

- Cognitive tests (verbal, numerical, abstract, spatial)
- Face-to-face interviews
- Team problem-solving challenges
- Situational strength tests
- Active open-mindedness tests

What do you assess during the Selection Day?

We will assess your potential rather than your achievements. All aspects of the Selection Day are entirely optional – but the more you do, the more opportunity you have to show us who you are and the better we’ll be able to assess if you have the potential to succeed at LIS.

After the Selection Day, we’ll make offers; these will be conditional upon you achieving your predicted grades.

What are you looking for in candidates at the Selection Day?

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 programme.

What if I can’t afford the travel to London for the Selection Day?

If you’re eligible for free school meals or an education maintenance allowance, we’ll reimburse you for your travel costs.


What fees will I have to pay?

Our fees will be in line with the traditional university sector - c. £9,250 per year.

Will I be able to get a student loan?

You will be able to apply for Student Loan financing for our programme (including tuition fee loan and maintenance loan) once we have been awarded degree awarding powers.

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.

Mature students

How do you define a mature student?

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

Can I apply as a mature student?

We welcome applications from mature students.

Is the application process the same for mature applicants?

Yes – you can apply directly to LIS and, if you are shortlisted, you’ll be invited to attend our Selection Day.