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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, empowering you to make new connections and find new solutions.

What courses are available at LIS?

We offer a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Interdisciplinary Problems & Methods. The three- year course teaches students how to apply the most fundamental theories and knowledge areas from across the arts, sciences, and humanities to real-world problems. As part of the course, students will have the chance to take part in paid work experience each year across a range of industries.

How many students will be in the 2021 cohort?

Spaces are limited. There will be 100 students in our Founding Cohort. Don't miss your chance to help shape the future of LIS.

Can I do the programme part-time?

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

Application process

When do applications open?

Applications are now open to join LIS for the 2021 cohort. Visit the admissions page to learn more and apply now.

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 in September 2021.

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.

Why is your admissions process 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. This is why we invite all applicants to a Selection Day.

Our admissions process empowers you to show us the person you are beyond your 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 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 conditional offers based on your performance at Selection Day, personal background and circumstances, individual learning needs, and grades.

If you successfully meet your offer, you will be invited to become part of our Founding Cohort starting in Autumn 2021.

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 programme. 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@t-lis.org 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 programme 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@t-lis.org. 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?

At this time we are unable to accept applications from international students for our 2021 cohort. We will apply for a Tier 4 licence however, it is unlikely to be in place for applications to our 2021 cohort.

You can join the LIS community through our website to stay up to date on any regulatory changes, including international student applications.

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

The Brexit transition period ends on 31 December 2020. Under current guidance, we will be unable to accept EU nationals who are not resident in the UK. There are complex rules around what counts as being resident in the UK and, if you have any questions, we would encourage you to get in touch with us (hello@t-lis) as soon as you can. Whilst a final withdrawal agreement is being agreed, EU nationals may submit an application. However, please note, that we’ll only be able to accept this application if there is a change in regulation or circumstance. If this happens, we will get in touch and proceed with your application.

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?

The first wave of Selection Days will take place from the end of January 2021.

What happens at the Selection Day?

Selection Days will take place in London and will include at least one face-to-face interview 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.
After the Selection Day, we’ll make offers; these will be conditional.

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. If you're unsure whether you're eligible for these then please email admissions@t-lis.org.

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?

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. We will share this important update with the LIS Community before the end of 2020.

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 course

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 course, 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?

Our founding cohort will play a key role in shaping the student experience at LIS. We take a holistic approach, supporting students from your initial engagement with LIS to becoming part of an alumni network after graduating.
All students will have regular check-ins with a welfare officer, and an onsite counsellor will also be available. We will offer a series of personal development and wellbeing activities ranging from yoga and meditation, to workshops on communication, sexual health and financial literacy. We will also run sessions on various topics related to diversity and inclusion to ensure that we are building an equitable and accessible community of students, faculty and staff.
Our student support department will work closely with students to ensure that you can take a leadership role in developing activities and events that reflect students’ needs and interests. For more information, see our student experience page on the website.

What will accommodations be like?

We know that where students live will play a key role in their wellbeing. Feeling safe, secure and comfortable at home will enable you to arrive on campus ready to learn and make the most of your educational experience.

Whether you chose to live in student accommodation organised through external providers, private housing or commute from home, we will work hard to build a strong sense of community and belonging for all students.

How much will accommodation cost?

This isn’t yet set as it depends on our site location. We are mindful that London is expensive, and we also want to give students the chance to live close together, so we will be taking these factors into consideration. We will share updates on this once we confirm our site and accommodation provider.

How will students with additional learning needs be supported?

We want to ensure that students from a variety of backgrounds can access the course, 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 will be partnering with a large London university union so you can access subsidised bars, clubs, societies etc. We will also be a member of the London Universities Sports League (LUSL) so you can field teams for sports. You’ll have the benefit of being at a small university with lots of personalised support, while also being in London and being able to access the best of what the city and its student life have to offer.

Location

Where will LIS be located?

We haven’t announced this yet. But we have a favoured site which is in Zone 2 in London and well connected. We will support students to find accommodation near the site. Subscribe to the LIS Community to receive an update about our site as soon as we're able to announce the location.

Regulation

Is the degree accredited?

The degree is a Bachelor in Arts and Sciences (BASc) in Interdisciplinary Problems and Methods, and we are currently going through the accreditation process.

When will you know about regulation?

We are well advanced through the regulatory process to become registered by the Office for Students as a higher education provider and expect to make an announcement in relation to these regulatory decisions in Autumn 2020.

We will make sure that you have all the information you need to make an informed choice and we will keep you updated via the ‘Regulatory Updates’ page.

Once LIS has achieved registration and degree awarding powers, our students will be able to access student finance, and on successful completion of the programme, will be awarded a degree in line with other degrees in the UK.

We will make sure that you have all the information you need to make an informed choice and we will keep you updated via our website.

Given the importance of choosing where to study we advise that all students keep their options open and apply to other institutions alongside LIS.