What you will need
The materials below are required to apply for programme. Documentation can either be uploaded during the application process, emailed or sent via post.
- The address of your university/college
- Your Study Abroad office’s address and contact details
- Your Registrar or other credit-processing office’s address and contact details
- The names and email addresses of your two referees (a referee request will be made at the end of the application)
- Your most current undergraduate academic transcript
- An up-to- date CV/Resume
- Personal statement: 250-500 words explaining why you want to participate on the programme and what you hope to gain from it
- Writing sample: 500-1500 word extract from an academic assignment you have previously submitted at your home institution
- Non-native English speakers only: an IELTS English language certificate not more than 2 years old in Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking at CEFR Level B2 unless you are fully matriculated in a four year degree programme in a US institution in which case you do not have to prove English proficiency.
Admissions policy and process
Before applying for the programme, please read our Admissions Policy and Process.
If you have any questions about the programme or application, please contact us.
- All UK tuition and academic supervision
- Fully-equipped self-catering accommodation in central London
- Study trips and a programme of social and cultural activities
- LSE associate student membership
- All administrative and student support services
What's not included?
- Home or credit-granting institution tuition
- Tier 4 (General) Student Visa application (about $500 USD)
- Local transportation costs
- Food and personal sundry costs
The UK Visas and Immigration guidance states that students studying in London will need £1,265 per month to support themselves for the duration of their course. This number is especially high as it includes accommodation costs. With proper budgeting, you should be able to get by on much less, especially as your Hansard Society Scholars fees include housing!
Below is a sample budget for both the summer and the semester programmes. Do bear in mind that this is merely meant as a guide and personal expenses will vary depending on interests and individual requirements. This also does not include travel outside of London as it is impossible to estimate average scholar spending on international travel.
Expenses above are listed in GBP. To convert to your home currency, we recommend using the OANDA website.
Although Britain is generally more expensive than other countries, and London in particular is now one of the most expensive cities in the world, there are so many affordable shopping options as well as low-cost and free activities available. Scholars are also encouraged to use their student ID for discounts at restaurants, cinemas, stores, and more! This will help cut down on overall costs.
How does it work?
In order to participate on the Hansard Society Scholars programme, you must secure a Tier 4 (General) Student visa. The Tier 4 visa is specifically required because of the internship placement you will be undertaking as part of the programme.
Tier 4 is a points based visa. You must score 40 points to secure the visa, 30 for the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number and 10 for meeting financial maintenance requirements. We will give you step-by-step instructions on applying for the Tier 4 visa once your participation is confirmed.
Exceptions: European Union / European Economic Area / Swiss passport holders
If you hold a passport from any EU or EEA countries or from Switzerland, you are not subject to UK immigration control and will not need a visa to enter the country. However, you must travel to and enter the UK on this passport and you must ensure that it is valid for the duration of the programme.
What is the CAS Number?
The Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies, known as CAS, number is a unique electronic reference number that confirms that you have been accepted for participation on the Hansard Scholars programme.
The Hansard Society, which is a licensed Tier 4 sponsor, obtains each scholar's CAS number by submitting information about the scholar and the programme to UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI). This information is stored electronically in the UKVI online management system.
You cannot proceed with your visa application until you have received your CAS number. When we send you your CAS number, we will also send you your CAS statement. This statement includes all the information we have provided to UKVI about you and the programme; when you submit your visa application, you will need to ensure that your information completely matches ours.
When to apply for a Tier 4 visa
You cannot apply for your visa more than three months before the programme start date. Because processing times vary and can slow down at peak periods, you should begin the application process as soon as you receive your CAS number.
The visa will allow you to enter the UK up to seven (7) days prior to the programme's start date and to remain in the UK up to seven (7) days after the programme's end date. (However, if you plan to travel on the Continent after the programme is over, you can transit back through the UK on your way home.)
Where to apply for a Tier 4 visa
You must apply for your Tier 4 visa in your country of nationality or where you officially reside. (For instance, if you are a foreign student studying in the US, you can apply from the US on your F1 visa.)
You cannot apply from within the UK nor can you enter the UK on another type of visa, such as General Visitor or Student Visitor, and then change to Tier 4. You will submit your application to the British Consulate/Embassy.
What are differentiation arrangements for 'low risk' nationals?
Certain countries are designated as 'low risk' by UK immigration authorities. Students applying from these countries qualify for 'differentiation arrangements' which means they do not have to send documentary evidence of their qualifications (such as university transcript) and funding with their applications.
However, they must be prepared to submit these documents immediately if they are requested later in the application process. If a 'low risk' national is asked for these documents and fails to produce them within the specified time, their application could be refused.
Countries designated as 'low risk' are - Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Botswana, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Oman, Qatar, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, USA and British National (Overseas).
UKVI Official Guidance
The United Kingdom Visas and Immigration is a part of the UK Home Office. Official immigration guidance can be found here: Tier 4 (General) Student Visa