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Entry requirements

You should read the following information carefully as it will help you determine whether you meet our entry requirements. You should also read the 'Entry Requirements' and 'Assessing your application' sections of our programme pages and our Completing the UCAS form page.

LSE is a highly competitive institution. The high level of competition means that achieving, or being predicted to achieve, our usual standard offer grades does not guarantee that an offer of admission will be made. In 2021, we received approximately 26,000 applications for roughly 1,700 places. This fierce competition for places means that every year we unfortunately have to disappoint many applicants. 

Each application we receive is carefully considered on an individual basis, taking into account the full range of information presented on the UCAS form. This includes the Personal Statement, academic achievement (both achieved and predicted grades), subject combinations, contextual information and the UCAS reference.

Search our programme pages to find out more about degree specific entry requirements, preferred subject combinations and desirable skills and attributes. 

English language requirements can be found here.

Usual standard offers

We express our standard offer in terms of GCE A-levels and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB). To see the usual standard offer and entry requirements for each programme, view the programme page for the programme you are interested in.

We also consider a range of international qualifications – to find our standard entry requirements for your qualification please see Information for international students.

The School receives many applications from very well qualified applicants and predicted or actual grades which meet or exceed the standard offer do not guarantee an offer of admission. Furthermore, the published standard offers are only a guide and in some cases candidates will be asked for grades which differ from this. The offers made in any given year will depend on the strength of that particular cohort and this means that offers made may also change from year to year. We also reserve the right to specify that particular grades should be achieved in particular subjects.

Contextual admissions 

For applicants from the UK that are eligible for Home tuition fees, contextual information is used to gain a more complete picture of the educational and individual context of an applicant. This allows our admissions selectors to assess achievement and potential, whilst recognising the challenges an applicant may have faced in their educational or individual circumstances.

What contextual information is used?

The following nine pieces of contextual information, supplied by UCAS will be flagged for the attention of the admissions selector:

1. Time spent in local authority care. This information is self-declared on the UCAS form and verified at a later stage.

2. The performance of the school/college where the applicant took their GCSEs (or equivalent qualification). Specifically, where the school’s or college’s performance is below the national average.

3. The performance of the school/college where the applicant took their A-levels (or equivalent qualification). Specifically, where the school’s or college’s performance is below the national average.

4. The home postcode of the applicant is compared against the POLAR 4 dataset. The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) assess how likely young people from different postcodes are to progress to Higher Education. We will flag applicants with postcodes in quintiles 1 and 2 (the 40 per cent least likely to attend university). The Office for Students has a POLAR 4 postcode checker on their website.

5. The home postcode of the applicant is compared against the IMD (Indices of Multiple Deprivation) dataset. We will flag applicants with postcodes in quintiles 1 and 2 (the 40 per cent most deprived areas). The UK Government has this postcode checker for English postcodes on their website. For the IMD classification of Northern Irish postcodes see this postcode checker; for the IMD classification of Scottish postcodes see this postcode checker; and for the IMD classification of Welsh postcodes see this postcode checker.

6.The home postcode of the applicant is compared to CACI’s Acorn dataset. CACI classifies postcodes according to a range of socio-demographic indicators. We will flag applicants with postcodes in Acorn types 40 and above.

7. Participation in an intensive LSE Widening Participation (WP) programme. We will flag applicants who have completed LSE CHOICE, LSE Pathways to Law, LSE Pathways to Banking and Finance, Promoting Potential or the LSE Year 11 Summer School/LSE COMPASS.

8. Participation in any Sutton Trust Pathways programme at any UK university. This includes Pathways to Engineering, Pathways to Medicine, Pathways to Law, and Pathways to Banking and Finance.

9. Other individual circumstances that may have disrupted or adversely affected an applicant’s education and achievement, as outlined in an Extenuating Circumstances Form. 

How is contextual information used?

Applicants who have been flagged for the attention of the admissions selector will receive additional consideration.The selector may use this information in the following ways:

- to make an applicant a standard offer where the applicant’s academic record (eg, GCSEs/AS levels or equivalent) or personal statement may be marginally less competitive than the cohort overall

- to make an applicant a standard offer where the applicant is predicted marginally below the usual entry requirements

- when making confirmation decisions for offer holders that have marginally failed to meet the entry criteria (usually this means one grade below the standard entry requirements).

Eligible students (students flagged with a home postcode that is classified as POLAR4 Quintile 1 or IMD Quintile 1, as a care leaver, or a participant in a specified LSE WP programme or a Sutton Trust Pathways programme), may be considered for a contextual offer, where the contextual offer is one grade lower than the standard offer for the programme. Any mathematics requirement must still be met.

All academic departments are participating in the contextual offer scheme.

The contextual offer grades are listed alongside the standard offer A-level and IB entry requirements on the relevant programme pages

Contextual information is used as part of the holistic admissions assessment and applicants are assessed alongside all other similar applicants, therefore having a contextual flag does not guarantee that an offer will be made.

Applicants studying for the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB)

LSE considers candidates applying with the International Baccalaureate Diploma. Offers at LSE are based on an overall points score in combination with individual scores in each of the Higher level subjects being taken into consideration.

The International Baccalaureate is scored out of 45 points and the entry requirements for LSE range from 37 points overall (with three Higher level subjects at grades 6 6 6) to 38 points overall (with three Higher level subjects at grades 7 6 6). Please find the scores required for each specific programme at LSE on the programme pages.

International Baccalaureate Diploma Mathematics Courses from September 2019

IBO revised their Mathematics curriculum in September 2019, introducing two new subjects; Mathematics: analysis and approaches and Mathematics: applications and interpretation. Please see below for our programme-specific requirements:

  • Mathematics: analysis and approaches (HL) required

    -          BSc Mathematics and Economics

    -          BSc Mathematics with Economics

    -          BSc Financial Mathematics

  • Mathematics: analysis and approaches (HL) preferred/desirable (but both streams considered)

    -          BSc Economics

    -          BSc Economics with Economic History

    -          BSc Econometrics and Mathematical Economics

    -          BSc Finance

    -          BSc Actuarial Science

    -          BSc Mathematics, Statistics and Business

  • Either stream (HL) is acceptable

    -          BSc Accounting and Finance

    -          BSc Data Science

    -          BSc Economic History with Economics

    -          BSc Economics and Economic History

    -          BSc Environmental Policy with Economics

    -          BSc Geography with Economics

    -          BSc Politics and Economics

    -          BSc Psychological and Behavioural Science

    -          BSc Management

    -          BSc Philosophy and Economics

    -          BSc Philosophy, Politics and Economics

    -          BSc International Social and Public Policy and Economics

Applicants studying for the European Baccalaureate Diploma

We accept the European Baccalaureate for entry to LSE. Below you will find the A-level grade requirement listed, and its equivalent in the European Baccalaureate. Our entry requirements vary by programme, and you should visit the individual undergraduate degree programme webpage for this information.

 A-level grade  Equivalent in the European Baccalaureate
 A*AA, AAA  Obtain 85 per cent overall
 AAB  Obtain 80 per cent overall
Mathematics A*  8.5 in Mathematics (the full option - five periods per week
Mathematics A  8.0 in Mathematics (the full option - five periods per week)

Applicants studying other UK qualifications

Cambridge Pre-U

LSE considers candidates applying with the Cambridge Pre-U Diploma or one or more principal subjects in combination with A-levels. We consider a full course Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subject to be equivalent to an A-level. Our grade equivalencies are:

LSE A-level equivalent

Pre-U grade

n/a

Pre-U D1

A-level A*

Pre-U D2

A-level A

Pre-U D3

A-level B

Pre-U M1

The Global Perspectives and Independent Research Project (GPR) is considered equivalent to an Extended Project and will not form part of any conditional offer.

BTEC

BTEC Level 3 qualifications (BTEC Nationals) are looked at on an individual basis for admission to LSE. Due to the structure and assessment of BTECs, they are not regarded as providing as good a preparation for our degree programmes as more academic qualifications. As BTEC qualifications are typically in non-preferred subjects they may be seen as less competitive for programmes that have a large number of well qualified applicants. Our entry requirements for students sitting the reformed BTEC qualifications (using the RQF specifications) are listed below. We also accept unreformed BTEC qualifications (using the QCF specifications), again on an individual basis. Typically all other entry requirements need to be met, including GCSE English and Mathematics at grade B and any Mathematics and Further Mathematics A-level requirements. You should ask your referee to note any extenuating circumstances that may have impacted upon the choice of courses available to you post-16.

Qualification

Entry requirements

UGAA required?

BTEC National Certificate 
(2 units)

Not acceptable for entry

N/A

BTEC National Extended Certificate
(4 units)

ONLY acceptable in combination with A-levels in two traditional academic subjects.

D with A*A for A*AA courses
D with AA for AAA courses
D with AB for AAB courses

UGAA not required 

BTEC National Foundation Diploma
(6 units)

ONLY acceptable in combination with A-levels in two traditional academic subjects.

D with A*A for A*AA courses
D with AA for AAA courses
D with AB for AAB courses

UGAA not required 

BTEC National Diploma 
(8 units)

ONLY acceptable in combination with A-levels in two traditional academic subjects.

DD with A*A for A*AA courses
DD with AA for AAA courses
DD with AB for AAB courses

UGAA not required 

BTEC National Extended Diploma
(13 units)

D*DD with A* for A*AA courses
DDD with A for AAA/AAB courses

Acceptable without A-levels alongside the Undergraduate Admissions Assessment.

UG Admissions Assessment required if student has no A-levels

Mathematics A*/A

A-level Mathematics should be offered (and A-level Further Mathematics where appropriate).

 

Cambridge Technicals

Cambridge Technicals

Qualification 

Entry requirements 

UGAA required? 

Level 3 Cambridge Technical Certificate (180 GLH)

Not acceptable for entry

 N/A

Level 3 Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate (360 GLH)

ONLY acceptable in combination with A-levels in two traditional academic subjects

D with A*A for A*AA courses
D with AAA for AAA courses
D with AB for AAB courses

UGAA not required

Level 3 Cambridge Technical Foundation Diploma (540 GLH)

ONLY acceptable in combination with A-levels in two traditional academic subjects

DD with A*A for A*AA courses
DD with AA for AAA courses
DD with AB for AAB courses

UGAA not required

Level 3 Cambridge Technical Diploma (720 GLH)

ONLY acceptable in combination with A-levels in two traditional academic subjects

DD with A*A for A*AA courses
DD with AA for AAA courses
DD with AB for AAB courses

UGAA not required

Level 3 Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma (1080 GLH)

DDD with A* for A*AA
DDD with A for AAA

Also acceptable without A-levels alongside a strong performance in the Undergraduate Admissions Assessment 

UGAA required without A-levels

Mathematics A*/A

A-level Mathematics should be offered (and A-level Further Mathematics where appropriate)

 

NB D* refers to Distinction*

BTEC and Cambridge Technical Level 3 qualifications (BTEC Nationals) are looked at on an individual basis for admission to LSE.

Welsh Baccalaureate

Applicants taking the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma are expected to have studied three subjects to A-level and we would typically make an offer based on three A level grades (excluding the Welsh Baccalaureate qualification). If you have only been able to take two A-levels alongside the Welsh Baccalaureate because of school/college restrictions, we would consider making an offer based on two A-levels and the Welsh Baccalaureate in place of the third A-level. The Welsh Baccalaureate is regarded as a non-preferred subject and we would expect two generally preferred subjects at A-level (see above). Supporting evidence regarding your school's policy on A-levels and the Welsh Baccalaureate would be required and should be provided in the reference.

Scottish Highers/Advanced Highers

We normally expect Advanced Highers in three subjects, at grades AAA to AAB.  Where A-level Maths is required, we require Advanced Higher Maths and where Further Maths is required we require an additional Advanced Higher in Applied Mathematics (Mathematics of Mechanics or Statistics from 2015).

Where an applicant is prevented, for reasons outside of their control, from studying more than two Advanced Highers we may consider making an offer on two Advanced Highers plus an additional Higher or Scottish Baccalaureate Interdisciplinary Project studied in S6.

Modern Studies is considered a traditional academic/generally preferred subject.

If an applicant has not taken a National 5 or equivalent qualification in English and/or Maths we would expect to see that subject offered at Higher Level and may require a particular grade.

LSE will accept both Mathematics or Mathematics Life Skills (National 5) for non-quantitative programmes however a minimum of grade B is required.

Scottish HNC/HND

These qualifications will be looked at on a case-by-case basis dependent on the nature of the content covered in the qualification and the desired program of study. A level maths, or equivalent, may also be required.

T-Levels

T-Level qualifications (from relevant subjects only) will be considered on an individual basis. Depending on the entry requirements of the programme applied for it is likely we will only accept students with an overall grading of at least a distinction and in some cases a distinction* may be required. As applicants will be considered on an individual basis, a particular grade level of A*-B in the core component and either merit or distinction in the occupational specialism may be requested.

The following subjects may be considered on an individual basis:

-          Digital production, design and development

-          Digital business services

-          Science

-          Accounting

-          Finance

-          Management and administration

-          Legal

-          Education and childcare

-          Health

-          Healthcare science

The following subjects are not considered suitable for entry:

-          Design, surveying and planning for construction

-          Human resources

-          Building services engineering for construction

-          Digital support and services

-          Onsite construction

-          Design and development for engineering and manufacturing

-          Engineering, manufacturing, processing and control

-          Maintenance, installation and repair for engineering and manufacturing

-          Animal care and management

-          Agriculture, land management and production

-          Catering

-          Craft and design

-          Hair, beauty and aesthetics

-          Media, broadcast and production

In addition, any applicant applying to a programme that has a Mathematics requirement will be required, in addition, to have an A-Level Mathematics qualification or equivalent.

Law National Admissions Test (LNAT)

All applicants applying to study the LLB (course code M100) at LSE for entry in 2022 (or deferred entry in 2023) are required sit the Law National Admissions Test (LNAT). The LNAT is not required for any other programme at LSE.

Why has LSE introduced the LNAT?

Each cycle LSE receives a very high volume of highly-qualified applicants to study the LLB. The LNAT will provide additional information about applicants’ aptitude for the study of law and is intended to be used alongside existing assessments in order to make fair admissions decisions.

What is the LNAT?

The LNAT is the National Admissions Test for Law and is used by several UK universities as part of their admissions process.

The LNAT is a 2¼ hour test in two parts: a multiple-choice section based on a passage of text, and a written essay.

It is designed to test applicants’ aptitude for studying law at university; it does not require any prior knowledge of law. As such candidates do not need any additional coaching to sit the test and we do not endorse or recommend paying third parties offering coaching help or preparatory materials. The LNAT website has official information and guidance on how to prepare for the test, including sample papers.

We strongly recommend visiting the LNAT website before you make your application for detailed information about the test. www.lnat.ac.uk.

When and where do I take the test?

For entry in September 2022 (or deferred entry in September 2023) the LNAT can be taken between the 1 September 2021 and 20 January 2022.

You may submit your application to LSE through UCAS before or after you take the test, however the test must be taken no later than 20 January 2022 for your application to be considered. 

You may only sit the test once per application cycle. Test results cannot be carried to the next application cycle if you reapply.

The test is administered by Pearson VUE and test centres are available throughout the UK and overseas. You must register with Pearson VUE on the LNAT website to book your test. For further details, see www.lnat.ac.uk

What is the cost of taking the test?

The cost for candidates to take the test can be found on the LNAT website. Help is available for UK/EU students who cannot afford the cost of the test.  UK/EU students entitled to certain state benefits can apply for an LNAT bursary. To for more information and to apply for a LNAT bursary see http://www.lnat.ac.uk/registration/paying-for-your-test/

How will LSE use the LNAT in admission decisions?

At present, we will only use the multiple-choice score in the assessment of applicants; for most applicants, the essay will not be considered. However, we reserve the right to assess the essay for applicants taking non-traditional qualifications or less well-known qualifications (see section on UGAA).

There is no set minimum score in the multiple-choice section that applicants are expected to achieve in order to be successful, instead the score may be used to help distinguish between similarly qualified applicants.The multiple choice score will form part of our holistic assessment of applicants and will be used alongside all other information on the UCAS form, including academic record, contextual information, the reference and personal statement.

Can I be considered for entry to the LLB at LSE if I have not taken the LNAT?

No, all applicants applying to the LLB programme are required to sit the LNAT; we will only consider applicants who have sat the LNAT by the 20 January 2022.

In extreme circumstances an applicant may be allowed exemption from the test, for example if there is no test centre in your country of residence or access to the test centre is disrupted by civil unrest or natural disaster. Exemptions are rare and considered on a case by case basis by each individual university.

If I take the LNAT test do I need to sit the UGAA?

Some applicants taking non-traditional qualifications or less well-known qualifications may be required to sit the Undergraduate Admissions Assessment (UGAA) as part of their application to LSE. The UGAA is an assessment administered by LSE that assesses applicants’ English and Mathematics ability. For more information about the UGAA including a list of qualifications requiring the UGAA please see the UGAA pages.

Applicants to LSE’s LLB programme are exempt from sitting the UGAA. Instead, the essay section of the LNAT may be assessed. Undergraduate Admissions will be in contact with these students from January if the academic selector wishes to assess the LNAT essay as part of the application process.

If you are also applying to other LSE programmes in addition to the LLB you may be required to sit the UGAA, particularly if the programme has a mathematics entry requirement. On making your application you will be notified by email if you may be required to take the UGAA. 

 

COVID-19 and the LNAT 

 

The LNAT remains a requirement for all M100 applicants. We advise all applicants to check the Pearson VUE website for COVID-19 precautions and updates regarding your local testing centre. Further information.

 

Due to social distancing measures at testing centres, we encourage applicants to book their test date ahead of time.

 

Test of Mathematics for University Admission (TMUA)

Applicants applying to programmes offered by the Department of Mathematics are are encouraged to take the Test of Mathematics for University Admission (TMUA). The test is not compulsory, however a good performance on the test may help in securing an offer.

The test is 2 hours and 30 minutes in duration and consists of two multiple choice papers, designed to assess your mathematical knowledge and mathematical reasoning ability. 

The TMUA will take place on 4 November 2021. Visit the TMUA website to access past papers, find out more about the format and register to sit the assessment. 

Applicants applying to the following degree programmes are encouraged to sit the TMUA:

  • BSc Mathematics and Economics (GL11)
  • BSc Mathematics with Economics (G1L1)
  • BSc Financial Mathematics and Statistics (GN13)

Language qualifications

LSE values the skills that language acquisition brings and many of our applicants describe themselves as bi, tri or multi-lingual.  We do however differentiate between language learning qualifications and those designed for competent language users. Where we have reason to believe a student has significant prior exposure to a language, we may exclude a language learning qualification from any offer we make. 

Significant prior exposure to a language may include:

  • you, your immediate family or your community regularly speak the language during day-to-day life.

  • you live or have lived in a country where that language is commonly spoken.

  • you are or have been educated in that language.

The most common qualifications this applies to are language A levels (except those designed for first language users eg, Welsh first language), International Baccalaureate Language B courses and Advanced Placement Language and Culture Courses. We are able to be more flexible in our requirements when considering courses taken only to AS or Standard Level, although we may still exclude these.

In order to help us with this decision, we take into account all information provided on the UCAS application such as nationality, schools attended (pre and post-16), completed language qualifications, normal place of residence and information from your referee. Where it is unclear to us whether the language qualification being taken is providing a significant academic challenge, we may require further information from you or your referee before we make our final decision.

Foundation Courses and Access to Higher Education Diploma

Access to Higher Education Diploma

The Access to HE Diploma is considered on a case-by-case basis for direct entry. Some applicants may be invited to the Undergraduate Admissions Assessment (UGAA) at the Admissions Selector’s discretion.

It is useful for the selectors to have information regarding your performance in the Diploma so far. Applicants may consider submitting their application later in the UCAS cycle, when more information is available; equal consideration is given to all applications received before the UCAS January deadline.

It is also useful to know the exact name of your qualification and which modules you are taking at Level 3. The content of your qualification must be a good fit for the programme at the LSE. Please also make sure you list the awarding body (it needs to be QAA-recognised); if you are unsure about this please check with your college. If you’re unsure whether we would consider your Access to HE qualification for a particular programme, then please contact us.

For programmes that require A level Mathematics, you will need A*/ A in A level Mathematics (please check programme pages for specific entry requirements) in addition to your Access to HE Diploma, or your Access to HE Diploma covers content equivalent to A level Mathematics and you will need to achieve Distinction in all your Maths credits.  Information on the content of A level Mathematics can be found here.

All applicants should complete their Diploma with 45 credits at Level 3. Grade requirements depend on the degree programme applied for, see below:   

A level entry requirement

Access to HE requirement

A*AA

Complete the Access to Higher Education Diploma with 45 Level 3 credits: 39 must be from units awarded at Distinction, with 6 level 3 credits at Merit.

AAA

Complete the Access to Higher Education Diploma with 45 Level 3 credits: 36 must be from units awarded at Distinction, with 9 level 3 credits at Merit.

AAB

Complete the Access to Higher Education Diploma with 45 Level 3 credits: 33 must be from units awarded at Distinction, with 12 level 3 credits at Merit.

Marks in specific units relating to the degree programme applied for may be required.

Foundation Courses

We consider applications from students who are able to complete a foundation course, however not all foundation courses are acceptable for all degree programmes. In previous years we have received applications from students studying the foundation courses at institutions such as the University of London International programme, University College London, Kings College London and the University of Warwick. LSE will only consider International Foundation Programmes delivered by UK institutions.

Applicants who are interested in the following programmes, must cover the content of the A Level Mathematics syllabus:

  • Accounting and Finance (NN34)
  • Actuarial Science (N321)
  • Data Science (N3UD)
  • Economics (L101)
  • Econometrics and Mathematical Economics (L140)

  • Economics with Economic History (L1V3)

  • Economic History with Economics (V3L1)

  • Economics and Economic History (VL31)

  • Environmental Policy with Economics (F9L1)

  • Finance (N300)

  • Financial Mathematics and Statistics (GN13)
  • Geography with Economics (L7L1)

  • International Social and Public Policy and Economics (LLK1)
  • Management (N200)

  • Mathematics and Economics (GL11)

  • Mathematics with Economics (G1L1)

  • Mathematics, Statistics and Business (G0N0)

  • Philosophy and Economics (LV15)

  • Philosophy, Politics and Economics (L0V0)

  • Politics and Economics (LL12)

Information on the content of A level Mathematics can be found here. Following submission of your application, applicants on foundation courses will be required to verify and provide details of their foundation course content. 

We assess Foundation Course students alongside other applicants using the full range of information presented on the UCAS application. Those demonstrating potential may be asked to sit the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Assessment (UGAA). Final admissions decisions are based on performance in the UGAA and information on the UCAS form. 

Applicants studying international qualifications

Accepted international qualifications

Whilst not an exhaustive list, the following are international qualifications with which applicants may be eligible for consideration by LSE:

• At least five Advanced Placement subjects (see the College Board and UCAS websites) taken over a maximum of three years. Confirmation of our AP requirements can be found here
• A University of London International Programmes qualification
• A foundation programme (LSE will only consider International Foundation Programmes delivered by UK institutions)
• A year of university study on a bachelor's degree from another institution* 

*Applicants to whom we make an offer on the basis of an undergraduate degree are normally expected to obtain a B+/2:1 or the equivalent overall, but higher marks in specific subjects may also be necessary.

Applicants offered a place on the basis of a foundation programme or university studies may be asked to sit the Undergraduate Admissions Assessment (UGAA).

We are also happy to consider a wide range of alternative international qualifications – to find our standard entry requirements for your qualification please see the Information for international students.