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FAQs

 Admissions|

  1. When is the deadline for accepting my offer?
  2. How can I check whether my documents have been received by LSE?
  3. I have a question about a document I have to provide in my offer letter - who should I contact?
  4. Can I defer my offer?
  5. What does reinstating an application mean?
  6. Can I visit the campus before I start the programme?

Visas|

  1. I need to apply for a student visa - when will I receive my CAS number?
  2. Who should I contact if I have a question about my visa application?

Fees and Finance|

  1. When do I need to pay my tuition fees?
  2. Where can I find information about scholarships and financial assistance?

MPA Information|

  1. When does the MPA programme start?
  2. What does the MPA pre-sessional course involve?
  3. Is it possible to take advanced Economics option courses?
  4. Do I need to do any reading before I start the MPA?
  5. Can I request a waiver for one of the core MPA courses if I think I have already done an equivalent course?

Living in London|

  1. How do I apply for university accommodation?
  2. I want to book a return flight to London - what are LSE's term dates?
  3. Will I be able to work while studying for the MPA?

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 Admissions

When is the deadline for accepting my offer?

There is no set deadline for accepting your offer. You may receive reminders from Graduate Admissions| if you have held your offer for some time, but your offer will not be withdrawn because you have not yet responded. If you will need to apply for a student visa, please note that Graduate Admissions| will not issue you with a CAS number unless you have accepted your offer.

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How can I check whether my documents have been received by the LSE?

You can track the progress of your documents through the application tracker. Please remember that Graduate Admissions| deal with all graduate programmes at LSE and receive a very large number of documents on most days. Graduate Admissions| publish information on the web about their current processing times so please check this as it may take longer to process documents at busy times.

The Institute of Public Affairs does not receive your documents so we will not be able to tell you whether they have arrived at LSE or when they will be processed.  If you are worried that something may have been lost in the post, please contact Graduate Admissions| directly for advice.

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I have a question about a document I have to provide in my offer letter - who should I contact?

Please contact Graduate Admissions| with any queries about documents you have been asked to provide.

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Can I defer my offer?

The MPA programme does not have a deferral system. Requests for deferrals can only be considered in very exceptional circumstance such as personal/family illness or the impact of a natural disaster. If you feel your circumstances are exceptional, you can request a deferral online|

Please note that deferrals cannot be granted on financial grounds or because of employment opportunities, but it is possible to reinstate an application for the following year.

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What does reinstating an application mean?

If you are unable to accept your offer, you may want to consider reinstating your application for the following year. Reinstating means that your existing application form and documents will be forwarded to the Selectors in the next round of applications so you will not need to provide new copies of transcripts and references.

All reinstated applications are considered again by the Selectors so there is no guarantee that you will receive another offer. You can reinstate your application for the following year online|.

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Can I visit the campus before I start the programme?

There is open access to many parts of LSE's campus and visitors are welcome to take a self-guided tour using a campus map. LSE also has many public events| which are often open to all, although some do require a ticket.

The teaching and research commitments of the academic staff mean that they are not able to meet with offer-holders but if you have specific questions, you can e-mail mpa@lse.ac.uk| for further information.

It is not possible for offer-holders to attend any teaching sessions connected to the MPA programme or any other LSE programme as these are only open to registered LSE students.

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 Visas

I need to apply for a student visa - when will I receive my CAS number?

CAS numbers are issued by LSE’s Graduate Admissions Office|. As such, please check the communications sent by Graduate Admissions (both by e-mail and through the application tracker) for information about CAS numbers, which are usually issued from May onwards.

 

Graduate Admissions require you to hold an unconditional offer, to have accepted your offer and to have completed your Financial Undertaking Form before they will issue a CAS number.

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Who should I contact if  I have a question about my visa application?

LSE’s International Student Immigration Service| has a large amount of information for prospective students on its webpages. If you cannot find the information you require, there is a web query form available|

The ISIS| staff are the only people at LSE who are qualified to give advice on visa issues so the Institute of Public Affairs will not be able to answer detailed queries about visas.

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 Fees and Finance

When do I need to pay my tuition fees?

Please see the Fees Office| for information about how and when to pay your tuition fees. These pages also contain information about how sponsors are invoiced.

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Where can I find information about scholarships and financial assistance? 

All LSE scholarships and financial assistance are co-ordinated through the Financial Support Office|. Their webpages contain further information, including details of how to apply to LSE’s Graduate Support Scheme|, and a list of external organisations that you may be able to apply to.

Unfortunately, the Institute of Public Affairs does not have any funds available to assist students with the cost of the programme.

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 MPA Information

When does the MPA programme start?

The MPA programme starts on the registration date stated in your offer letter. There will be orientation activities on this day as well as registration, therefore you will need to be in London and ready to attend by the registration date. The MPA pre-sessional course starts the following week.

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What does the MPA pre-sessional course involve?

The MPA pre-sessional course is a refresher course in mathematics and statistics which all new MPA students are required to take. The course begins on the first Monday after registration and consists of eight days of lectures and classes. It is designed to give students an indication of the level of understanding required for the first year MPA economics courses and to introduce them to some of the terminology that will be used during the first year.

As the course is a refresher course, it will not start from an absolute beginner level so offer-holders with limited previous experience in this area may find it helpful to do some independent learning in advance. There will be test at the end of the pre-sessional course but this does not count towards the MPA. Waivers are not granted for the MPA pre-sessional course.

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Is it possible to take advanced Economics option courses?

Due to the advanced level of the courses offered by the Department of Economics at LSE, access is restricted to students who have a strong background in economics and who meet the conditions set by the Department of Economics.

Offer-holders who hope to take option courses with the Department of Economics would need to take the Department of Economics' pre-sessional course EC400 and pass the test at the end of the course. This is a three-week pre-sessional course that begins in early September. Please note that access to this pre-sessional course is strictly limited to students with an appropriate academic background.  Only offer-holders with a strong background in economics who have a previous degree (or major) in economics and previous coursework that includes microeconomics, macroeconomics, calculus, linear algebra and econometrics will be selected by the MPA Selectors as eligible for EC400. Applicants who are identified as being eligible for EC400 will be notified of this in their offer letter.

If you are not identified as being eligible for EC400 at the beginning of the MPA programme, there is another opportunity to request to be considered for this pre-sessional course at the start of the second year of the MPA.

Please note that EC400 is not required for the economics courses that are part of the MPA core curriculum|.

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Do I need to do any reading before I start the MPA?

There is no required reading to be done before starting the MPA programme. Details of some suggested reading will be sent to offer-holders in the summer before they are due to join the programme.

Offer-holders with limited previous quantitative experience may wish to take a short course or distance-learning course in calculus before joining the programme.

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Can I request a waiver for one of the core MPA courses if I think I have already done an equivalent course?

The MPA curriculum| has been designed by the academic staff who run the programme.  Waivers are not granted on the basis of courses taken as part of your previous university studies.

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 Living in London

How do I apply for university accommodation?

Information about LSE’s halls of residence and how to apply can be found on the Student Accommodation| webpages. There is also a section on finding private housing.

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I want to book a return flight to London - what are LSE's term dates?

The MPA programme follows the standard LSE term dates|. All teaching and exams take place within the LSE term dates. Please note that you are expected to be in attendance during term-time.

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Will I be able to work while studying for the MPA?

Some students do work part-time while studying for the MPA. Occasionally there are opportunities to work on campus but teaching assistant positions at LSE are normally only available to PhD students. If you are at LSE with a student visa, you need to make sure that you do not work more hours that your visa allows you to.

Please be aware that as the MPA is a full-time programme you could have classes on any day of the week and if you try to arrange your schedule to leave a particular day free, this may affect your choice of courses. There is also no guarantee that you will be able to arrange all of your classes so that you have a whole day free.

The Institute of Public Affairs is not able to assist students with finding part-time employment although any details of employment opportunities that we receive are circulated to students. 

LSE’s Careers Service| has a vacancy board where registered students can search for employment opportunities (please note this can only be accessed by registered students and not by offer-holders).

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Can't Find Your Question?

If you still can't find the question that you'd like answering on this page, you can ask us a question online|.

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About the MPA|

Tuition and Funding|

Applying to the MPA|

Other Questions|

Can't find your question?|

About the MPA

How long is the programme?

The MPA programme is a full-time two-year programme. Each year runs from September to June. Students are not required to be in attendance during the summer between the first and second year.

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Can I study part-time?

The MPA programme is only offered full-time. Classes take place every weekday (Monday-Friday). Students interested in studying part-time who have more than five years work experience may wish to look at the part-time EMPA programme|.

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How many applications do you receive each year?

Each year we typically receive around 600 applications. Our target intake is 115 students per year, meaning at any one time there may be up to 230 MPA students studying at LSE across both years.

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What are the student demographics?

The MPA programme is proudly diverse and our students come from a wide variety of academic and professional backgrounds, and with varying levels of experience. We normally have students from around 40 different countries on the programme each year.

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Tuition and Funding

How much does the programme cost?

For information on costs please see either the LSE Table of Fees for up to date information, or our page on Fees and Finance|.

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Where can I find information about scholarships and financial assistance?

All LSE scholarships and financial assistance are coordinated by the LSE Financial Support office|.

All applicants to the two-year MPA programme are eligible to apply to the LSE Graduate Support Scheme|. Applicants do not have to wait for a decision on their application before applying to the Graduate Support Scheme.

Any queries about funding and financial support should be directed to the Financial Support Office| as MPA Staff are unable to provide specific advice on this issue.

 

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Applying to the MPA

How do I apply to the MPA programme?

All applications are made through LSE’s Graduate Admissions Office|. Applications open in mid–October each year. Full details of how to apply are available on the LSE Graduate Admissions homepage. This includes information about the entry requirements and the documents applicants are required to submit with their application.

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What are the application deadlines?

The MPA does not have a deadline for applications; Graduate Admissions begin accepting applications in mid-October. The MPA has a limited number of offers to make each year and once this limit has been reached, no further applications can be considered. To find out about current programme availability, go to the LSE Graduate Admissions homepage| and click "Available programmes" in the menu on the left of the page. We recommend that applicants submit their applications as early as possible to maximise their chance of being admitted.

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Do I have to submit two academic references?

Please see Section C of this webpage| for reference requirements.

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How long should my personal statement be?

Please see Section E of this webpage| for more information.

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Where do I send my application documents?

All application documents must be sent to Graduate Admissions|. If you are unable to upload your documents, please contact us|.

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What is your GRE/GMAT policy?

We do not require applicants to have taken GRE/GMAT tests. However, if you have taken one of these, and you feel your results will support your application, you are welcome to include it. As this is not a requirement for the MPA we cannot advise what the Selectors would consider a good score. We are also unable to advise applicants what the average GRE score is as only a minority of applicants choose to include this information.

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Can I apply even if my English language score is lower than required?

The requirements for English language test scores are available here|. However, you can apply even if you have not yet achieved the required score. If your application is successful you will receive a conditional offer, which means that you will be accepted on the programme only if you achieve the required test scores before the programme starts. If you will require a student visa, please note that you will need to hold an unconditional offer so will need to achieve the required English test score leaving enough time to apply for your visa and wait for a decision on your visa application.

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What do you look for in an applicant?

The Selectors will consider the application as a whole before making a decision. They are looking for:

  • Proven academic ability and strong academic grades. Economics and/or quantitative course work is particularly helpful but there is no specific subject requirement for the first degree.
  • Relevant work experience. Although this is not required, it will significantly strengthen your application if you can demonstrate solid professional experience. This can include internships and voluntary work as well as paid employment. The average work experience of our students is three years.
  • A personal statement that is well written and clearly explains why you have chosen this professionally-oriented policy programme. It is also important that your statement explains how your prior professional and educational experiences make you a good candidate for the programme.
  • Strong references in support of your application.

Please note that we are unable to respond to individuals who ask whether they are eligible to apply. Full details of the entry requirements are available from the Graduate Admissions webpages|.

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Do you accept transfer students?

No, the MPA does not accept transfer credits. It is also not possible for students to attend individual courses without being registered for a degree programme at LSE.

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Can I visit the campus?

There is open access to many parts of LSE's campus and visitors are welcome to take a self-guided tour using a campus map. LSE also has many public events| which are often open to all, although some do require a ticket.

The teaching and research commitments of the academic staff mean that they are not able to meet with offer-holders but if you have specific questions, you can e-mail mpa@lse.ac.uk| for further information.

It is not possible for offer-holders to attend any teaching sessions connected to the MPA programme or any other LSE programme as these are only open to registered LSE students.

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What happens after I submit my application?

The LSE Graduate Admissions Office| will process your application. They will confirm to you that it has been received and if any further action or documents are required from you. Graduate Admissions receive applications and documentation for all graduate programmes. This means that it may take some time for your application to be processed. You can see the current processing times on-line.

Please note that all queries relating to application documents should be directed to Graduate Admissions.

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Other Questions

Can I apply for a PhD programme after the MPA?

A number of MPA graduates have gone on to PhD programmes both at LSE and elsewhere. There is no direct link between the MPA and any particular LSE PhD programme so students are free to focus on their own area of interest. If you are considering applying for a PhD programme at LSE, you are advised to visit the web pages of the LSE academic departments for further information on available PhD programmes.

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What do MPA graduates do after completing the programme?

MPA students come from a wide variety of academic and professional backgrounds and with varying levels of experience. There is therefore no typical destination and graduates go on to many different careers. Some examples are available here|. There is a rapidly growing MPA alumni community, many of whom enjoy keeping in touch with the MPA and who return to visit us and participate in events.

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Can't find your question?

If you still can't find the question that you'd like answering on this page, you can ask us a question online|.

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For information on the MPA programme's curriculum, click here|