We welcome applications from all suitably qualified prospective students and want to recruit students with the very best academic merit, potential and motivation, irrespective of their background. The programme guidance below should be read alongside our general entrance requirements information.
We carefully consider each application on an individual basis, taking into account all the information presented on the UCAS application form, including your:
- academic achievement (including predicted and achieved grades)
- subject combinations
- personal statement
- teacher’s reference
- educational circumstances
You may also have to provide evidence of your English proficiency, although you do not need to provide this at the time of your application to LSE. See our English language requirements page.
What we are looking for in an application for BSc Philosophy and Economics
Successful applicants for this programme are usually predicted to achieve or have already achieved a minimum of A A A in their A-levels, with an A in Mathematics (or 38 and above International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB) points, with 7 6 6 in Higher level subjects, including Mathematics).
In addition, the selectors are looking for applicants who have achieved a strong set of GCSE grades including a significant number at A (or 7) and A* (or 8-9). You must also have GCSE (or equivalent) English Language and Mathematics no lower than B (or 6). In terms of GCSE grades, the selectors consider not just the number of top GCSE grades that you have obtained, but also your overall GCSE subject profile.
Competition for places at the School is high. This means that even if you are predicted or if you achieve the grades that meet our usual standard offer, this will not guarantee you an offer of admission. Usual standard offers are intended only as a guide, and in some cases applicants will be asked for grades which differ from this.
We express our standard offers and where applicable, programme requirement, in terms of A-levels and the IB, but we consider applications from students with a range of qualifications including BTECs, Foundation Courses and Access to HE Diplomas as well as a wide range of international qualifications.
Information about accepted international qualifications
Information about other accepted UK qualifications
We consider the combination of subjects you have taken, as well as the individual scores. We believe a broad mix of traditional academic subjects to be the best preparation for studying at LSE and expect applicants to have at least two full A-levels or equivalent in these subjects.
It is essential that you have studied, or are studying, Mathematics to A-level (or equivalent). This is to ensure you are able to complete the core economics courses at LSE. An additional qualification in Further Mathematics (at any level) is not required but is an indication of mathematical ability and a helpful preparation for the programme.
Beyond the mathematics requirements, there is no ideal subject combination, however selectors like to see that you possess both analytical and writing abilities. Students offering Mathematics, Further Mathematics and one other subject will be considered, however we have a very strong preference for the third subject to be in the arts or humanities and will look for evidence of your understanding of and commitment to the study of social sciences in your personal statement.
Other subjects commonly studied at A level include Economics, English, Government and Politics, History, Languages, Mathematics, Philosophy, Sociology and Religious Studies.
There is no requirement for students to have formally studied Philosophy or Economics before. Subjects where the content is deemed to overlap, such as Economics and Business Studies, or English and Media Studies, should not be taken together. Critical Thinking A-level will not be included in our standard offer, but success in this subject can be an indicator of your aptitude for following lines of reasoning and argument.
Find out more about subject combinations.
Personal characteristics, skills and attributes
For this programme, we are looking for students who demonstrate the following characteristics, skills and attributes:
- interest in both philosophy and economics and their areas of overlap
- an ability to think logically and independently
- an ability to read extensively and evaluate and challenge conventional views
- an ability to follow complex lines of reasoning
- intellectual curiosity
- motivation and capacity for hard work
In addition to demonstrating the above personal characteristics, skills and attributes, your statement should be original, interesting and well-written and should outline your enthusiasm and motivation for the programme.
You should explain whether there are any aspects of particular interest to you, how this relates to your current academic studies and what additional reading or relevant experiences you have had which have led you to apply. We are interested to hear your own thoughts or ideas on the topics you have encountered through your exploration of the subject at school or through other activities. Some suggestions for preliminary reading can be found below in the preliminary reading section, but there is no set list of activities we look for; instead we look for students who have made the most of the opportunities available to them to deepen their knowledge and understanding of their intended programme of study.
You can also mention extra-curricular activities such as sport, the arts or volunteering or any work experience you have undertaken. However, the main focus of an undergraduate degree at LSE is the in-depth academic study of a subject and we expect the majority of your personal statement to be spent discussing your academic interests.
Please also see our general guidance about writing personal statements.