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MSc admissions FAQs


Information about the application and admission process to the MSc programmes.

Applications are processed centrally through the Graduate Admissions Office.

All applicants are advised to read the prospectus pages for our individual MSc programmes, accessed via Available programmes 2020/1 – please click on the relevant programme title/s. 

On this webpage, you will find information about Entry Requirements, the Application Process, what happens After Submitting the Application, Funding and Accommodation, About the Programme, After Completing the MSc Programme and Other Useful Information.

Entry Requirements

1. What are the entry requirements for the MSc programmes offered by the Department of Economics?

Please consult the LSE Graduate Prospectus on the Available Programmes page and identify your intended programme. See the “Entry Requirements” section on each prospectus page. You must also consult the general LSE Minimum Entry Requirements for graduate study.

The programme prospectus for each Taught Masters programme offered by the Department of Economics:

Also see further advice below.

2. Am I eligible to apply? 

Prospective applicants who have questions about their eligibility should consult the Graduate Prospectus via the Available Programmes page. See also LSE Minimum Entry Requirements.  We regret that we cannot assess candidates prior to receiving a complete formal application which should be submitted to the LSE Graduate Admissions Office. Note that candidates are permitted two programme choices per application; each choice is considered sequentially (not simultaneously) – see FAQ number 15 (iv).

3. Which programme is most suitable for my profile?

Applicants should self-assess and are encouraged to read the website and prospectus pages before addressing questions to the Department. If you are unable to find the answer to a specific question after reading the website, you are welcome to contact the Department of Economics graduate admissions team. Note, however, that our team will not be able to assess candidate profiles or comment on individual chances of admission.

We expect candidates for the 1-year MSc Economics programme to have previously majored in Economics or equivalent, having achieved very good grades and demonstrating a solid quantitative background. The 2-year MSc Economics programme is designed for students who have a strong quantitative background but lack the depth of knowledge in economic theory and quantitative techniques which are essential for undertaking the 1-year MSc Economics.  [see also FAQ number 4]. 

The MSc Econometrics and Mathematical Economics is a technically rigorous programme suited to candidates with strong results in a quantitative degree. It is primarily aimed at (for example) mathematicians, statisticians, physical scientists, engineers as well as graduate economists.   

See some of the Department of Economics MSc student profiles.  

4. How do I know if I have enough maths for the Department’s MSc programmes?

The Department of Economics MSc programmes are all highly quantitative in content, hence our selectors will be looking for proven strength in quantitative subjects. Additionally, applicants to the 1-year MSc Economics are expected to hold a First class honours degree in Economics or equivalent with concentration in economics and quantitative subjects. Successful 1-year MSc Economics entrants will typically have achieved very good examination results in university-level two-semester length courses in [a] mathematics (both advanced calculus and linear algebra), [b] econometrics and statistics, [c] intermediate macro and microeconomics.

The LSE’s BSc Economics programme regulations provide some indication of the typical academic background of candidates who are admitted to our 1-year MSc Economics; also see the Maths and Statistics taken by current LSE BSc Economics students. It is not just a case of having taken some Economics, Maths (and Statistics) courses, but also having studied, and been examined in, core Economics courses that are part of a quantitative based Economics degree structure, i.e. with standard courses in Intermediate Macroeconomics, Microeconomics and Econometrics, as well as a number of advanced courses that use these core courses as prerequisites.

Candidates who have an insufficient economics background for our 1-year MSc Economics will usually consider an application to the 2-year MSc Economics for which the entry requirement is a first class degree, or equivalent, with at least two semesters of university level maths.   

The LSE’s BSc Econometrics and Mathematical Economics programme regulations provide some indication of the typical academic profile of candidates who are admitted to our MSc Econometrics and Mathematical Economics.

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Application Process                                                             

5. How do I apply?

We have a formal application process, which is centrally administered by the LSE Graduate Admissions Office. Applicants must submit a complete formal application to the Graduate Admissions Office via the online form. You can find the online application form and links to all the information needed to submit an application, on the Prospective Students page. See How To Apply and guidance on Supporting Documents.

6. Where can I get help with the application process?

Questions about the mechanics of the application process should be submitted to the LSE central Graduate Admissions Office (rather than to the Department of Economics). The quickest way to find answers to questions about application logistics is via the Graduate Admissions Office Admissions Enquiries system; If you cannot find the answer after running a search on this page, you will be offered the option 'To send a written enquiry' to Graduate Admissions direct.   

Please check Graduate Admissions’ tailored guidance for
Application submitted / completed / awaiting a decision.

Graduate Admissions’ How Do I page provides direct links to many useful information sources, forms and instructions for how to carry out the most common tasks online. 

If your question cannot be answered by referring to any of the above online resources, please Contact Graduate Admissions.  

7. When should I submit my application?

Early application is always advised. See When to Apply / Deadlines. You can check the availability status of individual programmes throughout the admissions cycle by visiting the Graduate Admissions Available Programmes webpage.

For MSc programmes offered by the Department of Economics, there is a rolling admissions process with no specific application deadline, i.e. each MSc programme will close when it becomes full (NB: there may be a brief window of time as a programme begins to approach capacity, when the programme status may show as “Limited Availability” but sometimes a programme may transition directly from “Open” to “Closed” status). We regret that it is not possible to predict exactly when a programme will close, hence early application is always advisable. 

8. What should my application include?

Our academic selectors expect to get a full picture of your academic profile when they read your application. This includes all relevant courses studied by you, with results achieved in each. If any results are not available at the time of application, those pending modules should be clearly listed either in the transcript or in a separate list (self-typed if necessary). Other relevant elements of your application will also be considered by the selectors, in a holistic approach.

Your formal application should consist of:

  • Transcripts for all (degree and non-degree) study making up your academic profile
    [UoLIP students please see note below*]
  • A list of all Pending modules (if any), if such modules are not listed on the transcript
  • Statement of academic purpose
  • Two academic references [also see FAQ number 9]
  • CV
  • GRE scores (see advice further below)
  • Evidence of your command of English, if required. See English language requirements
  • The appropriate application fee

* Students on the University of London International Programmes (UoLIP) must supply a transcript issued by UoLIP, not by the local host institution. See relevant UoLIP guidance here

See Graduate Admissions’ detailed guidance for all applicants, regarding Supporting Documents.

9. Can I submit a third reference?

Applicants are not required to submit a third reference but may do so if they wish (for example, relating to a relevant internship or research assistantship). The online system is set up to accept only two references, but applicants may ask their third referee to submit their additional reference by email to Graduate.References@lse.ac.uk stating the applicant’s full name and ID number in the subject of the email.  See Graduate Admissions’ further advice about submitting references.

10. Do I need a GRE (Graduate Record Examination)?

See the prospectus “Entry Requirements” for each MSc programme offered by the Department of Economics: 

Note that each programme has its own particular GRE requirements.

MSc in Economics (L1U1)
Applicants who have first (undergraduate) degrees in economics studied at UK universities are not required to submit GRE scores.

We will agree to exempt from the GRE requirement:

- Applicants with an undergraduate joint economics degree (with a substantial element of economics and quantitative subjects) studied, for at least the last two years, at a UK university.

- Applicants who have completed a postgraduate diploma in economics at a UK university and provide final transcripts and a full reference from their Diploma teachers.  

MSc Economics (L1U2 - 2-year)
GRE scores are required from all applicants, including graduates of UK universities.

MSc Econometrics and Mathematical Economics (L1UB - 1-year)
Applicants who do not have an undergraduate degree studied at a UK university are required to submit GRE scores with their application.

See also Graduate Admissions guidance on GRE, including “Exceptions”.

11. What else can you tell me about the GRE?

  • You should take the GRE General Test (you are not required to take the GRE Subject Test).
  • You should arrange for the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to send official scores to the Graduate Admissions Office. See GRE > How to send us your scores.
  • Your test scores should be less than five years old on 1 October 2020. 
  • MSc Economics (1-year and 2-year programme): we typically expect candidates to score at least 161 in the quantitative section of the test.
  • MSc Econometrics & Mathematical Economics: we typically expect candidates to score over 163 in the quantitative section of the test.
  • A higher score will count in your favour, but other information, such as examination results and references will also matter in the overall evaluation. We recognise that if your first language is not English, the verbal test will be more demanding and we view your score on that basis.
  • The Department cannot accept GMAT scores in substitute for the GRE.
  • For details of how to take the GRE General Test, see the ETS website. The GRE has three sections: Verbal, Quantitative, Analytical. You should include your test scores in the relevant section of the application form, stating the full and percentile scores obtained for all three sections of the test. Scores submitted for each section must be from the test taken in one sitting, ie: not across multiple test dates.
  • You are unlikely to score well if you take the test without preparing for it. It is advisable to familiarise yourself with the format of the test and the type of questions it asks, and practise answering sample GRE test questions within the time allowed before you take the test. See the section on how to prepare for the GRE General Test

12. Do I need to submit an English Language test? What score is required?

You are not required to submit English test scores at the point of application (although it is strongly recommended that you do so). If you are offered admission to an LSE programme, then proof of your English proficiency may be requested. See Graduate Admissions’ detailed guidance on English Language Requirements for clarification on accepted tests and required scores.

13. If I am still undertaking a degree, can I apply to your MSc? Do I need to submit a transcript?

Many of our candidates are in the final year of a degree programme when they apply so can only supply an interim transcript. This is acceptable, although applicants must be in a position to supply final results and proof of their degree award by the date of MSc registration.

When reviewing your application, the Department’s academic selectors expect to see a transcript showing the full list of modules which will contribute to the award of your final qualification. Occasionally, if making an offer, selectors may even deem it relevant to set specific grade conditions in certain pending modules.

In case you have no transcript available for an ongoing course of study when submitting your application to LSE, our online system allows you to upload a document where you may state that no transcript is yet available. It is, however, important, even in such cases, that you upload a list of all modules – past, current and future – which will contribute to the award of your current qualification.  The information should include full module titles and module codes. Where module results are already available, a transcript with the results must be included with the application. Where module exams are yet to be taken or results are still pending, a list of those modules (generated by the institution) showing full titles and codes should be submitted. The Department may accept a printout/scan from the student’s university account for application review purposes.

Applicants undertaking summer/exchange programmes at another university should include a separate transcript for the same.

14. Some module titles on my transcript may not accurately reflect the actual content of the module I am studying. Can I submit additional clarification?

Candidates may, if they wish, include relevant syllabi and/or an additional note highlighting their coverage of the Economics core subjects and/or their study of quantitative topics. Additionally, we note that academic referees often provide useful detail about individual courses in their reference letters (candidates may wish to discuss this with their referees). All applications will be reviewed holistically and our academic selectors will review all the information on file to assess every applicant’s quantitative skills and potential to cope with the technical rigour of the specific MSc course/s to which the candidate has applied.

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After submitting the Application

15. What happens when I press “Submit”?

(i) Your application will be received by the central Graduate Admissions Office, who provide the School’s admissions service.

At this point, your application will be checked by central Graduate Admissions to ensure all necessary components have been supplied. Neglecting to send complete information with your application will result in delays. If any missing information is identified, you will be contacted and requested to submit the requested material. Upon all items being checked and approved by central Graduate Admissions, your application will be released to the Department for academic review.

(ii) Receipt of application to the Department of Economics

When the Department receives your complete application, the contents of your application will be checked again by the Department of Economics’ admissions team to ensure that all items on file meet the requirements of our academic selectors, for reviewing purposes. If the team identify missing/contradictory information – eg. no transcript to account for a qualification listed in your application form or a missing Exchange programme transcript – your file will be sent back to central Graduate Admissions who may contact you to request clarification/any missing information.  

(iii) Academic review and consideration for choice(s)

Once the Department deems that your file is ready for academic review, we will send your application to our academic selectors. Our selectors are highly experienced in screening applications from all over the world; we have regional specialists who are familiar with international academic assessment systems. They will consider all factors when reviewing an application. Applicants who wish to provide relevant background information/commentary for the attention of our selectors may do so via their personal statement or additional notes submitted with their application (see FAQ number 14).

We endeavour to make decisions within eight weeks of the Department receiving your application. However, in busy periods the decision period may be longer.

(iv) Decision

All decisions are communicated to the applicant by central Graduate Admissions, via email as well as the applicant’s LSE for You application tracker account. Departmental offer recommendations are subject to mandatory checks by the Graduate Admissions Office before the formal offer can be communicated to the applicant.

Applicants are offered places at the LSE based on a fair and equitable assessment of what they have achieved academically, compared with their peers, and on their own merit.

Applications are considered sequentially not simultaneously. If you submitted your application listing two programme choices, you will initially receive a decision for your first programme choice. Applicants are only considered for their second programme choice if unsuccessful for their first choice. 

16. How can I check on the progress of my application?

Use the LSE for You application tracker. Applicants should also check Graduate Admissions’ current processing times

17. How will I get the final decision on my application?

The Graduate Admissions Office will write to you. Any decision will be visible in your LSE for You application tracker as soon as it is made. However, a decision is authoritative and official only if it has been sent in writing from the Graduate Admissions Office. You will receive an email decision and, if an offer, a physical copy of the offer letter will be sent to you in the post within a month of receiving the offer.

See The Admissions Process.

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Funding and Accommodation

18. What does it cost to study at LSE?

See the Graduate Admissions’ Fees and Funding page for information on tuition fee amounts, fee status classification, fee reductions as well as living costs. This page also provides guidance on funding for Taught Master’s programmes.

The tuition fee amounts can also be viewed on the individual prospectus page for each MSc programme:

19. Can I get funding?

See the Graduate Admissions’ Fees and Funding page for advice on funding for MSc programmes. 

After you submit your application, you will be allocated your LSE for You application tracker account which will include a link to the LSE Graduate Financial Support online application.

MSc funding is decided centrally and does not fall within the jurisdiction of the Department.

20. How do I apply for accommodation?

Visit the Accommodation office web pages for information on types and availability of accommodation as well as guidance on how to apply for a place in LSE halls of residence.

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About the Programme

21. What can you tell me about the structure of the programme and its courses?

See the individual prospectus page for each MSc programme – section “Programme structure and courses”.

Also see the LSE Academic Calendar for all Taught Masters at the LSE, where clicking on “Programme Regulations” and “Graduate Course Guides” will give you detailed insight into the topics covered in each programme of study.

22. Can I study the MSc part-time or by distance learning?

Our MSc programmes are offered only on a full-time basis. The programme structure, which includes lectures, classes, seminars and workshops, does not lend itself to part-time registration.

Applicants are welcome to identify suitable part-time LSE programmes via the Search Courses page. Also see the University of London International Programmes as well as details about LSE Executive Education programmes and the LSE Summer School.  

23. Is it possible to transfer credit from graduate level courses in Economics at my institution to the LSE MSc programmes?

The LSE is unable to accept credit transfers to its graduate programmes, from any other institutions. There is no possibility for your formative studies to be mapped on to the courses of any of our taught graduate programmes. Please refer to the current LSE Programme Regulations. Also see information about the “Bologna Process” under “Types of Study”.

24. Is it possible for MSc students to work as research assistant to Economics faculty or in research centres?

Research Assistant (RA) roles may be available in the Department on an ad-hoc basis but tend to be directed primarily towards current PhD students. RA opportunities are, however, sometimes circulated in the Department by the MSc Tutor. Additionally, MSc students may get in direct contact with faculty who are working in their specific field of interest to find out whether there are research opportunities. If/when considering taking up a RA role, it is advisable for students to take heed that the MSc programme is intensive, fast-paced and challenging, with a demanding timetable of taught courses.

See our Faculty Research pages and information about Economics Research Centres

25. What can you tell me about EC400 and EC451?

The Department of Economics runs two introductory courses at the start of each academic year. These compulsory courses aim to equip incoming students with key quantitative concepts and techniques that will prepare them for topics intrinsic to their degree programme.

Registration for each of the above courses is held in late August, with a three-week period of teaching followed by exams.  

26. I have a question about the programme content/structure which is not answered on the website. Who can I contact with my query?

Applicants are encouraged to do detailed research on our website in order to find the required information. If you still have a specific question about the actual programme content or structure, you may contact the Department of Economics programmes team. If you have already been allocated an Applicant ID number by that time, please state it in the subject header of your email. 

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After completing the MSc programme

27. Where do the Department’s MSc students go after graduation?

Our MSc is a long-standing and prestigious degree, highly regarded by employers and by academic departments across the world. In recent years, our graduates have gained employment in leading investment banks (like Goldman Sachs, Bank of America etc), consulting firms (like McKinsey, BCG etc), international organisations (like the IMF, World Bank etc) as well as the public sector. The overriding reason for our strong placement record is that we train our MSc students to think deeply and rigorously about economic problems, imparting technical skills that are highly prized by employers across the board.

The advanced and technically rigorous nature of the MSc programmes also serves as an excellent foundation for PhD programmes and other research-focused roles.

See some of the Department of Economics MSc Alumni Profiles as well as the LSE’s Careers Service website. In exploring “What do LSE graduates do?” you can filter on Department and Degree to obtain more specific information on graduate destinations of our MSc students.

28. Are the Department’s MSc programmes a suitable route to top PhD programmes?

Yes, the advanced and technically rigorous nature of all the Department’s MSc programmes mean that our graduates have excellent preparation for progressing on to top PhD programmes, in the US and across the world, eg. MIT, Princeton, Stanford, Chicago to name but a few. Our MSc programmes are also designed to prepare students for the LSE’s own MRes/PhD in Economics - see FAQ number 29.

29. Can I progress from the MSc Economics or MSc Econometrics and Mathematical Economics to the MRes/PhD Economics programme?

As per current MRes/PhD Economics programme regulations, it is expected that students due to graduate in 2021 from our MSc Econometrics and Mathematical Economics programme or from our MSc Economics (1-year or 2-year) programme, will be entitled to a conditional offer of progression to the MRes/PhD Economics commencing in September 2021, subject to attaining a Distinction grade in their MSc. Note: Programme regulations are subject to amendment every year.

Shortly after joining their MSc programme, students will be advised of the procedural requirements to request their formal offer for the MRes/PhD Economics.

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Other useful information

30. Where can I find information for international students?

See LSE information for International Students where you can explore “Country-specific information” as well as links relating to Careers and Employability, Life on Campus and Visas & Immigration.

31. Can I contact faculty or current students during the application process?

We regret that LSE faculty members and current students are unable to answer queries from prospective applicants.  Instead we ask applicants to contact econ.pgadm@lse.ac.uk with specific concerns which may not be addressed by our web-pages. Applicants who receive an offer from the LSE will have some opportunity to communicate with nominated student ambassadors within the Department during the period leading upto MSc registration.

32. What if I need further information and advice?

In the first instance, please read the above FAQs and/or the Department of Economics webpages. If you cannot find the answer…