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MSc Applicable Mathematics

The MSc in Applicable Mathematics is an innovative programme, drawing together traditional and modern mathematical techniques in a variety of social science contexts.

It is designed both for mathematicians who wish to make themselves more marketable by adding some social science aspects to their knowledge and skills base, and for non-mathematicians with strong quantitative backgrounds who wish to add to and improve their understanding of the mathematics behind much of social science.

Reflecting the world's dependence on computation, students will learn the programming language Java, and how to use it to apply their knowledge to real-world problems.

The skills and knowledge gained over the programme will open up a wide range of potential careers, including finance, business, software development, and industry. It will also provide a solid base for further studies at research level.

Additional benefits

  • Study at a world-class university in the historic centre of London
  • Small classes (usually less than 15) allow for interactive learning 
  • Emphasis on algorithms and the computational techniques required to apply your skills in the modern economy
  • Opportunity to take courses in other departments at the LSE such as Economics, Finance, Government, Operational Research, and Statistics

Application code: G1U2

Fees for September 2015 entry: £12,024 (UK/EU), £18,600 (Overseas)

Student intake/applications in 2013/14: 34/215

Programme Structure

This is a full-time, 12 month programme. Students will study modules to the value of 4.0 units. The core content of the degree is one course on algorithms (Paper 1), either MA407: Algorithms and Computation or MA421: Advanced Algorithms (depending on prior experience)—together with the supervised dissertation MA498 (Paper 7). 

The Programme Regulations| this degree are reproduced below. Note that not all courses will be available every year. Unit values in [brackets].

Paper 1 – one course to the value of 0.5 units from:

Papers 2/3/4 – courses to the value of 1.5 units from:

Papers 5/6 – courses to the value of 1.0 units from:

Paper 7:

Entry Requirements

Applicants should normally possess at least an upper second-class honours degree in a mathematically-based subject from a UK university or one of an equivalent standard elsewhere. Candidates with degrees in scientific or engineering subjects will be considered, provided that they have a reasonable background in mathematical methods and some understanding of the logical structure of a mathematical proof.

Full details regarding entry requirements can be found on the Graduate Admissions| pages. 

For detailed information about the equivalence of non-UK qualifications, please see information for international students|.

English requirements
An IELTS or TOEFL is required if English is not your first language, or you do not have proof of your previous degree being taught in English.  Please note: the MSc Applicable Mathematics requires applicants to achieve the 'higher' English language requirement|.

Other requirements
Applicants are not required to submit GRE/GMAT scores when applying for this degree programme. 

How to Apply

Application procedure
Applications are made centrally to the Graduate Admissions Office|.

Personal Statement and Supporting Information
The personal statement should be 2–3 pages (A4) in length and we recommend including the following information:

  • How elements of your background relate to the MSc in Applicable Mathematics programme
  • Reasons/motivation for studying Applicable Mathematics at the LSE
  • An explanation for any grades you believe do not accurately reflect your ability
  • Information about future plans and how the programme fits in with these plans

Please include transcripts of subjects taken in the relevant degrees and copies of all certificates and relevant qualifications mentioned in your application.

Two academic references are required with the application. If you have not studied since 2010, one academic reference should suffice. Seek the advice of Graduate Admissions if you are unsure.

There is no official application deadline for this course, but you are advised to apply as early as possible because competition for places is fierce. We are only allowed to make a certain number of offers, and late applicants may be placed on a waiting list.

You can check whether the programme is currently open for applications on this page|.

Student intake/applications in 2013:  34/215

Application code: G1U2


To make an application and for further information on the application procedure, consult Graduate Admissions|


For 2014/15 entry:

  • UK/EU: £12,024
  • Overseas: £18,600 

Financial support

The Financial Support Office| website provides information about the LSE's Graduate Support Scheme, along with all other sources of scholarships and funding.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the entry requirements/required academic background for this degree?
Applicants should normally possess at least an upper second-class honours degree in a mathematically-based subject from a UK university or an equivalent standard elsewhere. Candidates with degrees in scientific or engineering subjects will be considered, provided that they have a reasonable background in mathematical methods and some understanding of the logical structure of a mathematical proof. Prior knowledge of computational mathematics and social science applications is not required.

Further information on the the LSE's minimum entry requirements for master's degrees can be found here|.

If you have more specific queries that are not addressed on this page or elsewhere on the LSE website, email maths.msc@lse.ac.uk|.

Can I contact an academic member of staff or current student about my application?
No. This is because the very large number of enquiries we receive every year. You can address your queries to administrative staff in the Department, and the School's Graduate Admissions team.

When should I apply?
Applications open on 21 October 2014, for admission in September 2015.

Full details about the application process are available on the Graduate Admissions| pages. Ensure that you send your application and any related material to Graduate Admissions—sending material directly to the Department will only delay it.

There are no official application deadlines for this course, but you are advised to apply as early as possible because competition for places is fierce. We are only able to make a certain number of offers, and late applicants may be placed on a waiting list.

You can check whether a degree programme is still open for applications on this page|.

Do I need to submit a GRE/GMAT score?
No. However, you might need to check whether your alternative degree choice, if you have selected one, requires a GRE/GMAT score.

Do I need work experience?
No, work experience is not a requirement for this degree. However, relevant experience may strengthen your application, provided you already meet the minimum academic requirements.

What if English is not my first language?
If your first language is not English, or if the language of instruction of your previous degree(s) was not English, we ask you to provide evidence of your command of English. Please consult the relevant Graduate Admissions| pages for further information. 

I am an overseas student, but have studied previously in the UK—do I still need to submit IELTS scores?
If you have successfully completed a degree taught in English, then you are not required to submit an IELTS or TOEFL score.

Do you interview applicants?
No. However, the LSE does arrange Graduate Open Evenings each year, which give you an opportunity to visit the School and meet some staff and students from the Department.  Details of this year’s Open Evening, on Wednesday 5 November 2015, can be found here|.

How can I check the status of my application?
All applicants will be given access to the Graduate Application Tracker|.

How long is the programme?
The MSc in Applicable Mathematics is a 12 month programme, beginning in September.

How is the academic year structured?
The academic year consists of three terms. Michaelmas (Sep–Dec) and Lent (Jan–Mar) terms are both 11 weeks long, and Summer term (Apr–Jun) last 7 weeks. The majority of teaching normally takes place in Michaelmas and Lent terms, with only revision lectures and exams in Summer term. Term dates can be found here|.

How are the courses structured?
Courses run by the Department of Mathematics will usually consist of two hour-long lectures and one hour-long class/seminar per week during the two main teaching terms. Lectures and classes are spread over the week, and are taught in various teaching rooms at the School. Timetabling of courses run by other departments is not under our control, and it is possible that some teaching clashes may occur.

Students on the MSc in Applicable Mathematics are required to take courses to the value of 4.0 units.

One unit is the dissertation (MA498), which is compulsory and must be taken within the Department of Mathematics. In addition, all students are required to take 4 half-units of mathematics courses. This leaves you with the chance to take 1.0 units of options outside the Department, if you wish. This can take the form of two half-units or one full-unit.

Please see the Programme Regulations| for more details. 

Where can I get more detailed information on each course?
Further information on each course is available here|.

How and when do I choose my options?
Students have until the end of the third week of the first term (Michaelmas Term) to finalise their options. Courses are selected online using the LSEforYou system. All new students receive a user name and password when they register, giving them access to their student profile online in order to choose courses. Instructions are provided online but the process will also be explained at induction. Each student's Tutor and the Programme Director will then access these initial course choices to approve them (or not, if they are not felt to be suitable to the requirements of the degree). When a student would like to take a course option outside the Mathematics Department they need to ask the permission of the lecturer on that course as certain restrictions may apply. Students also need the approval of the Programme Director if these outside options are not explicitly stated in our programme regulations. 

Further information is available on the Graduate Course Choice| page.

Do I need to submit a dissertation or project?
Yes, a supervised dissertation in mathematics (MA498) is a central part of the programme.

Is there any reading I can do in advance?
The Department sends out information packs to successful applicants in August. This will include information on course content, timetabling and recommended preparatory reading, along with some suggested exercises to help you prepare for the Java programming element of the core courses.

Keen students might want to look at an online introduction to Java, such as the online Sun Java tutorial|, which is a good starting point, or one of the many books available, for instance:

  • Teach Yourself Java 2 in 21 Days (2004) Rogers Cadenhead and Laura Lemay. Sams:Indianapolis, IN. (0672326280)
  • Schaum's Outline of Programming with Java (2004) John Hubbard. McGraw-Hill: New York, NY. (0071420401).

Are there any other MSc Mathematics programmes?
The Department also offers a MSc in Financial Mathematics|.

Is it possible to do this programme part-time?
No, this course is only available to full-time students. 

How much does the programme cost?
For a September 2015 start: £12,024 for UK/EU students, and £18,600 for overseas students.

For up-to-date information on fees and further details, consult the School's Fees| pages.

What funding is available?
A small number of awards are available from the School as part of the Graduate Support Scheme|.

Full details of all scholarships and funding available from the School and from external bodies can be found on the Financial Support| website.

Do you arrange internships or employment?
Not directly, but LSE Careers| can provide advice and support to students seeking internships, part-time/vacation work, and full-time positions after completing their studies.

What do people go on to do after their degree?
Our graduates have gone on to employment in a variety of areas, but the banking and finance sector is particularly well represented. We also believe our MSc programmes are good preparation for a PhD in our Department, or for a PhD in many other mathematics or economics departments.

Specific destinations of former MSc Applicable Mathematics students include AIG, Amazon, Boston Consulting Group, Deutsche Bank, Ematiqa, Google, EY, HSBC, LEK Consulting, Mantis Partners, Oxford University Press, PwC, Santander, Standard Bank Group, and Standard Chartered.