How do I supply references?

It is your responsibility to supply suitable references in support of your application. For the majority of applicants this means two references from academics who know your work well, and who, preferably, can comment on subjects or skills relevant to the programme(s) you are applying for. Check individual programme pages and our rules and exceptions for full information. Your application will not be considered until we have received suitable references. Please be aware that if you are reinstating your application from one year to the next, you must use option 2 if additional references are needed, as your application will not go through the submission system again.            

Request references online (new applications)            

When you apply, you should use the online system to request references. Subsequently you can send a reminder to your referees, or add a new referee to your application. You should always use an academic/professional email address for your referee in preference to a general webmail address. You are strongly encouraged to contact your prospective referees to request a reference before nominating them  on your application (see the template message below, which may be helpful).

Request references to be submitted by post or email (reinstated applications)            

If you are reinstating from one year to the next and are submitting a more up to date reference, you can forward the word template for academic referees or the template for professional referees  and ask your referee to send a hard copy of the reference to our usual address or to from an academic or professional email address. Please use this option if:          

  • we ask you to send an additional reference after your application has been processed              
  • you have sent the wrong type of reference by mistake              
  • your referee is having technical problems with the online reference form              
  • you have applied with a paper application.                    

Copy and paste this text into an email to your referee to submit a quick request.            

Dear ……………………… I am applying for a graduate programme at the LSE <<insert the name of the programme (s) here>>,because <<it is also useful to briefly mention why you are applying for this programme>>. I would be grateful if you would allow me to nominate you as one of my referees. If you agree, please see the information below for further instructions on how to submit a reference on my behalf. The LSE operates a rolling admissions policy, and my application will only be considered when all requested items, including references, have been submitted.

You can download the Word version of the academic reference form and submit it directly to the LSE via quoting my name and applicant ID number << insert your ID number if you know it>>

If you are submitting the reference by email, please send it from your academic or professional email account to avoid having to submit a duplicate hard copy if I receive an offer of admission. If you do not have an academic or professional email account then may I ask you to print this reference on official headed paper, sign it and post it to the address shown on the form?

Please let me know when the reference has been submitted, and thank you so much for your help and support: I appreciate it very much.