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 academic references from university tutors who know your work well. Check individual programme pages and our rules and exceptions for full information. Applications will not be considered without 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 online you should use the 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 webmail address. It is usually best to let your referees know in advance that you will be nominating them on your application.

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

If you are reinstating from one year  to the next and wish to submit a more up to date reference, you can forward either 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, it is also useful to briefly mention why you are applying for this programme>> Please see the information below for further instructions on how you can submit a reference on my behalf. The LSE operates a rolling admissions policy, applications are considered only when all requested items, included references, are received for my application.
You can download the Word version of the academic reference form or professional 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>> You should submit this 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 you should print this reference on the official headed paper of your institution or company, sign it and post it to the address shown on the form.
Please let me know when the reference has been submitted.