Department of Finance

Undergraduate Admissions selection criteria
Entry 2016

Quick guide

Programme Name


Applications 2014

Places 2014

Standard A level offer

Standard IB offer

Essential Qualifications

BSc Finance


New programme for 2016

New programme for 2016

A*AA (including A* in Maths)

38 points with 7,6,6 at HL (including Maths 7 at Higher Level)


Frequently asked questions...

  1. What qualifications does LSE look for?
  2. Which international qualifications are accepted by LSE?
  3. What does LSE look for in the Personal Statement?
  4. What is LSE's deferred entry policy?
  5. Does LSE consider mature applicants/applicants with non-standard qualifications?
  6. What should I do if my circumstances change after I've submitted my UCAS form?
  7. Where can I find out more information about the course?


1. What qualifications does LSE look for? 

(a) Subject combinations

The selectors are looking for students with strong analytical abilities and a high level of numeracy. A level Mathematics (or equivalent) is therefore a compulsory requirement. In addition to Maths, the selectors prefer to see subject combinations which indicate that you possess both analytical and writing abilities. Subjects which appear as common post-16 choices are Economics; Physics; History; Chemistry; Government and Politics. An additional qualification in Further Maths, at any level, if offered, is highly preferred as an indication of mathematical ability. However, we are aware that not everyone has the opportunity to follow a Further Maths programme and find it helpful if applicants and/or their referees can indicate whether or not the applicant's school or college offers Further Maths classes. Please note, however, that Further Maths, if taken as a full A level, is generally seen as an 'additional' or fourth subject, rather than a substitute for one of your three main subjects. Thus a combination of Maths, Further Maths and one other subject is not seen as providing the required breadth of knowledge and skills.

(b) Academic profile (predicted and achieved grades)

Successful applicants for this programme are usually predicted A*AA in their A level examinations. At IB we ask for 38 points with 7,6,6 at Higher Level. For other international qualifications please see below.  AS grades are also taken into consideration as these give the selectors a clear indication of your ability to satisfy the minimum entry requirement of A*AA at A level.

We also look for excellent GCSE grades including the majority at A* and A. The Finance selectors consider not just the number of top GCSE grades that you have, but also your overall GCSE subject profile. If you are currently following an A level or IB programme but have not previously studied a GCSE curriculum, you should still list your most recent school leaving qualifications in the relevant section of the UCAS form.

The Finance selectors also consider applicants offering other UK qualifications, such as Scottish Highers, Access to HE or Foundation Courses or BTECs. For further information please see the general Entry Requirements.

Please remember, applicants who are predicted to meet our standard entry requirements are not automatically guaranteed an offer; much will depend on other factors such as commitment to the Undergraduate study of Finance, as outlined in the personal statement.

The selectors have the discretion, in exceptional circumstances, to vary the standard A level or IB offer, if they feel it is appropriate to do so. 


2. Which international qualifications are accepted? 

A wide range of international qualifications are accepted in lieu of A levels, for example the IB Diploma, American College Board Advanced Placement exams (AP), the Irish Leaving Certificate (ILC), the European Baccalaureate (EB), the French Baccalaureate (FB), the Abitur and Canadian and Australian High School Diplomas.

In addition strong applicants with other international qualifications may be asked to sit the LSE UG Admissions Assessment (UGAA). This allows LSE to see examples of written English as produced in examination conditions and it is particularly useful where school certification is not based upon a standardised national curriculum. The UGAA, which comprises a précis section, an essay section and a mathematics section, can be taken at any recognised centre anywhere in the world, without any financial cost.

For more information on the international qualifications please see the country-by-country guide. 


3. What is looked for in the Personal Statement? 

The ability to communicate complex ideas with clarity is important. Selectors are therefore looking for an original, interesting and well-written personal statement which outlines your enthusiasm and motivation for the programme.  You should explain why you wish to study Finance, 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.

General guidance on how to structure your Personal Statement is available on our Admissions Criteria website by following the link to the personal statement section. You are strongly advised to make use of this information prior to submitting your application, although as with your predicted grades, simply following the guidelines will not automatically guarantee that you will be made an offer.

Your extra-curricular activities such as work experience, participation in competitions, sport or volunteering are important, particularly when they can provide evidence of useful skills such as problem solving, working under pressure and time-management, however, they are deemed to be secondary to your academic competencies. Please note that work experience is not essential, as the composition of this degree programme is academic rather that vocational in nature.

Personal characteristics and skills that will be useful to students on this programme include the ability to apply logic, identify trends, follow lines of reasoning, approach problems creatively, ask questions, demonstrate attention to detail and think independently. In addition you should possess good communication skills, intellectual curiosity and have the motivation and capacity for hard work.


4. What is LSE's deferred entry policy? 

Applications for deferred entry are considered by the Department of Finance.

If you have already planned to take a gap year you are advised to explain in your personal statement how you intend to spend it and how it will benefit you.

If, after submitting your application, you subsequently decide that you wish to take a gap year and commence your programme at LSE a year later than originally planned, you should contact the undergraduate admissions office with your request. However, no guarantees can be given that you will automatically be allowed to defer your entry, and the selectors reserve the right to refuse your request to be considered for a deferred entry place.

If you are unsuccessful in securing an offer for deferred entry before you have completed your A level (or equivalent) examinations, you may apply again in the following cycle once your results are known.


5. Do you consider mature applicants/applicants with non-standard qualifications? 

Yes we do, applications from mature applicants or those with non-standard qualifications are welcome. Mature applicants often benefit from a range of experiences which make them well-suited to a study of Law  and we are interested to hear about these in your personal statement. For general guidance, see the school’s Information for Older Applicants webpage.

Please note that, depending on the qualifications offered, you may be asked to sit the School's UG Admissions Assessment (AGAA) and/or be invited for an interview.  The UGAA, which comprises a précis section, an essay section and a mathematics section, can be taken at any recognised centre anywhere in the world, without any financial cost. For more information, including past papers, visit the UGAA webpages


6. What should I do if my circumstances change after I've submitted my UCAS form?  

We expect all relevant information to be provided on your UCAS form. However, we recognise that in a few cases, your family, personal or educational circumstances may change.

If you are affected by any changes such as revised predicted grades, illness or disruption to your education you should contact the undergraduate admissions office who will be able to offer you further advice.


7. Where can I find out more information about the course? 

You can read about the structure and content of the BSc Finance on the course information page and the Department of Finance website.