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Department of International Relations

Undergraduate Admissions selection criteria
Entry 2014


Quick guide

Programme Name

UCAS Code

Applications 2012

Places 2012

Standard A level offer

Standard IB offer

Essential Qualifications

BSc International Relations

L250

968

59

AAA

38 points with 7,6,6 at HL

 

 

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 International Relations selectors are looking for academic students with a genuine interest in and enthusiasm for the social sciences. There is no one 'ideal' subject combination, however, as with all degree programmes at LSE, at least two traditional academic subjects are preferred. Common sixth form subject choices include a combination of History, English, Economics, Government and Politics, Sociology, Geography, Languages, Psychology and Philosophy.

Please note:  The information regarding subject combinations given above is for guidance purposes only.  Candidates who are taking alternative traditional subjects to those listed will not be disadvantaged in the admissions process and will not necessarily be rejected on the basis of their subject combinations. Further information about A level (or equivalent) subject combinations is available in the Entry requirements| section.


(b) Academic profile (predicted and achieved grades)
Successful applicants for this degree programme are, typically, predicted at least AAA in their A level examinations (or 38 and above IB points, with higher level subjects as the above list) and have already achieved good GCSE grades including a significant number at A or A*. In terms of GCSE grades, the selectors consider not just the number of top GCSE grades that you have been awarded, 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. 

Your AS grades are also taken into consideration as these give the selectors a clear indication of your ability to satisfy the minimum A level entry requirements. Thus the higher your AS grades the better chance you will have of being made an offer.

Please remember, however, that the information above relates to minimum entry standards. Applicants who are predicted AAA at A level or 38 and above points for the IB are not automatically guaranteed an offer; much will depend on other factors, such as motivation and commitment to further study, 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.

The entry profile for the International Relations degree programme can be found on the UCAS website by following the link to 'Course Search|'


2. Which international qualifications are accepted? 

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

In addition strong applicants with other international qualifications may be asked to sit our LSE UG Admissions Assessment (UGAA)| test. This allows LSE academics to see examples of written English performed under examination conditions and is particularly useful where school certification is not based upon a standardised national curriculum. The UGAA test, 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 qualifications that are accepted without the need to sit the UGAA test and those for which the UGAA will be required, see the country-by-country guide. 


3. What is looked for in the Personal Statement? 

The International Relations Department at LSE does not routinely interview applicants as part of its decision making process, hence the personal statement plays a key role in the application process. 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.

The selectors are looking for an original and well written statement which provides evidence of your genuine interest in international society, its institutions, governance, rules and relationships. Whilst it is not a subject you will have had the opportunity to study specifically as part of your school curriculum, we are interested in your views and opinions on current and public affairs, as well as the experiences, such as wider reading, travel or personal involvement that have resulted in your desire to focus on this wide ranging and contemporary field of study. Your extra-curricular activities are considered important, particularly those which provide useful and relevant skills (public speaking, journalism and foreign languages); and demonstrate your motivation and desire to succeed. Work experience, whilst not essential, is also taken into account, notably where it has engaged your mind and has developed your character or social skills. The main point to remember, however, is that the majority of your personal statement should be based around your subject interest and enthusiasm. The selectors are keen to know why you wish to pursue a degree in the multi-disciplinary field of international relations, whether there are any aspects of the programme which are of specific interest to you, how it relates to your current academic studies and what additional reading or other activities you have undertaken which have led you to apply for this degree programme.

Personal characteristics and skills that will be useful to students in their study of International Relations at LSE (as a single honours degree or combined with History) will be those such as the abilities to read extensively; evaluate and challenge conventional views; communicate effectively; demonstrate creativity, flexibility and initiative; work independently and demonstrate attention to detail.  In addition you should possess 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, although you may, in some circumstances, be asked to achieve higher grades than the published standard offer in the year of application.

If you already know that you are planning to take a gap year you are advised to explain how you plan to spend it, how you think it will affect you and how it will benefit you specifically, as part of your personal statement. 

 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 deferred entry, or, if you are already an offer holder, to alter the conditions of your offer.


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

Yes we do. Applications from the above are welcome and are considered individually on their own merit.  Unlike many school leavers, mature applicants often benefit from a range of experiences which make them well suited to further study, however, it is possible that they will be asked to sit the School's UG Admissions Assessment (UGAA)| test and/or be invited for an interview. We recognise that it is a big commitment to return to or start an academic programme of study after some time out of mainstream education and wish to satisfy ourselves that you know what will be expected of you if you were to be offered a place at LSE.


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

We normally 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 (possibly as a result of re-sits), illness (possibly requiring a period of hospitalisation), disruption to your education (possibly caused by a change in staffing or a move to a different school), 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 programme? 

You can read about the structure and content of the BSc International Relations |programme, here and on the Department of International Relations| website.

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