Department of Anthropology

Undergraduate Admissions selection criteria
Entry 2015

Quick guide

Programme Name


Applications 2013

Places 2013

Standard A level offer

Standard IB offer

Essential Qualifications

BA Social Anthropology





37 points with 6,6,6 at HL

No subject specified

BSc Social Anthropology





(as above)

(as above)

BA Anthropology and Law





37 points with 6,6,6 at HL

No subject specified

Please note that the BA and BSc Social Anthropology programmes (L601 and L603) are identical hence you should not apply for both programmes. Anthropology may be considered as either an arts or a science subject, thus we allow you a choice of BA or BSc in the title, however, the designation of the title (BA or BSc) does not have a bearing on the content of the degree programme.

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 Anthropology selectors are looking for students who have studied a broad and eclectic mix of subjects, therefore there is no one 'ideal' subject combination. Social Anthropology can be viewed as a science and/or an arts subject thus successful anthropology applicants in the past have studied such diverse subjects as English, History, Languages, Sociology, Music, Biology, Geography, Mathematics, Physics, RE, Psychology and Art. As with all degree programmes at LSE, at least two traditional academic subjects are preferred.

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 programme are, typically, predicted at least AAB in their A level examinations (or 37 and above IB points, with higher level subjects as the above list) and have already achieved excellent GCSE grades including several at A and A*. The Anthropology 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.

Your 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 AAB at A level. 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 AAB at A level or 37 and above IB points are not automatically guaranteed an offer; much will depend on other factors, such as 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 profiles for the three Anthropology degree programmes 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 Anthropology Department at LSE does not routinely interview applicants as part of the 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.

For Anthropology an original and interesting statement which outlines your enthusiasm and motivation for studying anthropology and explains your interest in other cultures and societies is looked for. Your extra-curricular activities such as music, drama and art are considered to be relevant, particularly if they are linked to your anthropological interests. However the main point to remember is that the majority of your personal statement should be based around your subject interest. The selectors are keen to know why you wish to study Social Anthropology, whether there are any aspects of particular interest to you, how it relates to your current academic programme and what additional reading or similar experiences (e.g. travel) you have had which have led you to commit to this challenging degree programme.

Other extra curricular activities such as work experience, charitable or sporting involvement, are also useful (although not essential); particularly if you indicate how you have benefited from these experiences.

For the joint Anthropology and Law degree an equal interest in both subjects is essential, as you will be devoting an equal amount of time to the study of both disciplines (ie two Anthropology and two Law courses each year). It is also worth remembering that you may find that you have slightly less freedom in the specific mix of courses available to you in the second and third year of your studies by following this programme compared to a single-honours Anthropology or single-honours Law degree. Above all you need to ensure that you can convince both a Law selector and an Anthropology selector that you are serious about following this particular degree, and that you possess the skills to do so.

Personal characteristics and skills that will be useful to students in their study of Social Anthropology (with or without Law) will be those such as the abilities to ask incisive questions; think independently; read widely and adopt a creative and flexible approach. In addition you should possess intellectual curiosity and have the motivation and capacity for hard work. Students applying for a place on the combined programme (ML16) should also possess excellent time management skills, as they will be required to manage the demands of two different departments.


4. What is LSE's deferred entry policy?

Applications for deferred entry are considered by the Anthropology Department, 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 consider you for deferred entry or, if you are already an offer holder, 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 welcomed 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 a study of Social Anthropology, 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 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 find information about the structure and content of the BA/BSc Social Anthropology,| or BSc Anthropology and Law| degree programmes here and on the Department of Anthropology| website.