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Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method

Undergraduate Admissions selection criteria
Entry 2015


Quick guide

There are three programmes within the Philosophy department at LSE. One of which is a single honour programme, one is combined with Economics and the other with Politics and Economics. Entry requirements for all three programmes are given below:

Programme Name

UCAS Code

Applications 2013

Places 2013

Standard A level offer

Standard IB offer

Essential Qualifications

BSc Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method

V503

142

15

AAA

38 points with 7,6,6 or 6,6,6 at HL


BSc Philosophy and Economics

LV15

347

29

AAA (to include Maths at A2)

38 points with 7,6,6 at HL (7 points for HL Maths)

A level or HL Maths

BSc Philosophy, Politics and Economics

L0V0

New programme for 2015

New programme for 2015

A*AA (with A* in Maths)

38 points with 7,6,6 at HL (7 points for HL Maths)

A* Mathematics, 7 points at higher level Mathematics

 

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

Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method:

The Philosophy selectors are looking for academic students with a genuine interest in and enthusiasm for the social and political sciences. There is no ideal subject combination, however selectors like to see that you possess both analytical and writing abilities. Given the focus of the LSE course on logic and the scientific method, it is common and desirable to see students offering a mix of Arts and Science/Mathematics A-levels.

As with all degrees at LSE, at least two traditional subjects are preferred. Common sixth form subject choices include Economics; English; Government and Politics; History; Languages; Mathematics; Philosophy; Sociology, Religious Studies and the Natural Sciences. There is no requirement for students to have formally studied Philosophy. Subjects where the content is deemed to overlap, such as Economics and Business Studies, or English and Media Studies, should not be taken together. Critical Thinking A-level will not be included in our standard offer, but success in this subject can be an indicator of your aptitude for following lines of reasoning and argument.

Philosophy and Economics or Philosophy, Politics and Economics

If you are applying for the combined Philosophy and Economics degree programme or Philosophy, Politics and Economics programme it is essential that you have studied, or are studying, Maths to A level (or equivalent). This is to ensure you are able to complete the core Economics modules at LSE. An additional qualification in Further Maths (at any level) is not required but is an indication of mathematical ability and a helpful preparation for the course.

Beyond the Mathematics requirements, our preferences for subject choice are the same as for Philosophy above. There is no ideal subject combination however selectors like to see that you possess both analytical and writing abilities. Students offering Maths, Further Maths and one other subject will be considered, however we have a very strong preference for the third subject to be in the arts or humanities and will look for evidence of your understanding of and commitment to the study of social sciences in your personal statement.

As with all degrees at LSE, at least two traditional subjects are preferred. Common sixth form subject choices include Economics; English; Government and Politics; History; Languages; Mathematics; Philosophy; Sociology and Religious Studies. There is no requirement for students to have formally studied Philosophy, Politics or Economics before. Subjects where the content is deemed to overlap, such as Economics and Business Studies, or English and Media Studies, should not be taken together. Critical Thinking A-level will not be included in our standard offer, but success in this subject can be an indicator of your aptitude for following lines of reasoning and argument.

Please note:  The information regarding subject combinations given above is for guidance purposes only, except for the compulsory Maths requirement for LV15 and L0V0. 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 these degrees are typically predicted at least AAA (A*AA for L0V0) in their A level examinations or 38 and above IB points, with higher level subjects as the above list. The A level / IB Mathematics requirement for LV15 and L0V0, is necessary in order to ensure that you have acquired the skills and competencies to enable you to access the compulsory mathematical components of this programme. In addition, the selectors are looking for applicants who have achieved a strong set of GCSE grades including a significant number at A and A*.  In terms of GCSE grades, the selectors consider not just the number of top GCSE grades that you have obtained, 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 our required grades are not automatically guaranteed to receive  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 profiles for the three degrees administered by the Philosophy department 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 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.

Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method

For Philosophy, we are looking for an original, well written and lucid statement which demonstrates your awareness of and genuine interest in exploring philosophical issues and the application of logic. We are aware that you may not have had the opportunity to develop extensive knowledge of philosophical ideas and theories in your education to date, but we are interested in your views and opinions on questions such as morality, free will, or the relationship between science and religion as well as the experiences you have had which have resulted in your desire to focus on this challenging and profound field of study. 

Your extra-curricular activities are taken into consideration, but are deemed to be of lesser importance than your academic potential and desire to develop intellectually. Work experience is useful, particularly where it evidences commitment and motivation; however, it is not essential. The main point to remember 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 study a particular degree programme, whether there are any aspects 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 specific degree programme.

Given the focus of the LSE course on logic and the scientific method, it is common for students to also be applying for joint courses such as Maths and Philosophy or Physics and Philosophy. This does not need to disadvantage you, but the bulk of your statement should be dedicated to areas of overlap between the two subjects.

Philosophy and Economics:

For the combined degree, an equal interest in both disciplines is expected, since you will be devoting a similar amount of time to the study of both Philosophy and Economics. It is also worth remembering that you may find that you have slightly less freedom in the specific mix of programme available to you during your studies when following a combined programme compared to a single-honours one. Above all you need to ensure that you can convince both the Philosophy and the Economics Department's selector, that you are serious about your degree choice.

If your main interest is Economics rather than Philosophy, this combined programme may not be appropriate, since it is designed to allow you to develop your understanding of Economics alongside that of Philosophy thus enabling you to acquire a range of inter-linked skills. Conversely, the benefit of undertaking a combined programme is that it allows you to acquire a wider knowledge base, than that obtained by following the single subject route. 

Personal characteristics and skills that will be useful to students in their study of Philosophy at LSE (as a single or combined programme) will be those such as the abilities to think logically and independently, follow complex lines of reasoning, read extensively and evaluate and challenge conventional views.  In addition you should possess intellectual curiosity and have the motivation and capacity for hard work.

Philosophy, Politics and Economics

Our Philosophy, Politics and Economics course is a truly interdisciplinary degree, with all three subjects being studied for at least the first three years of the course. We therefore look for a balanced statement that demonstrates interest in all three subjects and their overlapping themes. Students able to make links between these disciplines will be looked upon favourably.

Students at the LSE must be self-motivated, independent learners and we expect to see some evidence of engagement with the subjects outside of your school work. Suggestions for preliminary reading in the three subjects can be found in the prospectus, but these recommendations are not prescriptive: you should follow what is interesting and available to you. Whatever experiences you have had, be they reading, online courses, work experience or other activities we hope to see that you have critically reflected on them, drawing your own conclusions about the topics covered and explaining why they have prepared or inspired you to tackle this challenging degree. A key part of the course will be communicating complex ideas clearly and concisely, so it is essential your statement is well-written

Personal characteristics and skills that will be useful to students in their study at LSE will be those such as the abilities to think logically and independently, follow complex lines of reasoning, read extensively and evaluate and challenge conventional views.  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 by the Philosophy Department. 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. 

If you have already planned to take a gap year you are advised to explain how you intend 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 a deferred entry place.



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. 

If you apply for the combined Philosophy and Economics programme, you will be expected to answer the more demanding mathematical section of the UGAA, testing your calculus ability, to ensure that you will be able to cope with the mathematical requirements of the LSE programme.


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 more about the structure and content of the BSc Philosophy| , BSc Philosophy and Economics| or the BSc Philosophy, Politics and Economics|programmes,  here and on the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method| website.



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