Department of Accounting

Undergraduate Admissions selection criteria
Entry 2016

Quick guide


Programme Name


Applications 2014

Places 2014

Standard A level offer 

Standard IB offer

Specific subject information


BSc Accounting and Finance





38 points with 7,6,6 or 6,6,6 at HL

Mathematics A level or IB HL is desirable but not essential for this course. However if Mathematics is not taken as an A level, applicants must have achieved at least an A grade at GCSE

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

This guidance should be read alongside our general Entrance Requirements

The Accounting and Finance selectors are looking for students with strong analytical abilities and a high level of numeracy. They are also looking for the ability to evaluate and critically assess complex issues and current developments in both practice and theory.

Maths: The majority of successful applicants will have taken Mathematics as an A level or HL IB subject, although this is not compulsory. Candidates not offering Maths at A-level or equivalent must have an A in GCSE Maths and should be confident in their mathematical ability. Students who have not studied Mathematics to A level or equivalent will be required to take tailored courses in mathematics and statistics during their first year at LSE and are therefore not able to take an outside option during their first year of study.

Further Maths is seen as a fourth or additional subject: students offering only Maths, Further Maths and one other subject at A level or equivalent are not normally considered.   

Accounting: Previous study of Accounting, at GCSE, A level, or equivalent is not required and is neither advantageous nor disadvantageous. Students offering Accounting should be aware that it is considered a non-preferred A-level by LSE and should be offered with two traditional academic subjects at A-level or equivalent. For the full list of non-preferred subjects see our Entrance Requirements.

Other subjects: The course has a significant qualitative component and applications are encouraged from students who have taken essay-based subjects at A level.

Other qualifications: We consider applications from students with a range of qualifications. This includes BTECs, Foundation Courses and Access to HE Diplomas and a range of international qualifications. Please see our Entrance Requirements for more detail. Note that all applicants must meet the Maths requirement.

(b) Academic profile (predicted and achieved grades)

Successful applicants for this course are usually predicted a minimum of AAA in their A level examinations (or 38 and above IB points, with higher level subjects as the above list); and will have already achieved a good set of GCSE grades across a broad range of subjects. The Accounting and Finance selectors consider not just the number of good GCSE grades that applicants have, but also their overall 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 AAA at A level. Thus the higher your AS grades the better chance you will have of being made an offer.

Please remember, however, that these are the minimum entry requirements. Applicants who are predicted AAA at A level or 38 and above points at IB 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 profile for the Accounting and Finance 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.

For more information on the qualifications accepted and grades required please see the country-by-country guide.

Strong applicants with other international qualifications may be asked to sit our 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.


3. What is looked for in the Personal Statement?

LSE does not routinely interview applicants hence the personal statement plays a key role in the application process. General guidance on how to structure your statement is available on the personal statement section of our Admissions Criteria website. 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 you are made an offer.

The Accounting and Finance selectors look for a clear interest in the academic study of Accounting and Finance and the ability to express complex ideas clearly and in appropriate academic English.

Students should devote the majority of their statement (around 75%) to discussing their academic interest in Accounting and Finance. Students are expected to show an interest in topics related to the degree, encountered either through their school work, extracurricular activities, wider reading or other channels. The strongest personal statements clearly identify the academic themes or ideas that attract the applicant to a degree in Accounting and Finance and are able to critically reflect on them, often giving their own opinion. Applicants should bear in mind that, while the course does currently grant exemption from some professional exams, it is generally academic rather than vocational in nature and statements should reflect this.

Suggestions for preliminary reading can be found in the printed prospectus or online. This list is not prescriptive and students should follow their interests. Relevant work experience can be useful in providing exposure to Accounting and Finance and you may like to comment on how it has made you more interested in or prepared for the course, but is not required.

Extra-curricular activities not linked to the course, such as sporting, creative or charitable endeavours can provide evidence of relevant personal skills, however they are deemed secondary to your academic competencies.  Personal characteristics and skills that will be useful to students in their study of Accounting and Finance at LSE 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 Accounting Department.

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, or you successfully obtain a placement in industry and wish to 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 find yourself in this situation, you may of course re-apply for entry in the following applications cycle, by which time you will have received your A level or equivalent grades.


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, 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 a demanding academic course 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. As part of the UGAA test, you will be expected to complete a mathematical section testing your data-handling and analytical ability, to ensure that you would be able to cope with the mathematical requirements of the LSE Accounting and Finance 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 information about the structure and content of the Accounting and Finance  programme here or on the Department of Accounting  website.