3. What is looked for in the Personal Statement?
The Mathematics Department at LSE does not routinely interview applicants as part of its decision making process, hence the personal statement plays a key role in determining who receives an offer. 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 either undergraduate programme offered by the Maths department, an original and interesting personal statement which outlines your enthusiasm and motivation for the study of both subjects is expected. In addition to your ability to produce clear and concise text, the selectors want to see evidence of your understanding of the links between the two disciplines. Similarly, if you have participated in any relevant activities outside the taught curriculum, such as Maths Competitions or Olympiads you should make reference to it in your personal statement. The selectors are looking for evidence of your desire and determination to excel in this field. Therefore if you have had to overcome particular challenges or difficulties, or you are the first member of your family to be applying to HE, the selectors are more than happy for you to include this information as part of your personal statement.
Whilst both degrees have an identical first year structure, the second and third year options are different. Students following the Maths and Economics programme (GL11) can expect to study roughly equal amounts of both subjects, whilst the Maths with Economics programme (G1L1) contains far more mathematical than economic content. In the latter programme Mathematics is the major and Economics the minor subject.
Your extra-curricular activities such as sporting, charitable or artistic endeavours are taken into consideration, however, they are deemed to be secondary to your academic competencies. Relevant work experience is useful as an indicator of your commitment and motivation, however, it is not essential. The selectors are keen to know why you wish to study either of these programmes, 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 for one of these challenging degree programmes.
Personal characteristics and skills that will be useful to students in their study of Maths and Economics at LSE will be those such as the abilities to apply logic and follow complex lines of mathematical reasoning; to be creative and flexible in approaching problems; to ask questions, to be well organised and to think and work independently. In addition you should possess good communication skills, intellectual curiosity and have the motivation and capacity for hard work.