Department of Mathematics

Undergraduate Admissions selection criteria
Entry 2016

Quick guide

Programme Name


Applications 2014

Places 2014

Standard A level offer

Standard IB offer

Essential Qualifications

BSc Mathematics and Economics




A*AA (to include an A* in Maths)

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

Mathematics. Further Maths is highly recommended. Students not taking Further Mathematics to A level will normally be required to achieve grade A in Further Mathematics AS level in addition to A* (Mathematics) A A at A level.

BSc Mathematics with Economics




A*AA (to include an A* in Maths)

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

Mathematics. Further Maths  is highly recommended. Students not taking Further Mathematics to A level will normally be required to achieve grade A in Further Mathematics AS level in addition to A* (Mathematics) A A at A level.


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 Maths selectors are looking for excellent mathematicians; this is due to the structure of the degree programme at LSE for which high levels of mathematical ability are essential. Thus it is a requirement that A level Maths (or equivalent) is taken and the maximum grade achieved. Other subjects which appear as common post-16 A level choices are Further Maths, Chemistry or Physics; of these Further Maths is preferred, if offered by your school or sixth form college.

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, usually, predicted to achieve at least A*AA in their A level examinations, with an A* grade predicted for Mathematics; (or 38 and above IB points, with higher level subjects as the above list) and have already achieved a strong set of GCSE grades including several at A and A*. The departmental selectors look at 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 appropriate 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 A*AA 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 A*AA 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 profiles for both Maths 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 theUGAA 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 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.

4. What is LSE's deferred entry policy?  

Applications for deferred entry are considered by the Maths 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, 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 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.

As part of the UGAA test, you will be expected to answer a demanding mathematical section testing your calculus ability, to ensure that you will be able to cope with the mathematical requirements of these LSE programmes.

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 Mathematics and Economics or BSc Mathematics with Economics programme, here and on the Department of Mathematics website.