Department of Sociology

Undergraduate Admissions selection criteria
Entry 2016

Quick guide

Programme Name


Applications 2014

Places 2014

Standard A level offer

Standard IB offer

Essential Qualifications

BSc Sociology





37 points with 6,6,6 at HL



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 Sociology selectors are looking for students who have a deep and genuine interest in studying the Social Sciences further. There is no one 'ideal' subject combination, although successful Sociology applicants in the past have tended to study mainly social science subjects such as Sociology, Psychology, History, Government and Politics, RE, and English. As with all degree programmes at LSE, at least two traditional academic subjects are preferred, although Sociology itself is not a required subject.

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 a strong set of GCSE grades including some at A and A*. The Sociology selectors consider not just the number of top GCSE grades that you have, but also your overall GCSE subject profile; good grades in English Language and/or English Literature in particular, are highly desirable.

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 ABB 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 ABB 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 profile for the Sociology 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. The 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 Sociology 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 Sociology an original and interesting, accurately written, statement which outlines your enthusiasm and motivation for studying Sociology and explains your interest in relationships between peoples and society in general is expected. Your extra-curricular activities such as voluntary work, music, drama, sports or art can provide evidence of your interest in the social sciences and your ability to manage a busy schedule. Likewise life and work experiences can provide an insight into your development and social awareness. 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 Sociology, whether there are any aspects of particular interest to you, how it relates to your current academic programme and what additional reading or other experiences you have had which have led you to commit to this contemporary degree programme. Applicants interested in a more 'political' degree could consider applying for the joint Social Policy and Sociology degree programme (programme code LL34) instead.

Personal characteristics and skills that will be useful to students in their study of Sociology at LSE will be those such as the abilities to ask incisive questions; work independently; read widely; communicate with clarity and adopt a creative and flexible approach to their studies. 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 Sociology 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 be considered for deferred entry, or, if you are already an offer holder, to 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 Sociology, however, it is possible that they will be asked to sit the School's 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 read more about the structure and content of the BSc Sociology programme here and on the Department of Sociology website.