MSc Applicable Mathematics

  • Graduate taught
  • Department of Mathematics
  • Application code G1U2
  • Starting 2020
  • UK/EU full-time: Closed
  • Overseas full-time: Closed
  • Location: Houghton Street, London

The MSc Applicable Mathematics is an innovative programme, drawing together traditional and modern mathematical techniques in a variety of social science contexts.

It is designed both for mathematicians who wish to make themselves more marketable by adding some social science aspects to their knowledge and skills base, and for non-mathematicians with strong quantitative backgrounds who wish to add to and improve their understanding of the mathematics behind much of social science.

The programme will provide you with an increased knowledge of mathematics, particularly in algorithms, game theory, discrete mathematics, probability and stochastics, and optimisation, in addition to training in appropriate computational methods. Reflecting the world's dependence on computation, you will learn the programming language Java, and how to use it to apply your knowledge to real-world problems.

The skills and knowledge gained over the programme will open up a wide range of potential careers, including finance, business, software development, and industry. It will also provide a solid base for further studies at research level.

Teaching and learning in Michaelmas Term 2020 
Information on how LSE will deliver teaching and learning in Michaelmas term can be found here.

Programme details

Key facts

MSc Applicable Mathematics
Start date 28 September 2020
Application deadline None – rolling admissions. However please note the funding deadlines
Duration 12 months full-time only
Applications 2018 206
Intake 2018 29
Tuition fee UK/EU: £14,640
Overseas £22,608
Financial support Graduate support scheme (deadline 27 April 2020)
Minimum entry requirement 2:1 degree or equivalent in a mathematically-based subject, or a scientific, engineering or social science subject with excellent mathematics background
GRE/GMAT requirement None
English language requirements Standard (see 'Assessing your application')
Location  Houghton Street, London

For more information about tuition fees and entry requirements, see the fees and funding and assessing your application sections.

Entry requirements

Minimum entry requirements for MSc Applicable Mathematics

Upper second class honours (2:1) degree or equivalent in a mathematically-based subject, or a scientific, engineering or social science subject with an excellent mathematics background.

Competition for places at the School is high. This means that even if you meet the minimum entry requirement, this does not guarantee you an offer of admission.

If you have studied or are studying outside of the UK then have a look at our Information for International Students to find out the entry requirements that apply to you.

Assessing your application

We welcome applications from all suitably qualified prospective students and want to recruit students with the very best academic merit, potential and motivation, irrespective of their background.

We carefully consider each application on an individual basis, taking into account all the information presented on your application form, including your:

- academic achievement (including predicted and achieved grades)
- statement of academic purpose
- two academic references
- CV

See further information on supporting documents

You may also have to provide evidence of your English proficiency, although you do not need to provide this at the time of your application to LSE. See our English language requirements.

When to apply

Applications for this programme are considered on a rolling basis, meaning the programme will close once it becomes full. There is no fixed deadline by which you need to apply, however to be considered for any LSE funding opportunity, you must have submitted your application and all supporting documents by the funding deadline. See the fees and funding section for more details. 

Programme structure and courses

You will complete a dissertation in mathematics and choose between two core courses. You will then select additional courses across a range of mathematics and social science options.

(* denotes a half unit) 

Algorithms and Computation*
Aimed at students with no or limited experience in programming and algorithms, and provides an introduction to programming in Java, data structures and the mathematics underlying the theory of algorithms.
Advanced Algorithms*
For students with sufficient background in computing and programming and will cover more advanced topics such as introduction to NP-completeness, approximation algorithms, randomised algorithms, streaming algorithms and numerical algorithms.

Dissertation in Mathematics
An individual, substantial project serving as an introduction to mathematical research methods. You will investigate and study an area of mathematical research or application of advanced mathematical techniques, and then write a report on the findings. 

Courses to the value of two and a half units from a range of options.

For the most up-to-date list of optional courses please visit the relevant School Calendar page.

You must note however that while care has been taken to ensure that this information is up to date and correct, a change of circumstances since publication may cause the School to change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. The School will always notify the affected parties as early as practicably possible and propose any viable and relevant alternative options. Note that that the School will neither be liable for information that after publication becomes inaccurate or irrelevant, nor for changing, suspending or withdrawing a course or programme of study due to events outside of its control, which includes but is not limited to a lack of demand for a course or programme of study, industrial action, fire, flood or other environmental or physical damage to premises.

You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee you a place. Please note that changes to programmes and courses can sometimes occur after you have accepted your offer of a place. These changes are normally made in light of developments in the discipline or path-breaking research, or on the basis of student feedback. Changes can take the form of altered course content, teaching formats or assessment modes. Any such changes are intended to enhance the student learning experience. You should visit the School’s Calendar, or contact the relevant academic department, for information on the availability and/or content of courses and programmes of study. Certain substantive changes will be listed on the updated graduate course and programme information page.

Teaching and assessment

Contact hours and independent study

Within your programme you will take a number of courses, often including half unit courses and full unit courses. Teaching on each half unit lasts for roughly ten weeks, with lectures, and classes or seminars. The average number of taught contact hours is approximately 12 hours per week (depending on the courses chosen). Hours vary according to courses and you can view indicative details in the Calendar  within the Teaching section of each course guide. Lecturers also offer weekly office hours. 

You are also expected to complete independent study outside of class time. This varies depending on the programme, but requires you to manage the majority of your study time yourself, by engaging in activities such as reading, note-taking, thinking and research.

Teaching methods

LSE is internationally recognised for its teaching and research and therefore employs a rich variety of teaching staff with a range of experience and status. Courses may be taught by individual members of faculty, such as lecturers, senior lecturers, readers, associate professors and professors. Many departments now also employ guest teachers and visiting members of staff, LSE teaching fellows and graduate teaching assistants who are usually doctoral research students and in the majority of cases, teach on undergraduate courses only. You can view indicative details for the teacher responsible for each course in the relevant course guide.


All taught courses are required to include formative coursework which is unassessed. It is designed to help prepare you for summative assessment which counts towards the course mark and to the degree award. LSE uses a range of formative assessment, such as essays, problem sets, case studies, reports, quizzes, mock exams and many others. Summative assessment may be conducted during the course or by final examination at the end of the course. In addition, you will undertake a project, equivalent to a full unit, in an appropriate branch of mathematics, and present your work in the form of a dissertation. An indication of the formative coursework and summative assessment for each course can be found in the relevant course guide.

Academic support

The Department's relatively small size enables us to pay greater attention to individual students' needs. You will also be assigned an academic mentor who will be available for guidance and advice on academic or personal concerns. 

There are many opportunities to extend your learning outside the classroom and complement your academic studies at LSE. LSE LIFE is the School’s centre for academic, personal and professional development. Some of the services on offer include: guidance and hands-on practice of the key skills you will need to do well at LSE: effective reading, academic writing and critical thinking; workshops related to how to adapt to new or difficult situations, including development of skills for leadership, study/work/life balance and preparing for the world of work; and advice and practice on working in study groups and on cross-cultural communication and teamwork.

LSE is committed to enabling all students to achieve their full potential and the School’s Disability and Wellbeing Service provides a free, confidential service to all LSE students and is a first point of contact for all disabled students.

Preliminary reading


Students who have no programming experience should acquire some before starting the programme, as otherwise the pre-sessional for the Algorithms and Computation course will be uncomfortably fast-paced. One of the best ways to do this is to use the (free) online system at The Khan Academy 

You might want to start with the introductory video, Welcome to computer science

Moving on to working through: Tutorials at The Khan Academy 

Algorithms and Computation uses the following book:

R Sedgewick and K Wayne Introduction to Programming in Java, (Pearson, 2008)

Chapter One Explains how to install Java on your computer and get started and comes with the online resources

Working through Sections 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3 of and attempting some of the exercises (for example exercise 5 of 1.1, exercise 15 of 1.2, and exercises 27 and 30 of 1.3) will give you an ideal preparation for the course. 


Students who feel their mathematical background could be stronger, especially those who have little experience writing formal mathematical proofs or working with abstract concepts, may want to look at one of the following two books before starting the programme.

P J Eccles An Introduction to Mathematical Reasoning: numbers, sets and functions (Cambridge University Press, 1997)
Parts I to IV give a good and very readable text for those wanting to refresh their abstract mathematics skills in general. 

N L Biggs Discrete Mathematics (Oxford University Press, 2002)
This book covers several areas. Chapters 1–7 are good for students who are unsure about their background in abstract mathematics.


This programme is ideal preparation for a range of careers in industry, finance, government and research. Graduates of the programme have found employment in companies such as Amazon, BlackRock, Credit Suisse, Facebook, Goldman Sachs, Google, KPMG, National Grid and RBS.

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme

Support for your career

Many leading organisations give careers presentations at the School during the year, and LSE Careers has a wide range of resources available to assist students in their job search. Find out more about the support available to students through LSE Careers.

Student stories

To read all our Alumni Stories, see our webpage here.

Suzanne Bloks - MSc Applicable Mathematics 2017-18


After having studied undergraduate degrees in Mathematics, Law and Philosophy, I wanted to deepen my knowledge of mathematics that is applied to economics, political science and philosophy. The MSc in Applicable Mathematics at LSE gave me the unique opportunity to explore my interests by allowing me to take courses in the Department of Mathematics as well as courses in other departments. 

The close contact with academics in all courses was very inspiring and stimulating. During the dissertation, I got the chance to work on an open problem with my supervisor, which was the best introduction to mathematical research that I could wish for. The academics always have their door open to discuss problems and play a key role in the friendly and open environment at LSE, in which people from all cultures and backgrounds are at home.

Without the MSc in Applicable Mathematics, I would have never embarked upon a PhD in Computer Science. The degree has opened my eyes to the types of mathematical puzzles that spark my imagination and the ways I can combine my mathematical interests with law and philosophy.


Regis Gourdel - MSc Applicable Mathematics 2017-18

Regis Gourdel

I chose to pursue a Masters in Applicable Mathematics at the LSE because of the broad range of courses available and the possibility to enjoy its unique environment. It was easy to compose a rich and challenging curriculum. Eventually, this helped me integrate the European Central Bank as a graduate trainee at the end of the program. Thus, my background in mathematics applied to economics has proven useful in real policy applications.

Students in the Department of Mathematics benefit from a good interaction with academics. It is also easy to satisfy one's curiosity by taking courses from other departments or enjoying joint events, so that everyone can make the best out of LSE in the way that suits them.


Siddhant Walia - MSc Applicable Mathematics 2017-18

Siddhant Walia

Having completed my BSc in Mathematics, I wanted to enhance my quantitative/mathematical capabilities in a more “real-world” setting. The MSc in Applicable Mathematics provided me with the perfect opportunity to move away from the abstractions of pure mathematics, by helping me use mathematics as a tool to understand and solve problems in a variety of settings. This can be seen by the vast array of courses available to us, with my favourites being Game Theory, Financial Risk Analysis and Cryptography & Coding.

However, the most important aspect of this programme is its unique emphasis on preparing you for your next endeavour - be it academic or professional. One example of this is the importance this MSc places on improving our programming capabilities using both Java and Python, which is something that is extremely relevant today.

As academically stimulating as this programme is, my favourite part of this MSc was the people I met. It’s the perfect place to meet like-minded people from a variety of quantitative backgrounds. Being a part of such a diverse group of people, all of whom had such strong analytical and quantitative capabilities, really made this the perfect programme for me.

Fees and funding

Every graduate student is charged a fee for their programme.

The fee covers registration and examination fees payable to the School, lectures, classes and individual supervision, lectures given at other colleges under intercollegiate arrangements and, under current arrangements, membership of the Students' Union. It does not cover living costs or travel or fieldwork.

Tuition fees 2020/21 for MSc Applicable Mathematics

UK/EU students: £14,640
Overseas students: £22,608

Fee status

The amount of tuition fees you will need to pay, and any financial support you are eligible for, will depend on whether you are classified as a home (UK/EU) or overseas student, otherwise known as your fee status. LSE assesses your fee status based on guidelines provided by the Department of Education.

Fee reduction

Students who completed undergraduate study at LSE and are beginning taught graduate study at the School are eligible for a fee reduction of around 10 per cent of the fee.

Scholarships and other funding

The School recognises that the cost of living in London may be higher than in your home town or country, and we provide over £13 million in scholarships each year to graduate students from the UK, EU and overseas.

This programme is eligible for needs-based awards from LSE, including the Graduate Support SchemeMaster's Awards, and Anniversary Scholarships

Selection for any funding opportunity is based on receipt of an application for a place – including all ancillary documents, before the funding deadline. 

Funding deadline for needs-based awards from LSE: 27 April 2020.

In addition to our needs-based awards, LSE also makes available scholarships for students from specific regions of the world and awards for students studying specific subject areas. 

Government tuition fee loans and external funding

A postgraduate loan is available from the UK government for eligible students studying for a first master’s programme, to help with fees and living costs. Some other governments and organisations also offer tuition fee loan schemes.

Find out more about tuition fee loans

Further information

Fees and funding opportunities

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