Making an application
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 existing and pending qualifications)
- statement of academic purpose
- outline research proposal
- sample of written work
In addition to the general guidelines on application documents available here, you can find specific guidelines for some of the application documents required as part of your application for the MPhil/PhD Mathematics programme below.
Provide detailed transcripts, with individual marks for all courses on your undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes you have completed, and any available/provisional marks obtained in your current degree programme.
- Provide details of your education history.
- Provide details of any employment history or other professional experience, including internships or volunteering activities.
- Mention any relevant prior research experience, such as thesis work, research projects.
- If relevant, mention any career breaks or career changes, for example due to caring responsibilities.
Statement of Academic Purpose (1 page)
- Explain your motivation for doing a PhD.
- Explain your current career goals and aspirations and clarify how the PhD programme might help you realise them.
Outline Research Proposal (1-2 pages)
Many applicants will have little or no prior experience of research and therefore we do not expect a fully developed research proposal. The following is a recommendation of what to address, in a concise manner, in the research proposal.
- Explain which overall research area you are interested in and explain why.
- Provide an example of one or two research papers that you have read or open problems you have heard about (in your proposed research area) and explain why you found them interesting.
- Clarify who you see as potential supervisors and explain why.
- Explain how your training and skills are suitable for conducting research in your area of interest. For example, provide specific examples of related courses you have taken, and any research, internship, or work experiences that are relevant to your research area of interest.
- If applicable, describe how any dissertation work from your BSc or MSc is relevant to your planned PhD research (be aware that this research will most likely be different).
Sample of Written Work (at least 5 pages)
Submit something that showcases your mathematical writing. This could for example be a thesis, a project report, or some detailed exercise solutions. We like to see a writing sample that contains both mathematical details and plain text in which you discuss/interpret/explain the mathematical results. You can submit more than one writing sample if you only have short pieces of written work.
You will need to nominate two referees. Academic referees are preferred, i.e., people who have taught you at university level.
If you can find a referee who can specifically comment on your research potential and your academic background in your chosen research area, that would be helpful. If you have any previous research experience, you could ask supervisors/project partners for a reference letter. An academic reference from your current degree programme where you already took exams are usually most helpful. If you have not taken any exams in your current programme yet, you can also ask for reference letters from previous degrees.
The referees will be asked to provide a reference letter and answer a selection of multiple-choice questions in which they will need to provide an assessment of your academic performance/potential etc. and research potential.
Completed applications are sent to the Department after they are processed by the Graduate Admissions Office. In the Department, the numbers and quality of competing applications and the availability of an appropriate supervisor are considered. If your application is shortlisted for consideration, an interview will be arranged with the appropriate members of staff by telephone or video conferencing software. Once all interviews have been conducted, the Department will decide on who to accept and who to offer funding. If your application is received before the deadline, we aim to notify you about the outcome by the end of Lent Term.
You may also have to provide evidence of your English proficiency. You do not need to provide this at the time of your application to LSE, but we recommend that you do see our English language requirements for further information.
When to apply
The application deadline for this programme is 26 May 2023. 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.