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Admissions information

Each application we receive is carefully considered on an individual basis, taking into account the full range of information presented on the UCAS application form.

The information below is designed to help our prospective applicants who may have queries ranging from preferred subject combinations, our stance on retakes, and the manner in which we assess the information presented in your application.

As you will see from the application data provided on our individual programme pages, there is a great deal of competition for places at the School. In 2023, we received around 26,000 applications for 1,800 places. This fierce competition for places means that meeting or exceeding the entry requirements does not guarantee that an offer will be made, and every year we unfortunately have to disappoint many well-qualified applicants.

Subject combinations


As the majority of our applicants apply with A-levels, this guidance is written primarily towards that audience. However, the information contained is relevant to students offering any qualification. If you are unsure how this guidance applies to your qualification, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office.

Note that where specific guidance regarding the suitability of a particular subject/subject combination is given on the entry requirements pages of Information for international students, that guidance supersedes the more general guidance given below.

Subject combinations and non-preferred subjects

The School considers not only the individual qualifications offered by applicants but also the combination of subjects offered. Individual degree programmes may have specific subject requirements or preferences which are listed in the admissions criteria for each individual programme. We also have a number of general policies, listed below.

We consider traditional academic subjects to be the best preparation for studying at LSE. We expect applicants to offer at least two full A-levels or IBDP Higher Levels in these subjects (although typically, applicants will apply with three or four); please see the list below for guidance.

Some subjects provide a less effective preparation for study at LSE. We refer to these as non-preferred subjects; please see the list below for guidance. These subjects should only be offered in combination with two traditional academic subjects.

Finally, there are a small number of A-levels which are normally excluded from our standard offer; please see the list below. Applicants should offer three full A-levels or equivalent alongside these subjects.

For applicants studying more that three A-level subjects

If you will have studied more than three A-Levels (either in the same year or over more than one year), the Admissions Selector reserves the right to specify grades in non-prerequisite subjects in any offer they may make, in order to indicate the preferred combination of subjects. This may be particularly relevant if you are studying two similar subjects, for example Business and Economics, and the Admissions Selector would accept a grade in either of them, but not both of them. 


Sam has applied for BSc Management (N200) and is studying A-Levels in Mathematics, Business, Chemistry, and Economics. The entry requirements are grades AAA at A-Level including A in Mathematics. The Admissions Selector is happy to consider a combination of three of these subjects which includes either Business or Economics but not both. Therefore, the Admissions Selector makes an offer with the following conditions: "Achieve grades AAA at A-Level including Mathematics and Chemistry. 

Common traditional academic/'generally preferred' subjects:

  • Ancient History
  • Biology
  • Classical Civilisation
  • Chemistry
  • Computing
  • Economics
  • Electronics
  • English (English Language, English Literature and English Language and Literature)
  • Further Mathematics*
  • Geography
  • Government and Politics
  • History
  • Languages: Modern Foreign, Classic and Community**
  • Law
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Religious Studies
  • Sociology

Common "non-preferred" subjects:

  • Any Applied A-level
  • Accounting****
  • Art and Design
  • Business Studies
  • Citizenship Studies
  • Communication and Culture
  • Creative Writing
  • Design and Technology
  • Drama/Theatre Studies***
  • Film Studies
  • Health and Social Care
  • Home Economics
  • Information and Communication Technology
  • Leisure Studies
  • Media Studies
  • Music Technology
  • Physical Education/Sports Studies
  • Travel and Tourism

Normally excluded subjects:

  • Critical Thinking
  • General Studies
  • Global Perspectives and Research
  • Knowledge and Enquiry
  • Project Work
  • Thinking Skills

If you would like information about the suitability of a subject which does not appear on these lists, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office.

* See the Mathematics and Further Mathematics section below.

** See Language Qualifications information on the Entry Requirements webpage

*** The Departments of Anthropology, International History, International Relations, Social Policy and Sociology consider Drama and Theatre Studies equally with other generally preferred subjects. Therefore, they will consider Drama and Theatre Studies alongside one other subject from the non-preferred list. However, the majority of departments continue to regard Drama and Theatre Studies as a non-preferred subject.

**** The Department of Accounting considers Accounting equally with other generally preferred subjects. Therefore, they will consider Accounting alongside one other subject from the non-preferred list. However, the majority of departments continue to regard Accounting as a non-preferred subject.

Essay based A-Level subjects:

  • Art History
  • Business Studies 
  • Classics
  • Drama
  • Economics
  • English Literature
  • English Language
  • English Literature
  • English Language and Literature (Combined)
  • Environmental Studies
  • Geography
  • Government and Politics
  • History
  • Law
  • Media Studies
  • Modern Languages
  • Modern Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology
  • Religious Studies
  • Sociology

The combination of subjects studied, in conjunction with the level of competition for the programme, may sometimes result in those offering three (or more) preferred subjects being deemed as less competitive by the Academic Selector on the basis of their subject combination.

Overlapping subjects

Many of the undergraduate programmes at LSE are multi-disciplinary and for this reason we consider a broad mix of traditional subjects to be the best preparation for study. A broad academic background will provide the skills to perform well in any of the challenging programmes at LSE. Students offering a narrow range of subjects may be at a disadvantage compared to those offering a broader combination. Examples of narrow subject combinations might be Economics, Business Studies and one other or English Language, English Literature and one other. Please also refer to the subject combination guidance on our programme pages and the Mathematics and Further Mathematics section below.

Core Mathematics

Core Maths is a generic title for a range of different Level 3 mathematical qualifications; it is not a qualification title in itself.

For the qualification titles see below:

  • AQA Certificate in Mathematical Studies
  • City & Guilds Certificate in Using and Applying Mathematics
  • OCR (MEI)* Certificate in Quantitative Problem Solving
  • OCR (MEI)* Certificate in Quantitative Reasoning
  • Pearson Edexcel Certificate in Mathematics in Context
  • WJEC Eduqas Certificate in Mathematics for Work and Life

*MEI: Mathematics in Education and Industry

The key purpose of Core Maths qualifications is to widen participation in the study of mathematics from age 16 and to support the development of mathematical skills for progression to higher education and employment.  The qualifications offer an opportunity for students not studying AS or A-level mathematics to study a Level 3 mathematics course alongside their main programme of study. Core Maths is available to those with grade C/4 or above at GCSE and is based on GCSE content with 25% new material.

Core Maths may add value to an application, similar to the EPQ, in particular where the programme has a specific mathematical content but does not require a specific maths qualification e.g. Psychology or Geography. 

Core Maths cannot be used as a replacement for A level Maths (or equivalent qualifications) for programmes with a maths A level requirement.

Core Maths can be considered as an alternative way to meet the standard LSE GCSE maths requirement (Grade B/6).

Mathematics and Further Mathematics

Some degree programmes at the School are highly mathematical in content and therefore Mathematics A-level or equivalent is a requirement. A number of programmes also require a qualification in Further Mathematics (where available), or consider one helpful. However, the combination of Mathematics, Further Mathematics plus one other subject is considered insufficiently broad for many of our programmes. Please refer to the degree programme pages and/or the table below for details on Further Mathematics and its acceptability for each programme.

We are aware that not everyone has the opportunity to follow a Further Mathematics programme and find it helpful if applicants and/or their referees can indicate whether or not the applicant’s school or college offers Further Mathematics classes.

For programmes requiring A* in Mathematics A-level, an A* in Further Mathematics in addition to an A grade in Mathematics is an acceptable alternative.

 Combination Degree Programme

Group 1: Programmes which require either 
1) A-level Maths, A-level Further Maths and one other subject
2) A-level Maths, two other subjects and AS level Further Maths

BSc Mathematics and Economics (GL11)

BSc Mathematics with Economics (G1L1)

BSc Financial Mathematics and Statistics (GN13)

BSc Mathematics with Data Science (G140)

 Group 2: Programmes which are happy
to consider applicants offering A-level Maths, 
A-level Further Maths and one other subject

BSc Actuarial Science (N321)

BSc Data Science (N3UD)

BSc Mathematics, Statistics and Business (G0N0)

BSc Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method (V503)

BSc Psychological and Behavioural Science (C800)

Group 3: Programmes which are happy to consider applicants offering
A-level Maths and A-level Further Maths in combination with an essay writing subject

BSc Accounting and Finance (NN34) *

BA Anthropology and Law (ML16)

BA/BSc Social Anthropology (L601/3)

BSc Economic History (V300)

BSc Economics and Economic History (VL31)

BSc Economics (L101)

BSc Econometrics and Mathematical Economics (L140)

BSc Finance

BA International History (V146)

LLB Laws (M100)

BSc Management (N200) *

BSc Philosophy, Politics and Economics (L0V0)

BSc Philosophy and Economics (LV15)

Group 4: Programmes where a combination 
of A-level Maths, A-level Further Maths and one other subject may be considered less competitive

BSc Economic History and Geography (V3L7)

BSc Environment and Development (FK84)

BSc Environmental Policy with Economics (F9L1)

BA Geography (L702)

BSc Geography and Economics (L7L1)

BSc International Relations (L250)

BSc International Relations and History (VL12)

BSc International Relations and Mandarin (L2T1)

BSc International Social and Public Policy (L400)

BSc International Social and Public Policy and Economics (LLK1)

BSc International Social and Public Policy with Government (LL42)

BSc Language, Culture and Society (L3R9)

BSc Politics (L230)

BSc Politics and Data Science (N3UD)

BSc Politics and Economics (LL12)

BSc Politics and History (LV21)

BSc Politics and Philosophy (LV25)

BSc Politics and International Relations (L290)

BSc Sociology (L301)

* BSc Accounting and Finance and BSc Management prefer an essay writing subject but will consider other combinations.

Changes to International Baccalaureate Diploma Mathematics Courses from September 2019

IBO revised their Mathematics curriculum in September 2019, introducing two new subjects; Mathematics: analysis and approaches and Mathematics: applications and interpretation

Additional information is available on our Entry Requirements page. 

  • For programmes requiring Further Maths A-level (for example BSc Financial Mathematics and Statistics, BSc Mathematics and Economics) Mathematics: analysis and approaches at Higher Level will be a requirement.
  • For programmes where Further Maths is strongly preferred (for example, BSc Economics, BSc Finance) we would strongly prefer Mathematics: analysis and approaches at Higher Level however we would still consider both streams for admissions purposes.
  • For other programmes where A-level Maths is a requirement (for example, BSc Management) then either stream at Higher Level would be acceptable.

Test of Mathematics for University Admissions (TMUA)

Which LSE programmes use the TMUA in their selection process?

For these two programmes for September 2025 entry taking the TMUA is mandatory – all applicants are required to take the test.

  • BSc Economics
  • BSc Econometrics and Mathematical Economics

For these eight programmes for September 2025 entry taking the TMUA is recommended but not mandatory – applicants are encouraged to take the test and a good score may make an application more competitive.

  • BSc Mathematics and Economics
  • BSc Mathematics with Economics
  • BSc Financial Mathematics and Statistics
  • BSc Mathematics with Data Science
  • BSc Mathematics, Statistics, and Business
  • BSc Data Science
  • BSc Actuarial Science
  • BSc Actuarial Science (with a placement year)

For more information please see our TMUA guidance.



Given the competition for places and the nature of assessment at LSE, we prefer students who have achieved high grades in their first attempt (and in one sitting) at relevant examinations. If extenuating circumstances have impacted your exam performance, you should include details of these in your application.

Mature applicants

LSE welcomes applications from older students and values the contribution they make to the School community.

LSE also has a large proportion of postgraduate students. This means that the student population at LSE is rather older on average than at many other universities; older undergraduates should not feel out of place.

Information for mature applicants.




Contextual Admissions

For applicants from the UK who are eligible for Home tuition fees, contextual information is used to gain a more complete picture of the educational and individual context of an applicant. This allows our admissions selectors to assess achievement and potential whilst recognising the challenges an applicant may have faced in their educational or individual circumstances.

You do not need to do anything in addition to the standard UCAS application, your application will automatically have the contextual information added when we receive it.

What contextual information is used?

The following nine pieces of contextual information will be flagged for the attention of the admissions selector:

1. Care experienced (This means you will have spent time living with foster carers under local authority care, in residential care (e.g. a children’s home), looked after at home under a supervision order, or in kinship care with relatives or friends, either officially (e.g. a special guardianship order) or informally without local authority support). This information is self-declared on the UCAS form and verified at a later stage.

2. The performance of the school/college where the applicant took their GCSEs (or equivalent qualification). Specifically, where the school’s or college’s performance is below the national average.

3. The performance of the school/college where the applicant took their A-levels (or equivalent qualification). Specifically, where the school’s or college’s performance is below the national average.

4. The home postcode of the applicant is compared against the POLAR 4 dataset. The Office for Students (OfS) assess how likely young people from different postcodes are to progress to Higher Education. We will flag applicants with postcodes in quintiles 1 and 2 (the 40 per cent least likely to progress to Higher Education). The Office for Students has a POLAR 4 postcode checker on their website.

5. The home postcode of the applicant is compared against the IMD (Indices of Multiple Deprivation) dataset. We will flag applicants with postcodes in quintiles 1 and 2 (the 40 per cent most deprived areas). The UK Government has this postcode checker for English postcodes on their website. For the IMD classification of Northern Irish postcodes see this postcode checker; for the IMD classification of Scottish postcodes see this postcode checker; and for the IMD classification of Welsh postcodes see this postcode checker.

6. The home postcode of the applicant is compared to CACI’s Acorn dataset. CACI classifies postcodes according to a range of socio-demographic indicators. We will flag applicants with postcodes in Acorn types 40 and above.

7. Participation in an intensive LSE Widening Participation (WP) programme. We will flag applicants who have completed LSE Springboard, LSE Thrive, LSE Pathways to Law or LSE Pathways to Banking and Finance.

8. Participation in any Sutton Trust Pathways programme at any UK university. This includes Pathways to Engineering, Pathways to Medicine, Pathways to Law (in-person or online), Pathways to Banking and Finance (in-person or online), and Pathways to Consulting online.

9. Where a student is known to have been eligible for Free School Meals (FSM) in the previous six years.

10. Other individual circumstances that may have disrupted or adversely affected an applicant’s education and achievement, as outlined in an Extenuating Circumstances Form.

How is contextual information used?

Applicants who have been flagged for the attention of the admissions selector will receive additional consideration.The selector may use this information in the following ways:

- to make an applicant a standard offer where the applicant’s academic record (eg, GCSEs/AS levels or equivalent) or personal statement may be marginally less competitive than the cohort overall

- to make an applicant a standard offer where the applicant is predicted marginally below the usual entry requirements

- when making confirmation decisions for offer holders that have marginally failed to meet the entry criteria (usually this means one grade below the standard entry requirements).

Eligible students (students flagged with a home postcode that is classified as POLAR4 Quintile 1 or IMD Quintile 1, as a care leaver, or a participant in a specified LSE WP programme or a Sutton Trust Pathways programme), may be considered for a contextual offer. The contextual offer will be one grade lower than the standard offer for the programme (with the exception of LLB Laws, BA/BSc Anthropology, BA Geography, BSc Geography with Economics, BSc Environment and Development, BSc Environmental Policy with Economics, and BSc International Social and Public Policy, where the contextual offer will be 2 grades lower than the standard offer). Any mathematics requirement must still be met.

All academic departments are participating in the contextual offer scheme.

The contextual offer grades are listed alongside the standard offer A-level and IB entry requirements on the relevant programme pages

Contextual information is used as part of the holistic admissions assessment and applicants are assessed alongside all other similar applicants, therefore having a contextual flag does not guarantee that an offer will be made.

Information regarding use of GCSE and equivalent qualifications

If you have taken GCSEs or equivalent qualifications, these will be taken into account when we assess your application.

All applicants who have taken GCSEs/iGCSEs are expected to have at least grade B/grade 6 in GCSE English Language and Mathematics or the equivalent. For some programmes this may be higher. Exceptions are made for applicants with extenuating circumstances.

As competition for places at LSE is intense, we look for applicants who have achieved highly at GCSE (multiple A or A*/8-9 grades), particularly within the context of their school.

If you have not taken GCSEs or iGCSEs, you will not be disadvantaged. The assessors will refer to the equivalent qualification in the curriculum that you have studied (if applicable) and consult the information provided by your UCAS referee to gain an understanding of your education history. 

Undergraduate Admissions Assessment (UGAA)

LSE requires students who study certain qualifications to complete the Undergraduate Admissions Assessment (UGAA) before a final decision can be made on their application.

Only the most competitive applicants with these qualifications are invited to sit the assessment. Applicants cannot request to sit the assessment and invitations will be sent on a rolling basis from January.

Further information about the UGAA