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Admissions advice

Each applicant is assessed holistically, taking into consideration the full set of information supplied on the UCAS application form. Our Admissions Policy seeks to ensure that we admit students of the highest calibre, with the merit, potential and motivation, to benefit from, contribute to and succeed in the LSE community.  

Competition for places at LSE is intense – in 2021 we received 26,000 applications for approximately 1,700 places. This competition means that meeting, being predicted to meet or exceeding the minimum requirements does not guarantee that an offer will be made. 

Admissions Policy and Processes webinar Admissions Policy and Processes webinar
Watch this presentation with Undergraduate Admissions Manager, Alex Ingold about LSE's Admissions Policy and Processes

Applying to LSE

How to apply

All applicants who wish to study at LSE must apply online via UCAS. Applications for entry in September 2022 (or deferred entry in September 2023) will open in September 2021. All applicants, including those from outside of the EU, should submit their UCAS application by the 26 January 2022 deadline. 

Applying to LSE: a guide to making a competitive undergraduate application Applying to LSE: a guide to making a competitive undergraduate application
Applying to LSE: a guide to making a competitive undergraduate application

Please see our  how to apply pages for more information about the admissions process and completing the UCAS application form. 

Entry requirements

Our usual standard offers are expressed in terms of A-levels and the International Baccalaureate, but we accept a variety of qualifications as outlined on our entry requirements and international students pages.  

Programme specific entry requirements and admissions information can be seen on each of our degree programme pages. Several of our degrees require A-level or IB Higher Level Mathematics (or the equivalent qualification) and may also require or recommend A-level Further Mathematics, if it is offered by the school or college. Further information can be accessed on our admissions information page and the ‘Entry requirements’ section on the individual programme pages.  

Given the level of competition for places, we recommend that only students who meet or are predicted to meet the listed entry requirements (or contextual offer grades) apply.  

For information about GCSEs, contextual admissions, subject combinations, admissions tests, preferred and excluded subjects please visit our applying to LSE page.

Interviews

LSE does not interview for any of our degree programmes.  

Admission tests

All LLB Bachelor of Laws applicants are required to take the LNAT (National Admissions Test for Law).

The TMUA (Test of Mathematics for University Admission) is recommended for programmes offered by the Department of Mathematics.

Admissions process and procedures

All applications received by the UCAS January deadline are given fair and equal treatment. In order to give fair and equal consideration to all ontime applicants, applications received early on in the cycle may be held as part of a gathered field. 

As LSE does not interview candidates, decisions are made holistically based on the information supplied on the UCAS application form. This includes existing and predicted academic attainment, the personal statement, the information supplied in the teacher’s reference, contextual data and performance in admissions tests where required.  

Applications are initially read by our admissions assessors who check that the applicant meets or is predicted to meet the minimum entry requirements. If an applicant does not meet the minimum requirements (and there is no relevant contextual information or extenuating circumstances to be taken into consideration), they can receive an unsuccessful outcome at this stage.  

Following preliminary assessment, the remaining applications will be reviewed by an admissions specialist. LSE operates a centralised admissions process with admissions specialists acting as academic selectors by delegation from departmental admissions tutors.  

Decisions will be communicated to applicants via UCAS track and by email. Our Admissions Calendar highlights key dates.  

Admissions FAQs

1. What are the usual standard offer requirements? 

A*AA – AAB at A level / 37 – 38 IB points with 666 or 766 at HL. Visit our entry requirements and international students pages for details of alternative accepted qualifications.  

2. How do you use contextual information?

For Home/UK applicants, we also use contextual information to gain a more complete picture of the educational and individual context of an applicant. 

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).

- to make a contextual offer, where the contextual offer is one grade lower than the standard offer for the programme. Any mathematics requirement must still be met.

Visit our Admissions Information page for more detailed information. 

3. Are there any interviews or admissions tests?

LSE does not interview for any of our degree programmes. All LLB Laws applicants are required to take the LNAT (National Admissions Test for Law), and the TMUA (Test of Mathematics for University Admission) is recommended for our maths degree programmes. Please see our Applying to LSE page for more information.  

4. How competitive is it to get a place at LSE? 

Overall applications to places ratio = 13:1 

Economics 17:1 
Government/Philosophy 16: 1 
Law 15:1 

Each of our programme pages list the application/offer/registration data for the previous application cycle.  

5. Can students apply to more than one programme at LSE? 

Students can apply to more than one degree at LSE, however they will only be able to submit one personal statement. The programmes will therefore need to be closely related to enable the applicant to show sufficient interest and enthusiasm for their chosen discipline. Applicants are only eligible to receive one offer in the same admissions cycle, so are advised to think carefully about whether applying to multiple courses at one institution is the most effective use of their UCAS application. 

6. Is a student more likely to be made an offer if they apply early on in the application cycle? 

No. All applications received by the UCAS January deadline are treated equally. Applications received early on in the cycle may therefore be held as part of a ‘gathered field’ to ensure that the students we make offers to are the best fit for their chosen programme, rather than simply the first to apply.

7. Do you consider deferred entry? 

LSE is happy to consider applications from students who are taking a gap year. We would encourage them to briefly outline how they intend to spend the year in their personal statement. If the student is applying for a quantitative course, providing an indication of how they intend to maintain or refresh their mathematical knowledge during their gap year is helpful. Students can also request a deferral after they have been made an offer. Whilst the Undergraduate Admissions team will try to accommodate these requests, it is not guaranteed.  

8. Is there an age requirement? 

We can consider applications from students who will be under 18 at the time of registration. Details of successful candidates under the age of 18 at the time of registration will be communicated to the relevant academic departments and the senior adviser to students. This enables the School to consider putting in place reasonable adjustments or conditions of study to protect the interests of one or more parties, including those of the applicant. Notification of the School’s policy for under 18s is included as part of the standard offer letter. Halls of residence will also be notified.  

9. What is LSE doing to widen participation? 

Our Widening Participation Team run a number of projects for students attending non-selective state schools and colleges, designed to raise aspirations and encourage progression to higher education. Our Access and Participation Plan details our commitment to improving access to, and success within, the School for those groups currently underrepresented at LSE and in the wider HE sector. 

10. Can a student drop a subject after they’ve been made an offer? 

Please ask the student to contact the Undergraduate Admissions team before they drop any subject – even if it has not been included in their offer conditions. Offers are made based on the information supplied on the UCAS form, therefore any changes in study circumstances will need to be re-assessed. An admissions selector will consider the request and we aim to provide a final decision within two weeks.  

11. Is there a quota for international students? 

The number of student places at the School is determined through the School’s capacity to teach them. The School meets this requirement by setting caps on the number of UK/EU and non-UK/EU students on each programme of study. This system therefore involves two selection processes for each programme (i.e. one for UK/EU students, and another for non-UK/EU students). The number of undergraduate places available each year at LSE for students from the European Union (including the UK) is usually approximately 1,050. The number of undergraduate places available each year to overseas (non-EU) students is usually approximately 700. LSE receives many more applications from highly qualified candidates than there are places available. In 2019 approximately 22,000 applications were received, with approximately 12,000 from EU applicants and 10,000 from non-EU applicants. The level of competition for places is intense, and therefore, the School is unable to make offers to many of these highly qualified candidates. 

12. Is there a limit to how many students you can accept from one school? 

No. Each applicant is assessed based on their individual academic merit, personal statement and UCAS reference. We do not have a set limit of places per school or college.  

13. How do I communicate extenuating circumstances to LSE? 

Please complete the online Extenuating Circumstances form.

Personal Statements

The personal statement forms an important part of the assessment and selection process at LSE.  

More information about personal statements can be found on our admissions pages.

Personal statement presentation with Paul Personal statement presentation with Paul
Watch this presentation with Admissions Specialist Paul about personal statements

UCAS Reference

The information supplied in the teacher’s reference helps us to understand the contextualised achievements of an applicant and the opportunities available to them. The reference should include information about the applicant, information about the school/college, details of any extenuating circumstances and an explanation of the predicted grades provided.

More information about the UCAS reference can be found on our admissions pages. 

UCAS reference presentation Gemma Bishop UCAS reference presentation Gemma Bishop
Watch this presentation with Admissions Specialist Gemma about the UCAS reference and the role it plays in LSE's admission process

Contextual information

Home UK students

Contextual information enables our admissions team to evaluate an applicant’s academic performance within a wider educational and social context.  

Contextual information can be used: 

  • to make an applicant a standard offer where their academic record or personal statement may be marginally less competitive than the cohort overall.
  • to make an applicant a standard offer where they are 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). 
  • to make a contextual offer to eligible students (students flagged as POLAR4 Quintile 1, IMD Quintile 1, as a care leaver or as a participant in an LSE WP programme or Sutton Trust Pathways programme), where the contextual offer is one grade lower than the standard offer for the programme. Any mathematics requirement must still be met. All 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.  

Further contextual admissions information. 

Care-experienced students 

LSE offers support to care-experienced students before they apply to university, and throughout their time at the School. 

We encourage applicants who are care experienced to tick the ‘time in care’ box on the UCAS application form, so that our Admissions team can take this into account when assessing their application. We also advise teachers/advisers to ensure this information is included in the student's UCAS reference.

UCAS have put together a useful video and a Care Leavers Guide explaining how to disclose care experience on the application form, as well as the benefits of doing so.

Please visit our dedicated care-experienced students webpage for more information and guidance. If you, or the student, has additional questions please email us at ard.lsecares@lse.ac.uk.

Extenuating circumstances

If an applicant has been impacted by circumstances beyond their control, such as the onset or worsening of a chronic mental or physical health condition, this information should be communicated to LSE via our extenuating circumstances form. The form should usually be submitted by the applicant’s UCAS referee or another teacher at the school or college.  

For more information about our extenuating circumstances policy and to access the form, please see here.  

Who to contact

LSE’s Student Marketing and Recruitment team are responsible for providing students considering studying at LSE with the information, guidance and support they need to make an informed decision. 

Find out more about the team

Prospective students, parents or staff at the school are welcome to contact us directly, or can submit their enquiry via our 'Ask LSE' enquiry form or speak to us on Live Chat.

Already applied or an offer holder?  

If a student has already applied or is an offer holder, they can contact the Undergraduate Admissions team. Please note the team will only be able to speak with the applicant or their UCAS Nominated Contact about their application.