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LSE Thrive: Years 12-13

LSE Thrive is a sustained 10-month access programme for Year 12 students of Black heritage who live in or close to London and are interested in applying to study at LSE.

The programme provides participants with the opportunity to be mentored by a current LSE student and explore our community for themselves.  

The programme is delivered in a hybrid format, participants will be invited to LSE Thrive campus days to fully experience the LSE community alongside participating in a full online programme involving information, advice and guidance.

Successful participation in and completion of the LSE Thrive programme will enable participants who apply to LSE to be considered for contextual admissions and a contextual offer.  

Read more about our Contextual Admissions criteria.

When and where does LSE Thrive take place?

LSE Thrive will begin on Monday 23rd January 2023 (when students are in Year 12) and end on Sunday 29th October 2023 (when students are in Year 13).

All activities take place online via Zoom, except the three campus visits.

The dates of the campus visits are:

  • Wednesday 15th February
  • Wednesday 15th March
  • Thursday 29th June

Travel reimbursements are available to cover the costs to and from campus.

If you are offered a place on the programme, you will be surveyed on your tech capabilities and we will work with you to ensure you are able to access the programme content.

What activities are included?

Throughout the programme participants will engage with a wide range of academic and non-academic departments across the university and meet LSE student support staff, academics, current students, and alumni.

LSE Thrive includes:

  • Supportive mentoring from an undergraduate students of Black heritage, The online mentoring element will be delivered in partnership with Brightside
  • Virtual information sessions on applying to university, student finance and budgeting and personal statement
  • Guidance sessions covering such things as careers, revision skills and student wellbeing
  • Campus visits to LSE where participants will engage in a range of interactive workshops exploring undergraduate study and post graduate prospects with internal and external speakers
  • The offer of a place to attend the Black Achievement Conference which is due to take place virtually on Saturday 25th March 2023.

Are there any costs involved?

LSE Thrive is free to participate in and travel reimbursements are available to cover the costs to and from campus events.

Who is eligible?

LSE Thrive is open to selected Year 12 students of Black heritage.

Priority Criteria

Applicants should:

  • Be currently in Year 12
  • Have always attended a UK state-funded, non-fee-paying school/college/sixth form
  • Identify as being of Black British African/Caribbean or Black British African/Caribbean mixed heritage. This includes students who identify as Black British “other”
  • Live within a reasonable commuting distance (~90 mins) from LSE 
  • Be considering making an application to undergraduate study at LSE
  • Be on track to attain the contextual entry requirements for their course(s) of interest at LSE. The contextual offer grades for the degree programmes are listed alongside the standard offer A-level and IB entry requirements on the relevant programme pages
  • Be available for the duration of the programme.

Additional criteria

We would also particularly encourage applications from students of Black heritage who belong to one (or more) of our other widening participation target groups, namely:

  • Those living in postcode areas of historic low progression to higher education. This is determined by home postcode, which must be in POLAR4 quintile 1 or 2.
    Check your postcode (selecting MSOA) to see if you have ‘Quintile 1’ or ‘Quintile 2’ next to POLAR4 in the table. More information about POLAR.
  • Those living in postcode areas of historic deprivation as defined by the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD), which must be in IMD quintile 1 or 2 (deciles 1-4) or regional equivalent*. 
    Check your postcode in EnglandNorthern IrelandScotland or Wales.
  • Those who identify as having a disability or specific learning difficulty**
  • Those who identify as care-experienced (i.e. those who have been in the care of the local authority).

More information about how LSE uses widening participation data during the admissions process can be found under the contextual admissions section of this admissions information page.

* Ranks 1-356 in Northern Ireland IMD
  Overall Decile 1 or 2 in Scotland
  Ranks 1-764 in Wales IMD

**Have a disability or specific learning difficulty as defined by UCAS:

  • You have a social/communication difference such as autism/Asperger's
  • You are blind or have a serious visual impairment uncorrected by glasses
  • You are deaf or have a serious hearing impairment
  • You have a long-standing illness or health condition such as cancer, HIV, diabetes, chronic heart disease, or epilepsy
  • You have a mental health condition, such as depression, schizophrenia or anxiety disorder
  • You have a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia, dyspraxia or AD(H)D
  • You have physical impairment or mobility issues, such as difficulty using your arms or using a wheelchair or crutches
  • You have a disability, impairment or medical condition that is not listed above.

In the circumstance that the programme is oversubscribed, and places need to be allocated, applicants will be considered for places based on the extent to which they meet our widening participation criteria.

Those applicants who meet all the priority criteria and one or more of our additional criteria will be prioritised for places. 

How can I find out more and apply?

Applications for LSE Thrive open on Monday 10th October 2022 and close at midnight on Sunday 4th December 2022.

Applications can be made via an online application form which is available here.

If you require an alternative format, please email

The LSE Thrive team will then shortlist applications and communicate selection decisions by Friday 16th December 2022 via email.

Applicants will be considered for places based on the extent to which they meet our widening participation criteria. Those applicants who meet all the priority criteria and one or more of our additional criteria will be prioritised for places.


If you have any questions, please email and the LSE Thrive team will reply as soon as possible.

What training do LSE staff receive?

All staff and students involved in the sessions receive appropriate training before the event. Staff or students working directly and regularly with young people on activities receive specific training on working with children, in line with our Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy. They also undergo an appropriate level Disclosure and Barring Service check.

Cancellation Policy

Please note that as a result of circumstances or events outside of our control (known as a Force Majeure event), which includes but is not limited to industrial action, official government advice, fire, flood or other environmental or physical damage to premises, we may need to cancel an event at short notice.

In the event of a cancellation, a change of venue or date, we will endeavour to notify attendees wherever possible through the contact details given at the time of booking. For the avoidance of doubt, the School will not be liable for any costs you may incur as a result of any cancellation, change of venue or date.