How to Get into LSE for Economics

Year after year, applicants come to me seeking advice on how to get into the most competitive subjects at the most prestigious universities. One of the most common questions I receive is ‘How do I get into LSE for Economics?’ They come to the right person, not because I’m an LSE alumnus, but because 85% of my clients applying to LSE receive an offer!

LSE is ranked 3rd in The Complete University Guide’s world university rankings (2023) and boasts an extremely competitive admissions process. So, my success rate is no easy feat but my methodology is simple. If you can successfully apply my advice, you’ve got this in the bag.

Economics is one of LSE’s specialist subjects. Hence, this course is particularly selective with an acceptance rate as slim as 7.4%. Only a small selection of applicants receive an offer, and the application process is far from easy. This means you MUST be prepared.

To get into LSE for Economics you need to fit their student profile, and this is not purely academic. Yes, your subjects and grades are very important, but you need to demonstrate that you are an ideal candidate through actions rather than words.

Don’t forget, the information below is just a fraction of the knowledge the team have at The Profs! If you want to maximise your chances of success, contact our admissions tutors; they have first-hand experience with the LSE admissions process and what is required to succeed at each stage. We can help you create an application in line with LSE’s specific values.

You can also check out my quick video which talks you through how to get into LSE for Economics. Or take a look at our previous guide on how to get into Economics.

Contents

  1. Check LSE’s entry requirements.
  2. Do you know LSE’s recommended subjects?
  3. Ready for LSE’s admissions tests?
  4. Is it hard to get into Economics at LSE?
  5. 4 tips on how to get into Economics at LSE
  6. Your application: have you mentioned indifference curves?
  7. Forging ahead or falling behind with your referencing?
  8. You’ve mentioned a solid 5-year plan, right?
  9. Sharing Insider Secrets: Get 1-to-1 guidance from an expert admissions tutor
  10. FAQ

LSE’s entry requirements

LSE’s Economics courses are highly competitive, and applicants are expected to have strong academic records and a solid foundation in Mathematics.

My insider tip: LSE values historic grades, so your GCSEs should mostly range from 7-9 (A-A*), especially in Maths and other quantitative subjects. LSE generally values a long track record of top grades so your grades need to be polished, and they particularly look for a longstanding aptitude for Mathematics.

You’ll need to meet high entry requirements to gain your offer of admission at LSE. This is because LSE is one of the most competitive universities to get into.

CourseA level requirementsIB requirements
EconomicsA*AA38 (766)
Economics and Economic HistoryAAA38 (766)
Economics HistoryAAA38 (766)
Economic History and GeographyAAB37 (666)
Philosophy and EconomicsAAA38 (766)
Mathematics with EconomicsA*AA38 (766)
Politics and EconomicsAAA38 (766)
Geography and EconomicsAAA38 (766)
Mathematics and EconomicsA*AA38 (766)
Econometrics and Maths EconomicsA*AA38 (766)
Environment and Sustainable Development with EconomicsAAA38 (766)
Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE)A*AA38 (766)
International, Social, and Public Policy and EconomicsAAB37 (666)

If you need more information regarding grade requirements, such as international qualifications, take a look here.

Worried that you won’t achieve the necessary grades to study at the London School of Economics? Our A level and IB tutors can help. We have extensive experience helping students excel in their coursework and final exams, and achieve entry grades for this competitive course. Reach out to my team for support.

For further tips on meeting requirements for Economics at LSE, check out my previous video!

My insider tip: The LSE Economics course is extremely rigorous and Mathematically demanding, with a strong emphasis on quantitative skills. Be sure that you excel in these arenas, and if not, that you are truly motivated to master them, or you might find yourself struggling to keep up. Need advice on whether Economics at LSE is the right fit for you? Or are you looking for support to complete the Economics degree? We are here to help.

Do you know LSE’s recommended subjects?

Yes, your academic achievements do need to be relatively focused. It is mandatory that all LSE applicants wanting to embark on an Economics degree have studied Maths. Though, the grade requirements differ according to the programme.

My insider tip: Ideally you will have an A* in Maths and an A-A* in Further Maths. Whilst LSE claims that they consider students with an A in Maths so long as they have an A* in Further Maths, your best bet is having an A* in Maths itself. Similarly, whilst taking Further Maths is not a formal requirement, it is highly recommended. For your best shot at getting into Economics at LSE, it is advised that you take Further Maths. However, if you can’t take Further Maths, or you’ve had a blip in your grades somewhere, or maybe you just want to improve your chances of gaining admission, consider taking the TMUA, MOOCs, or UK Maths Challenge to demonstrate your mathematical ability and bolster your application. On that same note, if you can’t take Further Maths for whatever reason, ask your referee to explain this for you in their statement and vouch for your Mathematical abilities.

If you plan on taking an Economics degree, I’ve listed the subject requirements below:

Course titleSubject requirements
Econometrics and Mathematical EconomicsHave an A* in Maths. An A* in A level Further Maths is desirable although an A in AS level Further Maths is acceptable (only if offered by your school).
Economic HistoryAAB including one essay-based subject.
Economic History and GeographyAAB including one essay-based subject.
EconomicsHave an A* in Maths. Further Maths is desirable. The TMUA is not required but sharing good results may make your application more competitive.
Economics and Economic HistoryA in Maths and A in one essay-based subject.
Environment and Sustainable Development with EconomicsHave an A in Maths. Further Maths as one of three A levels seen as a disadvantage.
Geography with EconomicsHave an A in Maths. Further Maths as one of three A levels seen as a disadvantage.
International, Social, and Public Policy and EconomicsHave an A in Maths.
Mathematics and EconomicsHave an A* in Maths. Have an A in Further Maths (if offered at your school). TMUA recommended.
Mathematics with EconomicsHave an A* in Maths. Have an A in Further Maths (if offered at your school). TMUA recommended.
Philosophy and EconomicsAAB including an A in Maths. Further Maths (at any level) is helpful. Critical thinking is not included in the standard offer but success in this is helpful.
Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE)Have an A* in Maths. Further Maths (at any level) is helpful. Further Maths as one of three A levels seen as a disadvantage.
Politics and EconomicsAAA including Maths.

My table above regards subject requirements but you should also consider subject preferences as well as the data regarding successful candidates’ achieved grades and chosen subjects. Another thing of note is that all LSE courses favour a mix of traditional academic subjects and prefer their students to have studied at least two. Do check contextual offers as well if you’re eligible.

Need advice on whether Economics at LSE is the right fit for you? Or are you looking for support to complete the Economics degree? We are here to help.

Ready for LSE’s admissions tests?

The TMUA:

If your chosen Economics course is offered by the Department of Mathematics, I strongly encourage you to take an admissions test as part of your application to LSE. The Test of Mathematics for University Admission (TMUA) is not mandatory, however, it is beneficial to take it as performing well in the TMUA can help you to secure an offer. I’ve linked more information about taking the TMUA and your LSE application here.

The TMUA is designed so that one-third of applicants achieve 6.5 scores. So, I recommend that you aim to score above 6.5.

Here at The Profs, we have expert TMUA and admissions tutors who can help you smash your entry tests.

Please note: If you do not have a record of recent or relevant study, or if you have non-standard qualifications, you might be asked to sit LSE’s Undergraduate Admissions Assessment (UGAA). Ordinarily, this test is held in March every year. If necessary, candidates are contacted individually to invite them to sit this test after their application to LSE.

Is it hard to get into Economics at LSE?

As we’ve covered, applying for LSE is no simple feat. Getting onto an Economics course is particularly competitive and challenging. I’ve detailed the LSE acceptance rates below so that you can get a clear understanding of the competition. Though the percentages vary depending on the specific Economics programme, all of them are competitive courses at LSE.

Course titleAcceptance rate
Econometrics and Mathematical Economics1.9%
Economic History29%
Economic History and Geography18%
Economics7.4%
Economics and Economic History5.6%
Environment and Sustainable Development with Economics14%
Geography with Economics19%
International, Social, and Public Policy and Economics6.8%
Mathematics and Economics16%
Mathematics with Economics19%
Philosophy and Economics16%
Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE)9.2%
Politics and Economics9.2%

My expert team of admissions tutors can help boost your chances of getting into LSE to study Economics. Thanks to our network of experienced tutors, many of whom are LSE graduates and ex-admissions officers themselves, we have the very latest and best knowledge on what LSE is looking for in top Economics applicants. Get in touch with us today to chat with a member of our team about how we can help with your application to LSE.

What are the fees for Economics at LSE?

Tuition fees vary. The table below shows the annual course fees for LSE’s Economics students (2023-2024):

UK studentInternational student
£9,250£25,272

You can find out more information about what fees you will pay on LSE’s fee status page. You can also view LSE’s fees, funding and scholarship page to find the funding options available to you.

4 tips on how to get into Economics at LSE

1. Your application: have you mentioned indifference curves?

Take it from me, when applying for Economics at LSE, you should prepare for each stage of the admissions process thoroughly.

  • Your grades – preparation for your LSE application really starts from the moment you start studying for your GCSEs (or equivalent). Excellent grades are essential in order to be considered for a place at LSE, so you should be aiming for 9-8 (A*-A) in your GCSEs and A*AA-AAB in your A levels depending on your chosen Economics programme.
  • Your UCAS application – the first official stage of your LSE application is completing your UCAS application online. As well as your grades, this includes your personal statement. This is the first chance you’ll get to showcase your suitability for Economics at LSE and prove that you are interested and committed to the subject areas. Go out of the box by mentioning undergraduate-level concepts like indifference curves and circular flow. More importantly, demonstrate an understanding of them! Find out how to write a stand-out personal statement in our helpful guide.

For further help on how to get into LSE, check out our previous guide and a video by yours truly!

Note that all students applying to university for 2023, 2024 or 2025 will still be required to submit a UCAS personal statement as normal. However, from January 2025 onwards (October 2024, for Oxbridge applicants), there will be changes to the UCAS application process and students will no longer be required to write a personal statement. Instead, all applicants will answer a series of shorter, more tailored questions provided by UCAS. 

2. Forging Ahead or Falling Behind with your Referencing?

Have you referenced ‘Forging Ahead, Falling Behind and Fighting Back’ by Nicholas Crafts? This is just an example, but you get the gist. Deep dive into research. Name-drop an academic and talk about their recent research to elevate your personal statement. Go niche and get specific! I jump more into this below.

LSE Economics applicants have between a 1.9% and 29% chance of success, so it’s important that you do everything you can to make your application stand out from the crowd. Your academic ability might get you on the shortlist, but it’s not necessarily what secures your place. LSE particularly looks for applicants who demonstrate a strong interest in economics, are intellectually curious and have a well-rounded profile. There are many ways you can show this, such as:

How to ACTUALLY go beyond your school syllabus

I’ve found that LSE loves evidence of students’ self-learning because it demonstrates their desire to develop higher-level quantitative thinking and shows that they understand Economics at university level. So, I advise studying the first 2-3 weeks of a 1st-year module for Economics and talking about this in your application to show that you are ahead of the competition. If you take the time to read a large breadth of quality literature around your subject, you can reference Maths books or Keynesian Economics books and analyse them to demonstrate that you are able to work at university-level. You could even choose a topic or period within economic history and read widely about this.

Whatever you choose, show that your understanding of Economics goes beyond the syllabus by talking about very specific, less-known, and complex concepts. Doublecheck that you are not choosing popular texts that many students applying to Economics might point to. Try to find something unknown, underrated, niche, and/or peculiar.

My insider tip: Faux Harvard referencing can help your point stand out visually. How much better does this comment look when I cite it?

I agree with the concept that contradictory observations can totally debunk deterministic theories because “a model (or theory) can never truly be confirmed unless it is made so broad as to include every possibility” (Greene, 2003).

This simple tweak can help your personal statement to look like an academic text!

Catapult your Application to the Top with Certain Extracurricular Activities

Listen, LSE LOVES to hear that you enjoy quantitative thinking and have experience in this outside of class.

If your school, or another local organisation, has a student governance or entrepreneurial club, take part! Perhaps you can assist in some local charity fundraising, or volunteer to help with the financial side of a small business venture within your neighbourhood. Maybe you’ve written a column about current global issues and policies, or perhaps you are part of a debate team that discusses topics such as these. If you’ve done anything proving entrepreneurial spirit, showcase this!

Lay the ‘Groundwork’ for Acceptance

LSE is more career orientated than other universities. They really value on-the-ground work so this is where you can stand out.

Work experience in a relevant industry to your chosen discipline can demonstrate your drive and commitment to the subject. Expressing what skills you have learned from this experience and how they will help you with your course will also make you a more attractive candidate. Remember, context is important. Remain as relevant to Economics and/or quantitative skills as possible.

If you have impressive work experience under your belt, talk about it right at the start of your personal statement. What did your team achieve during that time? Demonstrate how this opportunity taught you skills relevant to your degree and future career, and talk about your intention to work professionally for this company after graduation – or an even better one!

3. You’ve mentioned a solid 5-year plan, right?

Something I tell all my clients is to have a 5-year plan. This can set you aside from the others.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to necessarily stick to your plan. In fact, it is expected that your interests and ambitions will change as your knowledge and experience grows. Having a plan is simply a great way of demonstrating to LSE that you are committed to Economics and that you are motivated to succeed at your degree, and thus would be a valuable LSE student.

The first step to having a plan is to develop an understanding of the industries an Economics degree can lead to and the specific areas you can specialise in. For example, identifying an interest in becoming an economist, financial analyst, management consultant, or earning a PhD in Economics shows you are a forward-thinking candidate serious about your career. Relating your areas of study, activities and personal passions back to potential careers is essential to presenting a targeted, future-focused candidate profile in just a few sentences.

My insider tip: LSE values applicants with a specific and ambitious career plan because they want their students to go on to get good jobs after university and maintain a strong LSE alumni network. So, mention your career aspirations in your application and be specific. What institution or company do you want to work for, and what do you want to specialise in? If you’re unsure, educate yourself.
If you’re applying for a postgraduate degree, you will need to present a very clear objective behind this course: what do you hope to achieve with this and what makes your research proposal special? If you’re unsure, do your research!

4. Sharing Insider Secrets: Get 1-to-1 guidance from an expert admissions tutor

If you want to apply to LSE it’s important that you’re aware of how competitive the Economics course is.

My team of admissions tutors have many years of experience in helping students develop their academic profiles, tailor their application to LSE’s admissions criteria, and prepare for the TMUA exam.

Here, at The Profs, 85% of students applying to LSE gain admission! With us, you’ll gain invaluable independent study skills that will prepare you for study at an elite UK university, as well as a deeper and broader understanding of the skills and knowledge needed to study Economics at degree level. Reach out to our experienced team today!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Economics course at LSE like?

LSE offers one of the world’s most academically esteemed Economics courses. Their department of Economics is one of the largest and most prestigious Economics departments in the world, with a strong reputation for research and teaching excellence.

LSE offers its students access to world-class research facilities such as the STICERD research centre and the British Library of Political and Economic Science. The Department of Economics at LSE has a distinguished history of producing outstanding economists and policy-makers, including 18 Nobel laureates in Economics. LSE’s location in the heart of London also provides students with unique opportunities to engage with the city’s vibrant financial and business sectors.

LSE Economics alumni enjoy a wide range of career opportunities in fields such as finance, consulting, government, and academia, and are highly sought after by top employers around the world.

Economics is a social science. LSE’s Economics course provides unparalleled analytical and quantitative training through its rigorous approach. It cultivates critical thinking and problem-solving skills by engaging students in real-world economic issues and world class research.

What Economics courses does LSE offer?

At LSE, you can obtain thirteen different BSc Economics degrees, offering a range of topics. It can either be studied under the singular degree title: Economics or as one of the following twelve degree programmes:

  • Econometrics and Maths Economics
  • Economic History
  • Economic History and Geography
  • Economics and Economic History
  • Environment and Sustainable Development with Economics
  • Geography with Economics
  • International Social and Public Policy and Economics
  • Mathematics and Economics
  • Mathematics with Economics
  • Philosophy and Economics
  • Philosophy, Politics and Economics
  • Politics and Economics

Take a look at the table below to get an idea of the different undergraduate courses available to you if you choose Economics.

Economics Course TypeAboutLength
Econometrics and Maths EconomicsStudents are led through a mathematically rigorous and analytical course to evaluate broad range problems. This course is selective and usually can only be transferred to from a BSc in Economics. Ideal for students considering careers in economic research.3 years
Economic HistoryStudies economic history, economic development, and past economies alongside global economic development, crises, and inequality. Applies analytical framework to considering economic relationships and current issues.3 years
Economic History and GeographyCombines analyses of economic history, past economies, and economic development. Studies inequality and crises of the world along with geographical, social, environmental, and economic concerns. Analyses how economic history and geography have informed worldwide policy.3 years
EconomicsStudies economic crises and policy responses. Design, analyse, and consider policies to tackle world issues and inequalities such as poverty, climate change, and the gender pay gap. Applies a scientific approach to issues and relationships, as well as test hypothesises with data.3 years
Economics and Economic HistoryAnalyses how past economies have influenced economic development. Addresses practical questions regarding real economies, inequality, historic experience, crises, and global economic development. Studies the economic relation to current issues.3 years
Environment and Sustainable Development with EconomicsCombines these complementary fields. Considers environmental issues and tackles them alongside economic training. Provides rigorous economic training and fosters learning of environmental social science. 75% of the course is focussed on the environment, and the remaining 25% is focussed on economics.3 years
Geography with EconomicsEconomic activity is studied, alongside its consequences for human development and environmental quality. Students are led to understand forces driving social, political, environmental and economic change using analytical tools.3 years
International Social and Public Policy and EconomicsThis is a joint honours course, which closely links social policy and economics. Students are encouraged to learn how to apply economic concepts to policy issues, and establish a connection between these.3 years
Mathematics and EconomicsThis is a joint degree which offers students the chance to study both subjects equally, and somewhat separately. Both subjects are studied in depth and used to understand modern economics. Technical aptitude and analytical skills are honed for future career paths.3 years
Mathematics with EconomicsCombines both these strongly related disciplines in order to understand modern economics. Both are studied in depth, honing technical aptitude and analytical skills. Prepares students for successful finance and/or business careers.3 years
Philosophy and EconomicsFoundational, philosophical questions are considered alongside the core economic courses. Ethics and politics are evaluated through scientific methods. Formal logic and essay writing are applied.3 years
Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE)Trains students in all 3 disciplines, offering innovative interdisciplinary study. Equal weight of study is afforded to all 3 subjects. This course is designed to be interdisciplinary. Combines ethics with scientific methodology.4 years
Politics and EconomicsBoth political and economic lenses are used to analyse the ways that individuals and groups define and interpret political issues and seek to shape governmental decisions. Public affairs are especially analysed.3 years

LSE looks for Economics students with excellent analytical, quantitative, and communication skills. You will learn to develop these abilities into skills that you can use for a wide array of career paths, like investment banking, consulting, and public policy.

At LSE, undergraduate students studying Economics will graduate with a Bachelor of Science (BSc). Whilst postgraduate students will graduate with one or more of the following degree titles: Master of Science (MSc), Master of Philosophy (MPhil), Master of Research (Mres), or even a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD).

More information on postgraduate courses can be found here.

Is there an admissions test for LSE Economics?

There is no overarching admissions test for all of LSE’s Economics courses. However, undergraduates are sometimes encouraged to take the TMUA especially if they are lacking Further Maths as a requirement. Of course, those applying for Law are expected to take the LNAT.

For postgraduates, sometimes the GMAT or GRE is required, and if not, it is often seen as a bonus to an application which elevates chances of success. Make sure you check the entry requirements page of your specific course.

How competitive is LSE Economics?

LSE is very competitive and even more so when it comes to its Economics courses! LSE receives a high number of applicants and boasts a competitive admissions process with high expectations. The average acceptance rate for the main Economics course at LSE is just 7.4%! Check out the acceptance rates for all of LSE’s Economics courses earlier in this article for a better understanding.

Is Oxford or Cambridge or LSE better for Economics?

Each of these universities are prestigious and high ranking, often placing at the top of the league tables for Economics. However, they differ slightly in focus and reputation. Oxford and Cambridge are both known for their rigorous theoretical approaches to Economics, with Cambridge having a stronger emphasis on heterodox perspectives. LSE, on the other hand, is particularly well-regarded for its applied Economics and policy-oriented research. Ultimately, you need to be aware of your preferences and academic goals to make the best decision for you.