How to Get Into Imperial College London


Imperial College London is one of the best universities in the world. It consistently ranks in the top five of UK universities and closely follows Oxford and Cambridge in the QS world university rankings. Due to this outstanding reputation, and its specialism in science and technology-based subjects, places at Imperial are extremely competitive.

However, with the right support and expert preparation, the Profs have helped many students secure a much-sought-after offer to study at Imperial. Read on to learn our top tips for standing out in your undergraduate application and how to maximise your chances of success.

What is the Imperial acceptance rate?

In 2020, the Imperial acceptance rate was around 13.5% (based on data by UCAS). The university received 25,650 applications and offered places to 3,450 students. It’s worth noting that Imperial and LSE have particularly low acceptance rates because they offer a lesser variety of courses and thus having fewer spaces for applicants.

Imperial’s acceptance rates for its most competitive courses are also significantly lower than its average acceptance rate. For example, the admissions rate for Computing (Games, Vision and Interaction) is just 5.2%. For extra support in applying for Imperial’s competitive courses, contact the Profs’ admissions experts.

What are the most competitive courses at Imperial?

The most competitive courses at Imperial are its Computing courses (including standalone Computing, Games, Vision and Interaction, and Software Engineering), along with Graduate Medicine, and Mathematics and Computer Science. The Profs has an extensive network of expert tutors specialising in a range of STEM subjects, including Imperial’s most popular Computing courses.

Is Imperial a Russell Group university?

Imperial College London is a member of the Russell Group of universities. It has a worldwide reputation for its quality of research and teaching, exceptional entrepreneurial culture, and connections to the wider industry. Imperial’s research has also placed it at the forefront of coronavirus epidemiology, virology, vaccine development and diagnostics in recent years. The Complete University Guide ranks Imperial as the fourth best Russell Group university behind only Oxford, Cambridge and LSE.

What are the Imperial entry requirements?

Imperial’s entry requirements vary depending on the course you’re applying to study and the country you’re applying from. The table below shows the standard A level requirements and the requirements of some of the most common international qualifications. If your qualifications are not in this table, or if you need information on English language requirements, check Imperial’s guide for international students. You can also get in touch with the Profs for individual support from one of our international admissions experts.

Qualification Entry requirements
A Levels Range from A*A*A and AAA, depending on the course.
International Baccalaureate (IB) Overall score of 38-42, with scores of 6-7 in relevant subjects at higher level.
European Baccalaureate (EB) 80%-85% overall, with scores of 8.5-9 in relevant subjects.
French Baccalaureate Overall score of 15 to 17, with 15-17 required in relevant subjects.
Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) Grade 5-5* in relevant subjects.
Other international qualifications Check the full list of international qualifications accepted by Imperial.

Note that Imperial’s entry requirements differ depending on your chosen course, so make sure you check on the relevant course page before applying. If you’re a UK student and need support in meeting the entry requirements for UCL, then our A level tutors can help you boost your grades.

Does Imperial give contextual offers?

Imperial doesn’t offer systematic contextual offers for its courses (unlike UCL and LSE), but it may guarantee you an interview or offer if you come from a disadvantaged background and show potential. Its admissions scheme is used to look beyond purely academic achievements and consider your performance in context, considering factors such as your economic, social and educational background.

6 tips for getting into Imperial College London

1. Check the requirements of your course

Although Imperial has generic requirements that apply to many of its courses, for some courses there are additional requirements you need to meet. For example, in order to study Aeronautical Engineering, you must typically achieve an A* in Mathematics, an A* in Physics, and at least one further A grade. Our A level tutors have a proven track record of helping students achieve A*s, so if you’re finding yourself slipping behind the grades required for entry, reach out to the Profs for support.

Imperial also requires you to take an admissions test for Medicine (the BMAT) and all Mathematics courses (the MAT), which you’ll need to register for in advance. Preparing for your admissions test is essential to achieving a high score, which could be the difference between receiving an offer or not. If you need help preparing for your admissions test, get in touch with the Profs’ experienced admissions consultants.

2. Aim to get the best possible grades you can

Imperial College London is among the highest ranking and most competitive universities in the UK for science and technology-based subjects. The entry requirements for its most competitive courses, including Computing and Mathematics, are the same Oxford and Cambridge’s (A*A*A).

Ensuring that you achieve the best grades possible throughout your A level studies should therefore be a top priority if you want to get accepted into Imperial. Our A level tutors have helped many students achieve top grades and get offers from their first and second choice universities, including Imperial. Whether you’re falling behind in one subject or need more intensive, all-round support, reach out to our team and we’ll get you the help you need.

3. Think about the long-term plan

Receiving an offer from Imperial is a great goal to have, but it’s also important to think about the long-term plan. Consider how a degree in your chosen subject from Imperial specifically will help you to achieve your future academic or career goals. You may want to go on to make the most of Imperial’s outstanding research facilities by studying for a Master’s or PhD. Alternatively, Imperial’s industry links might appeal to your goal of getting onto a graduate scheme at your dream company.

Whatever they may be, having these goals in mind will help you communicate your motivations in your personal statement and prove to Imperial that you are committed to your academic future.

4. Get relevant work experience

To help further prove your commitment to these long-term goals and make your application stand out from the thousands of other Imperial applicants, you should look to gain relevant work experience in your field. Whether paid or unpaid, having experience working in your desired field will provide you with invaluable real-world insights that you can use throughout your application.

If you can’t secure work experience, try to engage in as many extracurricular activities related to your chosen subject area as you can. For instance, if you’re applying for Computing, you could join a school Computing club or learn a new programming language in your free time. This will give you valuable extra skills to add to your application.

5. Invest plenty of time into writing your personal statement

For Imperial’s many competitive subjects, many applicants will achieve the grades required for entry. This means that the university will use applicants’ personal statements (plus the results of any admissions tests or interviews) to decide who to offer places to. Ensuring that your personal statement stands out is really important, as it gives you a potential edge over your competition.

It’s really important to invest plenty of time into planning and writing your personal statement. Use this part of your application as a chance to express who you are and what makes you unique. Use it to describe your academic ambitions, relevant skills and work experience, and explain why you would make an excellent Imperial College student. The Profs’ personal statement tutors can provide tailored guidance on what exactly Imperial is looking for in students’ statements, and help you make sure you stand out.

6. Prepare for an Imperial interview

The majority of Imperial’s departments interview applicants who demonstrate potential in the application process. If you’re shortlisted, your interview may form part of a recruitment day, which could also involve other activities such as group tasks, discussions or written tests. These are all designed to assess your academic potential.
You will be informed of what’s required of you if you get through to this stage to give you the opportunity to prepare, but there is some additional research you can do beforehand. Look up common interview questions and tasks that previous interviewees have been faced with, and think about how you’d apply your knowledge and skills to them. Practising with an expert Profs interview tutor who understands the unique Imperial interview process is also a surefire way to improve your chances of success.

Insider information on Imperial

Imperial College London is a particularly career-focused university, boasting one of the best careers departments in the UK. Many of its courses rely less on textbooks and more on case studies and practical application. As such, Imperial likes to see that you have a serious career plan after you graduate and this is best explained at the end of your personal statement. Any links you can make to your work experience or Imperial’s case-based study approach can also help you to stand out from the crowd.

How can we help?

At the Profs, we have many admissions consultants who can guide you through the process of applying to Imperial, as well as Oxbridge, UCL and other top universities. In fact, over 90% of our applicants receive an offer from their first or second choice universities. We can even support you in your wider degree-level education, helping you with everything from writing your dissertation to applying for postgraduate courses. Get in touch with our friendly team today to access our dedicated support.

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