How to Get Into LSE


London School of Economics (LSE) is one of the best universities in the world. It sits in the top five universities in the UK and closely follows Oxford and Cambridge in world league tables for the subjects it offers. Due to this outstanding reputation and LSE’s specialism in social sciences and humanities-based subjects, places are extremely competitive.

Despite this, very few students know how to write an undergraduate university application that targets LSE’s unique admissions criteria. Thankfully, with the right support and preparation, you’ll know just how to submit an application that stands out and maximises your chances of an offer. Read on for top tips, stats and insider information from our team of LSE admissions experts.

What is the LSE acceptance rate?

In 2020, the LSE acceptance rate was 10.2% (according to data by UCAS). Of the 22,115 applications London School of Economics received, it offered places to just 2,245 students. It’s worth noting that LSE and Imperial have particularly low acceptance rates due to offering a lesser variety of courses and thus having fewer spaces for applicants.
For its most competitive subjects, LSE’s acceptance rate is significantly lower than its average. For example, Economics with Economic History has an acceptance rate of just 4.9%. If you’re aiming high for a place on one of LSE’s competitive courses, contact the Profs’ admissions consultants for expert support.

What are the most competitive courses at LSE?

All of LSE’s courses are extremely competitive, however the most competitive courses are: Economics with Economic History, Government and History, Government and Economics, Social Policy and Economics, and Politics and International Relations. All of these courses have acceptance rates below 10%. The Profs have expert tutors who can offer dedicated application support for each of these degree programmes and help you to reach the A level grades required for entry.

Is LSE a Russell Group university?

LSE is one of 24 Russell Group universities and has a worldwide reputation for its outstanding quality of research. The Complete University Guide ranks LSE as the third best Russell Group university behind only Oxford and Cambridge.

Though belonging to the Russell Group of universities isn’t the only mark of a top university (many leading universities are not Russell Group), it is a good indicator that LSE prioritises the quality of its research as well as the quantity. In fact, 50% of LSE’s research is rated as world-leading.

What are the LSE entry requirements?

LSE’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 A level grades required for entry as well as some of the most common international qualification requirements for courses in general. If your qualifications are not in this table, or you need more information on English language requirements, check LSE’s information for international students. You can also get in touch with the Profs for dedicated support from one of our international admissions experts.

Qualification Entry requirements
A Levels Range from A*AA-AAB, depending on the course.
International Baccalaureate (IB) Range from 37 points overall (with three Higher level subjects at grades 666) to 38 points overall (with three Higher level subjects at grades 766).
European Baccalaureate (EB) 80-85% overall depending on the course.
Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) 5*55-555 in your electives, depending on the course, and 4 in English and Mathematics, and 3 in Chinese and Liberal Studies.
AP (Advanced Placement) and High School Diploma (USA) Five APs at grade 5, taken over a maximum of three years and a minimum High School Diploma GPA 3.7;
Or three APs at grade 5, and two APs at grade 4, taken over a maximum of three years, and a minimum High School Diploma GPA of 3.7, depending on the course.
Other international qualifications Check the full list of international qualifications accepted by LSE.

Note that the entry requirements for LSE 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, then our A level tutors can help you boost your grades.

Does LSE give contextual offers?

LSE does offer systematic contextual offers to students from disadvantaged backgrounds that meet its criteria. The majority of students won’t meet this criteria and will be made standard entry offers ranging from A*AA to AAB depending on the course, but it’s still worth checking if you are eligible for LSE’s contextual admissions.

Insider information on LSE

Being one of the most highly-sought-after universities in the world, LSE pays particular attention to your historic grades. Particularly when it comes to undergraduate students, LSE looks for a consistent track record of outstanding grades across GCSEs (or equivalent) as well as A levels.

If you have dropped a few grades in core subjects such as Maths, it is important to bolster your academic record in other ways during your application, such as skills you demonstrated during your work experience or additional achievements (such as Maths competitions). LSE particularly likes to see students with years of academic success, not just success in the most recent set of results.

6 tips for getting into LSE

1. Check the specific requirements of your course

Although LSE has generic requirements that apply to many courses, there are also additional requirements you need to meet for some courses. For example, if you want to study Data Science, you must achieve AAA and one of these subjects must be Mathematics, while for Econometrics and Mathematical Economics, you must achieve an A* in Mathematics. Our A level tutors have a proven track record of helping students achieve As and A*s in critical subjects, so if you’re in need of a boost, reach out to the Profs for support.

As well as specific subject requirements, some of LSE’s courses may require admissions tests for entry. For example, all applicants applying to study the LLB (Law) course are required to sit the Law National Admissions Test (LNAT), which you’ll need to register for and take before the UCAS application deadline. If you need help preparing for an admissions test, the Profs’ expert tutoring is the best way to level up your knowledge.

2. Aim to get the best possible grades you can

LSE is among the highest ranking and most sought-after universities in the UK for social sciences. The entry requirements for its most popular courses, such as Economics and Economic History (requires AAB), are often lower than those of Oxbridge and UCL, but just as – if not more – competitive. Achieving the highest possible grades is valued highly by LSE and will help you to stand out among the thousands of applicants.

Our A level tutors have helped many students achieve top grades and get offers from their first and second choice universities, including LSE. 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

Getting into LSE is a great goal to have, but it’s also important to think about the long-term plan and how a degree in your chosen subject from LSE specifically will help you to achieve your future academic or career goals. You may want to go on to make the most of LSE’s fantastic research facilities by studying for a Master’s or PhD. Perhaps you want to make the most of LSE’s outstanding career prospects and land a graduate job at your dream company.

Whichever route you’re looking to take (and you don’t have to stick to it!), having these goals in mind will help you communicate your reasons for wanting to study your course in your personal statement and prove to LSE that you are motivated and committed to your academic future.

4. Get relevant work experience

One way you can make your application stand out from the thousands of other LSE applicants is 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-life knowledge about the industry.

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 a Social Policy or Politics course, you could take part in voluntary work, get involved in local social causes, or attend political conferences to demonstrate your interest outside of a strictly academic setting.

5. Invest plenty of time into writing your personal statement

For LSE’s many competitive subjects, lots of applicants will inevitably achieve the grades required for entry. LSE will therefore use applicants’ personal statements as a key factor in deciding who to offer places to. That’s why investing plenty of time and passion into writing your personal statement is so important in the application process.

Use your statement as a chance to express who you are and what makes you unique. As well as describing your ambitions, skills and experience, dedicate your personal statement to explaining why you would be an excellent candidate for your chosen course. The Profs’ personal statement tutors can provide further guidance and support on how to write a stand-out statement tailored to LSE.

6. Read around your subject

When it comes to writing your personal statement, ensuring that you have a passionate and in-depth understanding of your subject goes a long way. Knowing where to start can be a challenge here, because what is considered best to read will be different for each individual applicant. It all depends on your existing knowledge of the subject area, which specific interests you have, and your chosen course modules.

Our tutors can help you to understand where the ‘sweet spots’ are and what to read in order to stand out in your application. Reading as extensively around your subject as possible will help to prove that you’re proactive and engaged and that, most importantly, you would make an outstanding LSE student.

How can we help?

At the Profs, we have many admissions consultants who can guide you through the process of applying to LSE, 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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