The London School of Economics and Political Sciences (LSE) is one of the foremost social science universities in the world. The University is ranked top in London by The Times and Sunday Times 2024 Good University Guide, the Guardian 2024 Best UK Universities Guide, and the 2024 Complete University Guide. Below provides you with insights into the application process and requirements for applying to LSE, along with top tips to increase your chances of success.

Research Most Competitive Courses at LSE

In no particular order, some of the most competitive courses at LSE include:

  • Economics
  • Finance
  • International Relations
  • Law
  • Management
  • Social Policy
  • Development Studies 

Meet LSE Entry Requirements

Expected grades for (UK) students

Most applicants will be highly accomplished academically. If you have taken GCSEs, you are expected to have at least a B/grade 6 grade in English Language and Mathematics. However, a strong set of GCSEs overall, including a majority at A (7) and A* (8-9) will make your application stand out. At A-Level, As and A*s will be expected. IB entry requirements start at a minimum of 37 points overall.

However, do not let your grades deter you from applying, as LSE considers contextual information to gain a more complete picture of each applicant, educationally and individually. This allows the university to assess achievement and potential whilst recognising any challenges that an applicant may have faced.

Requirements For First Year/Undergraduate Applications (& Explanation of UCAS)

  • All applications must be submitted via UCAS. UCAS is the UK’s centralised undergraduate admissions service, through which you apply to UK universities. Having a centralised system makes the applications process easy to follow. More information about how, and when to apply can be found here.
  • Applications for entry in September 2025, or deferred entry in September 2026, open in September 2024, and all applicants should submit their application by 29 January 2025 at 6pm.

Prepare Your Documents

Personal Statement

The quality of your personal statement is very important at LSE. This is especially the case as the University does not interview for places. This is therefore your core opportunity to demonstrate why you would be a good fit for LSE and why you are interested in the course.

LSE advises that as they are using the personal statement to select candidates for a specific degree programme, around 80% of the personal statement should be focused on academic interest in that subject. Details of extra-curricular activities, such as sports, volunteering, or music, should take up no more than 20 per cent of the statement. If these activities have helped you develop characteristics, skills or attributes that are desirable for your chosen degree programme, explain how. 

It goes without saying that LSE expects your submitted personal statement to contain flawless spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Your personal statement should be original and entirely your own work and should flow in a logical and coherent order.

Top Tip!

Before you start writing, do your research! You can visit the LSE course guides and overviews here. Each guide gives you information on the course content of each undergraduate programme. Make sure your academic interests align with what is taught at LSE. So, for example, the Anthropology Admissions team are likely to prefer a statement which focuses mainly on social anthropology. This is because social anthropology is taught at LSE, whereas biological anthropology and archaeology are not. Similarly, a personal statement that shows an interest in modern international history is more likely to pique the interest of the admissions team than one which focuses on ancient history, as ancient history is not offered at LSE.

If you are applying for a range of slightly different courses at different universities, LSE recommend that you focus your personal statement on the areas of overlap between them, so that your statement appeals to all your UCAS choices.

To help you begin your personal statement, LSE provides some recommended questions for you to think about:

  • Why have you chosen the course? What attracted you to the subject? Which aspects of the subject have interested you sufficiently to want to study it at a degree level? Is there a specific area of the subject you wish to focus on? What are the big issues in the subject, and what do you find most interesting about them? What are your thoughts on these topics?
  • Have you developed your subject interest outside of your school studies? For example, have you undertaken any additional reading to broaden your knowledge of the subject? Have you attended lectures or explored online material relating to the subject? What did you find interesting in your reading/in the lectures you attended and what are your thoughts on the topics covered?
  • Have you gained any skills from your other school subjects that complement your application to study your chosen subject? Have you had the opportunity to undertake work experience relevant to your application? If you did, how did this experience give you a wider understanding of the topics you will study at university?
  • Have you attended any schemes or activities at LSE or other universities, such as Summer Schools, Saturday Schools, LSE Choice, etc? What have you learned from these? Have they furthered your knowledge of or interest in your chosen subject?

While you are not expected to simply answer all the questions above, they should give you some guidance regarding what to think about when writing your personal statement, and elements of your studies and interests that you could include. If you are applying to a combined degree programme such as Politics and Economics, you should show evidence of interest in both subjects, with equal weight given to both.

Letters of Recommendation

As for your personal statement references from your teachers, it is important to work with your teachers to ensure that the personal statement and reference are not repetitions of each other and meet their respective objectives. You can talk to your teachers to find out more about this. Please note that LSE does not need to receive examples of academic work, testimonials, or other supporting documents.

Sit The Entrance Exams

All applicants applying to study the LLB at LSE are required to sit the Law National Admissions Test (LNAT). Applicants applying to programmes offered by the Departments of Mathematics or Economics are encouraged to take the Test of Mathematics for University Admission (TMUA), although this is not compulsory.

Attend Your Interview

  • LSE does not interview candidates. Therefore, you should ensure that your UCAS personal statement is strong, emphasising why you should be considered for the course, what interests you about the subject, and any extra-curricular of relevance.

Apply For Scholarships and Financial Aid

  • LSE offers several scholarships each year which are funded by private and corporate donations. The number, value and eligibility of scholarships vary from year to year according to circumstances. 
  • UK students with offers to study for any programme can apply to the UK Undergraduate Scholarship, which has a value of £5,000 per year for three years of full-time study.
  • There are also plenty of opportunities for international (non-home) students, with UK or EU undergraduate applicants being eligible to apply for the Pass the Torch Scholarship.
  • Aside from scholarships, LSE offers the LSE Bursary for Home fee status LSE students, awarded according to household income. LSE also offers accommodation bursaries for UK nationals from lower-income households to help towards the cost of halls of residence. To be eligible you must be a UK national, be a new first-year undergraduate, be about to register on a full-time LSE course and have a household income below £42,875, as means tested by your regional student finance agency.

Top Tips for Getting into LSE

Prepare your personal statement early

  • Taking the time to research and write your personal statement is key to making your application stand out. As LSE does not interview candidates, your personal statement really is everything. By researching your chosen course and taking the time to perfect your personal statement, you can increase your chances of being selected.

Focus on your academics

  • As entry requirements for LSE are highly competitive, achieving the highest possible grades is vital. This is especially the case for your predicted grades at the time of applying, as this will impact your chances of success. Top grades are valued highly by LSE and will help you to stand out among other applicants.

Be ambitious!

  • Further reading into your subject, or researching relevant areas of interest, will make your personal statement stand out, and demonstrate your specific ambitions for the future. Gaining relevant work experience can also help with this, and in your personal statement, you may write about your insights and real-life knowledge about an industry, or subject that interests you.

Enjoy the process

  • Remember that writing your personal subject shouldn’t feel like a total chore, as you are writing about a subject that interests you and that you are hoping to pursue further. Reading into elements of a subject that you are interested in should provide further opportunities for learning and critical thinking, which will help develop your skills for higher education.

Once you’ve submitted… relax

  • Submitting your application marks the end of one of the most stressful experiences of your education so far. You want to be rested and prepared for sitting the A-levels or equivalent qualifications, and taking your foot off the gas for even a short amount of time will ensure that you are recharged and ready to go into serious study mode.


What is the LSE acceptance rate?

The acceptance rate is around 9% for undergraduates.

Is LSE a Russell Group University?

Yes, LSE is part of the prestigious Russell Group, an organisation that represents 24 of the UK’s leading universities.

Is LSE a Good University?

Yes! LSE excels across the social sciences spectrum and has a global community in the heart of London. Graduates go on to a variety of fulfilling and coveted roles, in sectors such as Data Science, Government, Health Technology and Research to name but a few.

Is it possible to lower or change the conditions of my offer?

Unfortunately, no.

I have decided to drop one of my (A-Level Subjects), is that ok?

It is important that you contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office before you drop/ discontinue any subject – even if this subject does not form part of your offer. An Admissions Selector will consider your request and LSE aims to provide you with a final decision within two weeks.

Is it possible to change programmes?

If you have decided you no longer wish to study the programme for which you have been made an offer, then – under exceptional circumstances – you may be able to be considered for a different programme.

If you decide before 31 January that you want your application to be considered for a different programme, you should contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office outlining the reasons for the change. Your application would then be in competition with all other applicants to that programme.

If your request to change programme comes after 31 January, your application will be classed as late. This means that LSE will only be able to look at your late application if there are still places available on the programme once all on-time applications have been assessed. However, for most programmes, LSE does not look at any late applications.

If the Admissions Selector for your new programme choice decides not to offer you a place, or you are happy for your application to be considered as late and LSE ultimately does not look at your late application, your new programme choice will be unsuccessful, and you will lose your offer on your original programme choice at LSE.

Please also note that it is not possible for your application to be considered for a programme from which you have already been unsuccessful.

When will I receive my decision?

LSE aims to make all decisions as soon as possible. However, in some cases, applicants may not receive a decision until the UCAS deadline. You can refer to the LSE Admissions Calendar for the latest information.

What happens if I fail to meet the conditions of my offer?

If you marginally fail to meet the conditions of your offer, your application is automatically referred to the Admissions Selector for reconsideration in August. Your application is then considered in competition with all the other applicants who have marginally failed to meet the conditions of their offer. There is no guarantee that LSE will be able to confirm your place. If you fail to meet your offer conditions and the difference between your offer and your actual grades is more than marginal, it is unlikely that you will be able to take up your place.

How hard is it to get into LSE for an undergraduate degree?

Getting into LSE is certainly competitive, however, this should not discourage you from applying, as your personal statement is a unique opportunity to demonstrate to the university your high academic standards and ambition! This guide overall aims to support you in succeeding in your application.


  • UCAS (2014). UCAS. [online] UCAS. Available at: