Does LSE Accept IB? Insights for IB Students

does LSE accept ib

As an experienced IB writer and enthusiast, I’ve often encountered the burning question among students: does the prestigious London School of Economics (LSE) accept the International Baccalaureate (IB)? I would like to clarify this question in this article, drawing on my extensive experience with the IB criteria.

Why Should IB Students Consider LSE?

I’ve often pondered this question from my years of experience as an IB writer and educator. I believe this query merits a thoughtful response, especially for those standing at the crossroads of their academic path.

Cultural and Intellectual Diversity

According to general IB criteria, students are encouraged to develop a global perspective. At LSE, this global outlook is encouraged and ingrained in its culture. The university boasts a diverse student body with peers worldwide. In my experience, this diversity enriches the learning experience, allowing students to gain unique insights and broaden their horizons.

Research Opportunities and Resources

One of the aspects of LSE that always impresses me is its wealth of research opportunities and resources. LSE’s extensive libraries and research facilities offer an unparalleled academic haven for IB students, who are often involved in extended essays and in-depth studies. The university’s connections with global think tanks and institutions also provide students with a platform to engage in influential research projects.

Preparation for a Global Career

LSE is not just about academic learning; it’s a launchpad for a global career. As I know from the success stories of numerous alums, an education from LSE opens doors in various sectors worldwide, from international relations to finance. The practical skills and knowledge gained at the London School of Economics are highly valued in the global job market, making it an ideal choice for IB students aiming for an impactful career.

Supportive Alumni Network

An aspect that often goes underappreciated is the strength of an institution’s alumni network. LSE’s robust and supportive community offers a network across multiple industries worldwide. From my interactions with the London School of Economics graduates, I’ve observed how this network provides invaluable guidance, mentorship, and opportunities for current and recent graduates.

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LSE’s Admissions: A General Perspective

First and foremost, LSE is a titan of the academic world. In my experience, the university looks for candidates who demonstrate exceptional academic prowess. However, it’s important to note that LSE’s evaluation is more than just grades.

In my opinion, the university looks for students who demonstrate a genuine passion for learning and an intellectual curiosity that lies outside the classroom. For IB students, this means achieving high grades in their subjects and demonstrating a deep understanding of the concepts and the ability to think critically and independently.

Another critical aspect of LSE’s admission criteria is the value placed on well-rounded individuals. From what I’ve seen, the London School of Economics appreciates students who balance their academic achievements with active involvement in extracurricular activities.

In other words, this institution looks for students who take leadership roles, show commitment to their interests, and contribute positively to their community. These activities reflect a student’s time management skills, teamwork abilities, and personal interests, all essential attributes for a successful LSE student.

Next, the personal statement is crucial to the London School of Economics application. As I advise my students, this is where you can shine and show the admissions committee who you are beneath your grades and test scores. In my experience, the best personal statements convey students’ passion for the subject and how their experiences have shaped their academic interests.

IB Requirements for LSE Admissions

The expectations are high in terms of specific IB requirements for LSE admissions. Subject-specific IB scores play a critical role. Also, components like the EE and TOK are integral to LSE’s assessment of an IB student’s capabilities. In my opinion, these elements showcase a student’s ability to engage with complex academic material.

So,  LSE considers candidates applying with the International Baccalaureate Diploma. The offers are based on an overall points score combined with individual scores in each Higher Level subject.

And what about the minimum IB score for the London School of Economics? The IB is scored out of 45 points, and LSE’s entry requirements typically range from 37 points overall (with three Higher Level subjects at grades 6, 6, 6) to 38 points overall (with three Higher Level subjects at grades 7, 6, 6).

From my perspective, the average IB score of successful LSE applicants, which is 37-38 points, is a telling indicator. It gives prospective students a realistic target to aim for. This average score reflects academic ability and the competitive nature of LSE’s admissions process.

Also, the admissions process is holistic and based on information in the UCAS application, including existing and predicted academic attainment, personal statement, teacher’s reference, contextual data, and performance in admissions tests where required.

Given the competitive nature of LSE admissions, meeting the minimum IB requirements doesn’t guarantee an offer. So, IB students must present a strong overall application.

LSE Program-Specific Mathematics Requirements

For BSc Mathematics and Economics, BSc Mathematics with Economics, BSc Financial Mathematics and Statistics, and BSc Mathematics with Data Science, LSE requires Mathematics: analysis and approaches at the Higher Level (HL). This requirement is in line with the revised IB Mathematics curriculum.

Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches at HL are preferred in programs like BSc Economics, BSc Finance, BSc Actuarial Science, BSc Mathematics, Statistics and Business, and several others. However, the new streams of IB Mathematics (Analysis and Approaches, and Applications and Interpretation) are considered for admissions purposes.

For a range of programs such as BSc Accounting and Finance, BSc Data Science, BSc Economic History with Economics, and others, LSE accepts either stream of the Higher Level Mathematics course.

For programs requiring an A* in A-level Mathematics, achieving an A* in Further Mathematics and an A grade in Mathematics is an acceptable alternative. LSE is aware that not all students have the opportunity to follow a Further Mathematics program and values this information from applicants or their referees.

It’s important to note that the London School of Economics does not conduct interviews for its degree programs. Though not compulsory, the Test of Mathematics for University Admission (TMUA) is recommended for programs offered by the Department of Mathematics.

Alongside meeting these mathematics requirements, LSE evaluates applications holistically, considering the UCAS application form, academic attainment, personal statement, teacher’s reference, and performance in admissions tests.

For prospective students, particularly those interested in quantitative fields, meeting these mathematics requirements is crucial for a successful application. So, applicants should review the specific requirements for their intended program on the LSE website and ensure their IB curriculum aligns with these expectations.

You can visit the LSE admissions information page for more detailed information on the program-specific mathematics requirements at the London School of Economics.

Preparing for LSE: Tips for IB Students

Achieving the required IB score for LSE demands a strategic approach. Drawing from my experience, I’d like to share some insights and strategies to help IB students prepare effectively.

Organizing Your IB Schedule

In my experience, balancing the demanding IB curriculum with university application preparations is a juggling act. I advise students to create a detailed study schedule that allocates time for coursework, Extended Essay (EE), Theory of Knowledge (TOK), and extracurricular activities. Additionally, setting specific goals for each study session can increase productivity and reduce feelings of being overwhelmed.

Choosing the Right Higher Level (HL) Subjects

Selecting HL subjects that align with your intended degree program is crucial for those aiming for LSE. For example, if you’re interested in Economics at LSE, HL Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches would be wise. Remember, the London School of Economics values depth and rigor in subject choices, so pick subjects that challenge and interest you.

Maximizing Points in EE and TOK

I’ve seen that excelling in the EE and TOK can significantly boost your overall IB score. Choose EE topics you are passionate about and have enough scope for in-depth research. For TOK, engage actively in discussions and ensure your essays and presentations are reflective and well-argued.

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Seeking Mentorship and Guidance

Regular consultations with your IB teachers and mentors are invaluable. They can provide insights into your progress, help fine-tune your university application, and offer advice on your EE and TOK assignments.

Developing a Strong Application

As I know, the personal statement is a critical component of your application to LSE. It should reflect your academic interests, extracurricular achievements, and why you’re an excellent fit for the London School of Economics. Be authentic and articulate your passion for the chosen field of study.

Researching LSE’s Latest Requirements

Staying updated with admission requirements and any changes in the IB curriculum is essential. Regularly visit LSE’s official website and consult with your school’s university advisor to ensure you’re on the right track.


To sum up, LSE’s acceptance of the IB and its specific requirements present an exciting yet challenging prospect for students. With the intense preparation and understanding of what the London School of Economics looks for, IB students can confidently aim for application success.

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