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Economics - LSE/UCL/ Imperial

Hey everyone. I am currently going into year 13, studying Maths, Econ, English and Geography. I intent to pursue an economics degree at a top London university, however I am not taking A-level further maths. What are my chances of being offered a place without A-level further maths?

Just for some extra context, I was originally studying a English, Econ and Geo. I decided to take A-level Maths this year as it is a requirement to study Econ in London. I’ve had to redo year 12 and 13 due to severe extenuating circumstances regarding my health and family issues. Do you think my chances are slim?

GCSEs results are as follows: one 9, four 8s, three 7s, once 5 and 6

Predicted grades - A* A* A A

Thank you.
(edited 8 months ago)

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If your school offers FM and you don't take it, you will be non-competitive for LSE.

I suspect the same would apply to Imperial, although Imperial is completely untested for economics as it has never had an economics department before and only just started offering a course incorporating economics at undergraduate level.

UCL would probably prefer FM, although I don't know too much about their programme.

Doing your A-levels over 4 years, and taking the same A-levels rather than starting a "fresh" set may also be an issue although dependent on your extenuating circumstances that may ameliorate that issue somewhat.
Reply 2
Original post by artful_lounger
If your school offers FM and you don't take it, you will be non-competitive for LSE.

I suspect the same would apply to Imperial, although Imperial is completely untested for economics as it has never had an economics department before and only just started offering a course incorporating economics at undergraduate level.

UCL would probably prefer FM, although I don't know too much about their programme.

Doing your A-levels over 4 years, and taking the same A-levels rather than starting a "fresh" set may also be an issue although dependent on your extenuating circumstances that may ameliorate that issue somewhat.


In 2020 I took Bio, Chem and English. When I redid year 12 (due to family issues), I took English, geo and econ, and moved on to year 13. However, I am restarting yr 13 due to severe health issues. I am deciding to pick up maths before the start of year 13. My school do offer further maths however I had never even considered maths before this year, let alone further maths. I am only doing maths to stay in London. Are my chances really that slim, despite already doing maths?
Original post by amanda23
In 2020 I took Bio, Chem and English. When I redid year 12 (due to family issues), I took English, geo and econ, and moved on to year 13. However, I am restarting yr 13 due to severe health issues. I am deciding to pick up maths before the start of year 13. My school do offer further maths however I had never even considered maths before this year, let alone further maths. I am only doing maths to stay in London. Are my chances really that slim, despite already doing maths?


LSE state explicitly for their single honours economics course that they expect those whose schools offer FM to take it if available. For joint honours courses with less quantitative subjects (e.g. economics and economic history, economics and politics, economics and philosophy, etc) though this is less essential I understand.

UCL is just an assumption on the basis that being based in London, generally well regarded, and offering economics, it almost certainly will get a huge number of applications just due to the combination of London and perceived prestige (neither of which are really that important in general), and thus FM is an easy way to gauge those who will do well with the mathematical aspects of the course (noting that they do have options in proper analysis for economists there as well, so it can be a quite mathematical course). I imagine like with LSE though that joint honours courses with non-quantitative subjects (e.g. economics and geography, PPE/HPE/etc) may be less concerned about FM.

As the course is so new at Imperial it's impossible to say with certainty although given its a STEM specialist uni I imagine at least it will have a lot of applicants taking FM already.

Note there are quite a few other universities in London that offer economics where FM is much less likely to be a factor, e.g. QMUL, SOAS, etc.
Reply 4
Original post by artful_lounger
LSE state explicitly for their single honours economics course that they expect those whose schools offer FM to take it if available. For joint honours courses with less quantitative subjects (e.g. economics and economic history, economics and politics, economics and philosophy, etc) though this is less essential I understand.

UCL is just an assumption on the basis that being based in London, generally well regarded, and offering economics, it almost certainly will get a huge number of applications just due to the combination of London and perceived prestige (neither of which are really that important in general), and thus FM is an easy way to gauge those who will do well with the mathematical aspects of the course (noting that they do have options in proper analysis for economists there as well, so it can be a quite mathematical course). I imagine like with LSE though that joint honours courses with non-quantitative subjects (e.g. economics and geography, PPE/HPE/etc) may be less concerned about FM.

As the course is so new at Imperial it's impossible to say with certainty although given its a STEM specialist uni I imagine at least it will have a lot of applicants taking FM already.

Note there are quite a few other universities in London that offer economics where FM is much less likely to be a factor, e.g. QMUL, SOAS, etc.


Thanks for your response. I don't really want to apply to universities such as QMUL or SOAS, as I am aiming for top London universities. I am more concerned about UCL giving me an offer without FM, as it is my dream university. I'm less concerned about lse.
Reply 5
Hey everyone. I am currently going into year 13, studying Maths, Econ, English and Geography. I intend to pursue an economics degree at a top London university, however, I am not taking A-level further maths. What are my chances of being offered a place without A-level further maths?

Just for some extra context, I was originally studying English, Econ and Geo. I decided to take A-level Maths this year as it is a requirement to study Econ in London. I’ve had to redo years 12 and 13 due to severe extenuating circumstances regarding my health and family issues. Do you think my chances are slim?

GCSEs results are as follows: one 9, four 8s, three 7s, once 5 and 6

Predicted grades - A* A* A A

In 2020 I took Bio, Chem and English. When I redid year 12 (due to family issues), I took English, geo and econ, and moved on to year 13. However, I am restarting yr 13 due to severe health issues. I am deciding to pick up maths before the start of year 13. My school do offer further maths however I had never even considered maths before this year, let alone further maths. I am only doing maths to stay in London. Are my chances really that slim, despite already doing maths?

Thank you.
Original post by amanda23
Hey everyone. I am currently going into year 13, studying Maths, Econ, English and Geography. I intend to pursue an economics degree at a top London university, however, I am not taking A-level further maths. What are my chances of being offered a place without A-level further maths?

Just for some extra context, I was originally studying English, Econ and Geo. I decided to take A-level Maths this year as it is a requirement to study Econ in London. I’ve had to redo years 12 and 13 due to severe extenuating circumstances regarding my health and family issues. Do you think my chances are slim?

GCSEs results are as follows: one 9, four 8s, three 7s, once 5 and 6

Predicted grades - A* A* A A

In 2020 I took Bio, Chem and English. When I redid year 12 (due to family issues), I took English, geo and econ, and moved on to year 13. However, I am restarting yr 13 due to severe health issues. I am deciding to pick up maths before the start of year 13. My school do offer further maths however I had never even considered maths before this year, let alone further maths. I am only doing maths to stay in London. Are my chances really that slim, despite already doing maths?

Thank you.

LSE really want further maths. What do the other two say?
Reply 7
Original post by ageshallnot
LSE really want further maths. What do the other two say?


not sure, hence the thread. Are my chances of getting an offer from LSE really that slim?
(edited 8 months ago)
Original post by amanda23
not sure, hence the thread. Are my chances of getting an offer from LSE really that slim?


Slim though not zero. You'd be better off dropping English or Geography and taking FM at least to AS level. Your extenuating circumstances might help.

Imperial don't offer straight economics. UCL look ok.
Reply 9
Original post by amanda23
not sure, hence the thread. Are my chances of getting an offer from LSE really that slim?


Do you think it’s worth applying?
Original post by amanda23
Do you think it’s worth applying?


You say you only want to apply to top London universities. Without questioning the reasons for that, what other choices do you have?
Reply 11
Original post by ageshallnot
..... taking FM at least to AS level. Your extenuating circumstances might help.


If a Uni wants A level FM, then extenuating circumstances will not change that - they will still want A level FM.
Reply 12
Do not choose more than two London Unis - they are ridiculously competitive, not because they are 'better' but just because they get 1000s of applications simply because of the supposed 'glamour' of being in London.

Manchester - https://www.socialsciences.manchester.ac.uk/economics/study/courses/ - does not require FM
Bath - https://www.bath.ac.uk/courses/undergraduate-2024/economics/ - does not require FM.
Bristol - https://www.bristol.ac.uk/economics/study/undergraduate/ - does not require FM
York - https://www.york.ac.uk/economics/study/undergraduate/ - does not require FM
Original post by McGinger
If a Uni wants A level FM, then extenuating circumstances will not change that - they will still want A level FM.


LSE's position on this is, "Further Mathematics at A-level is also desirable... It is acceptable to take Further Mathematics to AS-level only, in which case you will be required to achieve grade A."

Hence my suggestion of the AS.
Reply 14
Original post by McGinger
If a Uni wants A level FM, then extenuating circumstances will not change that - they will still want A level FM.


I never meant to say my extenuating circumstances would change this. I just want to know the likely hood of being offered a place without it.
Reply 15
Original post by ageshallnot
LSE's position on this is, "Further Mathematics at A-level is also desirable... It is acceptable to take Further Mathematics to AS-level only, in which case you will be required to achieve grade A."

Hence my suggestion of the AS.

Thanks for the suggestion, however, I have worked too hard for my A-levels to drop one and pick up another halfway through.
Reply 16
Original post by McGinger
Do not choose more than two London Unis - they are ridiculously competitive, not because they are 'better' but just because they get 1000s of applications simply because of the supposed 'glamour' of being in London.

Manchester - https://www.socialsciences.manchester.ac.uk/economics/study/courses/ - does not require FM
Bath - https://www.bath.ac.uk/courses/undergraduate-2024/economics/ - does not require FM.
Bristol - https://www.bristol.ac.uk/economics/study/undergraduate/ - does not require FM
York - https://www.york.ac.uk/economics/study/undergraduate/ - does not require FM


I've picked up A-level maths just to get into a London University. There are personal reasons why I must stay in London, which I'm not comfortable with sharing online.
Original post by amanda23
I've picked up A-level maths just to get into a London University. There are personal reasons why I must stay in London, which I'm not comfortable with sharing online.


I guessed something like that.

One suggestion is not to apply to all 3 of your top choices at first. Try 2 of them initially to see what response you get, then add further choices (by the January equal consideration deadline). in the light of any decisions you receive.
Original post by amanda23
Thanks for the suggestion, however, I have worked too hard for my A-levels to drop one and pick up another halfway through.


Presumably you've not covered the concept of Sunk Cost Fallacy in economics yet??? 😆
Original post by amanda23
Hey everyone. I am currently going into year 13, studying Maths, Econ, English and Geography. I intend to pursue an economics degree at a top London university, however, I am not taking A-level further maths. What are my chances of being offered a place without A-level further maths?

Just for some extra context, I was originally studying English, Econ and Geo. I decided to take A-level Maths this year as it is a requirement to study Econ in London. I’ve had to redo years 12 and 13 due to severe extenuating circumstances regarding my health and family issues. Do you think my chances are slim?

GCSEs results are as follows: one 9, four 8s, three 7s, once 5 and 6

Predicted grades - A* A* A A

In 2020 I took Bio, Chem and English. When I redid year 12 (due to family issues), I took English, geo and econ, and moved on to year 13. However, I am restarting yr 13 due to severe health issues. I am deciding to pick up maths before the start of year 13. My school do offer further maths however I had never even considered maths before this year, let alone further maths. I am only doing maths to stay in London. Are my chances really that slim, despite already doing maths?

Thank you.

In practice, LSE requires FM A-level from candidates unless their school doesn't offer it (which the tutor has to specifically state in their reference letter). Ofc you're more than welcome to still apply and try, but personally I'd assign a near zero probability of success. One option is to do a dual honours Econ degree at LSE, often courses like economics with geography don't have a further maths requirement for example.

In terms of other universities, UCL would be the next best option. It doesn't specifically require FM but quite a lot of successful applicants do have it nowadays. Given the GCSEs, a-level predicted grades, etc UCL will still be quite difficult, but probably worth it given you get five options. Next, you're looking at Kings, A*A*AA should be good enough for king's economics, tho the course and economics department (it doesn't really have one) isn't as strong as the overall reputation of the university as a whole, but you'll still have strong grad prospects from here. Applications to kings are made a bit trickier by large number of international applicants.

Beyond these, QMUL is pretty solid for economics. But below that, the economics courses in London really tend to drop off quite heavily in terms of quality and career prospects. Below QMUL you start to massively lose out from just applying to London unis.

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