Please see below for answers to some of the Frequently Asked Questions we receive regarding applying, MAT and STEP requirements, as well as some further information regarding qualifications and our A-level requirements, as well some information about what happens after an application has been submitted to us.
How do I apply?
All applications for our undergraduate Mathematics programmes need to be submitted online via UCAS: https://www.ucas.com/.
When should I apply?
The deadline for applications to start studies in September is mid-January of the same calendar year. You can find the application deadlines on the prospectus pages and in the UCAS Key Dates Calendar.
Is my application more competitive if I apply early?
All students who apply by the application deadline of mid-January are guaranteed to receive the same level of consideration.
Please note that candidates applying prior to the 15th October are expected to take MAT.
Which programme should I apply for? Is there any advantage in applying for a particular programme?
We recommend that you apply for the programme you are most interested in. However all of our undergraduate Mathematics degree programmes (G100, GG31, G125, G1F3, G102, G1G3, G1GH, G103, and G104) have a common point of entry, with the same curriculum in the first two years, during which students are able to transfer between any of these programmes.
Since it is easy to transfer between programmes in the first two years of study, we recommend that students who think that there is a chance that they may want to stay on one of the four-year programmes should apply there initially, since it simplifies things with grant/loan providers and visa applications.
There are no quotas for particular degree programmes, so there is no advantage in applying to a particular programme in terms of securing a place at Imperial to study Mathematics. Nor does applying to multiple programme increase the chance to receive an offer.
If you would like to change the programme you applied for prior to enrolment, please email the department at firstname.lastname@example.org to request the change.
Please note that the joint Mathematics and Computer Science degree programmes (GG14, GG41) have a different curriculum and are dealt with separately, so it is not possible to transfer freely between Mathematics and CS and any of the Mathematics programmes. Admissions process for the joint Mathematics and Computer Science programme are handled by the Department of Computing.
Can I apply via UCAS Extra, Clearing or Adjustment?
We do not enter UCAS Extra, because our courses have always been oversubscribed, thus at that stage of the year we are not looking to fill places. It is also very unlikely that we would enter either Clearing or Adjustment, as we are unlikely to have any available spaces left on our undergraduate Maths programmes.
Can I apply for direct entry into Year 2 or 3?
We consider applicants for direct entry into Year 2 only if all three of the following conditions are met:
- There are some mitigating circumstances that mean they would be better off studying in London
- Their school marks satisfy our minimum entry requirements
- The minimum entry requirements of their present university match or exceed our own.
We would also assess whether the applicant’s current degree is sufficiently similar in content, level and intensity to the Imperial degree programme for credit transfer. For this reason, if you are currently undertaking a degree outside of the UK, it is highly unlikely you could be considered for a transfer into Year 2 of our programmes.
We do not allow any transfers into Year 3 under any circumstances as per college rules.
Can I apply for deferred entry?
Yes, however please be aware that students returning from a gap year often struggle in Maths degrees unless they have been trying to continue their studies during the year. Please also note that if you are applying for deferred entry, you will still need to meet the conditions attached to any offers you receive by the end of August of the calendar year you are applying in.
How are applications assessed?
When assessing applications, we look at several factors, including GCSE (or equivalent) grades, your school reference, predicted (or achieved) grades as well as the Mathematics Admissions Test (or Sixth Term Examination Paper) results, and your personal statement in which we expect to see evidence of strong motivation to study mathematics.
Will I have to attend an interview as part of the admissions process?
We don't currently use interviews as part of our regular admissions process. Applications are assessed based on the UCAS form and performance in MAT.
We may consider students for interview where there are mitigating circumstances that need investigating, or where the background of the student means that their application requires further consideration. In these cases, our conditional offer may change as a result of the interview, and as with all candidates, each application is considered on its individual merits. The Admissions Tutor's decision is final.
What should I include in my personal statement?
Since entry to our course is highly competitive motivation will play a part in our decision-making process, so we expect to see a commitment to mathematics in its own right in the UCAS personal statement as well as broader engagement with all areas of mathematics.
Can I send in an additional/supplementary personal statement?
No, the Department of Mathematics does not accept additional or supplementary personal statements since we expect that students are applying for the same subject at Imperial as they are at other universities. We do expect to see a strong commitment to mathematics in the UCAS personal statement.
Do I need to take MAT or STEP?
We highly encourage all of our applicants to take MAT and require MAT from candidates applying before the 15th October, as this allows us to make a decision with the marked test paper in front of us.
We reserve the right to reject any applicants who apply before the 15th October and do not take MAT, unless there are some mitigating circumstances, e.g. there have been some difficulties in registering for MAT, in which case the applicant needs to notify us at the department as soon as possible.
Candidates who apply after MAT has taken place usually have STEP II or III or both requirement included in any offer made. In some cases, we may increase the required STEP grade. We may also require STEP from candidates with a borderline MAT score.
I live outside the UK – do I still need to take MAT?
We highly encourage all applicants to take MAT. There are registered test centres in many countries throughout the world, where it is possible to sit the test. You must register by the registration date (for 2019 this is 15th October 2019) and can take a test in a registered test centre on the test date (for 2019 the date is 30th October 2019). There is more information available on the MAT website.
I took STEP last year; can I use it with my application instead of MAT?
It is up to applicants to provide STEP info with the application in the UCAS application under the previous qualifications section and provide evidence in the form of certificates as attachments.
If the STEP results are very good, then we MAY consider using them and not asking for MAT, but not necessarily. You would need to contact the department prior to the MAT registration date with further details to request permission to use your STEP results in place of MAT.
There were mitigating circumstances that impacted on my performance at MAT/caused me to miss it – what should I do?
You will need to contact us at the department to notify us of it as soon as possible and let us know the reason(s). Please note that we would usually also expect to see evidence of the mitigating circumstance(s), e.g. a doctor’s note.
Can I sit MAT and apply through UCAS after that?
Yes, but please contact us and let us know that you have done this once you have your UCAS/CID so that we can link the MAT score to your application. Also be aware that we start making offers in November when we receive the MAT scores.
I didn’t register for Imperial to receive MAT marks - will you still consider my MAT score?
You need to contact Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing, the company who handles the registration, and ask them to add you to the Imperial MAT registration list.
What mark do I need to get in MAT?
Unlike A-levels, MAT is not a public exam, and so there is no scaling of marks to ensure that the same proportion of students achieve certain marks from year to year. This means that we cannot prescribe a particular mark that is required, and we use the MAT marks to compare between students in each application round. It is also the case that we look at individual marks in parts of questions to get an impression of students' particular weaknesses and strengths, so the offer decision is not made purely on the total mark.
In recent years the quartiles for MAT scores were as follows:
2013/14 All applicants: 37-46-59
2013/14 Placed applicants: 49-55-63
2014/15 All applicants: 35-49-64
2014/15 Placed applicants: 51-60-71
2015/16 All applicants: 36-46-59
2015/16 Placed applicants: 52-58-63
2015/16 Applicants with offers: 52-58-62
2016/17 All applicants: 40-53-69
2016/17 Applicants with offers: 62-71-82
2016/17 Place applicants: 59-69-77
2017/18 All applicants: 43-56-72
2017/18 Applicants with offers: 63-74-83
2018/19 All applicants: 45-57-70
2018/19 Applicants with offers: 63-70-79
2018/19 Place applicants: TBC
Can I get feedback on my MAT paper?
Feedback on MAT papers is available on request to email@example.com at the end of the admissions cycle (end of March). Please do not request feedback before then. We are unable to provide specific feedback regarding individual questions.
Please make sure you include your UCAS ID (and MAT ID, if you know it) in your email when requesting your MAT score.
Are there any resources to help with Further Maths, MAT and STEP?
We recommend that students take a look at the Further Mathematics Support Programme website which provides resources for students who are studying Further Mathematics, MAT or STEP. You should ask your teacher to indicate that you have been self-studying in your application.
For more details of MAT including recent past papers/solutions and how to register, see the CAATS website.
STEP information can be found here https://maths.org/step/
A "Problem Solving MATters" course is offered in the Department in the summer to support students develop the problem solving skills required for the Mathematics Admission Test. The course is also offered at other UK locations.
Some past MAT papers and solutions are available from the following links:
- MAT test 2016
- MAT solutions 2016
- MAT test 2015
- MAT solutions 2015
- Past test 2014
- Past solutions 2014
- Past test 2013
- Past solutions 2013
- Past Test and Solutions 2012
- Past Test and Solutions 2011
- Past Test and Solutions 2010
- Past Test and Solutions 2009
- Past Test and Solutions 2008
- Past Test and Solutions 2007
What qualifications do you accept?
You can find further information on our entry requirements on the prospectus page of the course you are interested in as well as on the College's Academic Requirements page. Please note that the Department of Mathematics often requires higher grades than listed as the minimum entry requirements by Imperial College London.
What foundation courses for overseas students do you accept?
The only foundation courses we accept are the foundation courses for international students run by UCL (the Science and Engineering pathway) and Warwick.
Please note that the Department of Mathematics does not accept any Access courses nor BTEC as part of our entry requirements.
What A-levels should I study?
Our required A-level subjects are Maths and Further Maths. The only subjects we would not accept as the third A-level are General Students and Critical Thinking or a subject that is the native language of the candidate.
If a candidate is taking a subject that includes a practical exam or test, they must pass that element of it.
I’m not studying A-level Further Mathematics, can I still apply?
If your school does offer Further Maths but you are not taking it, we would not consider an application from you.
If your school does not offer Further Mathematics A-level, we can make a special case for admission - we would expect the school to confirm that Further Mats is not offered as a separate subject by your school in the reference section of the UCAS application. When making these special cases we are often guided by performance in MAT.
Candidates who opt to spend a year out taking Further Maths A-level may be considered.
I have/am planning to take A-level Maths/Further Maths early – will it be recognised and count towards the offer?
Yes, we often get applicants who take Maths A2 early, and as long as they achieve the required grade (A*) this is fine. That part of the offer would then be fulfilled.
My predicted grades are lower than the entry requirements, can I still apply?
You are certainly welcome to apply, and your application will be considered in its entirety, including individual circumstances, marks to date, etc. However, entry onto our courses is very competitive and in general we are unlikely to make an offer to someone who isn’t predicted to meet our minimum required grades.
I’m doing 4 A-levels, will that make my application more competitive?
No, our standard offer would be the same regardless of whether the applicant is taking three or four (or more) A-levels.
However, we often make higher offers and sometimes use a fourth A-level for that. If there is no fourth A-level, we might require an A* in the third A-level subject or use STEP.
Can I drop one of my A-levels?
If you would like to drop one of your A-levels prior to an offer being made, you will need to update your UCAS application and let us know as soon as possible, as your application would be assessed based on you taking all the A-level subjects you have declared on your application.
If an offer of a place has been made and the A-level you would like to drop is not specifically included in the offer conditions and you would still be able to meet the offer with your remaining subjects, dropping the A-level would not have an impact on the offer. You would however need to update your UCAS application accordingly and we would advise you to let us know that you are dropping the subject to ensure there are no delays when A-level results are released caused by us awaiting a result for an A-level you are no longer taking.
If the A-level you would like to drop is specified as part of the offer conditions, dropping it would result in you not being able to meet the conditions attached to your offer and make you ineligible to take up your place at Imperial.
Do you take UMS in account when considering application?
No, so do not worry too much about individual module marks. There isn’t much scope to get an A* for the subject overall, which any offer would be based on, and not get an A in the majority of modules. We would also be considering the rest of the application, including the MAT score, which is much more important because it tests problem solving skills, so we believe that it gives us more information about potential for university mathematics.
I’m resitting/retaking my A-levels, will this disadvantage me?
You are welcome to apply, but we do have a preference for first-time A-level sitters and usually only make offers to re-sitters if there are mitigating circumstances that meant their first set of results did not show their true potential.
Please note that re-sitting one module as opposed to re-sitting the whole A2 still counts as a re-sit.
My GCSEs are not very good – do I still have a chance?
A minimum requirement of five A* at GCSE’s (or equivalent) has been specified in the College prospectus. Whilst we do look at GCSE results as part of the admissions process, we try to do this in a contextualised way. Students with fewer A* (or equivalent) grades will be considered, particularly if they have scored well in these exams relative to typical results at the school where they took them.
Can I apply to Imperial as a first year student while studying at a different university?
You can certainly apply for entry into Year 1 of our programmes while studying at a different university. Our assessment would mainly be based on your school qualifications (plus MAT/STEP). We would still like to know your performance at current university, but this is less of a factor.
Do I need to take an English test?
Applicants must get one of our English language qualifications, whether GCSE or any of the others listed. For entry to our undergraduate Mathematics degree programmes this will be at the "higher" college level from 2020/21 onwards.
Further information regarding Imperial’s English language requirements can be found here: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/ug/apply/requirements/english/
What happens once I’ve applied and when will I receive a decision?
Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis as we receive them through UCAS. However, most decisions are not made until MAT marks have been received by the College, and students who have done well on MAT should receive decisions in December and January.
We will endeavour to ensure that all applicants who have applied by the deadline will receive a decision via UCAS by the end of March. Some applicants may hear back earlier, but we are unable to guarantee an earlier decision to any individual applicant.
Unfortunately, due to the high number of applications that we receive each year, it is not possible for us to write to all unsuccessful applicants.
How can I check the progress of my application?
Applicants can follow the progress of their application via the UCAS Online Application Tracking Facility: https://www.ucas.com/undergraduate/after-you-apply/track-your-ucas-application
Can my check the progress of my child’s/student’s application?
No, we are unable to discuss an applicant’s results or application details with anyone other than the applicant themselves without the applicant’s prior written consent.
Can I visit the campus?
If you are interested in visiting Imperial, we recommend signing up to one of our Open Days – this allows you to visit the campus, meet our current students and staff and attend a variety of activities. You can find further information regarding the Open Days online here: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/ug/visit/open-days/
There are also regular tours of the campus taking place throughout the year, for which you can book a place online: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/visit/campus-tours/
The Maths department will also hold Departmental Open Days, although these are mainly aimed at our current applicants/offer holders. Further information about the Departmental Open Days can be found here: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/mathematics/undergraduate/degree-courses-and-admissions/open-days/.
We are unable to offer individual department tours to prospective applicants outside of Open Days.
When do I need to make a decision about my offer?
You will be informed by UCAS of the date by which you need to make a formal response to the offers you have received, either by accepting them firmly, on an insurance basis, or declining them.
How can I accept my offer?
You will need to accept your offer via the UCAS portal.
Can I defer my offer?
You can request a deferral – the Admissions Tutor will either agree or will ask you to re-apply. If asked to re-apply your application will not be disadvantaged, but you will be assessed against all other applications in that year. You are not guaranteed to receive a new offer, if you do decide to re-apply the following year.
Please be aware that students returning from a gap year often struggle in Maths degrees unless they have been trying to continue their studies during the year.
My application wasn’t successful, can I appeal the decision?
The College receives a large number of applications for every place and as entry is very competitive, it is unable to make offers to all applicants.
There is no right of appeal against the academic or professional judgement of those making a decision, but you may appeal the decision if you believe an administrative error has occurred in the processing of your application. For further information see: http://www.imperial.ac.uk/students/terms-and-conditions/appeals/
What funding opportunities are available to me and when should I apply for a student loan?
The Student Finance website (https://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/ug/fees-and-funding/) provides further information about bursaries and grants for home students. If eligible, you should also consider applying for Student Finance as soon as you can. It can take several months for applications to be processed.
The Department of Mathematics will also nominate students with an excellent MAT performance for the President’s Scholarship Fund (https://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/ug/fees-and-funding/bursaries-and-scholarships/presidents-scholarships/).
I’m an Overseas student, when should I apply for my study visa?
International applicants who require a visa to study in the UK will start to be assigned a CAS (Confirmation of Accesptance for Studies) number in July (no more than 3 months before the enrolment date) or once they have received their results and have met the conditions of their offer. The CAS number is needed before a visa application can be made.
You can find further information on how to apply for a visa here: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/ug/apply/after-you-apply/visa/