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The Ultimate Guide to Applying to Imperial College London

In this article we summarise some key points on applying to Imperial College London for undergraduate studies. Whilst the information provided below has been updated as at the time of publication, please check directly with Imperial College for the very latest details before making any application.

Specialist College

Imperial College is the only specialist university in the UK focusing on Engineering, Sciences and Medicine. 


Engineering programmes at Imperial specialise in a particular area; that is, you choose a particular area when you apply and study it for your whole degree. There is no General Engineering after which you specialise at a later stage of your degree. Imperial has ten specialisations in Engineering: Aeronautics, Bioengineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Computing, Design Engineering, Earth Science and Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Materials and Mechanical Engineering.You will further specialise in the degree. For example, you will take the Computing programme and at a later stage of the degree specialise in artificial intelligence.

All Engineering programmes are integrated masters which means you spend three years for your undergraduate and one more year at master level. You will graduate with a master degree.

Many of the programmes also have internships. For example, Design Engineering has a six month internship programme which all students have to take. Other programmes may have the option of taking an extra year for a one year work placement, such as Chemical Engineering.

Natural Sciences

If you are interested in more traditional science courses, then you will be applying for a programme in the Faculty of Natural Sciences. The programmes the Faculty of Natural Sciences offer include: Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics. 


Imperial’s third faculty specialises in medicine, which is made up of Medical Biosciences and Medicine (6 years, MBBS/BSc). There are limited places in Medicine for international students.

Entrance Requirements

Typically entrance requirements for Imperial range from between AAA and A*A*A or A*AAA if you take 4 A Levels; 38 - 42 points for IB; 3-4 APs with grade 5 if you take APs. The key is to check the subject specific requirements for your chosen programme. For instance, many Engineering programmes might require A* in Maths and A in Physics. Biomedical Sciences may require A in Biology and A in another science subject.

Admission Test

You may need to sit an admissions test as part of your application to many Imperial departments. It may help to take the MAT if you want to study Maths. As part of your offer, you may be asked to take the STEP for Maths & Computing.


The majority of Imperial programmes require an interview which is normally 30 minutes long. Students are interviewed by a member of academic staff. There will be questions about your motivation, technical questions and sometimes Maths questions. 

Personal Statement

One of the key elements in making a successful application is your personal statement. You should spend 75%-90% of the content to write about your academic interests. Focus on why you want to study your chosen course and talk about what you have done, not just in school but outside the school, to demonstrate to the university your interest and passion.

You should focus on showing your knowledge in the subject. Not specifically about any particular book, summer school or competition you have entered. Rather you should talk about what you have learned from that experience and demonstrate any specific areas of interest you have in the subject area. Talk about how you have prepared for the course and how you have improved, which made you a perfect candidate for the course and the university.

Plan Ahead and Be Prepared

Like admissions to many other top universities in the world, Imperial is looking for highly academic students who have a true interest and passion for their subjects. You are  encouraged to study beyond your in-school curriculum and it is also important that you are able to demonstrate to the universities what you have learned from these experiences. 

Find out more about our University-level Research and Essay Course which can help you prepare for your future academic studies in leading universities.

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