How to get into Imperial College London: Tips to Help Your Application Stand Out

15/05/202317 minute read
How to get into Imperial College London: Tips to Help Your Application Stand Out

Imperial College London is a public research university in London. From an academic standpoint, Imperial exclusively focuses on science, technology, medicine, and business, although there are selected humanities courses under the “Horizon” programme. Being a globally diverse institution more than 59% of students in Imperial are international, with more than 125 countries represented on campus. As an aspiring international student, are you thinking about applying to Imperial? This blog will provide you with some useful information and tips.

What is Imperial College London’s acceptance rate?

Globally, Imperial is ranked 10th in the world based on the 2023 Times Higher Education World University rankings. Based on the same ranking, it is 3rd in the United Kingdom, behind Oxford and Cambridge. This makes Imperial a highly competitive university and one of the harder universities to get accepted to.

Generally, acceptance rate in Imperial ranges from 27% to 36%. While this may seem a lot higher than the acceptance rates of top American universities, it is important to note that there are higher barriers to applying to UK universities, including the restriction that one can only apply to 5 UK universities in the academic year. Here are some statistics showing the overall acceptance rate into Imperial over the years.

Imperial College London Acceptance Rate (Undergraduate)
YearApplicationsOffersAcceptance Rate

Source: Imperial College London - College Statistics Guide

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Most Competitive Courses at Imperial College London
CourseAcceptance Rate
Mechanical Engineering19.8%
Electrical and Electronic Engineering23.3%
Design Engineering27.2%
Medical Bioscience29.5%

Imperial College London Undergraduate Admissions Statistics 2022

For a complete breakdown of admission statistics at Imperial, check out their Annual Admissions Statistical Report.

What Do You Need To Get Into Imperial College London?

You definitely need to be competitive academically to meet the entry requirements of Imperial. All applicants must meet the entry requirements to take up an offer of a place to study at Imperial. As an globally attuned institution, Imperial accepts a whole range of UK and equivalent international qualifications. 

Generally, here are the minimum academic qualifications needed: 

European Baccalaureate

  • Scores of 80%-85% overall, with scores of 8.5-9 in relevant subjects

United Kingdom A-Levels

  • Standard offers between AAA and A*A*A:
  • See individual programmes for specific requirements

International Baccalaureate

  • Overall scores of 38-42, with scores of 6-7 in relevant subjects at higher level. 
  • Please note Mathematical Studies cannot take the place of Mathematics, where Mathematics is specified as a required subject

Advanced Placement

  • Minimum of 3-4 AP tests with Grades of 5 (see course pages for required subjects). Expected to be taken alongside a relevant high school diploma.
  • Where sat independently, departments will seek additional AP tests 4-6

Course-specific Requirements

There is no Imperial-wide entry test although some departments do use tests as part of their admissions process. This can be an online or in-person test administered by a department at Imperial or an external admissions test.

Here are a few entrance tests that are course-specific:

BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) for Medicine

Mathematics Admissions Test (MAT) for Math courses

For courses that do not have particular subject requirements, high grades are expected in the subjects most relevant to the course. Even for each course, entry grade requirements may differ slightly. As an applicant, you are expected to check the entry requirements for the subject you are applying to.

3 Tips To Help Your Application To Imperial Stand Out

1. Show enthusiasm for the subject

It is important to start thinking of which subject you would want to apply for university early on in your high school career so that you can start to prepare your application early. Importantly, to develop your interest and enthusiasm for a subject, you may want to consider taking part in relevant extra-curricular activities. For example, if you are interest in the science and engineering courses (e.g. Biochemistry, Physics, Engineering), it would help to join clubs such as Robotics Club or Science Club to develop a keen interest in the subject whilst encouraging investigation and inquiry into deeper scientific knowledge. This will also help when you are writing your UCAS statement, given that participating in these activities can show a demonstrated interest in the academic subject.

2. Wider reading

Given that Imperial courses are known to be very rigorous in nature, academic tutors tend to look out for potential students who are motivated and have genuine academic interest through the books that they read. They would want to see students who have read widely and beyond their high school academic syllabus. In part, this shows potential that the potential student would be able to handle the heavy independent reading required for surviving and thriving in the Imperial academic setting.

3. Relevant Work Experience

To help demonstrate long term commitment to the subject that you are applying for, whilst also proving that you wish to pursue the subject in aid of your longer term goals, it would be helpful for you to engaging in some relevant work experience. Regardless of pay, such work experience will be beneficial in allowing you to understand how your interested subject can be applied in the real world to achieve beneficial outcomes. For example, research placement in labs or job shadowing at industry companies or science parks can count as relevant work experience you can participate in. 

Final Thoughts

Applying to Imperial can be a stressful affair. It will help to learn about the acceptance rates, admission requirements and some useful tips on how to prepare for the application. Hopefully, this article has covered some ground in guiding you through the application process. Believe in yourself and whatever the outcome, enjoy the process and good luck! 

If you need additional help with the application process, book a free consultation with one of our expert UK admission strategists. They can provide individualized and highly informed support in every aspect of your applications.

Our support includes:

  1. Matching every student with a team of supporters who are graduates from Oxbridge and other top UK universities
  2. Addressing every part of the UCAS application in detail - from test prep to personal statements, extracurriculars to interview prep.
  3. Providing oversight by former Oxbridge admissions officers
  4. Sharing years of inside UK admissions consulting knowledge unavailable elsewhere

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