Frequently Asked Questions

If you are considering joining the Imperial College London Mathematics School community as a student or member of staff, or perhaps you are a parent, local resident, or school teacher, you will likely have many questions about our school.
 
We have collated frequently asked questions for you to browse. As ICLMS nears completion and our very first academic year begins, these questions and answers will continue to be updated. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact our team by email.
 
Please also consider visiting the 'School Life' and 'Admissions' areas of our website to find out more about our curriculum and admissions process.  


Mathematics schools are sixth forms that specialise in teaching mathematics and related subjects. ICLMS will join the existing highly successful mathematics schools in partnership with Exeter, King’s College London, Lancaster and Liverpool universities. Cambridge and Surrey University also have plans in place to open their own mathematics schools. All of these government-supported schools will serve students within their local areas.
 
All students at mathematics schools study A Level Maths and Further Maths, alongside at least one other subject. The additional subjects offered vary between mathematics schools, but always includes A Level Physics. They all have additional programmes to enrich and enhance their curriculum.
 
Mathematics schools also run extensive outreach programmes to support students and teachers in local primary and secondary schools, particularly supporting the achievement in and access to mathematics and science for young people from backgrounds that are currently under-represented in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects at universities and in industry. This includes female students and certain ethnic and social groups.
Our partnership with one of the highest ranked sixth form colleges in the country, and one of the highest ranked universities in the world, gives us a unique platform from which to build a school and its community.
 
The combined history, approach, and brand of Woodhouse College and Imperial College London mean that we can provide reassurance that our students will receive excellent teaching and an inspiring student experience.
The school is for aspiring mathematicians, scientists and engineers aged 16 to 19 who are dedicated, curious and enthusiastic about these subjects. Because our programme is highly academic, applicants should be likely to achieve a grade 8 or 9 in GCSE mathematics, and we select our students based on an admissions test and interview. More information can be found on our admissions page and in the headteacher’s welcome.
ICLMS will be located next to Woodhouse College in Barnet, North London. We expect to move into a brand-new, purpose built, specialist permanent building with the latest educational technology and laboratories in our second academic year. From September 2023, we will be based on the same site in high specification classrooms that will be removed on the completion of the permanent building. Students who form the first cohort starting in September 2023 will be able to contribute to the design of the permanent building, for example, by helping naming rooms.
You will work towards A Levels in Mathematics, Further Mathematics and at least one of Physics and Chemistry. There will be the option of studying a fourth A Level at Woodhouse College. If you wish to study four A Levels, then there are additional criteria you will need to meet. More information can be found on the ICLMS Admissions page and in the admissions policy.
 
Alongside your A Level studies, you will have additional classes in problem solving, and work on various projects to expand your knowledge and understanding in your subjects beyond the traditional A Level curriculum. More information can be found in our School Life section.
The first thing to consider is which you are most interested in. If you are interested in the subject then you are more likely to enjoy the subject, and more like to commit the time and effort needed to succeed. For more information about what you will study, see the ICLMS core curriculum section.

However, you should also consider carefully how your choice will impact your future ambitions. A Level Physics is obviously essential for studying Physics at university, but is also helpful for a mathematics degree, as a lot of the applied mathematics studied at university makes use of concepts studied in physics. At Imperial College London most of the Engineering degrees either require or suggest that you have studied A Level Physics. For example, Aeronautical, Biomedical, Civil, Electrical and Electronic, and Mechanical Engineering, and Geophysics, degrees at Imperial all require A Level Physics.

If you wish to study Chemistry in the future, then A Level Chemistry is essential. Chemistry is required for a number of degree courses at Imperial such as Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Chemical Engineering and Molecular Bioengineering (note that Biology is not a requirement for these courses).
A good reason to study four A Levels is that you are interested in all four subjects, and want to pursue them further. A bad reason to study four A Levels is that you feel like you should because it “looks better”; universities will never require you to have four A levels.
 
Studying four A Levels is a significant increase in workload, and will require excellent time management and organisational skills. If you choose to study four A Levels, you should expect to be working harder than your peers studying three A Levels. It is possible that studying four A Levels compromises your achievement in those A Levels, and we may recommend that you only take three A Levels. However, the workload management skills you gain from successfully completing four A Levels will mean you are well equipped to deal with the demands of university and work.
 
Whilst it is true that a university will never require you to have four A Levels, some universities will lower some of the requirements if you are studying four A Levels. For example, at Imperial College London, the typical entry requirement for their Mechanical Engineering degree is A*A*A if you study three A Levels, but A*AAA if you study four A Levels. That is, if you study four A Levels, you no longer need to achieve A* in Physics, but you do need to achieve A in the fourth A Level.
A Level Further Maths is excellent preparation for the mathematical demands of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects at undergraduate level at university.
 
A Level Further Maths is required for a lot of degree courses in mathematics at top universities. For example, Further Maths A Level is required for the undergraduate degree in mathematics at Imperial, Cambridge, UCL and Warwick. For mathematics combined degrees at LSE, A Level Further Maths is expected. At some universities, for example, Leeds, applicants with A Level Further Maths receive a lower offer for acceptance to their Mathematics undergraduate degree.
 
A Level Further Maths is highly encouraged for a lot of other degree courses in subjects such as Physics, Computer Science, Economics and Engineering at top universities. For example, A Level Further Maths is recommended for the Computer Science, Physics and Aeronautical Engineering degrees at Imperial, and the Mathematics and Engineering degrees at Oxford, and is strongly encouraged for the degrees in Computing, Engineering and Economics at Cambridge. A Level Further Maths is preferred for the undergraduate degree in Engineering at UCL, is helpful for the undergraduate degrees in Physics and Engineering at Oxford and is desirable for the undergraduate degree in Economics as LSE.
 
You should check the specific requirements of any undergraduate degree course that you are considering apply to on the university’s website.
Yes, there will be an extensive range of enriching and exciting activities on offer at ICLMS. Our super curriculum consists of subject-specific enrichment where you explore your subjects beyond the A Level curriculum. This will involve activities such as problem solving classes, group research projects and guest lectures. Some of this will be timetabled for all students, and some will be optional extras. More information can be found on our super curriculum page.
 
Activities in areas outside of the academic curriculum are called extra-curricular activities. We encourage students to explore areas of interest beyond academic study, and students will take part in building an extra-curricular programme that suits their interests.
 
Our partnership with Woodhouse College means that ICLMS students will have access some of what they have to offer in this area.
Financial constraints should not be a barrier to anyone applying for a place or succeeding at ICLMS. We are carefully considering how we can offer financial support to our students, depending on their individual circumstances. We may be able to support students with travel costs, the cost of books and other learning materials, and IT equipment such as laptops and tablets. More information will be provided shortly.
No, the college is funded directly by the government and is free to UK citizens.
 
EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens will still be able to benefit from free education as long as they have confirmation of Settled Status or Pre-Settled Status granted by the Home Office.

No, ICLMS does not have a school uniform. You are free to wear whatever you feel comfortable learning and studying wearing in. However, we do require that you wear a lanyard with your school ID at all times. 

You can keep up to date by signing up for the ICLMS newsletter here.
We are an inclusive school and welcome applications from students with additional needs. The ICLMS team has been trained to support students with additional needs and the permanent building will have space dedicated to supporting these students. We will make any reasonable adjustments we can to support each and every student.
Selected applicants will be invited to sit an admissions test and an interview before being offered a place at ICLMS. An applicant’s performance in the admissions test and at the interview, alongside contextual information provided in the application, will be used to decide whether a candidate is made a conditional offer to study at ICLMS. The conditional offer will normally require an applicant to achieve a minimum of grade 8 in GCSE Mathematics, grade 7 in the relevant GCSE science subjects, and grade 5 in GCSE English Language or Literature. If you meet the conditions of your offer, then you will be able to enrol at ICLMS on GCSE results day. You can find out more about admissions on the ICLMS Admissions page.
Imperial College London is a partner of Imperial College London Mathematics School. Imperial College London support us with our outreach and super-curricular programme, details of which can be found here and here.
 
Imperial College London also provide support and guidance for our taught curriculum. Members of Imperial College London sit on both the governing body of ICLMS, and are trustees of the Frontier Learning Trust. The school’s leadership will be held accountable via these overlapping structures. More information can be found on our Governors page.
 
Woodhouse College and ICLMS are both members of the Frontier Learning Trust. More information can be found on the Frontier Learning Trust website. Students who study three A Levels at ICLMS will be able to study a fourth A level from the wider range of choices at Woodhouse College if they wish to, and some of our extra-curricular activities will be shared with Woodhouse College.
Mathematics graduates enter a variety of fields of work. Holding Mathematics qualifications demonstrates that you are numerate, that you can master intellectually difficult material, that you have the organisation and self-motivation to complete a demanding programme, and that you are able to solve complex problems.
 
The top three industries students have entered in the last three years are Finance, IT and Telecommunications, and Accounting. Yet, with more and more companies looking for numerate students, the destinations of students are also changing. Data science, media, sports, and transportation companies are all increasingly popular choices.
For September 2023, ICLMS will have up to 40 places. This number will increase year on year, until we admit approximately 100 students in each year group.
We aim to let applicants know if they have been successful in February or March 2023. Some applicants may be placed on a waiting list at this stage.
Unfortunately, if you do not meet the conditions of your offer, you may lose your place, and applicants on the waiting list will be offered a place. If there are extenuating circumstances, we will consider these on a case-by-case basis.
If you are returning to the UK by August 2022 and will be living with a parent who has the right to remain in the UK for the full duration of your course, then we can consider your application. If you are not studying GCSE/IGCSE, then you will need to get a ‘statement of compatibility’ from UK ENIC (formally known as UK NARIC - National Recognition Information Centre for the UK).
We do not hold Tier 4 sponsorship with the UK Border Agency and therefore are unable to consider students in this category.
Imperial’s admissions policy will be identical for applicants associated and not associated with the school. There is no guarantee of a place at the College simply due to attendance at ICLMS.
 
However, the skills and knowledge you will gain from the time at ICLMS will put you in a strong position to apply to Imperial and other research-intensive universities in the future.
You are welcome to get in touch with us via the email for general and admissions enquiries. We will endeavour to respond to your enquiry as soon as possible.