IELTS requirements for applying to a UK university

IELTS requirements for applying to a UK university

International students are requested to demonstrate a certain level of spoken and written English during the application process. IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is one of the tests that can be used to prove the applicants’ ability to use the English language for academic purposes.

Here is a list of general IELTS requirements for different level of study:

  • Short English courses (less than 11 months) – No IELTS needed

  • Foundation course – IELTS overall 4.0

  • Undergraduate degree course - IELTS overall 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in each element

  • Postgraduate degree course - IELTS overall 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in each element

*The test should be no more than two years old by the time the visa application is made.

What if I cannot meet the IELTs requirement?

Students can still submit their application before the language requirement is met. The university admission will form a condition on the offer sent to the student. Students will be required to meet the condition before their arrival at the university. 

Students may also be advised to take a pre-sessional course designed for students to improve their command of English.

What if I have taken other form of English language test, can I use that in my application?

Other accepted qualifications are

Exam IELTS 5.0 5.5 6.0 6.5 7.0 7.5
A Level English D D C C B B
GCSE English D D C C B B

grade 3 in A or B HL or SL 

grade 4 in A or B HL or SL 

IB B SL grade 6

IB B HL -grade 4

IB A1/A2 HL/ SL grade 4

IB B SL grade 6

IB B HL -grade 5

IB A1/A2 HL/ SL- grade 5

IB B SL grade 7

IB B HL -grade 5

IB A1/A2 HL/ SL grade 5

IB B HL -grade 6

IB A1/A2 HL/ SL grade 6

TOEFL ibt 60(10, 10, 13, 16) 70(13, 13, 13, 16) 80(17, 18, 17, 20) 90(17, 18, 17, 20) 100(20, 20, 20, 20) 110(22, 22, 22, 22)

You may be exempt from English language requirements if:

You are from a majority English-speaking country and you have completed a study qualification which is equivalent to a UK degree or higher in one of those countries listed below. These countries include: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada (if instruction was in English), Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, New Zealand, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, USA, Ireland and the UK.

* Universities have set their own requirements for different courses. You can obtain more detailed information from UKuni.

* IB: International Baccalaureate

Where can I take IELTS test?

You can find the nearest IELTS test center on IELTS official website. You may need to travel to another country to take the test if there is not secured IELTS test center in your own country.

Some practice questions and answer sheets for you to get familiar with the exam format:

IELTS Exam Library


IELTS Free Webinars

IELST Speaking Evaluation

IELST Writing Evaluation 

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