Minimum English language standards
It’s essential that you are able to read, speak and understand the English language to get the most out of your time at UWS.
All international applicants are required to meet minimum English language standards, with the exception of:
- Native speakers of English
- Erasmus students (unless advised otherwise)
- non-Erasmus students from EU partner institutions (your institution must provide confirmation of your English language ability in the absence of a formal qualification)
English language requirements for academic entry
If you do not fall into any of the categories above you will need to provide proof of your English language ability through the International English Language Test System (IELTS) or the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
For 2020 entry, the University has approved the use of the online Duolingo English test as evidence of English language ability. UWS will accept an overall score between 90-115 with no component score below 90.
- Undergraduate (BA, BAcc, BEng, BSc) – IELTS 6.0 with no skill below 5.5
- Postgraduate Taught (MA, MSc) – IELTS 6.0 with no skill below 5.5
- Postgraduate Research (MRes, MPhil, PhD, DBA, DProf)– IELTS 6.5 with no skill below 6.0
These are minimum requirements and some courses may require a higher standard for admission. Individual course entry requirements are detailed on each course page.
IELTS certificates should be dated within two years at the time of applying to study at UWS.
TOEFL IBT*: 78; no sub-test less than:
- Reading: 17;
- Listening: 17;
- Speaking: 17;
- Writing: 17
* Please note that TOEFL is still acceptable for admission to this programme for both home/EU and international students.
For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use TOEFL to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level courses. We therefore still accept TOEFL tests taken in the last two years for admission to this programme.
Common English language equivalents for most courses
All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:
- CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
- CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
- Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII with the minimum of a Pass in all sub-tests
- PTE Pearson Academic English: An overall score of 54 with no element below 51 (for programmes that require IELTS 6.0 with no element below 5.5). An overall score 61 with no element below 51 (for programmes that require IELTS 6.5 with no element below 6.0)
West African Senior School Certificate of Education (WASSCE)
West African Senior School Certificate of Education (WASSCE) including acceptance of WAEC Scratchcard*
- C6 or above in English
*UWS will accept a WAEC scratchcard confirming that an applicant has achieved C6 or above as evidence of meeting English language requirement from Nigeria if the student graduated within the last 5 years. After 5 years applicants would be required to provide the WAEC Certificate.
IELTS Score Exceptions (DBA, Certificate of Higher Education, PhD, etc.)
For our research degrees (MRes, MPhil, PhD, DBA, DProf), applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:
- overall score of 6.5
- no sub-test less than 6.0
For Health, Nursing & Midwifery courses that lead to professional registration with the Nursing & Midwifery Council, applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:
- overall score of 7.0
- no sub-test less than 7.0
For our Certificate of Higher Education courses, applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:
- overall score of 5.0
- no sub-test less than 4.5
English language requirements for a UK VISA
If you live outside the EU/EEA, you will need to obtain a visa in order to live and study in the UK. If English is not your first language you will need to meet minimum standards of English set out by UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) as part of the visa application process.
Full details of the English language test requirements set by UKVI are available on the UK Government website.
Pre-sessional English Language Courses
We understand that you might need to improve your English language skills to meet visa or application requirements. Our Pre-sessional English Language courses help you meet the IELTS standard for study at UWS.
Due to the current situation involving the coronavirus we are offering an online test for applicants to prove their English language competency.
These take place each Wednesday at 9am. To register for one of these tests please email email@example.com one week in advance of the date you wish to take the test. We will then be in touch to supply you with all of the relevant information.