A A A
Portico

UCL's English Language Proficiency Requirement

contact: Bella Malins, Director of Access and Admissions, Student and Registry Services

Policy

1. All students seeking admission to UCL (including EU and Overseas), who are not a national of a UK Home Office ‘majority English speaking’ country, are asked to provide recent evidence that their command of spoken and written English is adequate for the programme of study for which they have applied. This is a UCL requirement. UCL specifies the need for its undergraduate and graduate students to have adequate English in order to ensure that their academic progress is not hindered by language difficulties and that students are able to integrate socially whilst studying at UCL and living in this country.

2. Evidence of English language proficiency may take the form of one of the following:

  • National of a UK Home Office ‘majority English speaking’ country
  • Completed a UK degree equivalent qualification from a country which the Home Office lists as ‘majority English speaking’ no more than the summer two years prior to the proposed date of enrolment
  • Completed a minimum of twelve months education in a country that UCL considers to be ‘majority English speaking’, no more than the summer two years prior to the proposed date of enrolment
  • Completed a minimum of eighteen months of work experience in a country that UCL considers to be ‘majority English speaking’, no more than two years prior to the proposed date of enrolment
  • Completed a school leaving qualification containing English, which UCL considers to meet the CEFR B2 level in all four skills, no more than the summer two years prior to the proposed date of enrolment
  • Obtained one of the English language tests accepted by UCL, no more than two years prior to the proposed date of enrolment. A number of qualifications and tests are recognised, UCL's preferred English language qualification being the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The qualification or test result must have been awarded at the appropriate level (standard, good or advanced).

3. UCL reserves the right, in individual circumstances, to specify an additional language requirement for an applicant.

4. UCL's English language proficiency policy has been approved by the relevant committees of UCL's Academic Committee. This policy places responsibility on faculty and departmental admissions tutors in deciding the level of English language proficiency that their students require. All students are required to meet UCL’s proficiency requirements to the level deemed suitable for the programme of study to which they have applied.

5. It is recognised that an offer of admission may be issued too late for it to be possible for one of the recognised English language tests to be taken by the applicant. In addition, on occasion, students holding offers conditional upon UCL's English language requirement having been met, present themselves for enrolment without having taken any of the recognised tests. These categories of student are required to take the UCL English Language Requirement test, devised by the UCL Centre for Languages and International Education, for which a fee is charged (£175 in 2012). This test is not available to those students who have previously taken a recognised test and failed to achieve the required score. This test is only available at the start of the academic session and available to affiliate and graduate students – referral is available only through the Admissions Office in Student and Registry Services. Should the applicant achieve a grade in this test that is equivalent to the relevant faculty, departmental or programme requirement they are able to enrol in the normal way. If the grade obtained is below the requirement, the applicant will not be permitted to enrol. Should the applicant's grade be above the UCL absolute minimum but below the faculty, departmental or programme requirement, subject to approval by the Dean of Students (Academic), the admissions tutor is able to sanction the enrolment of the student on the basis of a course of in-sessional tuition at UCL's Centre for Languages and International Education. (This option is not acceptable for students being admitted to programmes of one year's or less duration.) If this action is selected, the department will be responsible for paying for the cost of the in-sessional tuition.

6. In all circumstances should the required level of English language proficiency not be achieved after the course of action proposed by the department has been undertaken, the applicant will not be permitted to enrol, or if they have already been permitted to enrol, their enrolment and registration is terminated, or, subject to the approval of the Dean of Students (Academic) a further course of action is devised with the aim of bringing the student's English language proficiency up to the required standard.

August 2013