English Language requirements

The following information gives English Language Requirement guidance for Taught Graduate and Research applicants.

Any student who is not a national of a UK Home Office majority English-speaking country is required to provide recent evidence of English language proficiency.

In individual cases UCL reserves the right to:

  • specify an additional language requirement for an applicant, or
  • request additional confirmation of education or employment for your institution or employee.

Who does not need to prove their knowledge of English

You do not need to prove your level of English language if you are a national of one of the following countries:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • the Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • Malta
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • UK
  • USA

Who does need to prove their knowledge of English

If you are not from any of the countries above, you will need to prove evidence of one of the following before you become a student at UCL:

Education which leads to an academic qualification

This option means you must show us completion of at least 12 months academic education leading to an awarded qualification.

This must be in a country that UCL considers to be "majority English-speaking".

You must receive this qualification no more than two years before the proposed date of enrolment. This includes the summer two years before enrolment if starting in September.

Students who studied in transnational education, such as a joint degree between a Chinese and UK university, must complete:

  • at least three years of undergraduate study, or
  • one year of postgraduate study.

This must be in a country that UCL considers to be "majority English-speaking". 

Work experience (Graduate Research programmes only)

This applies to Graduate Research (including MRes) programmes only.

This option means you must show us completion of at least 18 months of work experience in a country that UCL considers to be "majority English-speaking".

This must be completed no more than two years before the proposed date of enrolment.

If you receive an offer of a place to study at UCL, we may ask for evidence of your work experience.

We may ask for an official letter from your employer(s) confirming:

  • your dates of employment, and 
  • that English is the language used by the company to conduct its day-to-day business. 

An English language qualification or test result

For this option you must receive the qualification or test result no more than two years before the proposed date of enrolment.

Accepted English language qualifications

Listed below are all the English language qualifications and tests that are recognised by UCL. 

There are five levels of English proficiency needed to meet UCL’s English language requirements for graduate study:

  • Level 1 (previously referred to as “Standard level”)
  • Level 2 (previously referred to as “Good level”)
  • Level 3
  • Level 4 (previously referred to as “Advanced level”), or
  • Level 5

See each degree programme page to confirm which UCL level of English proficiency you will need to meet. 

Book a recognised test

We advise that you book a test as early as possible and do not wait until you receive a decision on your application.

Test centres are very busy throughout the year and during the summer it may be several weeks before you are able to take a test. 

These courses are run by UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE).

Please note that these courses are not suitable for PGCE applicants.

These courses are run by UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE).

Please note that these courses are not suitable for PGCE applicants.

This test is UCL's preferred English language qualification.

  • Level 1: Overall score of 6.5 and a minimum of 6.0 in each component
  • Level 2: Overall score of 7.0 and a minimum of 6.5 in each component
  • Level 3: Overall score of 7.0 and a minimum of 7.0 in each component
  • Level 4: Overall score of 7.5 and a minimum of 7.0 in each component
  • Level 5: Overall score of 8.0 and a minimum of 8.0 in each component

Applicants may take the IELTS Indicator test to meet the requirement for entry to the 2022/2023 (September 2022 and mid-year starters) and 2023/2024 (September 2023) academic years.

For entry into programmes from January 2016 onwards

  • Level 1: Overall score of 92 with 24/30 in reading and writing and 20/30 in speaking and listening
  • Level 2: Overall score of 96 with 24/30 in reading and writing and 22/30 in speaking and listening
  • Level 3: Overall score of 100 with 25/30 in reading and writing and 23/30 in speaking and listening.
  • Level 4: Overall score of 109 with 27/30 in reading and writing and 23/30 in speaking and listening.
  • Level 5: Overall score of 110 with 29/30 in reading and writing and 23/30 in speaking and listening.

Applicants may take the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition test to meet the requirement for entry to the 2022/2023 (September 2022 and mid-year starters) and 2023/24 (September 2023) academic years.

Please note that TOEFL iBT MyBestScore is not acceptable for meeting the English language requirement.

UCL’s institution code for TOEFL is 9163.

  • Level 1: Overall score of 176 with 169 in all subtests
  • Level 2: Overall score of 180 with 172 in all subtests
  • Level 3: Overall score of 185 with 180 in all subtests
  • Level 4: Overall score of 191 with 180 in all subtests
  • Level 5: Overall score of 210 with 200 in all subtests
  • Level 1: Overall score of 176 with 169 in all subtests
  • Level 2: Overall score of 180 with 172 in all subtests
  • Level 3: Overall score of 185 with 180 in all subtests
  • Level 4: Overall score of 191 with 180 in all subtests
  • Level 5: Overall score of 210 with 200 in all subtests

UCL will accept the Pearson Test of English (Academic), often referred to as PTE (Academic), with the following grades:

  • Level 1: Overall score of 75 with a minimum of 67 in each Communicative Skill
  • Level 2: Overall score of 76 with a minimum of 75 in each Communicative Skill
  • Level 3: Overall score of 76 with a minimum of 76 in each Communicative Skill
  • Level 4: Overall score of 80 with a minimum of 76 in each Communicative Skill
  • Level 5: Overall score of 88 with a minimum of 80 in each Communicative Skill

Applicants may take PTE Academic Online test to meet the requirement for entry to the 2022/2023 (September 2022 and mid-year starters) and 2023/2024 (September 2023) academic years.

  • Level 1: Successful completion of ISE II with a ‘merit’ in all components
  • Level 2: Successful completion of ISE II with a ‘distinction’ in all components
  • Level 3: Not accepted
  • Level 4: Not accepted
  • Level 5: Not accepted
  • Level 1: Successful completion of ISE III with a ‘pass’ in all components
  • Level 2: Successful completion of ISE III with a ‘pass’ in all components
  • Level 3: Successful completion of ISE III with a ‘pass’ in all components
  • Level 4: Successful completion of ISE III with a ‘distinction’ in all components
  • Level 5: Not accepted
  • Level 1: Successful completion of ISE IV with a ‘pass’ in all components
  • Level 2: Successful completion of ISE IV with a ‘pass’ in all components
  • Level 3: Successful completion of ISE IV with a ‘pass’ in all components
  • Level 4: Successful completion of ISE IV with a ‘pass’ in all components
  • Level 5: Successful completion of ISE IV with a ‘pass’ in all components

Healthcare professionals wanting to study at graduate level with UCL may offer the Occupational English Test (OET)

  • Level 1: C+ with a minimum 300 numerical score overall, and a minimum of a C/250 in each component.
  • Level 2: B with a minimum 350 numerical score overall, and a minimum of C+/300 in each component
  • Level 3: B with a minimum 350 numerical score overall, and a minimum of B/350 in each component
  • Level 4: B with a minimum 400 numerical score overall, and a minimum of B/350 in each component
  • Level 5: A with a minimum 450 numerical score overall, and a minimum of A/450 in each component

Providing evidence of your English language test result or qualification

You should include evidence of your English ability within your application if possible. But, we will still consider your application if you do not provide the evidence within your application. 

If you have taken a test which meets the requirements of your programme please upload this with your application.

If you are unable to do this we will still consider your application, but we will ask you to provide test results if we make you an offer. We will state this condition on the offer letter which you must fulfil before enrolment at UCL.

You must either:

  • provide your test results as part of your application form or, 
  • upload them to your application through the Applicant Portal platform, if you receive an offer. 

You must provide the official document providing test report scores or an award letter from one of our recognised test providers. 

UCL will not accept

  • English language test results sent by email,
  • additional test scores whilst your application is being considered (you will be able to provide them to us if you receive an offer of a place),
  • unofficial test reports or screenshots of your test scores.
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Botswana
  • Cameroon (only if the qualification is taught in English),
  • Canada
  • Caribbean / West Indies (English-speaking Caribbean Commonwealth territories),
  • Dominica
  • Fiji
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • Kenya
  • Malawi
  • Malta (where the degree is taught entirely in English)
  • Mauritius
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Swaziland
  • Tanzania
  • The Bahamas
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • The Netherlands (where the degree is taught entirely in English)
  • Uganda
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe