English language requirements

The following information gives English language requirement guidance for undergraduate 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 provide evidence of English language proficiency

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 provide evidence of their English language proficiency

If you are not a national of one the countries above, you will need to provide recent evidence of one of the following before you become a student at UCL:

  • 12 months education which leads to an academic qualification in a majority English-speaking country
  • An English language qualification or test result accepted by UCL
  • Completed a school leaving qualification containing English, accepted by UCL

You do not need to provide this evidence as part of your UCAS application. This will not affect the assessment of your application. If we need evidence of your English language proficiency and make you an offer, this offer is conditional on you providing us with evidence at the appropriate level.

12 months education which leads to an academic qualification

This option means you must complete at least 12 consecutive months in academic education leading to an awarded qualification.

This must be in a country that UCL considers to be "majority English-speaking". Please see the list of acceptable countries below.

You must complete your 12 months of education during one continuous period, ending no earlier than the summer two years before the proposed date of enrolment (e.g. if you are starting your course in September 2023, we will accept 12 months education completed in Summer 2021 or later). You must also be awarded with an academic qualification at the end of this period.

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • the Bahamas
  • 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
  • Mauritius
  • the Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Swaziland (Eswatini)
  • Tanzania
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Uganda
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

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 accepted by UCL. 

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

  • Level 1 (previousy referred to as "Standard Level")
  • Level 2 (previousy referred to as "Good Level")
  • Level 3
  • Level 4 (previousy referred to as "Advanced Level"), or
  • Level 5

See each programme's page in our Undergraduate Prospectus to confirm which level of English proficiency you will need to meet. Below you can find the scores and grades required for each level.

Applicants have until early September to meet UCL’s English language requirements. The exact date can be found in your Portico account and offer letter. However, we would advise you to take a test as soon as possible, as test centres are very busy during the summer.

Please note we can only consider tests that meet the score requirements for the overall and all individual component parts (speaking, listening, reading, writing).

Test providers

  • 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 requirements for entry to the 2023/2024 (September 2023) academic year.

  • 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 Home Edition test to meet the requirements for entry to the 2023/2024 (September 2023) academic year.

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

We do not accept the TOEFL Essentials Test for meeting the English language requirement.

UCL’s institution code for TOEFL is 9163.

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

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

  • 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 requirements for entry to the 2023/2024 (September 2023) academic year.

  • 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 with a ‘pass’ in all components
  • Level 2: Successful completion with a ‘pass’ in all components
  • Level 3: Successful completion with a ‘pass’ in all components
  • Level 4: Successful completion 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

For all GCSE and iGCSE English Language qualifications we require the following grades.

  • Level 1: Pass at 5 (or grade C)
  • Level 2: Pass at 5 (or grade C)
  • Level 3: Pass at 6 (or grade B)
  • Level 4: Pass at 6 (or grade B)
  • Level 5: Pass at 7 (or grade A)

GCSE qualifications are only accepted if all four skills are assessed or the spoken language component is separately endorsed on the certificate.

For all IGCSEs, we require a copy of both the official certificate and statement of results. This allows us to confirm your grade and syllabus studied.

For IGCSE qualifications, please see our syllabus requirements below.

Cambridge Assessments International Education (CAIE)
  • Cambridge IGCSE English – First Language (0500) or (0990) – Speaking and Listening must be separately endorsed on the certificate
  • Cambridge IGCSE English – First Language (US) (0524) – Speaking and Listening must be separately endorsed on the certificate
  • Cambridge IGCSE English as a Second Language (Speaking endorsement) (0510) or (0993) – Speaking and Listening must be separately endorsed on the certificate
  • Cambridge IGCSE English as a Second Language (Count-in speaking) (0511) or (0991)
Pearson Edexcel
  • Edexcel IGCSE English Language A (4EA1) – Spoken language must be separately endorsed on the certificate
  • Edexcel IGCSE English Language B (4EB1) – Spoken language must be separately endorsed on the certificate
  • Edexcel IGCSE English as a Second Language  (4ES1) – Spoken language must be separately endorsed on the certificate
Oxford International AQA Examinations
  • Oxford AQA IGCSE English Language (9270) – Speaking and Listening must be separately endorsed on the certificate
  • Oxford AQA IGCSE English as a Second Language (9280)    

Only the following Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE) International O Levels are considered to meet our English Language requirements.

  • Cambridge O Level in English Language (1119) Malaysia
  • Cambridge O Level in English Language (1120) Brunei – Spoken language must be separately endorsed on the certificate
  • Cambridge O Level in English Language (1127/1128) Singapore    

Please note: Cambridge O Level (1123) International is NOT accepted under any circumstances.

Accepted school leaving qualifications

UCL also accepts a number of school leaving qualifications containing English. These are considered by UCL as meeting the CEFR B2 level in all four skills.

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

To be considered acceptable, you must provide us with a copy of your final officially issued certificate and transcript. If these documents are not in English, we will also require a translation.

We accept the following International Baccalaureate English Language subjects taken as part of the IB Diploma.

For native or near-native speakers

IB English Language A: LiteratureIB English Language A: Language and LiteratureIB English Language A: Literature and Performance

  • Level 1: Grade 4 at either higher or standard level
  • Level 2: Grade 4 at either higher or standard level
  • Level 3: Grade 5 at either higher or standard level
  • Level 4: Grade 5 at either higher or standard level
  • Level 5: Not accepted

For non-native speakers

IB English Language B

  • Level 1: Either grade 4 at higher level or grade 5 at standard level
  • Level 2: Either grade 4 at higher level or grade 5 at standard level
  • Level 3: Either grade 5 at higher level or grade 6 at standard level
  • Level 4: Either grade 5 at higher level or grade 6 at standard level
  • Level 5: Not accepted

Austria: Matura/Reifeprufung

All levels: In the Matura/Reifeprufung, 2 (gut) in English when both written and oral examinations have been taken.

Belgium: Diploma van Secundair or the Certificat d'Enseignement Secondaire Superieur 

All levels: In the Diploma van Secundair or the Certificat d'Enseignement Secondaire Superieur, the equivalent of 8/80%/grote onderscheiding/avec grande distinction in English.

Denmark: Studentereksamen

All levels: In the Studentereksamen, 10 in English.

European Baccalaureate

All levels: 7.5 in English as either an Obligatory Subject (Language I or II) or as a Full Option (Language III or IV).

Finland: Ylioppilastutkinto/Studentexamen matriculation examination

All levels: In the Ylioppilastutkinto/Studentexamen matriculation examination, 5 (magna cum laude approbatur) in English at the Advanced Level.

France: Baccalaureat General and Option International du Baccalaureat  

All levels: In the Baccalaureat General or the Option International du Baccalaureat, 13 (assez bien) in English, where the co-efficient applied to the subject is greater than 1.

Germany: Abitur

All levels: In the Abitur, 12 (gut) in English when taken as an achievement/main/intensive course (LK/Advanced Level)

Iceland: Studentsprof matriculation examination

All levels: In the Studentsprof matriculation examination, 8 in English when taken as a compulsory modern language.

Luxembourg: Examen de Fin d'Etudes Secondaires

All levels: In the Examen de Fin d'Etudes Secondaires, 45 (bien) in English.

The Netherlands: Voorbereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs (VWO) diploma

All levels: In the Voorbereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs (VWO) diploma, 7 (ruim voldoende) in English.

Norway: Vitnemal - videregaende opplaering

All levels: In the Vitnemal - videregaende opplaering, 5 in English.

Sweden: Avgangsbetyg

All levels: In the Avgangsbetyg, C in English.

Switzerland: Maturitatzeugnis/Certificat de Maturite/Attestato de Maturita federal maturity certificate or the federally-recognised cantonal maturity certificate

All levels: In the Maturitatzeugnis/Certificat de Maturite/Attestato de Maturita federal maturity certificate or the federally-recognised cantonal maturity certificate, 5 (gut/bien/bene) in English.

Submitting your results

We encourage you to:

  • provide your IELTS Test Report Form (TRF) number or TOEFL iBT appointment number within your UCAS test results, as part of your application form or,
  • only send us any other test results if they meet our requirements given above. In these cases, you must provide the official document issued by the test provider.

 Please be aware, that we cannot accept any unofficial test reports or screenshots of your results.

More information