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
  • 18 months work experience 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

18 months work experience

This option means you must complete at least 18 months consecutive work experience in a country that UCL considers to be "majority English-speaking". Please see the list of acceptable countries below.

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.
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Botswana
  • Canada
  • Caribbean / West Indies (English-speaking Caribbean Commonwealth territories)
  • Dominica
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • Kenya
  • Malawi
  • Mauritius
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Swaziland (Eswatini)
  • Tanzania
  • The Bahamas
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Uganda
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

The following countries are only considered majority English speaking when studying 12 months of Education. Completing work experience in these countries does not meet UCL's English language requirements.

  • Cameroon (only if the qualification is taught in English)
  • Fiji
  • Malta (where the qualification is taught entirely in English)
  • The Netherlands (where the qualification is taught entirely in English)

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

  • Standard, 
  • Good, or 
  • Advanced. 

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

  • Standard level: Overall grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each of the subtests.
  • Good level: Overall grade of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each of the subtests.
  • Advanced level: Overall grade of 7.5 with a minimum of 6.5 in each of the subtests.

Applicants may take the IELTS Indicator test to meet the requirement for entry to the 2022/2023 (September 2022) academic year.

  • Standard level: Overall score of 92 with 24/30 in reading and writing and 20/30 in speaking and listening.
  • Good level: Overall score of 100 with 24/30 in reading and writing and 20/30 in speaking and listening.
  • Advanced level: Overall score of 109 with 24/30 in reading and writing and 20/30 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) 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).

  • Standard level: Overall mark of 65%, with at least 60% in each of the sub-tests.
  • Good level: Overall mark of 70%, with at least 65% in each of the sub-tests.
  • Advanced level: Overall mark of 75%, with at least 65% in each of the sub-tests.

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

  • Standard level: Completion of the Academic English module with a mark of 65%, with a minimum of 60% in each subtest.
  • Good level: Completion of the Academic English module with a mark of 70%, with a minimum of 65% in each subtest.
  • Advanced level: Completion of the Academic English module with a mark of 75%, with a minimum of 65% in each subtest.
  • Standard level: Overall score of 176 with 169 in all subtests.
  • Good level: Overall score of 185 with 176 in all subtests.
  • Advanced level: Overall score of 191 with 176 in all subtests.
  • Standard level: Overall score of 176 with 169 in all subtests.
  • Good level: Overall score of 185 with 176 in all subtests.
  • Advanced level: Overall score of 191 with 176 in all subtests.

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

  • Standard level: 62 overall, with a minimum of 59 in each Communicative Skill.
  • Good level: 69 overall, with a minimum of 62 in each Communicative Skill.
  • Advanced level: 75 overall, with a minimum of 62 each Communicative Skill.

Applicants may take PTE Academic Online test to meet the requirement for entry to the 2022/2023 (September 2022) academic year.

  • Standard level: Successful completion of ISE III with a ‘pass’ in all components.
  • Good level: Successful completion of ISE III with ‘merit’ in all components.
  • Advanced level: Successful completion of ISE III with ‘distinction’ in all components.

UCL will accept LanguageCert International ESOL test at the following level and grades:

  • Standard level: B2 Communicator test with High Pass in both parts of the test with a minimum of 33 in reading, writing and listening and 38 in speaking. C1 Expert and C2 Mastery tests with Pass will also be considered (minimum of 25 in each skill).
  • Good level: C1 Expert test with Pass in both parts of the test (minimum of 25 in all four skills). C2 Mastery test with Pass will also be considered (minimum of 25 in each skill).
  • Advanced level: C1 Expert test with High Pass in both parts of the test and and minimum of 33 in reading, writing and listening and 38 in speaking.  C2 Mastery test with Pass will also be considered (minimum of 25 in each skill).

Applicants are required to take both written and spoken exams at the same level. Online and in-centre exams are also accepted.

This qualification is only acceptable for September 2022 entry.

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

  • Standard level: Pass at 5 (or grade C).
  • Good level: Pass at 5 (or grade C).
  • Advanced level: Pass at 6 (or grade B).

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.

We are happy to consider calculated IGCSE English Language grades awarded in the summer 2020 for meeting the English Language requirement.

Exceptionally for 2022 entry we can accept these IGCSEs when completed in June 2020, without the separate speaking/listening component. For all other IGCSEs that have a separate speaking/listening component, this must be endorsed on the certificate.

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)

We are aware that Cambridge Assessment International Education will only issue grades for the main syllabus and will not have the separate speaking/listening endorsement results for IGCSE  English - First Language (0500 or 0990) and IGCSE English as Second Language (0510 or 0993) as published on the CAIE website.

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

  • Standard level: grade 4 at either higher or standard level
  • Good level: grade 4 at either higher or standard level
  • Advanced level: grade 5 at either higher or standard level

For non-native speakers

IB English Language B

  • Standard level: grade 4 at either higher level or grade 5 at standard level
  • Good level: grade 4 at either higher level or grade 5 at standard level
  • Advanced level: grade 5 at either higher level or grade 6 at standard level

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