English language requirements

If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country you will need to submit evidence of your proficiency in English to the UKBA and University's required standards.

Accepted English language tests

  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System – academic version)
  • TOEFL IBT
  • Pearson Test of English Academic
  • Other English language tests

Please note, we do not accept TOEFL Institutional Testing Programme (ITP).

What test scores do I need?

Consult our taught programmes and/or research programmes English language requirements. As our English language requirements can vary by programme, consult individual taught and/or research programme pages for exceptions and specific requirements.

What if I do not meet your English language requirements?

If the results of your English test show you need to improve your English before commencing your studies you can attend a pre-sessional preparation course at the INTO University of Exeter Centre.

You can find out more about our pre-sessional and other English preparation courses on our pre-sessional English language programmes pages.

Taught programme requirements

If you are an international student from outside the European Union, and you need a visa in order to study at the University you must:

  • fulfil the English language requirements and conditions of your intended degree programme and
  • have taken an English language test which satisfies UK government requirements. An approved test is known as a 'SELT' - a Secure English Language Test. The University currently recognises the following SELT tests which must have been obtained no more than two years prior to the start of the programme or as specified on individual programme pages: IELTS, PTE, Cambridge English Advanced (Certificate in Advanced English). In addition we accept the TOEFL IBT

As a Highly Trusted Sponsor under Tier 4 the University can accept other tests, however this will be in exceptional circumstances only, and in line with UKVI guidance. In such cases we may also require applicants to satisfactorily complete an interview or further assessment before we issue a CAS (Certificate of Acceptance to Study). Our strong recommendation is therefore that students requiring a visa obtain a SELT test if possible.

If you do not satisfy the required English standard, postgraduate study at Exeter could still be a possibility if you successfully complete a pre-sessional course at INTO University of Exeter Centre.

Research programme requirements

The IELTS (Academic), TOEFL IBT*, Pearson Test of English (Academic), and Cambridge English: Advanced & Proficiency test scores listed in our English language requirements on each research programme page are only valid for entry for 2 years. As a result the qualification must have been completed no more than 2 years prior to enrolment. We also accept a number of other tests.

You will also need to ensure you meet our conditions.

If you do not reach the required English standard, postgraduate study at Exeter could still be a possibility if you successfully complete a pre-sessional course at INTO University of Exeter Centre.

The Home Office confirmed on 21 May 2014 that the removal of TOEFL as a Secure English Language Test (SELT) for the purpose of obtaining a UK visa, does NOT affect Higher Education Institutions’ ability to choose their own method of assessing English language competence for degree level programmes. This means universities will still be able to decide what English language tests and scores to accept as evidence of a degree student’s ability to speak English at the appropriate level, even if the test is taken after the Immigration Rules regarding TOEFL are formally changed.

The University is therefore pleased to confirm that it will accept TOEFL test scores as evidence of linguistic ability (subject to meeting our minimum requirements) for applicants joining the University in 2015/16.

Please note that applicants to programmes offered by INTO University of Exeter, including pre-sessional, Foundation and Diploma must provide a SELT test (eg CPE, IELTS or Pearson PTE) as evidence of their linguistic ability. This is due to a different ruling by the Home Office regarding non degree level programmes.

In addition the University continues to recognise a variety of other tests, including CAE, CPE, IELTS or Pearson PTE, as evidence of English ability.

The University can accept one of the other tests listed below, provided that they have been completed no more than four years prior to enrolment. However, if you are an international student from outside the European Union, and you need a visa in order to study at the University, this will be in exceptional circumstances only, and in line with UKVI guidance. In such cases we may also require applicants to satisfactorily complete an interview or further assessment before we issue a CAS (Certificate of Acceptance to Study). Our strong recommendation is therefore that students requiring a visa obtain an IELTS, PTE, CAE or TOEFL IBT test if possible.

Applicants who have completed a full degree in a majority English-speaking country no more than two years prior to enrolment are exempt from the need to provide a further assessment of their linguistic ability.

If the IELTS requirement for your programme of interest differs from that listed below, please contact the International Admissions Team for clarification.

 QualificationMinimum equivalent grade for programmes requiring IELTS 6.5 overall with no less than 6 in any sectionMinimum equivalent grade for programmes requiring equivalent of IELTS 7 overall and no less than 6 in any section
A or AS level English Grade D or above Grade C or above
GCSE English Language / Cambridge GCE O Level / Cambridge Overseas School Certificate Grade C or above Grade B or above
Cambridge IGCSE English as a First Language  Grade C or above Grade B or above
Cambridge IGCSE English as a Second Language Grade B or above Grade A or above
Cambridge Pre-U Literature in English (Principal Subject) P2 or above M3 or above
Botswana General Certificate of Secondary Education (BGCSE) Grades 3-6 (credit); Grade C Grades 1 and 2 (distinction); Grades A and B
Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English Grade C or above Grade B or above
Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English Grade C or above Grade B or above
East African Certificate of Education English: Grade C or above English: Grade B or above
Edexcel IGCSE English as a First Language Grade C or above Grade B or above
Edexcel IGCSE English as a Second Language Grade B or above Grade A or above
European Baccalaureate L1: English: 60% or above
L2: English: 70% or above
L3: English: 70% or above
L1: English: 70% or above
L2: English: 80% or above
L3: English: 80% or above
French Baccalaureate (option International du Baccalaureat) English: Grade 10 English: Grade 10
International Baccalaureate English Standard Level Grade 5 or Higher Level Grade 4 or above Standard Level Grade 5 or Higher Level Grade 4 or above
Hong Kong applicants HKDSE English (Core) Level  5 overall (no less than Level 4 in any sub-section) HKDSE English (Core) Level 5* overall (no less than Level 4 in any sub-section)
Indian Standard XII English at first attempt (ISC/CBSE/West Bengal Boards) at least 75% at least 80%
Indian Standard XII English at first attempt (Maharastra Board) at least 80% at least 85%
Indian Standard XII English at first attempt (Tamil Nadu and Karnataka Boards) at least 85% at least 90%
Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education English: Grade C (4) or above English: Grade B or above
Malawi Certificate of School Education (MCSE) Grades 3 and 4 (credit); Grade C Grades 1 and 2 (distinction); Grades A and B
Malaysian SPM English (1119 / O level paper only) Grade C or above Grade B or above
Norwegian Vitnemal – videregaende opplaering English: Overall score of 4 or above English: Overall score of 5 or above
Ontario Secondary School Certificate English Grade C (75%) or above English Grade B (80%) or above
Singaporean Applicants

Singapore-Cambridge O level English grade C or Singapore Integrated Programme Secondary 4 English Language/Language Arts grade C or better

General Paper is not acceptable proof of English Language proficiency.

Singapore-Cambridge O level English grade C or Singapore Integrated Programme Secondary 4 English Language/Language Arts grade B or better

General Paper is not acceptable proof of English Language proficiency.

South African National Senior Certificate/South African Matriculation Certificate English: Grade 4 English: Grade 5
West African Examinations Council SSCE in English at first sitting English: Grade C6 or above English: Grade B3 or above
Uganda National Examinations Board Certificate of Education (UCE) Grades 3-6 (credit); Grade C Grades 1 and 2 (distinction); Grades A and B
USA High School Graduation Diploma English Grade C (75–79%) or above English Grade B (80–89%) or above
USA SATS II (Subject) Will be considered on an individual basis subject to academic background and grades Will be considered on an individual basis subject to academic background and grades
Zambian School Certificate Examination English Language Grade A1 Grade A1
Zimbabwe General Certificate of Education O level English: Grade C or above English: Grade B or above
Zimbabwe General Certificate of Education Advanced level English (ZIMSEC) English: Grade D or above English: Grade C or above

The INTO University of Exeter Centre, based on the Streatham Campus, offers intensive, pre-sessional courses lasting six or ten weeks. If you do not meet the University’s English language requirements for direct progression to postgraduate study, pre-sessional study can assist to raise English language ability to the required standard for the degree programme.

If you have taken any other acceptable test and wish to confirm if a pre-sessional English course is required or recommended, please contact us

If you successfully complete a pre-sessional course at INTO University of Exeter and meet the progression requirements for entry to your academic programme of study, it is not necessary to undertake an additional IELTS or TOEFL test. Please note that we do not accept pre-sessional courses accepted by other bodies.

If you do not meet the pre-sessional entry requirements or want to have longer to understand and learn new skills, the Centre also offers a number of other English language options such as the English for University Study course.  

Find out more

Find out more about pre-sessional programmes for international students.

The following countries are those we deem to be a majority English-speaking country:

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

If you are a national of one of the above countries, you are not required to submit evidence of English language proficiency.

If you have undertaken a full degree in one of the above countries,  you will not be required to submit further evidence of your English Language if you have:

  • Completed it no more than two years before the intended start of your chosen postgraduate programme.
  • The degree certificate is successfully verified with the issuing body on receipt. Any applicant found to have submitted a fraudulent score will have their application withdrawn.

* Canadian nationals are exempt from English Language requirements but non-Canadian nationals who have studied in Canada are required to meet standard English Language requirements due to Home Office policy.

If you wish to defer your entry to the University, we may ask you to re-take your test if your original offer was based on a test which will be out of date at the point of registration. Our English language programme requirements and other accepted tests provide details of how long your qualification is deemed valid.

All test scores are verified with the issuing body on receipt. Any applicant found to have submitted a fraudulent score will have their application withdrawn.

The University reserves the right to change minimum English Language requirements during an application cycle in-line with any compliance guidance released by the Home Office. In the event of a change in Home Office policy which affects entry requirements, the University will notify affected applicants in writing.

Exemptions

Full degrees studied in full and completed in a majority speaking English country if taken no more than two years prior to enrolment.