Undergraduate Study

English language requirements

Students who are nationals of a majority English-speaking country may be accepted without an English qualification if during the application process it has been demonstrated that you are able to understand written and spoken English to the required level.

  • 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

*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 reside in one of these countries, you are not required to submit evidence of English language proficiency if you:

  • Have undertaken a full degree in one of these countries and completed it no more than two years before the intended start of your chosen undergraduate 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 Any applicant found to have submitted a fraudulent score will have their application withdrawn.

The University recognises this qualification and our programme listings give full details of the grades and subjects required. Our offers are usually based on having achieved or achieving an overall IB Diploma grade or three individual Higher Level subjects at specified grades, and they could also include achieving specific grades in specific subjects. Applicants taking the International Baccalaureate Career-related programme will be consider where this includes three individual Higher Level subjects.

The table below lists English language requirements for our programmes if you have completed an IELTS (Academic), TOEFL IBT or Pearson Test of English.

These tests 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.

All subjects except those listed below
IELTS (Academic) at least 6.5 overall and no less than 6.0 in the writing section and no less than 5.5 in any other section
TOEFL IBT at least 90 with minimum scores of 21 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking
Pearson Test of English (Academic) 58 with a minimum of 51 in all communicative skills
Accounting, Business, Economics, English, History and Psychology (including Combined Honours)
IELTS (Academic)  at least 6.5 overall and no less than 6.0 in any other section
TOEFL IBT  at least 90 with minimum scores of 21 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking
Pearson Test of English (Academic)  58 with no less than 55 in all skills
BSc Medical Imaging
IELTS (Academic) at least 7.0 overall and no less than 6.5 in any other section
TOEFL IBT at least 100 with minimum scores of 25 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking
Pearson Test of English (Academic) 65 with no less than 58 in all communicative skills
Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (BMBS)
ELTS (Academic) IELTS band 7.5 or above with no less than 6.0 and at least 7.0 in each of the Speaking and Listening sections
TOEFL IBT Overall score of 110 with minimum scores of 21 for writing, 25 for listening, 22 for reading and 25 for speaking
Pearson Test of English (Academic) 73 with no less than 65 in all communicative skills
Biosciences. Environmental Science, Geography, Natural Sciences, Sport Sciences
ELTS (Academic) at least 6.5 overall and no less than 5.5 in any other section
TOEFL IBT at least 90 with minimum scores of 21 in speaking and at least 18 in all other sections
Pearson Test of English (Academic) 58 with a minimum of 51 in all communicative skills
MSCi Nursing
IELTS (Academic) at least 7.0 overall and no less than 6.5 in any other section
TOEFL IBT at least 100 with minimum scores of 25 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking
Pearson Test of English (Academic) 65 with no less than 58 in all communicative skills

From 6th April 2015 there have been changes to the Home Office Secure English Language Test (SELT) list for the purpose of obtaining a UK visa. These changes do 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 6th April 2015 changes.

The University is therefore pleased to confirm that it will accept all qualifications stated on this page as evidence of linguistic ability (subject to meeting our minimum requirements) from applicants for its next intake*.

*Applicants to programmes offered by INTO University of Exeter, will need to view the INTO University of Exeter website for information on acceptable English language qualifications. This is due to a different ruling by the Home Office regarding non-degree level programmes.

These qualifications must have been completed no more than 7 years prior to enrolment.

QualificationMinimum alternative English language qualifications for programmes requiring equivalent of IELTS 6.5 with at least 5.5 in any sectionMinimum alternative English language qualifications for programmes requiring equivalent of IELTS 6.5 overall and no less than 6 in any sectionMinimum alternative English Language qualifications for Medical Imaging and BMBS
A or AS level English Grade D or above Grade C or above Grade B or above
GCSE English Language/Cambridge GCE O level/Cambridge Overseas School Certificate Grade C or above Grade B or above Grade A. English as a second language not accepted
Cambridge IGCSE English as a First Language Grade C or above Grade B or above Grade A or above 
Cambridge IGCSE English as a Second Language Grade B or above Grade A or above Not accepted
Cambridge Pre-U Literature in English (Principal Subject) P2 or above M3 or above M2 or above
Botswana General Certificate of Secondary Education (BTGCSE) Grades 3-6 (credit); Grade C Grades 1 and 2 (distinction); Grades A and B Not accepted
Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency (post Jan 2015) 176 overall, no less than 169 in writing and no less than 162 in any other section 185 overall, no less than 169 in any element 191 overall, no less than 185 in Speaking and Listening and no less than 169 in any other element
Edexcel IGCSE English as a First Language Grade C or above Grade B or above Grade A or above
Edexcel IGCSE English as a Second Language Grade B or above Grade A or above Not accepted
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
L1: English: 75% or above
L2: English: 85% or above
L3: English: 85% or above
French Baccalaureat
(option International du Baccalaureat)
English: Grade 12
(English Grade 10)

English: Grade 12
(English Grade 10)

 

English: Grade 12
(English Grade 10.5)

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 Standard Level Grade 6 or Higher Level grade 5. English as a first language only acceptable
Hong Kong applicants HKDSE English (Core) Level 4 overall (no less than Level 3 in any sub-section) HKDSE English (Core) Level 4 overall (no less than Level 4 in any sub-section) HKDSE English (Core) Level 5** overall with no less than 4 and at least 5* in each of the Speaking and Listening sections
Indian Standard XII English at first attempt (ISC, CBSE, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi,
Goa, Kerala Boards)
75% 80% At least 85% from ISC/CBSE Board only. Other State Boards not accepted
Indian Standard XII English at first attempt (West Bengal Board) 70% 75% 80%
Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education English: Grade C (4) or above English: Grade B or above Not accepted
Malaysian SPM English (1119/O level paper only) Grade C or above Grade B or above Grade A
Norwegian Vitnemal – videregaende opplaering English: Overall score of 4 or above  English: Overall score of 5 or above English: Overall score of 5 or above
Canada Year 12 Secondary School Certificate / High School Diploma (except Quebec) English Grade C (75%) or above English Grade B (80%) or above English Grade A (85%) 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

Note: General paper is not acceptable proof of English Language proficiency

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

Note: General paper is not acceptable proof of English Language proficiency

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

Note: 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 English: Grade 6
Trinity ISE exams (SELT variant only) ISE III (SELT variant only) with merit in writing section and pass in all other sections ISE III (SELT variant only) with merit in writing and one other section and pass in all other sections ISE III (SELT variant only) with distinction in speaking and listening and nothing less than merit in other sections
West African Examinations Council SSCE in English at first sitting English: Grade C6 or above English: Grade B3 or above Not accepted
Uganda National Examinations Board Certificate of Education (UCE) Grades 3-6 (credit); Grade C Grades 1 and 2 (distinction); Grades A and B Not accepted
USA High School Graduation Diploma English Grade C (75–79%) or above English Grade B (80–89%) or above Considered on a case by case basis
Zimbabwe General Certificate of Education O level English Grade C or above Grade B or above Grade A
Zimbabwe General Certificate of Education Advanced level English (ZIMSEC) Grade D or above Grade C or above Grade B or above

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 and UCAS will be advised.

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

If you do not reach the required English standard in one of the above recognised English language tests, undergraduate study at Exeter could still be a possibility if you successfully complete a Pre-Sessional Course at the INTO University of Exeter Centre. These intensive six- or ten-week courses are designed for students who wish to improve their ability in English and study skills before they start their degree programme.

The Pre-sessional English brochure contains further information about the pre-sessional courses based on your IELTS test scores. 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 and meet the progression requirements from the programme for entry to your academic course of study, it is not necessary to undertake an additional IELTS test at the end of the course to demonstrate your English language proficiency. Please note that we do not accept pre-sessional courses provided 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 Academic English course.

Tier 4 Visa

A student applying for a Tier 4 visa who is not a National of a majority English speaking country is required to demonstrate a minimum proficiency in English language equivalent to B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). The University’s minimum English Language requirements are specified above.

Short-Term Study Visa

The underlying assumption is that applicants from these countries who have the necessary academic qualifications for entry to a degree programme will also have a sufficiently high level of English to undertake a programme of academic study in the UK, as evidenced by their application and supporting documentation. Therefore credit-mobility students entering the UK on a Short-Term Study visa will be exempt from the English Language requirements above if the following requirements are met:

  • The student studies at a Partner Institution for which we hold a formal Student Exchange Agreement whereby English is the language of instruction; the student supplies and meets criteria of all other supporting documentation as defined on the Study Abroad webpages, OR
  • The student is a speaker of English who has taken their education entirely in the medium of English and can demonstrate that they have successfully completed the whole of their secondary education up to and including the equivalent of year twelve in one of the countries on the UKVI list of recognised countries but who are not entitled to an automatic waiver under UKVI guidance as they are not a national of those countries, OR
  • The student is able to evidence in the last 7 years via an ‘Other’ accepted test e.g. Singapore O levels, that they meet the necessary minima (including phone interview if required) and they can demonstrate through their application that they have continued to study in an English medium. Students planning to take modules from across different departments will normally need to satisfy the higher of any linguistic minima required; for example students taking one English module and two Archaeology modules will need the higher grade of IELTS 7.0 or equivalent, as defined above