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English language requirements

What English Language requirements do I need to go to university?

Many universities require applicants to have a good level of English before they will offer places. They may ask you to have a pass (usually 4 or C) in GCSE English Language, or to sit an alternative English language test and achieve the minimum score required. You should ask the Admissions Team at the university you are applying to for more information about their particular English language requirements.


IELTS (The International English Language Testing System) is the most popular English language test that universities use to determine English levels. However, taking an IELTS test does cost money. You can find information about financial help for IELTS here. You could also apply to some of these organsiations for any costs related to IELTS.


Even if you can achieve the minimum score in an English test, you may decide to wait a year and take further classes to improve your English. You are much more likely to enjoy university when you feel confident with your English.

There are other English language tests that some universities will accept such as Password Skills Test. In some cases, Password are able to offer free English language testing for applicants to certain universities. Please contact Password to see if you are eligible.

Where can I improve my English language in preparation for university?

Are there alternative English language to IELTS?

There are lots of free online courses aimed at helping students improve their English language in preparation for university. Please find a list of some below;


Here's more information

Click here to return to our main Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page for more information about higher education

Contact us for advice and guidance

Click here to find out how REUK's Educational Progression team can help you reach university through advice, guidance, workshops and funding opportunities

Training for practitioners

Join our training to understand the barriers to university for refugee and asylum-seeking students and to get the skills and confidence you need to move forward.

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