English language requirements

To benefit fully from an undergraduate, postgraduate taught or postgraduate research course at the University of Surrey, you will need a good standard of English language.

The score or level of English language required varies between courses. Please visit our undergraduatepostgraduate taught and postgraduate research course pages for specific requirements.

The following qualifications are accepted by the University as evidence that you meet our minimum level of competence in English: 

  • GCSE English Language grade C (4), or above
  • Country equivalencies for GCSE English Language grade C (4) as defined on the Qualification Database
  • iGCSE English as a First Language grade C, Second Language grade B, in all four elements
  • International Baccalaureate English grade 4 at either standard or higher level where the IB meets the standard academic entry requirements
  • AS-level in English Language or English Literature
  • A-level in English Language or English Literature
  • European Baccalaureate English 6 (Language 1/2) or 7 (Language 3)
  • Successful completion of a University of Surrey pre-sessional English language course immediately preceding the main degree course
  • Pearson Test of English, taken within two years of the start of the course
  • IELTS Academic, taken within two years of the start of the course
  • TOEFL (ibt), taken within two years of the start of the course
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE), taken within two years of the start of the course
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English.

Our offer

IELTS Academic

6.5 overall with 6.0 in each band

7.0 overall with 6.5 in each band

7.5 overall with 7.0 in each band

Equivalent

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency

176 overall with 169 in each component

185 overall with 176 in each component

191 overall with 185 in each component

Equivalent

Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English

176 overall with 169 in each component

185 overall with 176 in each component

191 overall with 185 in each component

Equivalent

Pearson Test of English

62 overall with 56 in each component

68 overall with 62 in each component

74 overall with 68 in each component

Equivalent TOEFL (ibt) 92 overall with 20 in each component 100 overall with 22 in each component 110 overall with 25 in each component
Equivalent Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE) ISE III with a pass in each skill ISE III with a merit in each skill ISE III with a distinction in each skill

Postgraduate students do not need to provide an English language test if:

1. You are a national of 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
  • The US.

2. You have studied for a minimum of two years, and successfully completed within the past five years, a qualification equivalent to a UK bachelors degree or higher, taught in a majority English-speaking country: 

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • The Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • The UK
  • The US.

3. You have studied for a minimum of two years, and successfully completed in the past five years, a qualification equivalent to a UK bachelors degree or higher from a Russell Group university, taught entirely, or in part, at an overseas campus.

Other qualifications

Other tests, qualifications, or degree-level study from elsewhere are not normally acceptable as evidence of competence in English, even when the degree is said to be taught in English, except in exceptional circumstances (see below) .

Multiple qualifications

If you present a variety of pieces of evidence of competence in English, you will only be judged on the most recent piece of evidence. However, if you have taken an IELTS Academic test no more than six months before the end of a degree course, this will take precedence over degree study.

If you register for an IELTS test but withdraw before taking the test, we will not consider this as evidence.

Exceptions

In exceptional circumstances, you may still be considered if you do not meet our English language requirements if you have sufficient evidence demonstrating your proficiency at the appropriate standard in each skill area (listening, speaking, reading and writing). Evidence could include your employment history, previous English language test results, or degree-level study that falls outside of this policy. As well as providing evidence of ongoing use of English, you will also be interviewed.

You may also be asked to demonstrate your English proficiency by taking a recognised test.

Pre-sessional English language courses

We offer 12-week, eight-week and five-week pre-sessional English courses for international students.

These intensive courses are designed to help you improve your English language skills in order to meet your degree offer and begin studying at Surrey.

Learn more about our pre-sessional English languages courses.

English language and visa applications

If you require a Tier 4 (General) Student visa, you will need a UKVI approved Secure English Language Test (SELT) if you intend to study on one of our pre-sessional English language programmes. Currently IELTS (Academic) is the only Secure English Language Test that we accept.

You do not need to take a Secure English Language Test if you intend to study an undergraduate or postgraduate degree-level course, as we have our own method of assessing your language level under our Tier 4 Sponsor status. For further details, please see our information for international applicants.

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