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English language requirements

Applicants must have a proven level of English to study on our courses.

Applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements.

We accept a variety of English language qualifications for entry. We have minimum admission requirements but for some postgraduate courses our admissions tutors may ask for higher grades.

The University minimum requirement for English is grade C/4 at GCSE or IELTS (Academic) with 6.5 overall and a minimum of 5.5 in each of the subskills, or an accepted equivalent.

We have a number of agreements in place for Universities with whom we have formal partnership agreements in relation to English Language requirements. Applicants from partner institutions should contact their current place of study for more details on eligibility.

Find out more about our English language requirements:

Undergraduate

English language requirements for undergraduate students.

Postgraduate

English language requirements for postgraduate students.

Choosing the right IELTS test

IELTS for UK Visas Immigration (offered by the IELTS SELT Consortium) is not required for undergraduate or postgraduate courses. We will accept all IELTS (Academic) tests from any IELTS test centre.

For Foundation courses, Pre-sessional English and English for University Study courses, you usually must take an IELTS for UK Visas and Immigration test or a Pearson Academic (UKVI) test. However, for 2020 entry, these programmes no longer require a IELTS for UK Visas and Immigration test.

For English for University Study applicants intending to apply for a Short Term Student Visa, please contact elt@cardiff.ac.uk for advice on other acceptable English language tests.

IELTS, TOEFL iBT and Pearson score comparison table

Please note that for the Duolingo English Test the equivalence used (top or bottom of range) will depend upon the IELTS subskill (Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening) requirements.

The Duolingo English Test and the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition are currently accepted for programmes commencing in the 2020/21 academic year. or for unconditional offer holders who defer to 2021/22 entry.

IELTS (Academic)TOEFL iBT including
Special Home Edition
Pearson Test of English
Academic (PTE Academic)
Duolingo English Test
7.510978130-135
7.010070120-125
6.59062110-115
6.07854105
5.5685195
5.06140Not acceptable
4.55338Not acceptable
4.04536Not acceptable

Waiting for test results

When applying for most programmes, if you do not have your English language test results you can send these in later. Please indicate on your application form when you took or expect to take the English language test and when you expect to receive your test results. You can then send in your test results once you have them. In this case, your offer will be conditional upon the University receiving the test results.

Please note that in some cases students may be made offers to attend pre-sessional English courses instead of or in addition to an English Language qualification, and some courses will require you to have your English language results when submitting your application.

If you don’t meet the requirements

We offer a range of English language courses to help you meet our entry requirements.

Find out more about our English language programmes.

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