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English language requirements

If English is not your first language you will be asked to demonstrate that your level of English meets the course requirements.

How do I prove my level of English?

You need to provide the results of any English language exams/tests that you have taken. We also accept a variety of alternative types of evidence of English language competence.

The English language qualifications accepted by the University for entry and the required scores are listed below (please note that we have stated the minimum admission requirements; for some courses the admissions tutors may ask for higher grades).

Recognised English language qualification requirements for standard Postgraduate courses

Our preferred test of English language competence is IELTS but we accept any of the following:

Qualification Minimum Score
GCSE/GCE 'O' level English language C
IELTS (Academic Test) 6.5
TOEFL (iBT) 90
IGCSE level English language C
Cambridge Proficiency (CPE) C (176 from January 2015)
Cambridge Advanced (CAE) C (176 from January 2015)
Pearson Test of English – Academic (PTE – A) 62
Trinity ISE III Pass in all 4 components
International Baccalaureate Diploma
(English language at HL or SL)
Grade 5

Note: IGCSE English can be accepted as if syllabus 0552 or 0511 have been studied. Syllabus 0500 or 0510 may also be accepted, please contact the International Office for more information.

IELTS and Pearson score comparison table:

IELTS (Academic) TOEFL iBT Pearson Test of English (PTE A)
7.5 109 78
7.0 100 70
6.5 90 62
6.0 78 54
5.5 68 51
5.0 61 40
4.5 53 38
4.0 45 36

Note: In some cases students may be made offers to attend a pre-sessional English course instead of, or in addition to, an English Language qualification.

What if I don't have my test results yet?

If you do not have any English language test results yet, you can send these in later. But please indicate on the 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.

Alternative evidence of English language competence

We also accept other evidence that your level of English is sufficient to meet the course requirements. This includes:

  • an alternative English language qualification at an equivalent level to those specified above which tests reading, writing, speaking and listening competence
  • other qualifications pursued in the medium of English that can be considered as appropriate preparation for the programme applied for, e.g. a Bachelors or Master degree. The qualification should have been completed no more than three academic years prior to the proposed start date of the course or programme. If more than three academic years have elapsed, a reference may be accepted as proof of maintained capability in your English language competence.
  • references can also be used as supporting evidence of English language competence. The person giving the reference must be able to comment in detail and with authority about your English language competence, including written and spoken communication, gained through professional employment or in another skilled role.

In some cases students may be made offers to attend pre-sessional English courses instead of or in addition to an English Language qualification.

English Language Programmes at Cardiff University

If you require extra English language tuition before or during your course, this can be arranged through our on-campus English language teaching centre.