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 Tutor 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:

QualificationMinimum score
GCSE/GCE 'O' level English languageC
IELTS (Academic Test)6.5
IGCSE level English languageC
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 four 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 iBTPearson Test of English (PTE A)

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.

Other sources of evidence of English language competence

Cardiff University English Language Programmes

For applicants who do not offer a suitable level of English language competence, we offer a range of English language programmes to prepare applicants for study at the University and improve their English language competence

Academic qualifications taught in English

An academic qualification taught solely in English, which can be demonstrated to be at an equivalent or higher level than the standard undergraduate and postgraduate requirements may, in certain circumstances, be used to satisfy the University’s language competency requirement

Employer reference

Under some circumstances an employer’s reference may be used to satisfy the University’s language competence requirement

Employer English language referee report form

23 February 2016

This form should be completed by your employer to provide information about your English language competency.


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.