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English language requirements

All applicants must demonstrate a standard level of English or Welsh language to study on our courses.

In addition to meeting the academic language standard, applicants who require a Student Route (previously 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 - in most cases this will be the same language evidence.

We accept a variety of English language qualifications for entry. We have minimum admission requirements but for some undergraduate and 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.

For European Exchange applicants, please see the European Exchange study pages on what evidence you will need to provide.

Find out more about accepted English language equivalences for undergraduate and postgraduate study:

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.

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, Pearson, Trinity, and Academic English Skills overall score comparison table

IELTS (Academic)TOEFL iBT (including
Home Edition)
Pearson Test of English
Academic (PTE Academic) and  Pearson PTE Online
Trinity II/IIIAcademic English Skills*
7.510978II: Not accepted

III: Accepted
89%
7.010070II: Not accepted

III: Accepted
70%
6.59062II: Accepted

III: Accepted
60%

*Study Group International Foundation Programme - Academic English Skills (accepted only when taken as part of a full academic Foundation programme and studied in the UK) / Study Group Pre-Masters Programme - Academic English Skills (accepted only when taken as part of a full academic PMP and studied at the International Study Centre in Cardiff)

IELTS, TOEFL, Pearson, Trinity, and Academic English Skills subskill score comparison table

IELTS (Academic)TOEFL iBT (including
Home Edition)
Pearson Test of English
Academic (PTE Academic) and Pearson PTE Online
Trinity II/IIIAcademic English Skills*
7.526 in speaking and 24 in all other subskills80 in all communicative skillsII: Not accepted

III: Distinction in all components
89%
7.02476 in all communicative skillsII: Not accepted

III: Distinction in all components
70%
6.52269 in all communicative skillsII: Not accepted

III: Merit in all components
60%
6.02062 in all communicative skillsII: Not accepted

III: Merit in all components
50%
5.517 for writing, 17 for listening, 18 for reading, and 20 for speaking59 in all communicative skillsII: At least two Distinctions and two Merits

III: Pass in all components
40%

*Study Group International Foundation Programme - Academic English Skills (accepted only when taken as part of a full academic Foundation programme and studied in the UK) / Study Group Pre-Masters Programme - Academic English Skills (accepted only when taken as part of a full academic PMP and studied at the International Study Centre in Cardiff)

IELTS and LanguageCert comparison table

IELTS
(Academic)
LanguageCert
B2 Communicator Test
LanguageCert
C1 Expert Test

6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in all subskills

Overall pass with a minimum of 33 in each subskill

Overall pass with a minimum of 33 in each subskill

6.5 overall with a minimum of 6.0 in subskills

Overall pass with a minimum of 35 in each subskill

Overall pass with a minimum of 34 in each sub-skill

6.5 overall with a minimum of 6.5 in writing and a minimum of 6.0 in all other subskills

Overall pass with a minimum of 37 in Writing and 35 in all other subskills

Overall pass with a minimum of 35 in Writing and 34 in all other subskills

7.0 overall with a minimum of 6.0 in each subskill

Overall pass with a minimum of 35 in each subskill

Overall pass with a minimum of 34 in each subskill

7.0 overall with a minimum of 6.5 in writing and 7.0 in all other subskills

Not accepted

Overall pass with a minimum of 35 in writing and 37 in all other subskills

7.0 overall with a minimum of 6.5 in all subskills

Not accepted

Overall pass with a minimum of 35 in each subskill

7.5 overall with a minimum of 7.5 in each subskill

Not accepted

Overall pass with a minimum of 39 in each subskill

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.