English language requirements

Ready to study with us? We are looking forward to meeting you. However, to make the most of your time in the UK, you’ll need to read, write and speak good English – at GCSE grade C or the equivalent standard.

Undergraduate and postgraduate programmes

To study with us, you must have gained the relevant qualifications by country from the list below.

Alternatively, a degree earned here in the UK – or in a majority English speaking country – will qualify you.

Some courses have more specific higher language requirements, so make sure you also check the requirements for the course you want to apply.

UWE Bristol Online English Language Test

For students who need to meet the English language requirements of their offer at UWE Bristol, we are pleased to offer the UWE Bristol online English language test (ELT).

About the test 

UWE Bristol's English Language test (ELT) uses the same system and format as the IELTS test, testing all four components; listening, reading, writing and speaking. You will be awarded scores for each component, as well as an overall score. You will have 3 hours 10 minutes to complete the test, but you can submit your test early if you finish before the allocated time. You will not be permitted to take any breaks during the test. We recommend allowing:

  • Listening (40 minutes)
  • Reading (90 minutes)
  • Writing (60 minutes).

The speaking component, if you are eligible, will take 10 minutes and will be held online with a member of our English Language team.

Our ELT can be used as evidence of English language ability for the majority* of courses at UWE Bristol but cannot be used for applications to other universities.

The test is delivered using the Inspera Exam Portal (IEP), the same system used for the IELTS test, and an online invigilator will supervise and be on hand throughout all stages of the test.

Your device must meet the following system requirements to use the IEP:

  • Windows 10 or 11
  • MacOS Big Sur (version 11) or higher.

If your device does not meet these requirements you will not be able to sit the ELT. If your device cannot be updated to meet the requirements, we suggest borrowing the device from a friend or family member. The Inspera Exam Portal will make no permanent changes to the device and can be removed after completion of the test.

Eligibility

Students need to hold a conditional offer to study at UWE Bristol.

Booking a test

If you are eligible to take UWE Bristol’s ELT you will be emailed a communication where you can register to attend a test. Tests will run once a fortnight on a Wednesday, and registration for each test will close two weeks before. 

Test format

  • Register for a test. Once you have registered for a test you will be contacted to attend a test induction. The test induction will take place the Wednesday before the test date. You will need to download the Inspera Exam Poral (IEP) software and do a system check before you attend the induction. Please note, you will not be permitted to take the English test until you have completed the induction and checked that you can run the software off your computer.
  • Take the first three components of the English test (listening, reading, writing). Once you have completed the induction you can take the English test. This will take place the following Wednesday after your induction. You will be sent an invitation to the test with instructions and your username, password and pin code to access the test. Please ensure you read the instructions carefully.
  • Take the speaking test. If you successfully pass the first three components of the test you can then take the speaking test. This will take place the following week and you will be sent an invite to this test.
  • Receive your results. Your results certificate will be available in your welcome portal within 10 days of you taking the speaking test and we will make your offer unconditional if possible.

Proof of identity

You will need to have valid proof of your identity, such as a passport, on your test day. You must use the same identity document you provided when registering.

Cost

Your first UWE Bristol’s Online ELT is free, but charges may apply for non-attendance and resits. Please let us know as soon as possible if you are unable to make your test.

Practise resources 

IELTS offer a number of resources on their website if you wish to practise ahead of your UWE Bristol ELT:

Further information

For further information, please email the International Admissions Office at international@uwe.ac.uk referencing your UWE ID number.

*English requirements will need to be checked against your course for eligibility into our ELT.

Pre-sessional and short courses

Need to top up your English? No problem. Pre-sessional English courses are a great way to gain both language skills and cultural understanding to help you really make the most of your time with us.

How to apply

You’ll need to take an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) for UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) Certificate at one of the test centres approved by UKVI.

Ten, five and two-week pre-sessional students may be eligible for a joint CAS to cover both pre-sessional English and main programme of studies. Please get in touch with the International Admissions Team for details and eligibility criteria.

Find out about the Pre-sessional English courses we offer at UWE Bristol.

 

Qualifications by country

Some courses have specific higher language requirements, so make sure you also check the requirements for the course you are applying to.

Countries A-H

Botswana

  • Cambridge Overseas School Certificate Grade C or above

Brunei

  • Cambridge O Level Grade C or above

Cameroon

  • GCSE O Level (British system) Grade C or above

Caribbean

  • Examination Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Grade 3/C or above

Ghana

  • WASSCE/WAEC English Language subject C6 or higher

Hong Kong

  • Hong Kong Certificate of Education (HKCEE): English Language – Grade 4 (C)
  • A-level or HKALE AS-level: English Language – Grade C

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE):

  • Undergraduate: English Language Level 3
  • Postgraduate: English Language Level 4

Countries I-N

India

  • Higher Secondary School Certificate/Indian School Certificate – Standard XII from CBSE/CISCE/WBCHSEB: English Language – 70%. This qualification must have been completed within the last three years.

Kenya

  • KSCE (EAACE): English Language Grade C or above

Malawi

  • School Certificate of Education English Language Grade C or above

Malaysia

  • Malaysian SPM: English Language Syllabus 1119 – Grades 1–6

Mauritius

  • Cambridge Overseas School Certificate/GCE O Level: English language – Grade C

Nigeria

  • WAEC/WASSCE or NECO English Language subject C6 or higher

Countries P-Z

Pakistan

  • Cambridge GCE O Level English Language – Grade C or above

Singapore

  • Cambridge GCE O Level English Language – Grade C

South Africa

  • National Senior Certificate English Language Grade 4 or higher

Uganda

  • Certificate of Education English language Grade 6 or above

Zambia

  • Zambia School Certificate Grade C or above Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (ZIMSEC) English Language grade C or above

UWE Bristol Partner Institutions

If you’re joining us from a school or college we partner with – where you’ve been educated in English – you will also need to provide proof of English Language. Please contact your regional office or email UWE Bristol International Office at international@uwe.ac.uk.

Majority English-speaking countries

For Student route visa purposes, if you are a national of one of the following countries (or have a bachelor’s degree or higher from one of these countries) you will not be required to provide evidence of English language proficiency:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

You also don’t need to prove your knowledge of English if one of the following apply:

  • You’re a national of Canada or any of the countries in the list above (excluding Quebec)
  • You have studied in the UK before as a Tier 4 (Child) student
  • You’re applying to come to the UK for a study abroad programme as part of a university degree course in the USA

Please note that this list is defined by the UKVI, not by UWE Bristol.

For more information on the UKVI language requirements, please visit the UKVI website. You’re also welcome to email our in-house experts in the UWE Bristol International Office at international@uwe.ac.uk.

Recognised qualifications

Cambridge Certificates in English

 

Valid for two years

Cambridge CPE: Certificate of Proficiency in English (taken before January 2015)

  • C

Cambridge CAE: Certificate in Advanced English (taken before January 2015)

  • C

Cambridge CAE and CPE (taken after January 2015)

  • Undergraduate Year 1 and 2 entry: 169 overall, no less than 162 in each skill (Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking).
  • Undergraduate final year entry and Postgraduate: 176 overall, no less than 162 in each skill (Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking).

When you apply, please share your Candidate ID number and Secret ID number so we can verify your results through the Cambridge English Results Verification Service.

Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE)

English as a First Language

  • C or above.

English as a Second Language

  • English as Second Language grade C or above – including all components Reading, Listening, Writing and Speaking (Supplementary statement will be required).**

**If your school or college can’t provide or release your component scores to us, you will need to apply for the Supplementary Certifying Statement, which breaks down your Cambridge IGCSE English Language results into component grades.

Please contact your school or college to apply for a Supplementary Certifying Statement for CEFR. The cost for this service is £58.70 (price as advertised in February 2024).

English for Academic Purposes (taken as part of an International Foundation Programme)

Valid for two years

This qualification is considered on a case-by-case basis.

ESOL Skills for Life – Level 1 or Level 2 Certificate

Valid for two years

You'll need a pass in each component (Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking).

European Baccalaureate

English First Language grade 6.0 or above, or English Second language Grade 7.0 or above.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and IELTS indicator (Academic)

Valid for two years

Undergraduate

  • Overall score of 6.0 with 5.5 in each component

Undergraduate Final Year Entry

  • Overall score of 6.5 with no component below 5.5 OR
  • Overall score of 6.0 with no more than one component at 5.5

Postgraduate

  • Overall score of 6.5 with 5.5 in each component

Please note: we are not able to accept IELTS General Training.

International Baccalaureate

  • English Language Standard Level – Grade 5
  • English B Higher Level – Grade 4
  • English A – Language and Literature SL – Grade 5 
  • English A – Language and Literature HL – Grade 4
  • English A – Literature SL – Grade 4
  • English A – Literature HL – Grade 4
  • English Literature and Performance SL – Grade 5

Integrated Skills in English (ISE) III from Trinity College

Valid for two years

Pass in each component (Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking).

KITE (Kaplan English Language Test)

Valid for two years

Undergraduate

 Overall score of 426 with 396 in each component.

Undergraduate Final Year Entry

Overall score of 459 with no component below 396.

OR

Overall score of 426 with 396 in each component.

Postgraduate

Overall score of 459 with no component below 396.

LanguageCert

Valid for two years

Accepting SELT and online

Undergraduate

B2 Communicator Pass in the LanguageCert International ESOL.

Undergraduate Final Year Entry

B2 Communicator High Pass in the LanguageCert International ESOL.

Postgraduate

B2 Communicator High Pass in the LanguageCert International ESOL.

 

Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic)

Valid for two years

Undergraduate:

Overall score of 51 with at least 51 in each component (Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking).

Postgraduate:

Overall score of 62 with at least 51 in each component (Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking).

Please note that we are currently only able to accept results from tests taken in a test centre so will not be able to accept results from online tests.

Skills for English

Valid for two years

Undergraduate:

  • PSI Skills for English: SELT B2 Pass

Postgraduate:

  • Postgraduate: PSI Skills for English: SELT B2 Pass with Merit

TOEFL iBT

Valid for two years

Undergraduate

Overall score of 80 or above, including a minimum of 17 in Listening and Writing, 18 in Reading and 20 in Speaking.

Undergraduate Final Year Entry

Overall score of 90 or above, including a minimum of 17 in Listening and Writing, 18 in Reading and 20 in Speaking.

Postgraduate

Overall score of 90 or above, including a minimum of 17 in Listening and Writing, 18 in Reading and 20 in Speaking.

West African Senior School Certificate (WAEC/NECO)

Grades 1 - 6.