English language requirements

Update: USW is now accepting Duolingo English Test on an interim basis for September 2021 and February 2022 entry. We are accepting:

  • 100 overall, with 90 in each component.
  • Please note that the overall scores shown above are indicative of the score required. Your whole test will be reviewed to provide us with a holistic assessment of your English language proficiency and to determine whether you are eligible for direct entry. Test samples will be reviewed by the University before being accepted. The Duolingo test is accepted on an interim basis for 2021 entry.
  • When taking Duolingo you will need to nominate USW to receive the results in order for them to be confirmed. Once the results are available please email [email protected] and your designated international contact confirming the following information to enable the results to be verified:
    Student ID
    Date of test
  • We will only consider Duolingo tests taken on or after 1st October 2020. Any student that used Duolingo for September 2020 entry but deferred will have to submit a new Duolingo or alternative English test. Students who have had a Duolingo test approved as part of their USW application for September 2021 entry will, however, be able to use the same test if they have to defer from September 2021 to the February 2022 intake.

    Proficiency in the English language is essential and, for courses at degree level or above, the University recognises the following English language qualifications:
  • GCSE pass in English at Grade C or above
  • IELTS with an overall score of 6.0 with at least 5.5 in each component*. Please note that for those students who do not require a UKVI SELT, USW will also be able to accept the IELTS at-home test when it becomes available.
  • TOEFL with a score of 72 overall and a minimum of 18 in reading, 17 in listening, 20 in speaking and 17 in writing (including Home Edition)
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE): exams taken from January 2015 – overall score of 169 with at least 162 in each component; exams taken before January 2015 – Grade C and no less than borderline in each skill 
  • Trinity College English Language qualifications: ISE II Distinction or ISE III Pass
    • Direct entry: 32 overall score, no less that 30 in each component
    • Direct entry needing a higher IELTS score: 35 overall, no less than 30 in each component
  • PTE Academic and PTE Academic UKVI with a score of 64 overall and 59 in each component. Please note that where a UKVI SELT is not required, we can also accept the scores above in the PTE Academic Online
  • LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator Exam with a High pass with a score of 33 in each component

*Please note that a very small number of USW’s programmes require a higher IELTS (or equivalent) score. Please see the individual course pages for details. 

Don’t worry if you do not meet these requirements!

We run a number of courses to prepare you for your studies. Please visit our Centre for International English pages for more information.

IELTS Online

IELTS Online offer three interactive online preparation courses in all four IELTS modules. Enrol on one of these courses


Please note that international students applying for a Tier 4 student visa who will be studying at a course below degree level (this includes presessional English programmes, International Foundation Programmes, HNDs and foundation degrees) must have a Home Office approved Secure English Language Test.