English language requirements

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 average overall score of 6.0 with at least 5.5 in each component 

  • TOEFL minimum score of 72**

  • 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

  • City and Guilds IESOL/ISESOL tests at expert and mastery levels (C2 and C1) and in some cases the communicator level (B2)

  • Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) with a minimum score of 50 overall with no less than 42 in each component 

Please note that a very small number of USW’s programmes require a higher IELTS 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.

**An overall score of 72 is required (with a minimum of 18 in reading, 17 in listening, 20 in speaking and 17 in writing