English language support

One of the entry requirements for courses at the University of Southampton is an appropriate level of English. The qualifications tables in the downloads section of this page list the English language qualifications currently accepted by the University, as well as the minimum grade usually required.

However, some courses may have higher English language entry requirements. If you are unsure about the requirements for your course, please contact the International Office or the relevant academic unit for guidance. In all cases, your English language certificate should normally have been obtained within the last two years prior to the application. For further information, please see the University Admissions page.


In accordance with University regulations, international students whose first language is not English must provide evidence of their ability to communicate in English by offering one of the recognised tests in English, or by supplying evidence that you have undertaken formal study in English at an institution that teaches award-bearing programmes in English.

This is applicable to all overseas students except those from countries named by the University as being exempt from testing.


The Centre for Language Study in Humanities can provide a choice of English language classes to suit your needs. The Centre is a member of the British Association of Lecturers in English for Academic Purposes (BALEAP).

You could choose to take a Pre-sessional course in English for Academic Purposes (EAP) in the summer before your formal studies begin. There are different options lasting from 6 to 16 weeks depending on your initial level. Typical entry requirements for the Pre-sessional EAP courses start at IELTS 5.5.  If your English level is IELTS 4.5-5.0, you might wish to take a year -round course in English for Academic Study (EAS) to bring your English level up to the required standard. Other courses you may be interested in include the International Foundation Year and the pre-Masters Programmes.

The University also provides English language support throughout the academic year. This can be particularly useful if you find, once your course has begun, that you would benefit from extra help with English for academic purposes. It is also possible to learn a language as part of your degree. For further information, please visit the Centre for Language Study website.

Contact us

If you have any general queries about English language requirements, please contact the International Office:
If you are from outside the European Union, tel: +44 (0)23 8059 9699
If you are from a country in the European Union, tel: +44 (0)23 8059 2772

Centre for Language Study

Find out more

English for Academic Study (EAS)

A course aimed at developing the English language and academic skills of international students planning to come to the UK for undergraduate of postgraduate study.

Find out more

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

The University is an approved IELTS test centre and offers test dates at regular intervals throughout the year.

Find out more

English Language Entry Requirements

Your conditional offer letter from the University will detail the English languge requirements for your programme of study.

Find out more at English Language Proficiency

Other University of Southampton sitesWeb links