The University of Southampton
Student and Academic AdministrationAdmissions

English Language Proficiency

All programmes at the University of Southampton are taught and assessed in the medium of English (other than those in modern foreign languages). Therefore, all applicants must demonstrate they possess at least a minimum standard of English language proficiency. This web page sets out our requirements.

Students requiring a visa to study in the UK

In addition to the University’s own English language proficiency requirements, the UK Home Office sets its own minimum standards for applicants requiring a visa to study in the UK. These requirements changed most recently on 6th April 2015. The current requirements are that:

List of approved tests and providers.

 

 

English Language Tests

The University of Southampton accepts the following English Language Tests:

The University does not recognise any test not listed above.  Secure English Language Tests must be dated within the two years immediately preceding the programme start date as set out in any offer letter issued by the University.

Most programmes at the University will stipulate a level of English proficiency which equates to one of four bands detailed below for each of the above tests. Some programmes may require a standard of English proficiency which fits between these bands. Specific information regarding the level of English proficiency required for each programme is included in the prospectus on the individual programme pages online.

a. IELTS

 

Band Overall Listening Reading Writing Speaking
A 5.5 5.5 5.5 5.5 5.5
B 6.0 5.5 5.5 5.5 5.5
C 6.5 5.5 5.5 5.5 5.5
D 7.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0

All results will be verified online. Applicants from outside the EEA for pre-sessional and other English language programmes must take their IELTS test as an approved UKVI centre.

 

 

b. TOEFL

 

Band Overall Listening Reading Writing Speaking
A 72 17 18 17 20
B 81 17 18 17 20
C 92 17 18 17 20
D 100 21 22 21 23

All results will be verified online.

 

c. Pearson PTE (Academic)

 

Band Overall Listening Reading Writing Speaking
A 51 51 51 51 51
B 54 51 51 51 51
C 62 51 51 51 51
D 70 58 58 58 58

All results will be verified online.

 

d. Cambridge Advanced (CAE)

 

Band

Tests before January 2015

Overall

Tests before January 2015

Components

Tests from January 2015

Overall

Tests from January 2015

Components

A 50 (B2) Any pass 162 162
B 55 (B2) Any pass 169 169
C 60 (C) Any pass 176 176
D 70 (C) Any pass 185 185

All results will be verified online requiring applicants to provide their 'secret number'.

 

e. Cambridge Proficiency (CPE)

 

Band

Tests before January 2015

Overall

Tests before January 2015

Components

Tests from January 2015

Overall

Tests from January 2015

Components

A Pass Any pass 180 180
B Pass Any pass 180 180
C Pass Any pass 180 180
D Pass Any pass 185 185

All results will be verified online requiring applicants to provide their 'secret number'.

 

f. Cambridge First (FCE)

 

Tests before January 2015

Overall

Tests before January 2015

Components

Tests from January 2015

Overall

Tests from January 2015

Components

50 (B2) Any pass 162 162

This test is only acceptable for applications to foundation year programmes. All results will be verified online requiring applicants to provide their 'secret number'.

 

g. Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English

 

 

Band A   

Band B   

Band C   

Band D  

ISE Level    ISE II ISE III ISE III ISE IV

Applicants must provide their certificate and summary slips to the University.

 

Admission without a Secure English Language Test

The University of Southampton holds a sponsor license issued by the Home Office, permitting the University to recruit students from outside of the EEA who require a visa to study in the UK. It also places certain restrictions on the University in terms of the non-EEA students it can recruit.

The Home Office defines the following countries to be majority native-English speaking and as such, nationals of these countries are not required to demonstrate their English language proficiency by taking an aforementioned SELT.

Additionally, the University will not normally insist upon an applicant providing a SELT if (s)he has recently taken one of the following qualifications to at least the standard indicated (some programmes may require applicants to demonstrate a higher standard where their usual English language proficiency requirements are higher).

 

a. UK qualifications

For IGCSE English requirements, see Section C, International Qualifications below. 

GCSE in English or English Language  Grade C or Grade 4, or above  
A Level or AS Level English Language or English Language and Literature Grade C or above
GCE O-Level in English Language   Grade C or above
International O-Level in English Grade C or above
SQA Scottish Standard Grade in English Grade 3 or above
SQA Scottish Intermediate 2 or National 5 English Grade C or above
SQA Scottish Higher/Advanced Higher Grade in English Grade C or above

 

b. European Qualifications

Europe    European Baccalaureate where English is a compulsory subject or a full option     7.5 or above
Finland Ylioppilastutkintotodistus/Studentexamensbetyg English Grade 4 or above
France

Baccalauréat l'Option Internationale - English

Grade 11 or above
Germany    Abitur - English (or 2/6 in English Language as a Leistungkurs) Grade 11 or above
Ireland Irish Leaving Certificate in English Grade C or 4, or above
Netherlands    Voorbereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs Grade 8 or above
Norway

Vitnemål

Grade 4 or above
Sweden

Slutbetyg/Examensbevis från Gymnasieskolan - English

Grade VG or Grade C, or above

 

c. International Qualifications

 

Cambridge IGCSE English requirements by syllabus   Grade     
IGCSE English as a First Language - Syllabus 0522 (compulsory speaking and listening)   Grade C or above
IGCSE English as a First Language - Syllabus 0500 (separately endorsed speaking and listening)   Grade C (plus Grade 2 in each of speaking and listening), or above   
IGCSE English as a Second language - Syllabus 0510 (speaking endorsement) Grade A (plus Grade 2 in speaking)
IGCSE English as a Second language - Syllabus 0511 (count-in speaking) Grade A

Cambridge International Examinations, Ordinary Level English       Grade C or above   
Cambridge International Examinations, Advanced Level English    Grade C or above
Hong Kong (HKALE) A Level - Use of English Grade C or above
Hong Kong (HKCEE) English Language Grade 3 or above
Hong Kong (HKDSE) English Grade 4 or above

Indian Standard XII in English Language (CBSE and ISC Boards)

70% or above

 

International Baccalaureate Standard/Higher Level English IB Diploma examined prior to 2013  
English Syllabus A1 and A2 Standard or Higher Grade 4 or above
English Syllabus B Standard Grade 6 or Higher Grade 4 or above
IB Diploma examined from 2013 -  
English Syllabus A Standard or Higher Grade 4 or above
English Syllabus B Standard Grade 6 or Higher Grade 4 or above
Some programmes (those normally requiring an IELTS score of 7.0 or above) may require one grade higher.  
Malaysian Sijil Pelajaran 1119 English Language (GCE-O grade only) Grade C or above
West African Examinations Council Year 12 Certificate (WASSCE) in English Grade C or 6, or above

Please note qualifications which utilise a reverse grading scale (for example the German Abitur or Irish Leaving Certificate), where a lower mark indicates a higher level of attainment, 'or above' refers to the better grade.

 

d. Other English Language Tests 

University of Reading - Test in English for Education Purposes   Pass at required IELTS-equivalent grade      
University of Southampton Pre-sessional English programme           Pass at required IELTS-equivalent grade      


e. Other means of assessing English language proficiency

 

The information included above may be varied at any time without notice and is correct as of August 2016.

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