English Language Requirements

Introduction

All students must demonstrate that they have achieved a certain level of English before starting their programme. You will need to provide a recognised English language test or qualification before you can be accepted to Swansea University

Specific English requirements are listed on each course page under the 'entry requirements' section. Our English Language requirements are listed as IELTS scores but we accept the wide range of other English language tests shown below.

If your English scores do not exactly meet our requirements, you could still be accepted if you successfully complete an English Language Pre-sessional Programme at Swansea’s English Language Training Services (ELTS) at the required level before starting your academic programme. More details can be found here.

Postgraduate Degrees

Most academic departments will ask for an IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) for postgraduate degrees but there are exceptions and you should always check with the individual departments, or check the conditions included in your offer letter.

Undergraduate Degrees

Most academic departments will ask for an IELTS score of 6.0 (or equivalent) for undergraduate degrees but there are exceptions and you should always check with the individual departments, or check the conditions included in your offer letter.

Please Note

Please note, while the following tests and qualifications would allow you to be admitted to the University, if you do not hold a Secure English Language Test or if you are not a national of a Majority English Speaking Country, you should expect to undertake a short Test of English at enrolment to assess whether you might benefit from additional free English Language support and to help inform the English Language policy on the acceptability of alternative English language tests.

English Language Requirements

Majority English Speaking Countries

If you are a national of one of the following countries you DO NOT need to provide an English Language qualification:

If you are not a national of one of these countries but have studied there: if you have completed 2 years of a degree or 1 year masters taught through the medium of English within 3 ½ years of the programme start date, you will not need to provide a separate English language qualification

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

Approved tests for nationals of any country

Our English Language requirements are listed as IELTS scores but the following English language tests are also accepted if taken within the listed period before the start of the programme at Swansea.

If you obtained the test outside the valid period it may still be possible to accept you if you have undertaken further study or worked in the medium of English since taking the test. See below for further details.

If you have applied for a degree or postgraduate programme we will accept an IELTS (Academic) test taken at ANY test centre, not just those approved by the UKVI. But if you have applied for a programme below degree level or English Language Training programme the IELTS test would need to be an UKVI-approved test otherwise known as a SELT (Secure English Language Test).

 

Qualification Equivalent to IELTS 6.0 Equivalent to IELTS 6.5 Equivalent to IELTS 7.0 Validity Period
IELTS Academic (UKVI) 6.0 6.5 7.0 2 years before issue of CAS
IELTS Academic  6.0 6.5 7.0 2 and a half years
Swansea ELTS test (SWELT)  6.0 6.5 7 2 years
Cambridge English: First, Advanced and Proficiency since 2015 169 176 185 3 and a half years
Cambridge: First Certificate in English before 2015 min 67 overall min 75 overall n/a 3 and a half years
Cambridge: Certificate in Advanced English before 2015 min 52 overall min 58 overall  min 67 overall 3 and a half years
Cambridge: Certificate of Proficiency in English before 2015 C C C 3 and a half years
GCSE English or IGCSE English (first or second language) Grade C  Grade C  Grade C  3 and a half years
A-level English Language and/or Literature Grade D     3 and a half years
AS-level English Language and/or Literature Grade C      3 and a half years
Irish Leaving Certificate English HL Grade B3     3 and a half years
International Baccalaureate English Language and/or Literature standard level 5; higher level 4 standard level 5; higher level 5 - 3 and a half years
Pearson Test of English (General) level 4 pass level 4 pass level 5 pass 2 and a half years
Pearson Test of English (Academic) 56 62 67 2 and a half years
TOEFL (IBT) 79 88 96 2 and a half years

 

School leaving qualifications

Our English Language requirements are listed as IELTS scores but we will also accept English in the following school leaving qualifications.

If you obtained the qualification outside the valid period it may still be possible to accept you if you have undertaken further study or worked in the medium of English since taking the test. See below for further details:

Qualification Equivalent to IELTS 6.0 Equivalent to IELTS 6.5 Equivalent to IELTS 7.0 Validity Period
Botswana: Ordinary level  C C C 3 and a half years
Brunei: Cambridge O Level (1120)  C 6 C 5 B 4 3 and a half years
Cameroon: Ordinary level  C C C 3 and a half years
Canada: Year 11 certificate  pass pass pass 3 and a half years
Gambia: West African Examinations Council (WAEC) WAASC C6 C5 C4 3 and a half years
Ghana West African Examinations Council (WAEC) WAASC C6 C5 C4 3 and a half years
Hong Kong: Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) 3 overall 4 overall 5 overall 3 and a half years
Hong Kong: HKCEE 3 or above 3 or above 3 or above 3 and a half years
India: Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) from (CBSE) or Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) from (CISCE); or Indian School Certificate (ISC) from (CISCE) 70% 75% 80% 3 and a half years
Kenya: Certificate of Secondary Education C C C 3 and a half years
Gambia: West African Examinations Council (WAEC) WAASC C6 C5 C4 3 and a half years
Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) from Malawi National Examinations Board (MNEB) 6 5 4 3 and a half years
Malaysia: Cambridge O Level (1119) or STPM (Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia) = Malaysia Higher School Certificate C C B 3 and a half years
Mauritius: Cambridge O Level (1125)  C C B 3 and a half years
Namibia: Senior Certificate C     3 and a half years
Nigeria: West African Examinations Council (WAEC) WAASC C6 C5 C4 3 and a half years
Nigeria: Senior School Certificate (SSC) from National Examinations Council (NECO) C5 C4 B3 3 and a half years
Sierra Leone: West African Examinations Council (WAEC) WAASC C6 C5 C4 3 and a half years
Singapore: Cambridge O Level (1127)  C 6 C 5 B 4 3 and a half years
South Africa: National Senior Certificate (NSC) 4 5 6 3 and a half years
Tanzania: Certificate of Secondary Education C C C 3 and a half years
Uganda Certificate of Education C C C 3 and a half years
USA: High School Diploma C C C 3 and a half years
Zambia: School Certificate C 6 C 5 B 4 3 and a half years
Zimbabwe: General Certificate of Education at Ordinary Level C C B 3 and a half years

 

Although the above tests are acceptable for admission to the University, you may be asked to sit a further English test on arrival to assess whether any additional English language support may be needed.

EU/EEA students

Our English Language requirements are listed as IELTS scores but we will also accept English in the following school leaving qualifications.

If you obtained the qualification outside the valid period it may still be possible to accept you if you have undertaken further study or worked in the medium of English since taking the test. See below for further details:

Qualification Grade required validity period
Austria: Matura/Reifeprüfung Grade 2 in written and oral sections 10 years
Belgium: Secondary Diploma 80% 10 years
Denmark: Studentereksamen 9 10 years
Finland: Ylioppilastutkintotdistus/Studentexamensbetyg English A 5 10 years
France: French Baccalaureate - English 13 10 years
France: Baccalaureate l'Option Internationale - English 12 10 years
Germany: Abitur 10 10 years
Malta: Second Education Certificate C 10 years
Netherlands: Voorbereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs 7 10 years
Norway: VVO  4 10 years
Sweden: Fullständig Slutbetyg från Gymnasieskolan 12 10 years
Switzerland: Maturitatzeugnis Certificat de Maturité Attestato de Maturità 5 10 years

 

What can I do if my score is below the required level?

If your score falls below the required level of IELTS 6.0 (undergraduate) or IELTS 6.5 (postgraduate), we recommend that you attend our English Language pre-sessional courses delivered by our English Language Training Services (ELTS).

English Language Training Services (ELTS) is accredited by both the British Council and BALEAP and offer a fantastic range of programmes to improve your English language and academic study skills before starting your degree, we are also able to tailor programmes to suit groups and offer a range of exciting Summer Programmes. 

If your English Language scores IELTS 4.0 or below we advise that you should study English Language at your local school, college or accredited English Language providers.

Validity Period

All tests and qualifications must have been obtained within a set number of years before starting your course with us (usually 2 to 4 years). If you hold one of the approved tests or qualifications listed above, but it was obtained outside the valid period it may still be possible to accept you if you have continued to study or work in the medium of English since taking the test.

For example:

  • If you have studied at secondary or undergraduate level through the medium of English within 3 ½ years of the programme start date – please provide us with a letter or certificate from the school or college confirming the study was in English and the qualification you obtained;
  • If you have studied 2 years of a degree or 1 year masters taught through the medium of English within 3 ½ years of the programme start date - please provide us with a letter or certificate from the school or college confirming the study was in English;
  • If you have worked in a Majority English Speaking Country for a significant amount of time since completing your approved English test or qualification – please provide a detailed cv outlining the nature of the work;
  • If you have worked in any other country through the medium of English for a significant amount of time since completing your approved English test or qualification it might be possible to exempt you from another English test - please provide us with a reference from your employer confirming that you have worked in a formal capacity in English using the form below so that we can make an assessment:

  Employer English Language Referee Report Form

Further Information

Please contact the Admissions Office if your English qualification is not listed or if you have any questions about our requirements: