English language requirements

You must meet our minimum English language entry requirements to prove your written and spoken English is at the required level for postgraduate study.

To study at Kent, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. This page gives guidance on the qualifications and minimum levels we accept as an entry requirement onto our postgraduate courses.

International students

If you are not a national of one of the UKVI list of majority English-speaking countries, you must show evidence of a minimum level of English language proficiency. You may be able to prove this in the following ways:

Approved English language qualifications For students with one of our approved English language proficiency qualifications.

Students with other qualifications For students with at least a Bachelor's degree level qualification from a UKVI majority English-speaking country, or in some cases, with a Bachelor's degree level qualification taught entirely in the medium of English.

Approved English language qualifications

The qualifications and grades we accept are listed below. Please note, your test results must be dated within two years immediately preceding the start date of your course.

  IELTS (including IELTS Indicator) PTE Academic CAE/CPE TOEFL iBT
General postgraduate programmes 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 6.0 in R&W; 5.5 in S&L) 62 overall with 60 in each subtest 176 overall (with a minimum of 169 in R&W; 162 in S&L) 90 overall (with a minimum of 22 in R; 21 in W; 17 in L; 20 in S)
Graduate Diploma 6.0 overall (with a minimum of 6.0 in each component) 54 in each subtest   85 overall (with a minimum of 22 in R&S; 21 in W; 20 in L)
Business, Management and Finance Pre Master's - GDip 5.5 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in each component) 51 in each subtest   72 overall (with a minimum of 18 in R; 17 in W&L; 20 in S)
Actuarial Science - MSc 6.0 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in each component) 59 overall with 59 in each subtest 169 overall (with a minimum of 162 in each component) 85 overall (with a minimum of 18 in R; 17 in W&L; 20 in S)
Applied Linguistics for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) - MA 7.0 overall (with a minimum of 6.0 in each component)     95 overall (with a minimum of 22 in R&S; 21 in W; 20 in L)
Computer Science (research programmes) 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 6.0 in each component) 62 overall with 60 in each subtest 176 overall (with a minimum of 169 in each component) 90 overall (with a minimum of 22 in R&S; 21 in W; 20 in L)
IT Consultancy - MSc 7.0 overall (with a minimum of 6.0 in R, W&L; 7.0 in S) 68 overall with 62 in each subtest 185 overall (with a minimum of 169 in R, W&L; 185 in S) 95 Overall (with a minimum of 22 in R; 21 in W; 20 in L; 26 in S)
Language and Literature - MA 7.0 overall (with a minimum of 6.0 in each component)     95 overall (with a minimum of 22 in R&S; 21 in W; 20 in L)
Experimental and Theoretical Linguistics - MA 7.0 overall (with a minimum of 6.5 in each component)     95 overall (with a minimum of 22 in R&S; 21 in W; 20 in L)
Linguistics - MA-R / PhD 7.0 overall (with a minimum of 6.0 in each component)     95 overall (with a minimum of 22 in R&S; 21 in W; 20 in L)
Medieval and Early Modern Studies - MA 7.5 overall (with a minimum of 7.0 in each component)     104 overall (with a minimum of 27 in R&W; 25 in L&S)
Medieval and Early Modern Studies - MA-R / PhD 8.5 overall (with a minimum of 8.0 in each component)     114 overall (with a minimum of 29 in R&W; 28 in L&S)
Multimedia Journalism - MA 7.5 overall (with a minimum of 7.0 in each component)     100 overall (with a minimum of 27 in R&W; 24 in L; 26 in S)
International Multimedia Journalism - MA 7.0 overall (with a minimum of 6.5 in R, L&S; 7.0 in W) 68 overall with 65 in each subtest   95 overall (with a minimum of 25 in R; 27 in W; 22 in L; 24 in S)
Philosophy - PhD 7.0 overall (with a minimum of 6.5 in each component)      
Social Work - MA, Social Work (Step Up to Social Work) - PDip 7.0 overall (with a minimum of 6.5 in each component) 68 overall with 65 in each subtest 185 overall (with a minimum of 176 in each component) 95 overall (with a minimum of 25 in R; 24 in W&S; 22 in L)
Kent School of Architecture and Planning 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 6.0 in each component)     90 overall (with a minimum of 22 in R&S; 21 in W; 20 in L)
Kent Business School 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 6.0 in each component) 62 overall with 60 in each subtest 176 overall (with a minimum of 169 in R&W; 162 in S&L) 90 overall (with a minimum of 22 in R&S; 21 in W; 20 in L)
School of Engineering and Digital Arts (taught programs) 6.0 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in each component) 59 overall with 59 in each subtest 169 overall (with a minimum of 162 in each component) 85 overall (with a minimum of 18 in R; 17 in W&L; 20 in S)
School of English 7.0 overall (with a minimum of 6.0 in each component) 68 overall with 65 in each subtest 185 overall (with a minimum of 169 in each component) 95 overall (with a minimum of 22 in R&S; 21 in W; 20 in L)
Centre for the Study of Higher Education (all programmes) 7.0 overall (with a minimum of 6.5 in each component) 68 overall with 65 in each subtest 185 overall (with a minimum of 176 in each component) 95 overall (with a minimum of 25 in R; 24 in W&S; 22 in L)
Kent Law School 7.0 overall (with a minimum of 6.5 in each component) 68 overall with 65 in each subtest 185 overall (with a minimum of 176 in each component) 95 overall (with a minimum of 25 in R; 24 in W&S; 22 in L)
School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science (International Master's programmes) 6.0 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in each component) 59 overall with 59 in each subtest 169 overall (with a minimum of 162 in each component) 85 overall (with a minimum of 18 in R; 17 in W&L; 20 in S)
School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (excluding the international two-year MA programme pathways) 7.0 overall (with a minimum of 6.5 in each component) 68 overall with 65 in each subtest 185 overall (with a minimum of 176 in each component) 95 overall (with a minimum of 25 in R; 24 in W&S; 22 in L)
School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (international two-year MA programme pathways) 6.0 overall (with a minimum of 6.0 in R&W; 5.5 in S&L) 62 overall with 60 in each subtest 169 overall (with a minimum of 169 in each component) 85 overall (with a minimum of 22 in R; 21 in W; 17 in L; 20 in S)

Online tests

  TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition NCUK English Language Test Duolingo LanguageCert International ESOL or SELT (Online or Test Centre) Pearson Versant (VEPT)
General postgraduate programmes 90 overall (with a minimum of 22 in R; 21 in W; 17 in L; 20 in S) 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 6.0 in R&W; 5.5 in S&L) 110 (minimum 90 in all components) B2 High Pass (minimum 33 in all components) 60
Graduate Diploma 85 overall (with a minimum of 22 in R&S; 21 in W; 20 in L) 6.0 overall (with a minimum of 6.0 in each component) 100 (minimum 90 in all components) B2 High Pass (minimum 33 in all components) 55
Business, Management and Finance Pre Master's - GDip 72 overall (with a minimum of 18 in R; 17 in W&L; 20 in S) 5.5 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in each component) 90 (minimum 90 in all components) B2 Pass (minimum 33 in all components) 50
Actuarial Science - PDip 85 overall (with a minimum of 18 in R; 17 in W&L; 20 in S) 6.0 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in each component) 100 (minimum 90 in all components) B2 High Pass (minimum 33 in all components) 55
Applied Linguistics for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) - MA 95 overall (with a minimum of 22 in R&S; 21 in W; 20 in L) 7.0 overall (with a minimum of 6.0 in each component) 120 (minimum 90 in all components) C1 Pass (minimum 33 in all components) 65
Computer Science (research programmes) 90 overall (with a minimum of 22 in R&S; 21 in W; 20 in L) 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 6.0 in each component) 110 (minimum 90 in all components) B2 High Pass (minimum 33 in all components) 60
IT Consultancy - MSc 95 Overall (with a minimum of 22 in R; 21 in W; 20 in L; 26 in S) 7.0 overall (with a minimum of 6.0 in R, W&L; 7.0 in S) 120 (minimum 90 in all components) C1 Pass (minimum 33 in all components) 65
Language and Literature - MA 95 overall (with a minimum of 22 in R&S; 21 in W; 20 in L) 7.0 overall (with a minimum of 6.0 in each component) 120 (minimum 90 in all components) C1 Pass (minimum 33 in all components) 65
Linguistics - MA 95 overall (with a minimum of 22 in R&S; 21 in W; 20 in L) 7.0 overall (with a minimum of 6.5 in each component) 120 (minimum 90 in all components) C1 Pass (minimum 33 in all components) 65
Linguistics - MA-R / PhD 95 overall (with a minimum of 22 in R&S; 21 in W; 20 in L) 7.0 overall (with a minimum of 6.0 in each component) 120 (minimum 90 in all components) C1 Pass (minimum 33 in all components) 65
Medieval and Early Modern Studies - MA 104 overall (with a minimum of 27 in R&W; 25 in L&S)   130 (minimum 90 in all components) C1 High Pass (minimum 33 in all components) 69
Medieval and Early Modern Studies - MA-R / PhD 114 overall (with a minimum of 29 in R&W; 28 in L&S)   150 (minimum 90 in all components) C2 High Pass (minimum 33 in all components) 80
Multimedia Journalism - MA 100 overall (with a minimum of 27 in R&W; 24 in L; 26 in S)   130 (minimum 90 in all components) C1 High Pass (minimum 33 in all components) 69
International Multimedia Journalism - MA 95 overall (with a minimum of 25 in R; 27 in W; 22 in L; 24 in S) 7.0 overall (with a minimum of 6.5 in R, L&S; 7.0 in W) 120 (minimum 90 in all components) C1 Pass (minimum 33 in all components) 65
Philosophy - PhD          
Social Work - MA, Social Work (Step Up to Social Work) - PDip 95 overall (with a minimum of 25 in R; 24 in W&S; 22 in L) 7.0 overall (with a minimum of 6.5 in each component) 120 (minimum 90 in all components) C1 Pass (minimum 33 in all components) 65
Kent School of Architecture and Planning 90 overall (with a minimum of 22 in R&S; 21 in W; 20 in L) 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 6.0 in each component) 110 (minimum 90 in all components) B2 High Pass (minimum 33 in all components) 60
Kent Business School 90 overall (with a minimum of 22 in R&S; 21 in W; 20 in L) 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 6.0 in each component) 110 (minimum 90 in all components) B2 High Pass (minimum 33 in all components) 60
School of Engineering and Digital Arts (taught programmes) 85 overall (with a minimum of 18 in R; 17 in W&L; 20 in S) 6.0 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in each component) 100 (minimum 90 in all components) B2 High Pass (minimum 33 in all components) 55
School of English 95 overall (with a minimum of 22 in R&S; 21 in W; 20 in L) 7.0 overall (with a minimum of 6.0 in each component) 120 (minimum 90 in all components) C1 Pass (minimum 33 in all components) 65
Centre for the Study of Higher Education (all programmes) 95 overall (with a minimum of 25 in R; 24 in W&S; 22 in L) 7.0 overall (with a minimum of 6.5 in each component) 120 (minimum 90 in all components) C1 Pass (minimum 33 in all components) 65
Kent Law School 95 overall (with a minimum of 25 in R; 24 in W&S; 22 in L) 7.0 overall (with a minimum of 6.5 in each component) 120 (minimum 90 in all components) C1 Pass (minimum 33 in all components) 65
School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science (International Master's programmes) 85 overall (with a minimum of 18 in R; 17 in W&L; 20 in S) 6.0 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in each component) 100 (minimum 90 in all components) B2 High Pass (minimum 33 in all components) 55
School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (excluding the international two-year MA programme pathways) 95 overall (with a minimum of 25 in R; 24 in W&S; 22 in L) 7.0 overall (with a minimum of 6.5 in each component) 120 (minimum 90 in all components) C1 Pass (minimum 33 in all components) 65
School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (international two-year MA programme pathways) 85 overall (with a minimum of 22 in R; 21 in W; 17 in L; 20 in S) 6.0 overall (with a minimum of 6.0 in R&W; 5.5 in S&L) 100 (minimum 90 in all components) B2 High Pass (minimum 33 in all components) 55

Key: R = reading; W = writing; S = speaking; L = listening

You must give the University permission to view your Pearson test results.
You cannot combine scores from more than one TOEFL test and you must arrange for TOEFL to forward a copy of your results direct to the University. The TOEFL Institution Code for the University of Kent is 0826.

Pre-sessional courses

If you do not yet meet the English language requirements, pre-sessional courses are available to prepare international students for study at Kent. These develop your skills in academic reading, writing and critical thinking, listening to lectures, speaking in seminars and delivering presentations.

At the end of the course, you take the Kent International Test of English. You must meet the required exit level to progress directly onto your main programme.

Students with other qualifications

UKVI list of majority English-speaking countries

If you are a national of a country on the UKVI list of majority English-speaking countries, you will not be required to evidence your English language ability for student visa purposes.

If you are not a national of one of these countries but have an academic qualification equivalent to a UK Bachelor's degree from one, which was completed within the last two years, we may be able to use this to evidence your English language ability.

Please note that where exemptions apply, you may still be required to meet additional English language requirements for academic purposes. 

UKVI English-speaking countries  
Antigua and Barbuda Jamaica
Australia Malta
The Bahamas New Zealand
Barbados St Kitts and Nevis
Belize St Lucia

Canada (nationals only)

St Vincent and the Grenadines
Dominica Trinidad and Tobago
Grenada UK
Guyana USA
Ireland  

Medium of instruction letters: If you have studied a degree in the medium of English in a country not listed above, but that is on the UKVI ‘differential evidence requirement’ list (https://www.gov.uk/student-visa/money), we are likely to be able to consider a letter from your awarding institution confirming this.

If you have studied a degree in the medium of English in any country not listed above or on the UKVI 'differential evidence requirements’ list, we may still be able to consider a letter from your institution, but this will be on a case-by-case basis.

For us to consider a letter as proof of your English Language ability, all letters must be signed and stamped by your institution and you must have graduated a maximum of two years before the start date of your course at Kent.

Please note that submission of a medium of instruction letter does not guarantee you will be exempt from taking an approved English Language test at our request.

Applicants who require a Student visa

If you require a Student visa to study in the UK, you must also meet the English language requirements set by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). For degree-level entry, you must achieve at least Level B2 of CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) in all four language components. Full details are available on the UKVI website.

If you do not hold one of our listed English language qualifications, then a secure English language test (SELT) may be required. A SELT is a language qualification approved by UKVI for visa purposes.

As a Student visa Sponsor of overseas students, if you have taken a degree taught entirely in the medium of English, in some cases we may be able to assess your language proficiency for degree-level entry or above. We use our own entry requirements as above, which in most cases are higher than the B2 Level set by UKVI.

For pre-sessional programmes (below National Qualification Framework Level 6), Level B1 (CEFR) is acceptable. Full details are available on the UKVI website. However, please note that our own entry requirements for our pre-sessional courses depend on which course you have applied for, so please refer to the International Pathways website for details. A UKVI-approved SELT is mandatory for programmes at this level. Alternative qualifications will not be accepted.

Do I need a UK visa?

Find a UKVI-approved test and test centre

UK and non-visa students

All students need an appropriate score in an approved English language examination. For UK students, this usually means a grade C/4 or above in GCSE English language or equivalent, or the completion of degree study in the UK.

For students who do not require a visa, we may accept the following English language qualifications:

Qualification Level required
European Baccalaureate (EB) 7.0 in written English (first language); 7.5 (if second language); 8.0 (if third language)
International Baccalaureate (IB) English A or B standard level 5; English A or B higher level 4; English ab initio standard level 6
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 6 in R&W; 5.5 in S&L)
Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) 62 overall with 60 in each subtest
Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) 176 overall (with a minimum 169 in R&W; 162 in S&L)
Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE) 176 overall (with a minimum 169 in R&W; 162 in S&L)
Internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT) 90 overall (with a minimum of 22 in R; 21 in W; 20 in S; 17 in L)
IGCSE First Language English Grade C or above
IGCSE English as a Second Language Grade B or above

Key: R = reading; W = writing; S = speaking; L = listening

These requirements are for guidance only. All applications are assessed individually and entry requirements can vary.

Further information

If you have a query about our English language entry requirements, please make an enquiry here.

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