English language requirements

Our English language entry requirements are set at a level to ensure all students benefit fully from their studies and can communicate effectively with academic staff and students.

To study at Kent, you must be able to demonstrate an excellent level of spoken and written English. This page gives guidance on the qualifications we accept as an entry requirement onto our undergraduate 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 can prove this in the following ways:

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

A level, GCSE and IB students For students studying recognised qualifications in English at an international school and who do not require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK

Students with other qualifications For students with at least a Bachelor's degree level qualification in a majority English speaking country or a degree taught entirely in the medium of English

Approved English language qualifications

The qualifications and grades we accept are listed below. Your qualification must have been taken no more than two years before your course start date, and have been taken at a UKVI-approved centre. If you have taken an in-country qualification or A level, GCSE or IB English, this may not be required. This is assessed on an individual basis for applicants requiring a Tier 4 visa.

 

IELTS

PTE Academic

CAE/CPE

TOEFL iBT

Undergraduate degree

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

Social Work - BA (Hons) (UCAS code: L508)

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)

Sciences Foundation (UCAS codes: G108, F412, F105, F305, H614, H605)

5.5 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in each component)

48 overall with 48 in each subtest

 

72 overall (with a minimum of 18 in R; 17 in W&L; 20 in S)

International Foundation Programme (UCAS codes: L593, L592, Q308, KW11, 45NC, C107, G408)

Students requiring a Tier IV visa must ensure the IELTS Test is taken at a UKVI approved test centre and the certificate must bear the UKVI number.

5.0 overall (with a minimum of 5.0 in each component)

 

 

 

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.

For more information

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.

A level, GCSE and IB students

If you are studying recognised qualifications in English at an international school, we will consider the following qualifications:

Qualification Level required
International Baccalaureate English A Literature, SL grade 5 or HL grade 4
English A Language & Literature, SL grade 5 or HL grade 4
English Language A1, SL grade 5 or HL grade 4
English Language A2, SL grade 6 or HL grade 5
English Language B, SL grade 5 or HL grade 4
English Literature & Performance SL grade 6
IGCSE English as a Second Language Grade B or above
IGCSE English First Language Grade C or above
GCE Advanced Level English Language Grade C or above
Cambridge O Level English Language Grade C or above when taking CIE A Levels
Cambridge English: Advanced and Proficiency 176 (with a minimum of 169 in R&W; 162 in S&L)

Students with other qualifications

UKVI list of majority English-speaking countries

If you are a national of one of the countries below, you do not need to prove your English language ability for Tier 4 purposes. You are also exempt if you have an academic qualification equivalent to a UK Bachelor's degree from one of these countries. However, you must still meet our English language requirements.

UKVI English-speaking countries  
Antigua and Barbuda Guyana
Australia Jamaica
The Bahamas New Zealand
Barbados St Kitts and Nevis
Belize St Lucia
Canada St Vincent and the Grenadines
Dominica Trinidad and Tobago
Grenada USA

In-country qualifications

You may use one of the following English language qualifications in your visa application as proof of meeting the Level B2 requirement. This does not guarantee you will be exempt from taking a SELT. The University will conduct an assessment of your application and determine if an offer can be made.

Country Qualification Minimum grade requirements
Botswana Botswana General Certificate of Secondary Education (BGCSE) C
Brunei Brunei-Cambridge General Certificate of Education Ordinary Level (B-C GCE O Level) C
Cameroon GCE O Level C
Ghana WAEC or WASSCE C6
Hong Kong Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination Use of English C
  Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education, Core English 4 (with 4 in each component)
India Standard XII – if English medium school 70%
  Standard XII – if non English medium school 80%
Kenya Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) C
Malawi Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) C
Malaysia Cambridge English Language syllabus 1119 (SPM) C
Mauritius SC (Cambridge Overseas Secondary Certificate) C
Nigeria Senior School Certificate (NECO) or WAEC/WASSCE C6
Norway Vitnemål for Videregående Opplæring (ENG1002) 5
Singapore Singapore O Level English C
South Africa National Senior Certificate 5
Tanzania Certificate of Secondary Education (CSE) C
Uganda Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) 6
West Africa West African Examination Council Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) C6
West Indies / Caribbean Caribbean Examinations Council Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Grade 1
  Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary Education (BGCSE) C
  Bermuda Secondary School Certificate (BSSC) C
Zambia Zambia School Certificate 6
Zimbabwe Cambridge School Certificate / Certificate of Secondary Education (CSE) / O Level / ZGCE C
Worldwide University of Cambridge IGCSE First Language English C
  University of Cambridge IGCSE English as a Second Language B
  GCSE/O Level English language C
  AP (in American High School Diploma system) – English 3
  IB – English higher A1/A2/B 4/5/5
    5/6/6
  IB – English standard 5

Applicants who require a Tier 4 visa

If you require a Tier 4 (General) 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 Tier 4 Sponsor of overseas students, if you have taken a degree taught entirely in the medium of English, an in-country qualification, or A Level, GCSE or IB English, we can 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 and foundation programmes (below National Qualification Framework Level 6), Level B1 (CEFR) is acceptable. Full details are available on the UKVI website. A UKVI-approved SELT is mandatory for programmes at this level. Alternative qualifications will not be accepted. 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.

Do I need a UK visa?   Find a UKVI-approved test and test centre


UK, EU and non-visa students

All students need an appropriate score in an approved English language examination. For UK students, this is usually a grade C/4 or above in GCSE English language or equivalent.

For EU and non-visa students, we accept the following 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.