Language Requirements

All students need to show proof of their English language ability to enrol at University of the Arts London (UAL).

Most students from outside the UK need to submit an English language test as proof of their language ability. If you need help to reach the required language level, UAL's Language Centre offers a range of English courses and a Presessional course for students with a conditional or unconditional offer.

Current students at UAL, progressing to the next level of university study (e.g. from Foundation to BA) can take UAL's progress test to achieve the IELTS score required for the next level.

To find out if you are exempt from English language testing, please read Exemptions from language testing at the bottom of this page.

Minimum IELTS scores

Our IELTS requirements vary depending on the course and level of study. The requirement for each course is shown on the individual course pages.

As a general guide, below are the standard IELTS requirements for our courses. However, many of our courses require a higher IELTS score than these standard grades, so you should check the relevant course page to find the requirement for your chosen course.

NQF Level

Course types

Overall

Reading

Writing

Listening

Speaking

Further education:
NQF level 3

Access to HE Diploma,
Foundation Diploma

5.0

4.0

4.0

4.0

4.0

Undergraduate: 
NQF level 4 & 5

Cert HE, Foundation Degree
(FdA, FdSc)

5.5

4.5

4.5

 4.5

4.5

Undergraduate: 
NQF level 6

Practice-based courses: 
BA, Grad Dip

6.0

5.5

5.5

5.5

5.5

 

Theory-based courses: 
BA, Grad Dip

6.5

5.5

5.5

5.5

5.5

Postgraduate:
NQF level 7

Practice-based courses: 
MA, MDes, MRes, MSc, PG Cert, Pg Dip

 6.5 

5.5

 5.5

5.5

5.5

 

Theory-based courses:  
MA, MDes, MRes, MSc, PG Cert, Pg Dip

7.0

6.0

6.0

6.0

6.0

English language tests

In addition to IELTS, UAL accepts several other English language tests. The charts below show the tests that we accept and how their scores compare to our IELTS requirements for each level of university study.  All tests are valid for two years only.

Where we state 'IELTS Academic for UKVI', you must provide a certificate for this test. IELTS Academic (not for UKVI) cannot be used to support a Tier 4 visa application for these levels of study. The University does not accept IELTS General or IELTS General for UKVI for any level of course. 

Please note, if you take an Cambridge IGCSE exam, you must provide two documents

  • The Certificate
  • The Supplementary Certifying Statement. You will need to request this and pay the fee.

Courses that require IELTS 5.0

Test

Score Required

Minimum 
Listening

Minimum 
Reading

Minimum 
Writing 

Minimum 
Speaking

IELTS Academic for UKVI 

5.0

4.0

4.0

4.0

4.0 

Courses that require IELTS 5.5

Test

Score Required

Minimum 
Listening

Minimum 
Reading

Minimum 
Writing 

Minimum 
Speaking

IELTS Academic for UKVI 

5.5

4.5

4.5

4.5

4.5

FdA courses that require IELTS 6.0

This table is for Foundation Degree (FdA) programmes only. For BA courses that require IELTS 6.0, you should use the table shown under 'Courses at NQF 6 & 7 that require IELTS 6.0'. 

Test

Score Required

Minimum 
Listening

Minimum 
Reading

Minimum 
Writing 

Minimum 
Speaking

IELTS Academic for UKVI

6.0

5.0

5.0

5.0

5.0

Courses NQF 6 & 7 that require IELTS 6.0

Test

Score Required

Minimum 
Listening

Minimum 
Reading

Minimum 
Writing 

Minimum 
Speaking

IELTS (Academic) 

6.0

5.5

5.5

5.5

5.5

PTE Academic

5151515151

Cambridge Proficiency (CPE) pre Jan 2015

Cambridge Proficiency (CPE) from Jan 2015

C

169 

 

Weak

162 

 

Weak

162

 

Weak

162

 

 

Weak

162

 

Cambridge Advanced (CAE)  pre Jan 2015

Cambridge Advanced (CAE)  from Jan 2015

52

169 

 

Weak

162

 

 Weak

162 

 Weak

162 

 Weak

162 

First Certificate (FCE) pre Jan 2015

First Certificate (FCE) from Jan 2015

169 

Borderline

162

Borderline

162

Borderline

162

Borderline

162

TEEP

6.0

5.5

5.5

5.5

5.5

Cambridge IGCSE Syllabus 0510

C

A

D

D

2

Cambridge IGCSE Syllabus 0511

CADDC

Cambridge IGCSE Syllabus 0500

C

2

E

E

2

Cambridge IGCSE Syllabus 0522

C

D

E

E

D

 

Courses that require IELTS 6.5

Test

Score Required

Minimum 
Listening

Minimum 
Reading

Minimum 
Writing 

Minimum 
Speaking

IELTS (Academic) 

6.5

5.5

5.5

5.5

5.5

PTE Academic

5851515151

Cambridge Proficency (CPE) pre Jan 2015

Cambridge Proficency (CPE) from Jan 2015

C

176 

Weak

162

Weak

162

Weak

162

Weak

162

Cambridge Advanced (CAE) pre Jan 2015

Cambridge Advanced (CAE) from Jan 2015

58 

176 

Weak

162

Weak

162

Weak

162

Weak

162

First Certificate (FCE)

Not validNot validNot validNot validNot valid

TEEP

6.5

5.5

5.5

5.5

5.5

Cambridge IGCSE Syllabus 0510

C

A

D

D

2

Cambridge IGCSE Syllabus 0511

CADDC

Cambridge IGCSE Syllabus 0500

C

2

E

E

2

Cambridge IGCSE Syllabus 0522

C

D

E

E

D

 

Courses that require IELTS 7.0

Test

Score Required

Minimum 
Listening

Minimum 
Reading

Minimum 
Writing 

Minimum 
Speaking

IELTS (Academic) 

7.0

6.0

6.0

6.0

6.0

PTE Academic

6551515151

Cambridge Proficiency (CPE) pre Jan 2015

Cambridge Proficiency (CPE) from Jan 2015

185

Weak

169

Weak

169

Weak

169

Weak

169

Cambridge Advanced (CAE) pre Jan 2015

Cambridge Advanced (CAE) from Jan 2015

67 

185 

Weak

169

Weak

169

Weak

169

Weak

169

First Certificate (FCE)

Not validNot validNot validNot validNot valid

TEEP

7.0

6.0

6.0

6.0

6.0

Cambridge IGCSE Syllabus 0510

B

A

C

C

2

Cambridge IGCSE Syllabus 0511

BACCC

Cambridge IGCSE Syllabus 0500

B

2

D

D

2

Cambridge IGCSE Syllabus 0522

B

C

D

D

C

 

Courses that require IELTS 7.5

Test

Score Required

Minimum 
Listening

Minimum 
Reading

Minimum 
Writing 

Minimum 
Speaking

IELTS (Academic) 

7.5

6.5

6.5

6.5

6.5

PTE Academic

7358585858

Cambridge Proficiency (CPE) pre Jan 2015

Cambridge Proficiency (CPE) from Jan 2015

191

Weak

176

Weak

176

Weak

176

Weak

176

Cambridge Advanced (CAE) pre Jan 2015

Cambridge Advanced (CAE) from Jan 2015

74 

191

Weak

176

Weak

176

Weak

176

Weak

176

First Certificate (FCE)

Not validNot validNot validNot validNot valid

TEEP

7.5

6.5

6.5

6.5

6.5

Cambridge IGCSE Syllabus 0510

B

A

B

B

2

Cambridge IGCSE Syllabus 0511

BABBB

Cambridge IGCSE Syllabus 0500

B

1

C

C

2

Cambridge IGCSE Syllabus 0522

B

B

C

C

C

 

Exemptions from language testing

You do not need to take an English language test if you fall into one of these categories:

1. Nationals of a majority English-speaking country who have completed full secondary-level education in one of these countries. Majority English-speaking countries include:

Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada (if instruction was in English), Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, New Zealand, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, USA, Ireland and the UK.

2. Students who hold a qualification equivalent to a UK degree or higher in one of the majority English-speaking countries listed above (excluding Canada). The University sets minimum grades for each qualification. 

3. Students who hold one of the alternative qualifications accepted by UAL (shown in the document below), who are either nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland, or international students who will not require a Tier 4 General Student Visa during their studies with us.