University College Birmingham IElTS

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University College Birmingham IElTS

The international English language testing system (IELTS) is the world’s most popular English language proficiency test for higher education and global migration, with over 2.9 million tests taken in the last year.

IELTS assesses all of your English skills — reading, writing, listening and speaking, and is designed to reflect how you will use English at study, at work, and at play, in your new life abroad.

The IELTS test is developed by some of the world’s leading experts in language assessment. It has an excellent international reputation, and is accepted by over 9,000 organisations worldwide, including schools, universities, employers, immigration authorities and professional bodies.

IELTS is the most widely accepted English language test that uses a one-on-one speaking test to assess your English communication skills. This means that you are assessed by having a real-life conversation with a real person. This is the most effective and natural way of testing your English conversation skills.

You can take IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training – depending on the organisation you are applying to and your plans for the future.

Whatever your reason for taking IELTS, make the most of your language skills.

English Language Requirements

To apply for all undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, if your first language is not English, you will need sit an approved test in English. This might include achieving IELTS for UKVI of 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band.

If you are applying for the International Foundation Diploma in Hospitality and Tourism, you will need IELTS for UKVI of 5.0 with no less than 4.5 in any band.

IELTS can be taken from the British Council.

Please note that the date of your IELTS award must be within two years of your degree/Masters degree start date

For EU applicants

In addition to IELTS, UCB accepts a number of country-specific English language qualifications as evidence of English language ability

Please visit the English language requirements table for the equivalencies we currently accept.

For more information please contact the International Student Centre on

Applicants from countries where English is the first language may not need to sit for IELTS, but will require evidence of their language ability.

For more information please contact the International Student Centre on

Can I be exempt from taking an English test?

Some countries will have an educational system fully or mostly taught in English, in which case we may not require that you take an English test.

List of countries – English test exemption

This is the list of English Speaking Countries who are exempt from undertaking a language test prior to applying for a Tier 4 visa (

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • The Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada (if education was taught in English)
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitt and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United States of America

English language courses

If you don’t possess the English language qualifications to study your chosen course, don’t worry as we offer a range of English courses designed to provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

If you are starting a programme in September, our Pre-Sessional English Course runs for either ten weeks (starting early July), or a more intensive six weeks (starting late July). The course you take depends on your level of ability. In addition to developing your academic skills, the course will enable you to gain experience of studying at higher education level before starting your course.

We also run an Intensive English Course with courses usually beginning in late September, or in February. You will study grammar, academic reading and writing skills, academic listening skills and academic speaking skills. You can also be entered for the English Speaking Board (ESB) examination to gain an additional qualification.