English language requirements for postgraduates
If you want to study at the University of Sheffield, you must be able to show that your English is good enough for you to successfully complete your course.
For 2020 entry, we are now accepting:
If you have successfully completed a first degree or postgraduate diploma taught in English in a majority native English speaking country, you will not normally need to provide other evidence of English language ability. If your degree or diploma was completed more than five years before the start date of your Sheffield course, we may ask you to provide evidence of ongoing use of English, or to complete an acceptable English language qualification.
If you have not successfully completed a first degree or postgraduate diploma taught in English in a majority native English speaking country, in most cases you will need to complete an acceptable English language qualification.
For UK students we normally ask for a minimum of a grade C in GCSE English Language. We also accept a range of alternative UK qualifications.
For EU and International students, we accept qualifications from several countries, as well as a range of international qualifications and tests. If you are taking a pre-sessional course at another institution, we will normally still ask you to demonstrate your English language proficiency by completing one of the qualifications listed below.
We will base our decision on the English language qualification you completed most recently.
Acceptable English language qualifications
Details of all the English language qualifications, and minimum scores, that we accept for postgraduate study are provided below. Please note that, in assessing whether you have sufficient English language to successfully complete your course, we consider these qualifications alongside other evidence of English language ability included in your application, for example in the supporting statement.
If your qualification is not included in the lists below, or if you require further information, please contact the Admissions Service. For details of English language teaching at the University of Sheffield, please visit the English Language Teaching Centre website.
You can find information about the University's policy on the Secure English Language Tests (SELTs), defined by the UK government for visa purposes, in our SELTs guidance.
Acceptable qualifications with variable requirements
These are the qualifications most commonly presented by applicants. The minimum levels of achievement for postgraduate study are detailed below. However, different courses require different levels of achievement in these qualifications.
If you are presenting one of the qualifications listed in this table, it should have been completed no more than two years before the start date of your Sheffield course.
|Qualification||University minimum level (most courses will require a higher level, see below)|
International English Language Testing Service (IELTS)
We accept the IELTS Academic, IELTS for UKVI Academic and IELTS Indicator (taken from 1 July 2020) versions of the test. We do not accept IELTS Life Skills or IELTS General Training.
|Overall score of 6.5 or above, with at least 6.0 in each component|
|Cambridge C1 Advanced||Overall score of 176 or above, with at least 169 in each component|
|Cambridge C2 Proficiency||Overall score of 176 or above, with at least 169 in each component|
|Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic)||Overall score of 61 or above, with at least 56 in each component|
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) internet-based test (IBT)
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) internet-based test (IBT) Special Home Edition
We do not accept the TOEFL paper-based test, or MyBest scores
|Overall score of 88 or above, with at least 19 in Listening, 19 in Writing, 20 in Reading and 22 in Speaking|
|NCUK English Language Test||Overall score of 6.5 or above, with at least 6.0 in each component|
You can find the IELTS requirements for individual courses via the following webpages:
The C1 Advanced, C2 Proficiency, PTE Academic and TOEFL equivalent of IELTS requirements are set out in the second table on our ELTC's Comparison of English Language Test Scores webpage:
The NCUK English Language Test requirements are the same as for IELTS.
Other acceptable qualifications
We also accept a range of other qualifications. The levels of achievement we normally require are detailed below. Please note that a few courses do not accept certain qualifications, or ask for higher levels of achievement. Where this is the case, it will be made clear on departmental webpages.
If you are presenting the NCUK English for Academic Purposes Module or the Trinity Integrated Skills in English, this should have been completed no more than two years before of the start date of your Sheffield course.
For the other qualifications listed below, if they were completed more than five years before the start date of your Sheffield course please include with your application any evidence of ongoing use of English; we may ask you to complete a new English language qualification.
|International Baccalaureate (IB) Standard or Higher Level English Language Syllabus A||Grade 4 or above|
|International Baccalaureate (IB) Standard or Higher Level English Language Syllabus B||Grade 5 or above|
|International Baccalaureate (IB) Standard or Higher Level English Language and Literature combined||Grade 5 or above|
|International Baccalaureate (IB) Standard or Higher Level English Literature||Grade 5 or above|
|European Baccalaureate (EB) English||7.5 or 75%, or above|
LanguageCert International ESOL SELT C1 (Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking)
We require the SELT version of the LanguageCert tests
|33/50 in each component|
|NCUK International Foundation Year: English for Academic Purposes Module||Grade C or above|
|Trinity Integrated Skills in English (ISE) III||Pass or above overall, with Distinctions in each component|
|Trinity Integrated Skills in English (ISE) IV||Pass or above overall, with Passes or above in each component|
|GCSE English Language||Grade 4 or Grade C, or above|
|A Level or AS Level English Language||Grade C or above|
|A Level or AS Level English Language and Literature combined||Grade B or above|
|AQA Level 2 Certificate (IGCSE) in English Language||Grade C or above|
|CIE IGCSE English as a First Language (Syllabus 0500)||Grade C or above, with Grade 2 in Speaking and Listening|
|CIE IGCSE English as a First Language (Syllabus 0522)||Grade C or above|
|CIE IGCSE English as a First Language (Syllabus 0627)||Grade 4 or above, with Merit in Speaking and Listening|
|CIE IGCSE English as a First Language (Syllabus 0990)||Grade 4 or above, with Merit in Speaking and Listening|
|CIE IGCSE English as a Second Language (Syllabus 0510)||Grade B or above, with Grade 2 in Oral and Aural|
|CIE IGCSE English as a Second Language (Syllabus 0993)||Grade 6 or above, with Grade 2 in Oral and Aural|
|CIE IGCSE English as a Second Language (Syllabus 0511)||Grade B or above|
|CIE IGCSE English as a Second Language (Syllabus 0991)||Grade 6 or above|
|Edexcel IGCSE English Language A||Grade C or Grade 4, or above, including Speaking and Listening|
|Edexcel IGCSE English as a Second Language||Grade B or Grade 6, or above, including Speaking and Listening|
|SQA Intermediate 2 English or National 5 English||Grade B or above|
|SQA Higher or Advanced Higher English||Grade C or above|
|Scottish Higher, English for Speakers of Other Languages (Syllabus C222)||Grade B or above|
|French Baccalauréat l'Option Internationale, English||Grade 12 or above|
|German Abitur, English||Grade 12 or above|
|Maltese Matriculation Certificate English||Grade C or above|
|Netherlands VWO, English||Grade 7 or above|
|Norwegian Vitnemål for videregående opplæring, English||Grade 4 or above|
|Romanian Diploma de Bacalaureat, English||Grade B2 or above overall, with B2 or above in each component|
|Swedish Fullstandigt fran Gymnasieskolan, English||Grade C or above|
Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) GCE O Level, English (for example Brunei O Level, Singapore O Level)
|Grade C or above|
|Botswana BGCSE, English||Grade C or above|
|Cameroon GCE O Level, English||Grade C or above|
|West Indies Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate, English||Grade I or II|
|HKDSE English Language||Grade 4 overall, with Grade 4 in each component|
|Indian Standard XII, English Language (certain examination boards)||70% or above|
|Kenyan Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE), English||
Grade B or above
Please note that we do not accept Grade B- in the KCSE English
|Malaysian 1119 syllabus (UCLES)||
Grade C or above
|Mauritius Cambridge Overseas School Certificate (COSC, Cambridge O Level 1125) English Language||Grade C or above|
|Namibian HIGCSE, English or Senior Secondary Certificate (NSSC), Higher English||Grade C or above|
|Singapore Integrated Programme (IP)||Students should go on to complete A Level or IB qualifications (in any subject taught in English)|
|South African National Senior Certificate (SANSC)||Grade 4 or above|
|National Examinations Council of Tanzania – Certificate of Secondary Education Examination, English||Grade C or above|
|Ugandan Certificate of Education (UCE)||Grade 6 or above|
|WAEC West African Senior School Certificate (WASSCE), English||Grade C or above|
|Zambian General Certificate of Education, English||Grade 6/C or above|
Qualifications not accepted
We are unable to accept some qualifications as meeting the English language entry requirements. Qualifications we are unable to accept include the following:
- Anglia Examinations in English
- Cambridge First Certificate in English (FCE)
- Cambridge Preliminary English Test (PET)
- City and Guilds (I)ESOL
- Key English Test (KET)
- London Chamber of Commerce: English for Business
- Malaysian Certificate of Educational English Language
- Michigan Test of English Language Proficiency
- Nigerian National Examinations Council qualification (NECO)
- Oxford International Business English Certificate
- Pitman English for Business Communications
- Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC)