English language requirements
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.
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.
Please note that we will look at the English language qualification you completed most recently.
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.
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 of the start date of your Sheffield course.
International English Language Testing Service (IELTS)
Please note that we only accept the IELTS Academic and IELTS for UKVI Academic 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 5.5 in each component|
|Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE)||Overall score of 176 or above, with at least 162 in each component|
|Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)||Overall score of 176 or above, with at least 162 in each component|
|Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic)||Overall score of 61 or above, with at least 51 in each component|
|Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) internet-based test (IBT)||Overall score of 88 or above, with at least 17 in Listening, 17 in Writing, 18 in Reading and 20 in Speaking|
|University of Sheffield English Proficiency Test (USEPT) (graded as a percentage equivalent to IELTS point score, eg 65% = IELTS 6.5)||Overall score of 65% or above, with at least 55% in each component|
You can find the IELTS requirements for individual courses on the following webpages:
The Pearson, CAE, CPE, USEPT and TOEFL equivalent of IELTS requirements are set out in the second table on our ELTC's Comparison of English Language Test Scores webpage:
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.
Other international tests of English
|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|
|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 C or Grade 4, 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 B or above|
|CIE IGCSE English as a First Language (Syllabus 0522)||Grade C or above|
|CIE IGCSE English as a Second Language (Syllabus 0510)||Grade A or above|
|CIE IGCSE English as a Second Language (Syllabus 0511)||Grade B or above|
|Edexcel IGCSE English Language A||Grade B or above|
|Edexcel IGCSE English as a Second Language||Grade A or above|
|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|
|Irish Leaving Certificate English||Grades O4/H4 or above (2017 onwards award) or grade C or above (pre-2017 award)|
|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, 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 B or above|
Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) GCE O Level, English (eg Brunei O Level, Singapore O Level)
Please note that we only accept the Malaysian O Level alongside the required grade in the 1119 (see below)
|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|
|Hong Kong AS Level Use of English||Grade C or above|
|Indian Standard XII, English Language||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)||
For courses with an IELTS requirement of 7.5 overall or higher: Grade A
You can find the IELTS requirements for individual courses on the following webpages:
|Mauritius Cambridge Overseas School Certificate (COSC) 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|
|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 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)