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. 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.

International students

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.

If you have successfully completed a 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.

Acceptable English language qualifications

Details of all the English language qualifications, and minimum scores, that we accept for undergraduate 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 personal 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:

UK government Secure English Language Tests

Acceptable qualifications with variable requirements

These are the qualifications most commonly presented by applicants. The minimum levels of achievement for undergraduate 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.

Qualification Level

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 6.0 or above, with at least 5.5 in each component
Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) Overall score of 169 or above, with at least 162 in each component
Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) Overall score of 169 or above, with at least 162 in each component
Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) Overall score of 56 or above, with at least 51 in each component
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) internet-based test (IBT) Overall score of 80 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 60% = IELTS 6.0) Overall score of 60% or above, with at least 55% in each component

You can find the IELTS requirements for individual courses in our online prospectus:

Online prospectus

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:

Comparison of English language test scores

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

Qualification Level
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) II Pass overall, with Distinctions in each component
Trinity Integrated Skills in English (ISE) III Pass overall, with Passes or above in each component

UK qualifications

Qualification Level
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)

EU qualifications

Qualification Level
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 Grade 8.5 or above
Swedish Fullstandigt fran Gymnasieskolan, English Grade B or above

International qualifications

Qualification Level

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
For courses with an IELTS requirement of 7.0 overall: Grade B or above
For courses with an IELTS requirement of 6.5 overall or lower: Grade C or above

You can find the IELTS requirements for individual courses online prospectus:

Online prospectus

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)