Our English language requirements

To study with us, you will need to meet the required English language competency level for your course.

We have two English language attainment levels:

  • Standard
  • Higher

You can see which your chosen course requires on our course pages.

Find your course

How to meet our English language requirement

You can do this in one of the following ways:

  • Achieve the minimum score in one of the tests or qualifications we accept
  • Show that you are exempt from our English language requirements
  • Pass the Imperial College London Pre-Sessional English Programme

The Business School no longer offers its own pre-sessional courses, or recognises other pre-sessional courses, as a means of meeting the English language requirement. If you have any questions about this, please contact the Business School directly.

Are you exempt?

You do not need to prove your knowledge of English if you’ve completed a qualification equivalent to a UK degree in one of the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Malta
  • New Zealand
  • South Africa
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • West Indies

* Please note that this exemption is not guaranteed if you are applying to the Business School.

You may also be exempt if:

  • you studied a joint degree programme with a university based in one of the above countries. Your final degree needs to be awarded by a university based in one these countries and you must have a studied a minimum of one year including the final year in one of the countries list above (*if you are applying to the Department of Mathematics or Centre for Environmental Policy, you must have studied the full degree in one of the countries listed above)
  • you hold full membership or fellowship by examination to one of the UK or Ireland's Medical Royal Colleges; or
  • you hold registration with the UK General Medical Council

Student visa – proving your English language proficiency

If you need a student visa to study with us, you will need to prove your English language proficiency.

You can prove this to us with evidence that you have:

  • sat one of our accepted English language tests; and
  • met the relevant standard for your course.

We will confirm this in your Confirmation for Acceptance of Studies (CAS) which you can use in your visa application.

Pre-sessional English students

Pre-sessional English students, who are studying below degree level, will have to take a Home Office Approved English Language Test and provide evidence of this test with their visa application.

You can book an IELTS for UKVI test through the IELTS website.

Postgraduate research (doctoral) applicants

After fulfilling the English language entry requirement for admission, all doctoral students must also fulfil the Imperial College London Doctoral Academic Communication Requirement (DACR). This is done through taking Doctoral Academic Communication Requirement Assessment 1 (DACR A1). Depending on the result of this initial assessment (DACR A1), students may also need to have a progress check, referred to as Doctoral Academic Communication Requirement Assessment 2 (DACR A2). DACR A2 will form part of the Early Stage Assessment (ESA), which is carried out by the student’s host department.

To fulfil this requirement, students must take the first available DACR A1 after registering for their doctoral programme. This must be within 3 months of the registration date. This is because the aim of the Requirement is to identify as soon as possible those who may need to improve their writing competence, and to ensure they can access support in the first 9 months of their doctoral programme.

Find out more about the Doctoral Academic Communication Requirement.

Accepted English language tests and qualifications

You can find all of the English language tests and qualifications we accept here.

You only need to meet the relevant standard in one of the following.

Proficiency Tests

Duolingo English Test

This test is accepted for 2022 entry.

Duolingo English Test
Standard LevelHigher Level
 115 Overall with no less than 105 in any band score  125 Overall with no less than 115 in any band score

*Test scores are only considered valid if taken within 2 years of the intended course start date

IELTS (Academic)

StandardHigher
6.5 overall (minimum 6.0 in all elements)  7.0 overall (minimum 6.5 in all elements)
Summary of the table's contents

*IELTS indicator accepted for admissions in the 2022/23 academic year.

Imperial College London considers IELTS scores to be valid for 2 years. Scores must be valid at the beginning of your studies at Imperial if your application is successful. For more information relating regarding IELTS please visit the IELTS website. Please note if you are planning on taking a pre-sessional English programme at the College you must take an IELTS for UKVI test. More details on how to book this test can be found on the IELTS website

LanguageCert International ESOL

LanguageCert International ESOL Test
Standard LevelHigher Level
 ESOL B2 Test with grade High Pass  ESOL C1 or C2 Test with grade Pass

Occupational English Test

Occupational English Test
Standard LevelHigher Level
 Grade C+ in all elements  Grade B in all elements

*Test results must be within 2 years of programme start date in order to be treated as valid and subject to online verification

PTE Academic

StandardHigher
62 overall (minimum 56 in all elements)  69 overall (minimum 62 in all elements)
Summary of the table's contents


Imperial College London considers Pearson (PTE) scores to be valid for 2 years. Scores must be valid at the beginning of your studies at Imperial if your application is successful. For more information regarding Pearson, please visit the Pearson website

TOEFL (iBT)

StandardHigher
92 overall (minimum 20 in all elements) 100 overall (minimum 22 in all elements)
Summary of the table's contents

*ETS at Home accepted for admission in the 2022/23 year

Imperial College London considers TOEFL scores to be valid for 2 years. Scores must be valid at the beginning of your studies at Imperial if your application is successful. You must meet the entry requirement in one test from your scaled scores ('My Best Scores' reported by TOEFL will not be considered). For more information relating regarding TOEFL please visit the ETS website. Your TOEFL scores must be emailed to the relevant admissions teams. Score reports sent via post will not be processed.

Accepted English Qualifications

AS Level/A-level

StandardHigher
Grade C in English Language* Grade C in English Language*
Summary of the table's contents

*For this qualification our standard and higher English requirements are set at the same level. 

Australia Territory High School Certificate (HSC)

 
Territory High School Certificate (HSC)
TerritoryStandard Grade*Higher Grade*
 Australian Capital Territory  C  C
 New South Wales  4  4
 Northern Territory  C  C
 Queensland  SA / C  SA / C
 South Australia  C  C
 Tasmania  CA  CA
 Victoria  C in all units  C in all units
 Western Australia  C  C
 

*For this qualification our standard and higher English requirements are set at the same level. 

Cambridge Advanced English (CAE)

 StandardHigher
Tests taken before January 2015

Grade C

Grade B

Tests taken from January 2015

176 overall (minimum 169 in all elements)

185 overall (minimum 176 in all elements)

Canadian High School Diploma

StandardHigher
Grade 12 English at 65%* Grade 12 English at 65%*
Summary of the table's contents

*For this qualification our standard and higher English requirements are set at the same level. Must be studied in Canada and excludes Quebec High School Diploma

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)

 StandardHigher
Tests taken before January 2015

Any pass grade with a pass in each element OR Level C1 certificate*

Any pass grade with a pass in each element OR Level C1 certificate*

Tests taken from January 2015

Any pass grade with a pass in each element

185 overall (minimum 176 in all elements)

*For this qualification our standard and higher English requirements are set at the same level. 

European Baccalaureate

 StandardHigher
English as a First Language Grade 6  Grade 7 
English as a Second Language Grade 7* Grade 7*
Summary of the table's contents

*For this qualification our standard and higher English requirements are set at the same level. 

GCSE or GCE 'O' Level

 StandardHigher
GCSE Post 2017: Grade 6 in English Language* Grade 6 in English Language*
GCSE Pre 2017: Grade B in English Language* Grade B in English Language*
GCE O Level: Grade B in English Language* Grade B in English Language*
Summary of the table's contents

*For this qualification our standard and higher English requirements are set at the same level. 

Hong Kong AS Level

StandardHigher
Grade C in English* Grade C in English*
Summary of the table's contents

*For this qualification our standard and higher English requirements are set at the same level. 

Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examinations Syllabus B

StandardHigher
Level 4 in English in Syllabus B* Grade 4 in English in Syllabus B*
Summary of the table's contents

*For this qualification our standard and higher English requirements are set at the same level. 

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education

StandardHigher
Level 3 in English* Level 3 in English*
Summary of the table's contents

*For this qualification our standard and higher English requirements are set at the same level. 

IGCSE

StandardHigher
Grade B in English as a First Language*  Grade B in English as a First Language*
Summary of the table's contents

*For this qualification our standard and higher English requirements are set at the same level. 

International Baccalaureate

For qualifications taken after 2013

 StandardHigher
English A: Language & Literature Grade 4 (if taken at either Standard or Higher Level)* Grade 4 (if taken at either Standard or Higher Level)*
English A: Literature Grade 4 (if taken at either Standard or Higher Level)* Grade 4 (if taken at either Standard or Higher Level)*
English B  Grade 6 (if taken at Standard Level) or Grade 5 (if taken at Higher Level)* Grade 6 (if taken at Standard Level) or Grade 5 (if taken at Higher Level)*

For qualifications taken before 2013

 StandardHigher
English A1 Syllabus                        Grade 4 (if taken at either Standard or Higher Level)* Grade 4 (if taken at either Standard or Higher Level)*
English A2 Syllabus Grade 5 (if taken at Standard Level) or Grade 4 (if taken at Higher Level)* Grade 5 (if taken at Standard Level) or Grade 4 (if taken at Higher Level)*
English B Syllabus Grade 6 (if taken at Standard Level) or Grade 5 (if taken at Higher Level)* Grade 6 (if taken at Standard Level) or Grade 5 (if taken at Higher Level)*
Summary of the table's contents

*For this qualification our standard and higher English requirements are set at the same level. 

International Option of the French Baccalaureat (OIB)

StandardHigher
Grade 12 in English in the final examinations* Grade 12 in English in the final examinations*
Summary of the table's contents

*For this qualification our standard and higher English requirements are set at the same level. 

Irish Leaving Certificate

StandardHigher

Post 2017: Grade H5 in English*

Pre 2017: Grade B2 in English at Standard/Ordinary Level*

Post 2017: Grade H5 in English*

Pre 2017: Grade B2 in English at Standard/Ordinary Level*

Summary of the table's contents

*For this qualification our standard and higher English requirements are set at the same level. 

Malaysian Certificate of Education (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia)

StandardHigher
Grade A in English Language (1119)* Grade A in English Language (1119)*
Summary of the table's contents

*For this qualification our standard and higher English requirements are set at the same level. 

Malta Matriculation Certificate

 
StandardHiger
 Grade C at Higher or Intermediate Level*   Grade C at Higher or Intermediate Level*
*For this qualification our standard and higher English requirements are set at the same level. 

Malta Secondary Education Certificate

 
 
StandardHiger
 Grade 2  Grade 2
*For this qualification our standard and higher English requirements are set at the same level. 

National Certificate in Educational Achievement Level 2 or Level 3

StandardHigher

NCEA Level 2 English Grade: Merit*

NCEA Level 3 English Grade: Achieved*

NCEA Level 2 English Grade: Merit*

NCEA Level 3 English Grade: Achieved*

Summary of the table's contents

*For this qualification our standard and higher English requirements are set at the same level. 

Scottish Standard (SS) & National 5 (N5)

StandardHigher

Standard Grade 2 in English

National 5 Grade B

Standard Grade 2 in English

National 5 Grade B

Summary of the table's contents

Singapore Cambridge A-Levels

StandardHigher
Grade C in English* Grade C in English*
Summary of the table's contents

*For this qualification our standard and higher English requirements are set at the same level. 

Singapore Cambridge O-Levels

StandardHigher
Grade B in English* Grade B in English*
Summary of the table's contents

*For this qualification our standard and higher English requirements are set at the same level. 

Singapore Integrated Programme - NUS High School Diploma

StandardHigher
CAP 4.5 out of 5 in English Language* CAP 4.5 out of 5 in English Language*
Summary of the table's contents

*For this qualification our standard and higher English requirements are set at the same level. 

Singapore Integrated Programme Cambridge A Levels (SIPCAL)

StandardHigher
Grade C in the General Paper* Grade C in the General Paper*
Summary of the table's contents

*For this qualification our standard and higher English requirements are set at the same level. 

USA Advanced Placement Examination

StandardHigher
Grade 4 in English* Grade 4 in English*
Summary of the table's contents

*For this qualification our standard and higher English requirements are set at the same level. 

USA High School Diploma

StandardHigher
Year 12 English at Grade B* Year 12 English at Grade B*
Summary of the table's contents

*For this qualification our standard and higher English requirements are set at the same level. Must be studied in a majority English speaking country.

West African Examinations Council (WAEC)

StandardHigher
Level 4 in English* Level 4 in English*
Summary of the table's contents

*For this qualification our standard and higher English requirements are set at the same level.