Student writing an exam paper

Helping you receive the necessary academic English support throughout your PhD

PhD academic English assessments

Find out more about the assessments and register for a suitable date here.

PhD course pathways

‌Further details about the Requirement and recommended academic writing courses can be found on our Imperial College London PhD Academic English Requirement Flow Chart [pdf].‌

In addition to fulfilling the English language entry requirement to gain admission to their programme of study, doctoral (PhD) students who are not native speakers of English must also fulfil the Imperial College London PhD Academic English Requirement via an initial academic English assessment and possibly a later progress check. This is not a Centre for Academic English (CfAE) requirement; it is an Imperial College London requirement that is administered by the Centre.

To fulfil this requirement, students must take the first available initial assessment (English Assessment 1) after fully registering onto their doctoral (PhD) programme, normally within 3 months of the PhD registration date. This is because the aim of the Requirement is to identify as soon as possible those who might need or want to improve their academic English writing competence, and to ensure that they are offered appropriate support. Depending on the result of the initial assessment, students may also need to take a second assessment (English Assessment 2) to fulfil the Requirement, as part of the Early Stage Assessment (ESA) carried out by their department.

Details of PhD academic English courses, workshops and consultations offered by the CfAE can be found here 

If you are exempt from the Imperial College London PhD Academic English Requirement on the basis of one of the three exemption criteria below, you will receive an email from the CfAE confirming your formal exemption within approximately two weeks of fully registering onto your PhD programme. The exemption criteria are as follows: 

  • Award of a Bachelor's or a 4-year Master's* degree studied in full within a majority English speaking country   
  • Valid** IELTS 8.0 overall (minimum) at the time of fully registering onto the PhD  
  • Valid** TOEFL 110 overall (minimum) at the time of fully registering onto the PhD
     

    *Please note that the award of a 1-year Master's degree is not an exemption criterion.

    **Please note that Imperial College London considers IELTS and TOEFL scores to be valid for 2 years. Scores must be valid at the time of fully registering onto your PhD programme. The CfAE will consider other English language qualifications as equivalents on a case by case basis.

Clarifications: 

If you are a national of a majority English speaking country, you will automatically be exempt. 

If you are doing a '4-year PhD', i.e. studying as part of a 1+3 arrangement (1-year MRes/MSc plus 3-year PhD), your Master’s degree is considered as the English language entry requirement for the PhD. However, like all 1st-year PhD students, you will still need to fulfil the Imperial College London PhD Academic English Requirement at the start of the PhD stage. This means that you will only be exempt from this requirement if the English language entry requirement for your Master’s is still valid at the time of fully registering onto the PhD programme. 

 

Students who are exempt do not need to take English Assessment 1, but can still take advantage of our higher-level courses, workshops and consultations at any point during their studies. 

‌For information about College entry requirements, please contact Admissions