English language requirements
If you want to study at the University of Sheffield, you must be able 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. Otherwise, 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 intending to include in your application a qualification considered by the UK government to be a Secure English Language Test (SELT), this should have been completed no more than two years before of the start date of your Sheffield course. SELT qualifications include IELTS and Pearson. If you are presenting a non-SELT qualification which 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.
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. If your qualification is not included, 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.
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.
|International English Language Testing Service (IELTS). Please note that we only accept the Academic Version of the IELTS test.||Overall score of 6.5 or above, with at least 5.5 in each component|
|Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic)||Overall score of 61 or above, with at least 51 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|
|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|
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) internet-based test (IBT)
We do not normally accept TOEFL from non-EU citizens, but we will consider it where applicants are unable to complete an alternative qualification. Please contact the Admissions Service for more information.
|Overall score of 88 or above, with at least 17 in Listening, 17 in Writing, 18 in Reading and 20 in Speaking|
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.
Other international tests of English
|International Baccalaureate (IB) Standard or Higher Level English Language/English Language and Literature||Grade 4 or above|
|European Baccalaureate (EB) English||6.5 or above|
|London Examinations Certificate of Attainment||Level 4 or above|
|NCUK International Foundation Year: English for Academic Purposes Module||Grade C or above|
|Oxford Higher Level Certificate||Pass or above|
|Trinity Integrated Skills in English (ISE) IV||Pass or above|
|GCSE English Language||Grade C or above|
|A Level or AS Level in an essay-based subject taught in English||Grade C 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 at least Grade 2 in Listening and Speaking components|
|CIE IGCSE English as a First Language (Syllabus 0522)||Grade C or above|
|CIE IGCSE English as a Second Language (Syllabus 0510)||Grade B or above, with at least Grade 2 in Speaking component|
|CIE IGCSE English as a Second Language (Syllabus 0511)||Grade B or above|
|Edexcel IGCSE English Language A||Grade C or above from 70% exam/30% coursework option (including Speaking and Listening components)|
|Edexcel IGCSE English as a Second Language||Grade B or above, with at least Grade B in Speaking component|
|Scottish Certificate of Education, Standard Grade English||Grade 2 or above|
|Scottish Higher, Standard Grade English||Grade C or above|
|Scottish Higher, English for Speakers of Other Languages (Syllabus C222)||Grade B or above|
|Irish Leaving Certificate English||Grade C or above|
|French Baccalauréat l'Option Internationale, English||Grade 11 or above|
|German Abitur, English||Grade 11 or above|
|Netherlands VWO, English||Grade 7 or above|
|Norwegian Vitnemål, English||Grade 4 or above|
|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 an A grade in the 1119
|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 A 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|
|Malaysian 1119 syllabus (UCLES)||Grade A|
|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|
|Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE), English||Grade 6 or above|
|West African Examinations Council School Certificate (WAEC SSCE), English||Grade 6/C or above (please note that in the West African Examinations Council School Certificate a lower grade indicates higher achievement – ie 5 is better than 6)|
|Zambian Secondary School Certificate, 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)
- Key English Test (KET)
- London Chamber of Commerce: English for Business
- Malaysian Certificate of Educational English Language
- Michigan Test of English Language Proficiency
- Oxford International Business English Certificate
- Pitman English for Business Communications
- Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC)