English language requirements for all students

English language proficiency is a vital skill whilst undertaking a research degree, applicants are therefore expected to provide evidence of their proficiency in English by way of an approved test.

A list of acceptable tests for UK/EU students as well as those acceptable for International Students, are detailed below:

UK/EU Students

  • GCSE/IGCSE English Language Pass at Grade C
  • Irish Leaving Certificate English Grade C
  • Scottish Higher or Standard Grade English Grade C
  • IELTS Academic Overall grade 6.0, with a minimum of 5.5 in each component
  • Cambridge English Certificates
    • Preliminary - Pass with distinction and Exceptional in all 4 components First - Pass at Grade B OR Pass at Grade C plus Borderline in all 4 components
    • Advanced - Pass at Level B2 and Weak in all 4 components
    • Business – Pass with Distinction and Exceptional in all 4 components
    • Business Vantage – Pass at Grade B OR Pass at Grade C plus Borderline in all 4 components Business Higher – Pass at Level B2 and Weak in all 4 components
    • Legal Pass at B2 and Borderline in all 4 components
    • Financial Pass at B2 and Borderline in all 4 components
  • City & Guilds (Pitman Examination in International ESOL) Pass at Mastery level when achieved with a pass at Mastery level in the Pitman International Spoken (ISESOL) test.
  • IGCSE English as a Second Language, Syllabus 0510 Pass at Grade C
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) IB Standard or Higher Level English – Grade 4
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 61 or above with a minimum of 51 in each of the 4 components

International students

Non UK/EU students, who do not hold a degree from the UK or other UKVI-recognised majority-English-speaking country, must have a UK Home Office approved test. As of 06 April 2015 the only accepted test providers are:

  • IELTS - Applicants must have IELTS (Academic) awarded with an overall grade of 6.0, and no individual component less than 5.5;
  • Trinity College London - Applicants must have Integrated Skills with English, awarded with level B2 or above.

Self, privately funded students and those applying for any studentship which is outside the main studentship competition, must supply their certificate within 60 days of submission of PhD application.

Students applying for the main studentship competition must submit a scanned copy of their IELTS/Trinity College London certificate by 30 April 2018.

Please note that the University is unable to accept applications with TOEIC in their history.

Ulster University Doctoral College - Social