English language requirements

English language requirements for admission at Ulster University.


All applicants to the University (from the UK and overseas) are required to show evidence of a minimum English language level in order to be accepted on to our courses.

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) requires that every student from outside the UK and the EU must show evidence of a minimum level of English language in order to be granted a UK Student Visa to study at undergraduate or postgraduate level.

This level is often referred to as the ‘B2 level’.

  • Most of our courses require a minimum English level of IELTS 6.0 or equivalent, with no band score under 5.5.
  • Trinity ISE: Pass at level III (with a pass in each component) also meets this requirement.
  • For September 2021 intake, we are accepting IELTS Indicator.
  • Some of our courses ask for a higher score. It is therefore important to look at individual course requirements.
  • If you meet the English language level for entry to your chosen course, you will also meet the minimum English language level required by UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) for a Student Visa.
  • If you do not meet the English language requirement we may give you a conditional offer subject to you meeting the requirement before the commencement of the course.
  • We accept a wide range of alternative English language examinations and tests so please check the list of other accepted tests.

Ulster University Password English Language Test

The Ulster University Password English Test is now available for applicants who have an English language condition for undergraduate and postgraduate study.

You should only take this test once you have been made a conditional offer to study at the Ulster University.

The Ulster University Password English test is a secure test, which is run and invigilated online. You can book your test by via our online store.

Please note, the final date to purchase an Ulster University Password English Language test for September 2021 entry is Friday 30th July 2021.

Book your test

The test takes up to three hours and five minutes to complete and is made up of four test modules – reading, writing, listening and speaking.

Please note that the Password Skills Test is only valid for Ulster University Northern Ireland campuses and cannot be used for admission to another university.

If you have any queries, please email global@ulster.ac.uk

Pre-sessional courses

If you do not quite meet our English language requirements then you should consider taking one of our online Pre-sessional English for Academic Purposes courses.

Accepted English Language Qualifications

Unless indicated, your qualification should have been awarded no more than 3 years prior to the start of semester.

Accepted English Language Tests

You must have been awarded or certified within the last two years with the exception of QA, which must have been awarded to you within the last year.

  • Cambridge Advanced English
    IELTS 5.5 IELTS 6.0 IELTS 6.5 IELTS 7.0
    C1 Advanced

    162 overall with not less than 162 in 3 elements and a minimum 154 in the 4th element.

    Any offers made will be conditional on successful completion of Standard Pre-Sessional

    169 overall with not less than 162 in each element of the test (taken from January 2015)

    176 overall with not less than 162 in each element of the test (taken from January 2015)

    185 overall with not less than 162 in each element of the test (taken from January 2015)

  • Cambridge English Business Higher
    IELTS 5.0 IELTS 5.5 IELTS 6.0 IELTS 6.5 IELTS 7.0
    NA NA Grade C with all parts ‘weak’ or higher Grade C with all parts ‘weak’ or higher Grade C with all parts ‘weak’ or higher
  • Cambridge English B2 First
      IELTS 5.5 (only one 5.0) IELTS 6 (with minimum 5.5) IELTS 6.5 IELTS 7.0
    B2 First

    162 overall with not less than 162 in 3 elements and a minimum 154 in the 4th element.

    Any offers made will be conditional on successful completion of Standard Pre-Sessional.

    169 overall with not less than 162 in each element of the test (taken from January 2015)

    Not applicableNot applicable
  • Cambridge IGCSE (English as a second language)
    IELTS 5.0 IELTS 5.5 IELTS 6.0 IELTS 6.5 IELTS 7.0
    NA Reading - D Writing - D Speaking - C Listening - A NB: Any offers made will be conditional on successful completion of Standard Pre-Sessional Reading - C Writing - C Speaking - C Listening - A NA NA
  • Cambridge Proficiency in English
    IELTS 6.0 (with a minimum of 5.5) IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 5.5) IELTS 7.0 (with a minimum of 5.5)
    C2 Proficiency

    169 overall with not less than 162 in each element of the test (taken from January 2015)

    176 overall with not less than 162 in each element of the test (taken from January 2015)

    185 overall with not less than 162 in each element of the test (taken from January 2015)

  • LanguageCert
    IELTS 5.0 IELTS 5.5 IELTS 6.0 IELTS 6.5 IELTS 7.0
    B1 Achiever (all skills) High Pass, with a minimum of 33 in each band score. B2 Communicator (all skills) Pass, with a minimum of 33 in each band score B2 Communicator (all skills) High Pass, with a minimum of 33 in each band score. B2 Communicator (all skills) High Pass, with a minimum of 33 in each band score. NA
  • PTE Academic
    IELTS 5.0 IELTS 5.5 IELTS 6.0 IELTS 6.5 IELTS 7.0
    46 (with min. of 41 in each part) NB: Any offers made will be conditional on successful completion of Pre-Sessional PLUS 51 (with min. of 46 in each part) NB: Any offers made will be conditional on successful completion of Standard Pre-Sessional 55 (with min. of 51 in each part) 61 (with min. of 56 in each part) 66 (with min. of 61 in each part)
  • QA Higher Education English Language Test 
    IELTS 5.0 IELTS 5.5 IELTS 6.0IELTS 6.5 IELTS 7.0
    NA NA This is mapped to IELTS scores NA NA

    You must have successfully completed your QA test within the last year.

  • TOEFL iBT/TOEFL iBT Home
    IELTS 5.0 IELTS 5.5 IELTS 6.0 IELTS 6.5 IELTS 7.0
    NA NA 80 with a minimum:
    L – 17
    R – 18
    S - 20
    W– 17
    90 with a minimum:
    L – 20
    R – 20
    S - 20
    W– 20
    100 with a minimum:
    L – 22
    R – 24
    S - 25
    W– 24