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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 (Academic) 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 January 2023 entry, 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.

The test is run and invigilated online. It takes up to three hours and five minutes to complete and is made up of four test modules as outlined below.

Reading

  • This module consists of five sections. In each section there is one reading task to be completed.
  • Duration:  1hour, 15 minutes

Writing

  • This module assesses your ability to write an essay.
  • Duration:  30 minutes

Listening

  • This module consists of five sections. In each section there are one, or more, listening tasks to be completed.
  • Duration:  1 hour

Speaking

  • This module has five sections with one, or more, speaking tasks (questions) in each. Simply answer by speaking into a microphone.
  • Duration:  20 minutes

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 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.

  • Cameroon GCE O Level
    Cameroon GCE O Level
    IELTS 5.0 IELTS 5.5 IELTS 6.0 IELTS 6.5 IELTS 7.0
    NA  NA  Grade C  NA  NA
  • Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HKALE) - Use of English
    Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HKALE)
    IELTS 5.0 IELTS 5.5 IELTS 6.0 IELTS 6.5 IELTS 7.0
    NA  NA  Grade D or higher with Grade D or better in at least 3 of the 4 sub-skill areas.   NA  NA
  • Hong Kong Advanced Supplementary Level Examination (HKASLE) - Use of English
    Hong Kong Advanced Supplementary Level Examination (HKASLE)
    IELTS 5.0 IELTS 5.5 IELTS 6.0 IELTS 6.5 IELTS 7.0
    NA  NA  Grade D or higher with Grade D or better in at least 3 of the 4 sub-skill areas.   NA  NA
  • Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) - English Language
    Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE)
    IELTS 5.0 IELTS 5.5 IELTS 6.0 IELTS 6.5 IELTS 7.0
    NA  NA  Grade 4 overall with no less than 3 in any of the 4 sub skills  NA  NA
  • Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (HKCEE) - English Language Syllabus B (before 2007)
    Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (HKCEE) - English Language Syllabus B (before 2007)
    IELTS 5.0 IELTS 5.5 IELTS 6.0 IELTS 6.5 IELTS 7.0
    NA  NA  Grade C or higher including only one Grade D in any of the four sub-skills, with Grade C or better in the at least the other three sub-skills.  NA  NA
  • Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (HKCEE) - English Language Syllabus B (after 2007)
    Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (HKCEE) - English Language Syllabus B (after 2007)
    IELTS 5.0 IELTS 5.5 IELTS 6.0 IELTS 6.5 IELTS 7.0
    NA  NA  Grade 3 in all test elements  NA  NA
  • Indian Standard XII English
    Indian Standard XII English
    IELTS 5.0 IELTS 5.5 IELTS 6.0 IELTS 6.5 IELTS 7.0
    NA  NA

    A minimum mark of 70% in English in the Standard Xll examinations in the Central Boards (CBSE/ICSE or the State Boards of Maharashtra, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka). No time limit.

    NA  NA
  • International Baccalaureate (IB)
    International Baccalaureate (IB)
    IELTS 5.0 IELTS 5.5 IELTS 6.0 IELTS 6.5 IELTS 7.0
    NA  NA  Higher or Subsidiary level in English Language (grade 4 or above)  NA  NA
  • International GCSE: English as a first language
    International GCSE: English as a first language
    IELTS 5.0 IELTS 5.5 IELTS 6.0 IELTS 6.5 IELTS 7.0
    NA  NA  Grade C in IGSCE English as a First Language (Syllabus 0522) Grade C in IGCSE English as a First Language (Syllabus 0500) with Grade 2 in Speaking + Listening components 

    Grade C in IGSCE English as a First Language (0522)

    Grade C in IGCSE English as a First Language (0500) with Grade 2 in Speaking + Listening components

    Grade C in IGSCE English as a First Language (0522)

    Grade C in IGCSE English as a First Language (0500) with Grade 2 in Speaking + Listening components

  • International GCSE: English as a second language
    International GCSE: English as a first language
    IELTS 5.0 IELTS 5.5 IELTS 6.0 IELTS 6.5 IELTS 7.0
    NA  NA  Grade C in IGCSE English as a Second Language (Syllabus 0510) with Grade 2 Oral endorsement Grade C in IGCSE English as a Second Language (Syllabus 0511) with Grade C in oral assessment 

    Grade C in IGCSE English as a Second Language (0510) with Grade 2 Oral endorsement

    Grade C in IGCSE English as a Second Language (0511) with Grade C in oral assessment

    Grade C in IGCSE English as a Second Language (0510) with Grade 2 Oral endorsement

    Grade C in IGCSE English as a Second Language (0511) with Grade C in oral assessment

  • INTO International English Language Assessment (IELA)
    INTO International English Language Assessment (IELA)
    IELTS 5.0 IELTS 5.5 IELTS 6.0 IELTS 6.5 IELTS 7.0
    NA  NA 
    • IELA 169 overall
      minimum 162 in sub-skills
    NA  NA
  • Kenyan Certificate in Secondary Education (KCSE)
    Kenyan Certificate in Secondary Education (KCSE)
    IELTS 5.0 IELTS 5.5 IELTS 6.0 IELTS 6.5 IELTS 7.0
    NA  NA  Grade C  Grade C  Grade B
  • Malaysia (Bahasa Inggeris) English Language Syllabus 1119
    Malaysia (Bahasa Inggeris) English Language Syllabus 1119
    IELTS 5.0 IELTS 5.5 IELTS 6.0 IELTS 6.5 IELTS 7.0
    NA  NA  Grade C  Grade B  Grade A
  • Singapore Syllabus 1127 / 1128
    Singapore Syllabus 1127 / 1128
    IELTS 5.0 IELTS 5.5 IELTS 6.0 IELTS 6.5 IELTS 7.0
    NA  NA  Grade C  Grade C  Grade B
  • Tanzania O Level
    Tanzania O Level
    IELTS 5.0 IELTS 5.5 IELTS 6.0 IELTS 6.5 IELTS 7.0
    NA  NA  Grade C  NA  NA
  • Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE)
    Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE)
    IELTS 5.0 IELTS 5.5 IELTS 6.0 IELTS 6.5 IELTS 7.0
    NA  NA  Grade 6 NA  NA
  • WAEC / NECO 

    No time limit. Please provide a copy of your individual Scratch Card which conceals a PIN that is required to verify the results presented.

    WAEC / NECO
    IELTS 5.0 IELTS 5.5 IELTS 6.0 IELTS 6.5 IELTS 7.0
    NA  NA  Grade C6  Grade C5  Grade C4
  • Zambia General Certificate of Education
    Zambia General Certificate of Education
    IELTS 5.0 IELTS 5.5 IELTS 6.0 IELTS 6.5 IELTS 7.0
    NA  NA  Grade 6  NA  NA
  • Zimbabwe Zimsec at ordinary level 

    No time limit

    Zimbabwe Zimsec at ordinary level
    IELTS 5.0 IELTS 5.5 IELTS 6.0 IELTS 6.5 IELTS 7.0
    NA  NA  Grade C  NA  NA

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
    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
    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
    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)
    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
    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 International ESOL (SELT only)
    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
  • Occupational English Test (OET)
    Occupational English Test (OET)
    IELTS 5.0 IELTS 5.5 IELTS 6.0 IELTS 6.5 IELTS 7.0

    NA

    NA

    C+

    NA

    NA

  • PTE Academic
    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 
    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
    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

In this section

Pre-Sessional English Language

Apply now to complete a pre-sessional English language and study skills course run by the Centre for English Language Teaching (CELT).

In-Sessional English Language Support

Ulster University offers in-sessional English language support to international students.