IELTS Band Requirements for Universities in the UK

IELTS Band Requirements for Universities in the UK

Looking information on IELTS Band Requirements for Universities in the UK, then you have landed on the right article. The UK houses a range of reputable institutions and has built a place in the world as a top study destination for students looking for further studies. Above that, this country is also known to offer exciting experiences and have unique landmarks for anyone who is looking to enjoy their weekends off campus.

Most UK universities need international students to prove their proficiency in the English language through the International English Language Testing System test scores or IELTS scores.

Succeeding in the IELTS is one of the primary steps in getting admitted to a college in the UK. Following the USA, the next popular study destination for students is the UK. The universities in the UK are renowned for providing quality education to their students along with unbeatable life skills.

In this blog, we have curated details regarding IELTS band requirements for universities in the UK.

Key Takeaways:

  • Studying in UK requires students to submit a proof of English proficiency via tests like IELTS, TOFEL or Duolingo score.
  • The IELTS scores required for a university depends on various factors such as course chosen, location etc.
  • University of Cambridge and University of Oxford are some of the top colleges in the UK with the highest required IELTS score of 7.5.
  • It is not very difficult to score in IELTS, it requires dedication and practice.
  • IELTS score is mandatory for students to receive a Tier 4 General visa.
  • There are very few universities in the UK which admit students without an IELTS score.

How much IELTS score is required to study in the UK?

The minimum score for IELTS varies depending on the university. On average, students need to score a band score of 6.0 for a bachelor’s course and around 6.5 for a master’s course.

The minimum IELTS score that has to be scored depends on various factors. For instance, if a student is interested in studying a course in the healthcare industry, the universities in the UK will expect the student to have an IELTS score of 6.5 and above.

Advanced knowledge is covered in healthcare courses, and effective patient communication is a must for all healthcare positions. This also holds for psychology, law, and journalism. Because many positions include a lot of face-to-face communication, fluency in English is a definite requirement.

  • If the score is higher than 6.5-7, students can gain admission to prestigious UK universities offering a wide range of challenging course options.
  • Good institutions ranked between 80 and 150 often accept applicants with scores between 6.0 and 6.5.
  • If the score is between 5.5 – 6.0, students might have fewer options. However, they can find a good university that will work for them.

Less than 5.5 indicates fewer course and university alternatives. You have two options: either identify colleges that don’t require the IELTS exam or repeat the test to improve your score.

Because of your low score, some universities may request supplementary materials or an interview in addition to your 12th-grade grades and other credentials.

Minimum IELTS Band Requirements for Universities in the UK to study

IELTS passing score 2024 for the UK varies for both bachelor’s and master’s degrees depending on the universities. The minimum IELTS requirements for top universities are:

Name of Institution World Ranking Minimum Score for Undergraduate Courses Minimum Score for Postgraduate Courses
University of Cambridge027.57.0
University of Oxford037.07.5
Imperial College London066.56.5
UCL 096.56.5
The University of Edinburgh226.56.5
The University of Manchester326.06.0
King’s College London407.07.0
The London school of economics and political science457.07.0
University of Bristol676.06.5
University of Warwick676.06.5
University of Leeds756.06.0
University of Glasgow766.56.5
Durham University786.56.5
University of Southampton816.56.5
University of Birmingham846.06.0
University of St Andrews956.56.5
University of Nottingham1007.07.0
University of Sheffield1046.06.5
Newcastle University1106.56.5
Queen Mary University of London1456.06.5

1. University of Oxford

Oxford University is a prestigious global university that is among the oldest in the world. In the QS World University Rankings, it has attained the fourth spot. It has gained recognition for having the greatest faculty, talent, and research programs.

It is renowned for attracting the world’s most intelligent students. For undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Oxford, the minimal IELTS cut score is 7.0 and 7.5, respectively.

2. University of Cambridge

University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge

The QS World University Rankings have placed Cambridge University as sixth globally. It is one of the top institutions in the world, providing undergraduate courses in social sciences, engineering, and the arts and humanities, among other subjects.

Additionally, it has a tight connection to the development of the Silicon Fen commercial and technological cluster. It attracts the top talent in a variety of sectors and has a reputable alumni base. The minimum IELTS score required for undergraduate and graduate programs is 6.5.

3. University of Warwick

One of the most well-known universities in the UK for innovation, research, business studies, teaching, and industry networking is the University of Warwick. High academic standards are upheld, and employers like recruiting students from its wide range of courses.

It comprises four faculties—the social sciences, arts, sciences, and medicine—as well as thirty academic sections. For students, there are a lot of societies available. IELTS scores below 6.5 are required for admission to graduate and undergraduate programs.

4. King’s College London

King's College London
King’s College London

King’s College London research-focused university that is ranked among the top universities in the world. It is one of the most prestigious and historic universities in London, with internationally recognized programs in law, culture, and other subjects.

For both undergraduate and graduate programs, it requires a minimum IELTS cut-off score of 7.

5. London School of Economics and Political Science

London School of Economics and Political Science
London School of Economics and Political Science

Seventy percent of international students at London School of Economics and Political Science, a university committed to public research, come from more than 140 countries. It is split up into 25 different academic departments that handle both teaching and research.

Every year, it hosts over 200 public events and supports extracurricular activities. For undergraduate programs, the IELTS cutoff score is 7, and for graduate courses, it is 7.5.

6. Imperial College London

Imperial College London
Imperial College London

The only university in the UK that focuses on science, medicine, engineering, and business is Imperial College. It places students in the world’s largest companies and offers over 380 student societies, projects, and clubs.

The university provides excellent placements for applicants in addition to a wealth of research opportunities. IELTS scores must be at least 7.0 to be considered for postgraduate and undergraduate programs.

7. Cardiff University

More than 300 undergraduate programs, 200 graduate courses, certificates, and short courses are available at Cardiff University. It has knowledgeable and talented instructors, some of them have even been awarded Nobel Prizes.

Along with multiple student clubs, the campus hosts a plethora of activities. Every year, the university welcomes thousands of international students. The minimum score required for all undergraduate and graduate courses is 6.5.

8. University College London

It is referred to as the “Global University of London” and is renowned for providing top-notch facilities and research programs. It is the largest university in the city in terms of postgraduate program enrollment and a premier multidisciplinary school with a student body that spans the globe.

Additionally, the institution was the first in England to accept students without regard to their faith or other qualifications. The largely secular university offers a focused research program that understands the challenges faced in real-world issue solutions. The threshold score for IELTS in postgraduate and undergraduate studies is 6.5.

9. University of Liverpool

University of Liverpool
University of Liverpool

The University of Liverpool is among the first red-brick municipal universities and among the first to establish departments of architecture, oceanography, and civic design. It is organized into four faculties, each with 35 departments. Acknowledgeable as a worldwide center for superior education and innovation, it also houses extremely specialized research centers.

It conducts extensive, research-driven operations and plans several international conferences, workshops, conclaves, and exhibitions. For undergraduate and graduate courses, the minimal IELTS cut-off scores are 6.0 and 6.5, respectively.

How to get a good IELTS score for the UK?

We advise doing extensive research on your degree and university requirements if you’re just beginning your IELTS preparation for the UK. Here are some pointers to assist you in your IELTS journey.

  1. If you’re a newbie, you should first assess your level of English language skills. Create a study plan based on your level of proficiency.
  2. Get acquainted with the IELTS format. Make sure you allow adequate time for every IELTS section. IELTS writing is something that most students find difficult, therefore pay close attention to it.
  3. Because the IELTS exam is so time-sensitive, practice every part with a timer.
  4. Make sure all of your resources are current.
  5. Throughout your preparation process, take practice exams.

IELTS score for the UK visa:

Applicants who are applying for the Tier 4 UK Student Visa to study a bachelor’s or postgraduate degree are required to meet the standards of the English language tests.

Most British universities and colleges accept the IELTS score which enables students to apply for their desired course and college quite easily.

It must be kept in mind that the Tier 4 General visa is only issued if the student has met the English Language proficiency requirement set by the institution in the UK.

Can students apply in the UK without IELTS?

It is possible to study in the UK without an IELTS score. However, it primarily depends on the university and the course chosen by the applicant. Irrespective of this, it is strongly recommended to take the IELTS exam since it helps students with their careers and greatly helps in securing other visas as well.

Alternatively, students can also appear for TOEFL, PTE, and Duolingo tests to prove their English proficiency in the UK. Few colleges enable students to skip the English proficiency test altogether. However, in such a case, applicants will be required to submit proof that they have completed their former education in English.

Applying to colleges without an IELTS score should only be done in case of emergencies. IELTS scores can be game-changing for most applications. These scores can be used for various purposes such as admissions, part-time and full-time jobs, visas, and permanent residence procedures. IELTS can also greatly help in cutting costs since these scores can help students get scholarships.

What to Do If You Did Not Get a Desired IELTS Score?

The IELTS exam can be extremely exhausting mentally and physically. If you have not scored well, it is alright. This is a great chance to learn where exactly you are lacking. Moving forward, try making amends to your study plan and focus on the areas that you observed you were lacking in.

For anyone who is not happy with their score, two things can be done:

  1. Retake the exam: If you have not scored your ideal band score, it is recommended you prepare for the exam again. Practice mock papers and strengthen your basics.
  1. Look at alternative universities: Numerous universities in the UK accept scores between 5.5-7+. If you don’t fit the prerequisites of a specific university, don’t give up. You can always search for alternative colleges that will accept your results.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What IELTS score is required for UK universities?

For both undergraduate and graduate programs, UK universities demand an IELTS score of between 6.0 and 7.0, with a minimum of 5.5 in each of the four sections (speaking, listening, reading, and writing).

2. Is a 7.5 IELTS score good for UK universities?

Scores of 7 or higher on the IELTS are accepted by prestigious US universities like Stanford and Harvard. In a similar vein, colleges in the UK like Oxford and Cambridge demand 7.5 or above. To be admitted to the best colleges in Canada and Australia, applicants must have an IELTS score of 6.5 or 7 or higher.

3. What is the minimum IELTS score required for a UK visa?

A 6.0 overall and a 5.5 in each IELTS section are required if you intend to study for a degree or higher. The English language proficiency criterion for other visa categories, like work visas, may change depending on the particular immigration route and the skill level of the employment. For the most current and accurate information, go to either the UK Visas and Immigration website or the official UK government website.

4. Can someone study in the UK without taking the IELTS exam?

You are welcome to take different English proficiency exams. Additionally, some universities recognize your 12th-grade English test results. The institution may waive your requirement to take an English language test if you met certain academic requirements, had experience in an English-speaking setting, and performed well in your English class in the twelfth grade.

5. How long is the validity of an IELTS score for UK study purposes?

Generally speaking, IELTS results are good for two years following the exam date. This indicates that you will have two years from the date of the test to use your IELTS results for purposes such as applying for a visa, admission to universities, and other goals.


The minimal acceptance score is 5.5 in each component of the IELTS, while the needed score for UK universities falls between 6.0 and 7.0. A strong IELTS score is necessary for admission to UK universities if you wish to study there and obtain a visa.

Students must consider the IELTS score for UK universities and the minimum score necessary to study in the UK, as it is also said that the IELTS UKVI test is recognized by the UK immigration and visa department for individuals wishing to live, work, or study in the UK.

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