Research degrees

If you are an international student who needs a Student visa (previously Tier 4), you'll be required to take a Secure English Language Test (SELT) in order to study a research degree with us. These requirements apply to all applicants that are not of majority English speaking nationality as defined by the UK Home Office, or those who do not possess a degree awarded, studied and conferred in a majority English speaking country. Applicants of majority English speaking nationality who do not require a SELT to confirm their competency in the English language will still be asked to provide a UK GCSE English language equivalent qualification.

Taking a Secure English Language Test

Find out more about taking a SELT test on our Secure English Language Test pages.

PhD and professional doctorates

To study a PhD or professional doctorates, the following Secure English Language Test (SELT) minimum scores are required:

Academic IELTS

Overall score required: 6.5

Component scores required:

Listening: 6.0
Reading: 6.0
Writing: 6.0
Speaking: 6.0

Pearson PTE (Academic)

Component scores required:

Listening: 70
Reading: 70
Writing: 70
Speaking: 70

Please note we no longer accept the online version of Pearson Test of English (PTE), this has to be completed in person to be considered. 

Cambridge English

Cambridge C1 Advanced, formerly Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) – grade C and above

Cambridge C2 Proficiency, formerly Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE) – grade C and above

A certifying statement of results is also required


LanguageCert International ESOL Exam B2 LRWS – component scores required:

Listening: 38
Reading: 38
Writing: 38
Speaking: 38

Our Pre-sessional Academic English course

Our Pre-sessional Academic English course can help prepare you for entry on to one of our degree courses. It's ideal if your level of English is just below the requirements for your chosen degree or you want to feel a bit more confident before starting your studies.