What is the required level of English language to study at Swansea University?

All students must demonstrate that they have achieved a certain level of English before starting their programme. You will need to provide a recognised English language test or qualification before you can be accepted to Swansea University

Specific English requirements are listed on each course page under the 'entry requirements' section. Our English Language requirements are listed as IELTS scores but we accept the wide range of other English language tests shown below.

Please note that some research scholarship, funded positions, may require a higher English Language test score than standard to be obtained prior to enrolment or held at the point of application. Details of possible bespoke English Language entry requirements are listed on each separate scholarship advert. Our current active research scholarships can be found here.

If your English scores do not exactly meet our requirements, you could still be accepted if you successfully complete an English Language Pre-sessional Programme at Swansea’s English Language Training Services (ELTS) at the required level before starting your academic programme.

What IELTS score do I need for a degree programme?

Approved tests and qualifications

Please note: While the following tests and qualifications would allow you to be admitted to the university, if you do not hold a secure English language test or if you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, you should expect to undertake a short test of English at enrolment to assess whether you might benefit from additional free English language support and to help inform the English language policy on the acceptability of alternative English language tests.

What can I do if my score is below the required level?

If your score falls below the required level, we recommend that you attend our English Language pre-sessional courses delivered by our English Language Training Services.

English Language Training Services (ELTS) is accredited by both the British Council and BALEAP and offer a fantastic range of programmes to improve your English language and academic study skills before starting your degree, we are also able to tailor programmes to suit groups and offer a range of exciting Summer Programmes.

If your English Language scores IELTS 4.0 or below we advise that you should study English Language at your local school, college or accredited English Language providers.

Further Information

Please contact the Admissions Office if your English qualification is not listed or if you have any questions about our requirements:

What if my qualification is outside the validity period?

All qualifications must have been obtained within a set number of years before starting your course with us. If you hold one of the approved qualifications listed above which met standard programme requirements, but it was obtained outside the validity period it may still be possible to accept you if you have continued to study or work in the medium of English since taking the qualification.

For example:

  • If you have successfully completed 1 year of study at secondary, undergraduate or postgraduate level through the medium of English within 10 years of the programme start date - please provide us with a letter, transcript or certificate from the school or college confirming the study was in English;
  • If you have worked in a Majority English Speaking Country for a significant amount of time since completing your approved English qualification – please provide a detailed CV outlining the nature of the work;
  • If you have worked through the medium of English in any other country for a significant amount of time since completing your approved English Language qualification, it may be possible to exempt you from taking an English test.

    Please provide us with a reference from your employer confirming that you have worked in a formal capacity in English. References must give specific examples of how you use the four components of English Language (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking) in your place of employment daily.  Your referee should be responsible for your line management or in charge of the company/organisation.  We are unable to accept references from friends or family members.  If you have worked in multiple roles since completing your acceptable English Language qualification, you may be asked to provide a reference from each of the organisations you have worked.  References should include an employer stamp and an official employer email address.  Referees whose details include Hotmail or Gmail accounts may not be accepted.

    References will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.  Providing a reference does not guarantee exemption from an English Language test.