Language requirements

If you are applying to spend a semester or year studying abroad at the University of Leeds you must ensure you meet our English language requirements as outlined on this page.

Language requirements vary according to which teaching school you wish to take modules in.

If the country you study in is not on the Student visa exceptions list, you will need to submit evidence that you meet our language requirements. There are some exceptions if you have been nominated by a partner university, are being taught in English and if you are joining us for a single semester only (and therefore intending to apply for a Visitor visa). In this case, you may include an official letter confirming you are being taught in English, as an alternative. Check what evidence you need to include in your supporting documents to meet our language requirements.

We recommend that you check the English language requirements for undergraduate degrees, as well as the accepted English language qualifications for your country or region before applying.

In line with the University of Leeds Undergraduate Admissions Policy, the University of Leeds must accept the most recent English language certificate submitted. For example, a French Baccalaureate or a German Abitur taken in 2019 would be overridden by an IELTS test with an overall score of 5.0 taken in 2020.

Do you meet our standard or higher requirements?

The majority of teaching schools at the University of Leeds expect the standard University of Leeds English language requirement.

The following teaching schools have set their English language entry requirement at a higher level so if you intend to take modules within these schools you must have attained the higher entry requirement of IELTS 6.5 by the time you apply to Leeds, or on completion of a pre-sessional English language programme.

  • School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies (module code ARTF)
  • School of Media and Communication (module code COMM)
  • School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies (module code CULT)
  • School of English (module code ENGL)
  • School of Law (module code LAW)
  • Department of Linguistics and Phonetics (module code LING)
  • Leeds University Business School  (module code LUBS)
  • School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science (module code PHIL)
  • School of Politics and International Studies (module code PIED)

English language entry requirement

Direct entry (September or January start)

Standard language requirement
  • Overall: 6.0
  • Listening, reading, speaking and writing: 5.5
  • Overall: 87
  • Listening and reading: 20
  • Writing: 21
  • Speaking: 22
Higher language requirement (see previous course list)
  • Overall: 6.5
  • Listening, reading, speaking and writing: 6.0
  • Overall: 92
  • Listening and reading: 21
  • Writing: 22
  • Speaking: 23

If you need to evidence the higher English Language entry requirement but have not taken IELTS or TOEFL, you can refer to the accepted English Language qualifications for postgraduate study on the Admissions qualifications page.

If you do not meet our direct entry requirements

If you do not meet our direct entry language requirements you can take a pre-sessional Academic English course directly before the start of semester 1 and semester 2 with our Language Centre

The duration of the pre-sessional Academic English course will be based on your existing IELTS scores (or equivalent qualification). You will need to meet the English language requirements for undergraduate degrees / study abroad programmes.

If you are applying for modules taught in academic Schools which require the higher language entry requirement on completion of the pre-sessional programme, you will need to apply for a pre-sessional course which will prepare you for a programme requiring the higher requirement of IELTS 6.5.

Please see our pre-sessional English entry requirements for more information. You will apply for a combined pre-sessional and study abroad programme via the Study Abroad / Exchange application form.

How to apply for a pre-sessional Academic English course

To apply, you must indicate that you would like to study a pre-sessional course when you complete the study abroad online application form. You do not need to apply separately for the pre-sessional course. Find out more about applying for study abroad.

The Language Centre has more information about fees for pre-sessional language courses.

These courses are not usually included in exchange programme tuition fee waiver arrangements.