English language requirements

If you are applying to spend a semester or a year studying abroad at the University of Leeds, you must make sure you meet our English language entry requirements.  

The requirement to provide English language evidence depends on:

  • Your nationality and country of study
  • The language of instruction for your degree programme at your home university 
  • Your planned duration of study at Leeds
  • The visa you need to study in the UK

English language entry requirements vary according to which teaching school you are applying  to take modules in – this will determine whether you need to prove that you meet the standard English language requirements or the higher English language requirements.

Check your language requirements

Complete this survey to receive an email outlining what English Language evidence you need to provide with your application based on your personal circumstances.

Standard English language requirements

The majority of teaching schools at the University of Leeds expect study abroad students starting in September or January to meet the standard University of Leeds English language requirements. These are:

IELTS (International English Language Testing System)

  • Overall: 6.0 
  • Listening, reading, speaking and writing: 5.5 

TOEFL iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-Based Test)

  • Overall: 80
  • Listening: 17
  • Reading: 18
  • Writing: 19
  • Speaking: 20 

You will need to provide evidence that you meet these requirements when you submit your application to the University of Leeds. If you do not meet the standard entry requirements by the time you apply to Leeds, we recommend that you consider a pre-sessional English language course.

Higher English language requirements

The following teaching schools have higher English language entry requirements:

  • School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies (module code ARTF) 
  • School of Media and Communication (module code COMM) 
  • 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) 
  • Language Centre (module code ELU) Level 2 and above only

If you want to take modules in these schools, you must have attained the higher entry requirement in one of the following qualifications by the time you apply to Leeds, or by completing a pre-sessional English language programme. The higher entry requirements are:


  • Overall: 6.5 
  • Listening, reading, speaking and writing: 6.0 


  • Overall: 88
  • Listening: 19
  • Reading: 20
  • Writing: 21
  • Speaking: 22 

Please note that from 2024, if you need UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) sponsorship for a student visa, we will no longer consider online tests of English, such as TOEFL iBT Home Edition. However, we can still accept TOEFL iBT Home Edition if you don’t need UKVI sponsorship.

If you do not meet our direct entry language requirements 

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

The duration of the pre-sessional English language course you need to complete will be based on your existing English language scores as well as the academic schools you wish to take modules in. After you complete your pre-sessional course, you will need to meet the English language requirements for undergraduate degrees/study abroad programmes. 

Please see our pre-sessional English entry requirements for more information. 

How to apply for a pre-sessional English language course

You do not need to apply separately for the pre-sessional course – apply for a combined pre-sessional and study abroad programme via the Study Abroad/Exchange application form.

Pre-sessional courses are not usually included in exchange programme tuition fee waiver arrangements. Find out more about pre-sessional English language programmes

If you are applying for a pre-sessional English Language course before your semester or year of study abroad, you must apply with a SELT (Secure English Language Test) such as IELTS for UKVI.

Alternative English language evidence

If you do not have a valid IELTS or TOEFL certificate, there are alternative types of English language evidence that we can accept, including English studied as part of some high school qualifications. 

We recommend that you:

  • Check the accepted qualifications for your country or region. We may accept your high school English qualification if listed here and you attained the minimum score given under ‘English Language minimum for undergraduate study’. If you intend to take modules in the schools that have the higher English language requirement, your certificate will need to prove that you meet the ‘English language requirements for postgraduate study’.
  • Check the English language requirements for undergraduate degrees to see if we accept your English language certificate. If you intend to take modules in the schools that have the higher English language requirement, your certificate will need to prove that you meet the English language requirements listed under ‘Masters degrees’.