English language requirements

Requirements for 2020/21 entry

Graduate programmes at LSE are demanding and you will need to demonstrate that you have a high level of English language proficiency before you embark on your studies.

Due to the current COVID-19 related difficulties in taking tests, we are expanding the ways in which offer holders can meet our requirements. We are currently assessing all offer holders with outstanding English language conditions against these criteria, confirming offers where possible and sending emails to the individuals concerned. Please be patient whilst we carry out this task. Once it is complete, anyone who does not meet these criteria will receive an email setting out the options for taking alternative tests to the ones below. Do not contact us to request a waiver; we will contact you.

Please remember that you should still continue to prepare for studying in English. You are expected to spend time reading, listening to and watching material in English online, to practice your conversational English as often as you can, and to take advantage of the opportunities to improve your written English offered by LSE's Language Centre and Eden Centre once you arrive.

We will consider waiving your English language condition if you:

  1. Have/will have a 2+2 degree where two years are in the UK
  2. Have/will have a degree taught in English
  3. Have/will have a degree awarded by a UK/US university not in the UK or US
  4. Have TOEFL MyBest scores that meet this year’s or last year’s requirements
  5. Meet last year’s requirements
  6. Meet this year’s requirement overall, but have dropped 0.5 on one component
  7. Meet the requirement but your SELT is up to 1 month too old (ie from 1-30 September 2018)
  8. Show evidence on CV of 3 years working in an English speaking environment
  9. Show evidence on CV of secondary education in English at GCSE or A level
  10. Have completed/are completing a 1 year pre-master’s foundation programme in the UK

Your answers to the relevant questions on the application form will give you an indication of whether we will require an English test from you. We strongly encourage you to submit your test results with your application (please fill in the relevant section of the application form). Any offer of admission will be subject to proof of your score.

If you have not taken a test by the time you apply, your application can still be considered without it, but any offer will be conditional on the required score. Please note that people applying via Sciences Po to Double Degree programmes must meet the requirement at the point they apply.


UKVI list of majority English-speaking countries

 Antigua & Barbuda

 Jamaica

 Australia

 New Zealand

 The Bahamas

 St Kitts & Nevis

 Barbados

 St Lucia

 Belize

 St Vincent & the Grenadines

Dominica

 Trinidad & Tobago

 Grenada

 UK

 Guyana

 USA

 Ireland                         

 

 

*ETS will be offering the opportunity to take the TOEFL iBT Test and the GRE General Test  at home until test centres reopen. TOEFL testing is scheduled to begin on March 26 and GRE testing on March 27. More details can be found here. You can register (TOEFL / GRE) from today if you are in the following countries:

  • United States
  • Canada
  • Colombia
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Hong Kong (China)
  • Macau (China)

English language test requirements

Requirement

Overall

Reading

Listening

Writing

Speaking

A. Standard

 

 

 

 

 

IELTS

7.0

6.5

6.5

6.5

6.5

LSE Language Centre Presessional programme (5 or 10 week)

70

65

65

65

65

Pearson Test of English (Academic) (PTEA)

65

58

58

58

58

Cambridge English Scale*

185

176

176

176

176

TOEFL

100

23

22

24

22

Trinity ISE (revised test)

Level III

Merit

Merit

Merit

Merit

B. Higher

 Overall

 Reading

 Listening

 Writing

 Speaking

IELTS

7.0

7.0

6.5

6.5

6.5

LSE Language Centre Presessional programme (5 or 10 week)

 70

 70

 65

 65

 65

Pearson Test of English (Academic) (PTEA)

65

65

58

58

58

Cambridge English Scale*

185

185

176

176

176

TOEFL

100

25

22

24

22

Trinity ISE (revised test)

Level III

Distinction

Merit

Merit

Merit

C. Research programmes – MPhil/PhD programmes (except Law)

 Overall

 Reading

 Listening

 Writing

 Speaking

IELTS

7.0

7.0

6.5

7.0

6.5

LSE Language Centre Presessional programme (5 or 10 week)

 70

 70

 65

 70

 65

Pearson Test of English (Academic) (PTEA)

65

65

58

65

58

Cambridge English Scale*

185

185

176

185

176

TOEFL

100

25

22

27

22

Trinity ISE (revised test)

Level III

Distinction

Merit

Distinction

Merit

D. Law programmes – all programmes in the Law Department, including MPhil/PhD Law

 Overall

 Reading

 Listening

 Writing

 Speaking

IELTS

7.5

7.0

7.0

7.0

6.5

LSE Language Centre Presessional programme (5 or 10 week)

75

70

70

70

65

Pearson Test of English (Academic) (PTEA)

73

65

65

65

58

Cambridge English Scale*

191

185

185

185

176

TOEFL

109

25

24

27

22

Trinity ISE (revised test)

Level III

Distinction

Distinction

Distinction

Merit

You may be required to achieve a higher score at the discretion of the selectors, even if you already meet the requirements above.

*For tests taken before the new Cambridge English Scale was introduced, we will use the online converter to determine your score equivalence. If you are taking a Cambridge test rather than the IELTS, we prefer the Advanced or Proficiency tests.

These are minimum requirements. You may need additional language instruction before you can register to be confident that you can participate fully in your programme. Experience has shown that students who are fully proficient in English are best placed to make the most of all that LSE has to offer, both academically and socially.

Please refer to the Language Centre pages for more information on the Presessional and Insessional programmes we offer.

Useful preparation materials

Please see the resources at the below links, to help you prepare for English language testing, and for studying at LSE.

IELTS Resources:

TOEFL Resources

Using English for Academic Purposes

Preparing for LSE Presessional courses

Preparing to study