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English language requirements

If your first language is not English or if the language of instruction of your previous degree is not English, we ask you to provide evidence of your command of English. You should include your test scores, if available, in the relevant section of the application form. If you receive an offer of admission, it will be subject to proof of your score.

English tests must be less than two years old by 1 October in the year you intend to start your programme. If you have not yet taken the test, your application can be considered in its absence, but any offer will be conditional on your achieving the required score.

There are standard and higher requirements, and you must check which applies to your programme. Research programmes and the Law Department have yet higher requirements. Please note that our standard requirements have increased slightly from 2013 entry.

  • Standard: IELTS with 6.5 overall (at least 6.0 in speaking and writing and 6.5 in reading and listening) or internet-based TOEFL with 100 (at least 22 in listening and reading, 21 in writing and 20 in speaking)
  • Higher: IELTS with 7.0 overall (at least 6.0 in speaking and writing and 6.5 in listening and reading) or internet-based TOEFL with 107 (at least 22 in reading and listening, 21 in writing and 20 in speaking)
  • Law Department: IELTS with 7.5 overall (at least 7.0 in listening and writing, 6.5 in reading and 6.0 in speaking) or internet-based TOEFL with 109 (at least 24 in listening, 25 in writing 22 in reading and 20 in speaking)
  • Research programmes: IELTS with 7.0 overall (at least 7.0 in writing and 6.5 in the other elements) or internet-based TOEFL with 107 (at least 25 in the writing element and 22 in the other elements)

Other test scores may be acceptable if you have already obtained them. You should supply evidence of your English test with your application and if you are made an offer we will indicate whether we will accept your score or if we require one of the tests above. You may be required to achieve a higher score at the discretion of the selectors. If you have not yet taken any English test, we recommend that you take the IELTS test.

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.

  • PLEASE NOTE: Following concerns about the security of tests administered by ETS, UK Visas & Immigration has suspended the consideration of all applications for temporary and indefinite leave to remain where the customer relies on tests administered by ETS to prove their English language ability. This includes the TOEFL.
  • At this time, individuals already in the UK who are planning to apply for a visa may not use a TOEIC or TOEFL test to provide evidence of English proficiency for their application. Applications submitted from within the UK with a TOEFL or TOEIC score will be set aside at this time.

    For individuals who are both applying for a visa and testing outside the UK, there is no change. The Home Office has confirmed that TOEFL and TOEIC tests taken outside the UK may continue to be used when applying for a visa at an overseas office and the application will be reviewed by immigration officials as before.

  • UK Visas & immigration have set up a helpline to assist people with a pending visa application who are relying on a test certificate or who were about to apply with such a certificate. These people may call +44 (0) 114 207 3463 if they have any further questions relating to this issue. LSE's advice is to take the IELTS if you have not already taken your English test. We will continue to monitor the situation and official guidance issued by UKVI.