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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)
  • Higher: IELTS with 7.0 overall (at least 6.0 in speaking and writing and 6.5 in listening and reading)
  • Law Department: IELTS with 7.5 overall (at least 7.0 in listening and writing, 6.5 in reading and 6.0 in speaking)
  • Research programmes: IELTS with 7.0 overall (at least 7.0 in writing and 6.5 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.

  • You may have seen in the news recently that ETS, the test provider of the TOEFL English language test, has decided not to extend its SELT (Secure English Language Test) licence with the Home Office. This news is particularly relevant to offer holders who will require a Tier 4 visa for their studies at LSE. We understand that this may be a time of concern for you, particularly if you have already taken, or are planning to take, a TOEFL test for entry to a graduate programme at LSE. We would like to reassure you that we are aware of the issue, and will be in touch soon with a formal policy on the acceptance of TOEFL English tests, and advice on the next steps which you should take.
  • In the meantime, if you hold an offer with an English language condition, and have not yet booked a test appointment, we request that you book an IELTS test (not a TOEFL test).
  • If you already hold TOEFL results, or have already booked a TOEFL test date, please bear with us, and we will update you as soon as possible with the necessary course of action.