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English language requirements

English language requirements

If English is not your first language and if the language of instruction for your first degree is not English, we ask you to provide evidence of your command of English. The most common qualification is the IELTS test. You do not need to have the required marks when you apply, but they would form a condition of any offer that you received, and would have to be achieved before your arrival at LSE. In each case we require the test of English for Academic Purposes. Your test should be no more than two years old by 1 October in the year you intend to start your programme. Other tests may be acceptable if you have already taken them, but conditions attached to offers will be set as required scores in the IELTS . If you are entering the UK on a student visa (tier 4), your language test scores must meet not just LSE's requirements, but also those of the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). Please note that test scores must be achieved from one sitting of the relevant qualification. We will not accept individual component scores from multiple tests.

The minimum requirements are listed below. You may need additional language instruction before you register in order 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. The LSE Language Centre offers courses in English for Academic Purposes (EAP) to support you both prior to and during your studies. 

Undergraduate

The following qualifications are acceptable to LSE:

  • GCSE English Language with a grade B or better.
  • IGCSE (first language):

CIE board - Grade B or better, plus grade 2 in the optional speaking test OR
Grade B or better, plus proof that you have been instructed in the medium of English for the past 5 years ^

Edexcel board (English A) - Grade B or better, plus the Speaking and Listening coursework component OR
Grade B or better, plus proof that you have been instructed in the medium of English for the past 5 years ^ 

Edexcel board (English B) - Grade B or better, plus proof that you have been instructed in the medium of English for the past 5 years ^ 

  •  
  • International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) academic test with a score of 7.0 in all four components (in one exam sitting only).
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) with grade C or better or 185 points overall and a minimum of 185 points in each individual component.
  • Cambridge Advanced Certificate of English (CAE) with a grade B or better or 185 points overall and a minimum of 185 points in each individual component.
  • Cambridge English Language (1119) conducted overseas by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate: B4 or better.
  • O level (1120 Brunei, 1125 Mauritius A, 1127 Singapore) grade B or better.
  • Singapore Integrated Programme (IP) Secondary 4 English Language grade B or better.  
  • Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education English (HKDSE) with grade 5**.
  • Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE) - academic test with a score of 65 in all four components (in one exam sitting).
  • TOEFL IBT (Internet based test)- At least 107 overall with a minimum of 25 in each of the four components (in one sitting only).
  • Trinity ISE (revised test) level III overall with distinction in all components.

    ^ If an applicant is offering IGCSE in English as a First Language without the optional component (as above), and has been educated in the medium of English during their five most recent years of study (prior to 1 October 2015), then we will accept the qualification as sufficient evidence of English language proficiency.

Exceptions

If students are offering the International Baccalaureate, they would not require one of the English Language qualifications above, provided they achieve one of the following:

  • English A + Literature/ English A + Language & Literature (any grade at Higher Level or at least 6 at Standard Level).
  • English A + Literature & Performance (at least 6 points at Standard Level).
  • English B with the maximum score of 7 at Higher level.

If students are offering the European Baccalaureate, they would not require one of the English Language qualifications above, provided they achieve a minimum of 8.0 (L1 or L2) in English.

Graduate English language requirements

You can meet our language requirements in the following ways:

  • You are a national of Canada (whose first language is English) or one of the UKVI list of majority English-speaking countries below or
  • You have successfully completed an undergraduate degree (of at least three years duration), a postgraduate taught degree (of at least one year) or a PhD in one of those countries or
  • You have passed a recognised English language test at an appropriate level.

Please note that 2+2 undergraduate degrees where less than three years has been spent in a majority English-speaking country and degrees taken at overseas campuses of English speaking institutions in non majority English speaking countries (eg Chinese campuses of UK institutions) are insufficient to meet our requirements and you will be required to supply a test score.

English tests must be less than two years old on 1 October 2017.

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. We recommend that you take the IELTS (International English Language Testing System).  The condition we set depends on your programme - see the English language test requirements table below.

UKVI list of majority English-speaking countries

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                         

 

English language test requirements

English language test requirements

Requirement

Overall

Reading

Listening

Writing

Speaking

A. Standard - most MSc and MRes programmes

         

IELTS

7.0

6.5

6.5

6.0

6.0

Pearson Test of English (Academic) (PTEA)

65

58

58

51

51

Cambridge English Scale*

185

176

176

169

169

TOEFL

107

22

22

21

20

Trinity ISE (revised test)

Level III

Merit

Merit

Pass

Pass

B. Higher - some MSc programmes with an emphasis on essay writing

         

IELTS

7.0

6.5

6.5

6.5

6.0

Pearson Test of English (Academic) (PTEA)

65

58

58

58

51

Cambridge English Scale*

185

176

176

176

169

TOEFL

107

22

22

22

20

Trinity ISE (revised test)

Level III

Merit

Merit

Merit

Pass

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

         

IELTS

7.0

6.5

6.5

7.0

6.5

Pearson Test of English (Academic) (PTEA)

65

58

58

65

58

Cambridge English Scale*

185

176

176

185

176

TOEFL

107

22

22

25

22

Trinity ISE (revised test)

Level III

Merit

Merit

Distinction

Merit

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

         

IELTS

7.5

6.5

7.0

7.0

6.0

Pearson Test of English (Academic) (PTEA)

73

58

65

65

51

Cambridge English Scale*

191

176

185

185

169

TOEFL

109

22

24

25

20

Trinity ISE (revised test)

Level III

Merit

Distinction

Distinction

Merit

You may be required to achieve a higher score at the discretion of the selectors.

*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.

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