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.

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.

We have been informed that testing centres are re-opening in various countries and territories worldwide. Please consult your chosen provide for more information.

English condition waivers due to COVID-19

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. This task is now almost complete. Anyone who does not meet these criteria will shortly (in the first week of June) 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

UKVI list of majority English-speaking countries

 Antigua & Barbuda

 Australia

 The Bahamas

 Barbados

 Belize

 Dominica

 Grenada

 Guyana

 Ireland

 Jamaica

 New Zealand

 St Kitts & Nevis

 St Lucia

 St Vincent & the Grenadines

 Trinidad & Tobago

 UK

 USA

Alternative at-home tests

A number of providers are now offering at-home tests which we will accept alongside an assessment by LSE's Language Centre which is carried out online using Moodle (LSE's virtual learning environment) and Zoom.

To pursue this option, you first need to take the alternative test and achieve the required score. You should send your results to us using the new information form and, once these are processed, we will contact you with details on how to log into Moodle and to schedule your assessment. 

You should be aware that LSE's language assessment is for in-house use in conjunction with your test score only.

The alternative tests we currently accept are:

IELTS Indicator (with the same scores as the standard IELTS test)

TOEFL IPT Plus (with a score of at least 627)

Duolingo (with a score of at least 125) - share your score with graduate.documents@lse.ac.uk so that we can verify it

Other providers are also increasing their online testing capabilities and we are looking into further alternatives as information arrives.

 


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 (including Special Home Edition)

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 (including Special Home Edition)

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 (including Special Home Edition)

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 (including Special Home Edition)

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