English language requirements

Applicants from outside the UK will often need to meet specific English language requirements in order to be able to study at The University of Manchester.

The UK’s Home Office requires that every student from outside the UK and the European Union (EU) must show evidence of a minimum level of English language (called B2 level) in order to be granted a UK visa (Tier 4 visa) to study at undergraduate or postgraduate level.

Additionally, our individual Schools may ask for the English language proficiency levels that are necessary for their academic programmes, which in most cases are higher than the B2 level. These academic requirements also apply to EU students although they do not require a Tier 4 visa.

Majority English-speaking countries

For Tier 4 visa purposes, if you are a national of one of the following countries (or have a bachelor’s degree or higher from one of these countries) you may be exempt from submitting further evidence of English language proficiency:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United States

Please note that this list is determined by the UK’s Home Office, not by The University of Manchester.

English language requirements may also be waived for holders of bachelor’s degrees or higher from the list of countries above, as well as degrees from Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Acceptable English language tests

Where evidence of English language proficiency is required, we currently accept the following qualifications for admission into our courses at degree level or above, including integrated courses where a foundation year or a pre-sessional English language course are part of the degree:

Please note: for separate (non-integrated) foundation courses and pre-sessional English language courses or English for Academic Purposes, only UKVI-IELTS (taken at UKVI approved IELTS centres globally) or the ISE modules above (where the tests are taken in UK test centres only) are acceptable.

Please note that IELTS, ISE, TOEFL and Pearson scores only remain valid for two years. If you apply using a certificate gained over two years ago, at the point that you start your course, you will need to retake the test.

Each course and programme we offer has its own requirements in terms of English test scores. Please refer to the course and programme profiles for details of specific English language scores that are acceptable for entry.

The different scores (or score bands) that we have adopted from TOEFL, PTE, ISE and CAE/CPE are as follows, where the corresponding IELTS scores are shown in the top line:

IELTS overall score 5.5 6 6.5 7 7.5+
TOEFL iBT 72 80 90 100 109–120
PTE Academic 43–50 51–58 59–65 66–73 74+
CAE or CPE 162–168 169–175 176–184 185–190 191–230
ISE II (accepted for foundation courses only) Pass in each section N/A
ISE III Pass in each section

Merit or above in each section Check with admissions tutors in the academic School
ISE IV Pass in each section

Other English language qualifications

We may accept other English language qualifications from overseas, depending on the qualification, the scores obtained, and the University’s assessment of its academic suitability.

If you have a qualification that is not listed above, you can ask the Admissions Office of the School to which you would like to apply whether your qualification is acceptable.

When enquiring, please inform the School of:

  • the name, level and date of the qualification;
  • the country in which it was taken; and
  • the scores you obtained.

If possible, please send a scanned copy of the certificate and transcripts, showing as much of the above information as possible.

You can find the relevant admissions contact details on the profile pages for your chosen course or programme using the course and programme finders below.

You can also check our country-specific information for any details of individual language requirements.

English language support

The University Language Centre (ULC) has over 30 years’ experience of running English language courses for international students. These courses are accredited by the British Council.

The ULC is an IELTS testing centre and its pre-sessional courses are accredited by the British Association of Lecturers in English for Academic Purposes (BALEAP).

Course and programme finder

A-Z lists: