Postgraduate English Language Requirements

If your first language is not English you will be asked for a recognised English language qualification.

This will help us to ensure that:

  • You will be able to gain the most from your postgraduate course
  • You meet English ability levels set by the UK Border Agency (if applicable)

For postgraduate study at Lancaster, we usually require a minimum score of:


Recognised Qualification Minimum Entry Level
IELTS Academic 6.5 (with a minimum of 5.5 in each part)
Pearson PTE Academic 62 (with 51 in each communicative skill)
Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE) Grade C
ToEFL iBT  93 (with a minimum of 20 in each skill)

You may be asked to achieve higher scores for some programmes. Find out more by using our online course search.

ToEFL update

Following recent revised guidance from the UK Visas and Immigration Office (part of the Home Office), Lancaster University is continuing to accept ToEFL for entry onto academic programmes of study.

Please note, however, that ToEFL tests are no longer recognised by the UK Visas and Immigration Office for entry onto pre-sessional English language courses starting in the UK after 1 October 2014. If you are considering taking one of the pre-sessional courses offered by Lancaster University starting after 1st October 2014, and would require a Tier 4 (General) student visa, you would not be able to use TOEFL as evidence of your English language ability, and we would only be able to accept one of the other recognised qualifications listed above.

We can accept some other international English qualifications as proof of English ability.

In some situations, we can instead accept at least two years degree level, full time study in an English-speaking country. Please contact your faculty admissions team for further information.

If you do not meet the English language requirement for your chosen postgraduate course, we may offer you one of our Pre-sessional English Language Preparation courses.

Pre-sessional English Language Programme

If you are applying for a postgraduate programme at Lancaster and you have taken an approved English language test, but you have not met the minimum entry requirement for your chosen course, we offer a range of pre-sessional English language courses which will bring you up to the required level.