The UK is one of the top study destinations for overseas students and IELTS is one of the common requirements for admission. The students are constantly looking for opportunities to shine in their academic careers. Language proficiency is one of the most important requirements for international students to study in the UK. British universities offer a wide range of degrees to study, and also they do recognize many foreign qualifications which eventually meet the language admission requirements.

Foreign student can show their English language ability in many forms, such as their high school qualifications and undergraduate degree taught in English where the Medium of study instructions (MOI) was in English. Accepting the Medium of study instructions also depends on the country of education, quality of education, teaching quality and many other factors set by the individual UK universities to meet their admission requirements. For postgraduate admissions, UK accepts MOI from listed foreign institutes. 

With the MOI certificate, the student is not required to sit for additional language tests like IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, ESOL, Duolingo, Trinity College London, etc. 

IELTS requirements

IELTS is one of the most widely accepted English language tests globally. The test has global recognition for its quality and compliance maintenance. Usually, for UK undergraduate admission, the standard admission requirements in IELTS is

  • UKVI IELTS CERF B1 meaning minimum 4.0 in each component and overall 4.0 – Usually required for standalone Foundation degrees
  • IELTS Academic B2 means a minimum 5.5 in each component and an overall 5.5 – for direct undergraduate (Bachelor) admission
  • Some universities may even require higher scores (please check individual university admission requirements from their website).

The postgraduate taught and research (Master’s Degree) admission requirements can also be different overall.

  • IELTS 6.5 avg and individual 6.0 in each band score
  • Some universities may even require higher scores (please check individual university admission requirements from their website).

Accepting MOI as an IELTS alternative

MOI has become the alternative IELTS solution these days for international students. UK university accepts MOI from selected universities as proof of English language ability to continue their higher education in the UK. MOI accepted universities in UK are able to sponsor int’l students without IELTS. 

Suppose a student has completed a Bachelor of Engineering from a reputed university in their home country and that institute’s Medium of study instructions was only in English. In that case, many British institutes accept that as proof of their proficiency in English. 

IGCSE or IB as an IELTS alternative

For undergraduate admission to a UK university, accept IGCSE and International Baccalaureate diplomas as proof of English language proficiency. If the student has completed their high school diploma under the IGCSE or IB curriculum and achieved a certain grade point in English course, they might be exempt from the English language test scores. 

Indian CBSE high school qualifications are also considered to prove English language ability by several UK institutes. Students from India who have completed 12th Standard under CBSE may apply without IELTS to a UK university but must have minimum required grades in courses like English, Maths etc. Check the university website to find out the CBSE grade requirements. 

Higher Educational Institute’s (HEI) internal English Test

Public-funded higher educational institutes often conduct their internal English test as a method of English proficiency test. On many occasions, the tests are FREE of charge and a great way to save money for students by sitting internal English tests. A student can save on IELTS registration fees by taking this opportunity. 

However, not all universities offer tests free of cost. Some may even charge for the test. You can request the university to know if they have any fees to sit for their internal (in-house) English examination. Usually, these tests are conducted online under careful supervision.