English language requirements and support

English language requirements

To study at the University for the Creative Arts, we require evidence of your English language ability to meet the requirements for your course. If you want to take one of our courses, you must have a certain level of English language skills.

If you are an applicant from an EU country, please refer to your individual country requirements.

COVID-19 Update

UCA is aware that many English language test centres around the world remain closed. Therefore, we have decided to accept the following tests for 2020/21 entry, in addition to the usual academic and SELT qualifications listed on the page below.

This does not apply to International (non-EU) pre-degree (foundation) students, will still require a UKVI SELT. 

Please note, candidates using IELTS indicator may be invited to an additional verification interview by phone. 

 

Online PSE

BA/BSc courses 

MA, MSc, Master of Business Administration MBA

IELTS Indicator

10wk – 5.0
5wk – 5.5

6.0 (no component below 5.5)

6.5 (no component below 5.5)

LanguageCert International ESOL Online

B1 Achiever: Written Exam and Spoken Exam with
minimum of 50% (equates to B1)

B2 Communicator: Written Exam, B2 Communicator and
Spoken Exam with minimum overall pass and no section below 33/50

B2 Communicator: Written Exam, B2 Communicator and Spoken Exam with
minimum overall high pass (min 101/150) and no section below 33/50

Secure English Language Test (SELT)

 

 

If you are applying for a Tier 4 student visa, you will need to take a test, recognised by the Home Office, to prove your English language ability – this is called a Secure English Language Test. The SELT is valid only for two years, so if you have taken it before you applied to UCA, please make sure it is still in date.

If you need a Tier 4 visa, you do not need to take a SELT if one of the following applies:

  • you are a national of a majority English speaking country, as defined by the UKVI, and have taken your academic qualifications in that country.
  • You have studied in English for two years at university level can present evidence that the Method of Instruction at university level has been entirely in English.
  • You have completed a Bachelor’s Degree in one of the majority English speaking countries, as defined by the UKVI, within the last two years.
  • You have achieved a Bachelor’s Degree from a recognised university (according to NARIC), where the Method of Instruction was entirely in English (teaching and assessment).
  • You are a Canadian national who has completed a Bachelor’s Degree at an English-speaking University, as defined by the UKVI, within the last two years. 

What test you need to take if you want to study at UCA

Course  Test Listening Reading Speaking Writing Total
International Foundation  UKVI IELTS 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 5.0
LanguageCert International ESOL SELT 33 33 33 33 B1 Achiever High Pass
Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic UKVI 41.0 41.0 41.0 41.0 46.0
             
BA/BSc Courses IELTS UKVI , IELTS Academic and IELTS Indicator 5.5 5.5 5.5 5.5 6.0
Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) iBT 17 18 20 17 80
Pearson Test of English (Academic) 51 51 51 51 56
Cambridge English Advanced (CAE) or Cambridge English Proficiency 162 162 162 162 169
Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE) Merit Merit Merit Merit ISE II
LanguageCert International ESOL SELT 33 33 33 33 B2 Communicator High Pass 
             
Graduate Diploma in Arts and Design IELTS UKVI or Academic 5.5 5.5 5.5 5.5 5.5
Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) iBT 17 18 20 17 72
Pearson Test of English (Academic) 51 51 51 51 51
Cambridge English Advanced (CAE) or Cambridge English Proficiency 162 162 162 162 162
Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE) Pass Pass Pass Pass ISE II
LanguageCert International ESOL SELT 33 33 33 33 B2 Communicator Pass 
             
For February 2021 Intake            
MA/MSc Courses IELTS UKVI or Academic 5.5 5.5 5.5 5.5 6.0
Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) iBT 17 18 20 17 80
Pearson Test of English (Academic) 51 51 51 51 56
Cambridge English Advanced (CAE) or Cambridge English Proficiency 162 162 162 162 169
Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE) Merit Merit Merit Merit ISE II
LanguageCert International ESOL SELT 33 33 33 33 B2 Communicator High Pass 
             
MBA Courses IELTS UKVI or Academic 5.5 5.5 5.5 5.5 6.5
Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) iBT 19 20 23 21 90
Pearson Test of English (Academic) 53 53 53 53 58
Cambridge English Advanced (CAE) or Cambridge English Proficiency 169 169 169 169 176
Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE) Distinction Distinction Distinction Distinction LSEII
LanguageCert International ESOL SELT 33 33 33 33 B2 Communicator High Pass 
             
For September 2021 Intake            
MA/MSc & MBA Courses IELTS UKVI or Academic 5.5 5.5 5.5 5.5 6.5
Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) iBT 19 20 23 21 90
Pearson Test of English (Academic) 53 53 53 53 58
Cambridge English Advanced (CAE) or Cambridge English Proficiency 169 169 169 169 176
Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE) Distinction Distinction Distinction Distinction LSEII
LanguageCert International ESOL SELT 33 33 33 33 B2 Communicator High Pass 


 You can find more information about SELTs on the following pages: 

Academic Qualifications for Undergraduate Entry

If you are applying for a BA course at UCA, we will also consider an equivalent academic qualifications from your home country in place of IELTS.

These qualifications are only valid for two years, so please check with us if you are unsure about whether you can use them in place of a SELT. 

Academic Qualification
Grade Requirements
GCSE – English Language
Grade A*-C/9-4
IGCSE
 
- AQA Level 2 Certificate in English Language C
- Cambridge English First Language (syllabuses 0500/0522/0627/0990) C / 4
- Pearson Edexcel English Language A (syllabuses 4EA0/4EA1) C / 4
- Pearson Edexcel English Language B (syllabuses 4EB0/4EB1) C / 4
- Cambridge English as a Second Language (syllabus 0510) B with grade 2 in Speaking Component
- Cambridge English as a Second Language (syllabus 0993) 6 with Distinction in Speaking Component
- Cambridge English as a Second Language (syllabuses 0511/0991) B / 6
- Pearson Edexcel English as a Second Language (syllabus 4ES0/4ES1) B / 6 with grade 7 in Speaking Component
International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme
- English Syllabus A: Standard or Higher Grade 4, or above
- English Syllabus B: Standard Grade 5 or Higher Grade 4, or above
A-levels & AS Levels 
- English Language or English Literature, Grade A*-C
USA/American System 
- The US High School Diploma, from a US accredited institution plus at least 2 years of study in a US accredited institution or institution accredited by a recognised body from majority English speaking country as defined by the UKVI.
-SAT (2016 onwards): Evidence based Reading/Writing 610, plus at least 2 years of study in a US accredited institution or institution accredited by a recognised body from majority English speaking country as defined by the UKVI.
- ACT: 27 composite score, with a minimum 26 in English and Reading, plus at least 2 years of study in a US accredited institution or institution accredited by a recognised body from majority English speaking country as defined by the UKVI.
-Advanced Placement English: Grade 3, plus at least 2 years of study in a US accredited institution or institution accredited by a recognised body from majority English speaking country as defined by the UKVI 
Kaplan Language for Study 3 (LS3)
- 60 overall with no less than 60 in listening, and 55 in reading, writing and speaking 
Bellerbys Foundation: Academic English Skills 
- 6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 overall 
CATS Foundation Year
- 6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 overall 

 

UCA English Language Tests

The UCA English Language Tests can also be used as verification of English language ability for entry to any of our undergraduate, graduate diploma and postgraduate courses. There is no single pass grade for everyone as different courses require you to achieve a different level in the test.

University for the Creative Arts In-Country English Language Test

We run several tests during the spring and summer months at our Farnham campus in the UK and in China.

Visit the UCA In-Country English Language Test page to find out more and register your place on a test. Please note, the test is only valid for a single start date.

What if you do not meet the required English language level

Pre-sessional English

Our Pre-sessional courses in the UK and China support your English language development and academic context of art, design and media to raise your English language level before progressing on to your main UCA course. Visit the Pre-sessional English page for more information.

English for Creative Arts

Our 28-week English for Creative Arts course is specifically designed to prepare you to study art and design at UCA and aimed at supporting international students who have received and accepted a conditional offer to study with us. Visit the English for Creative Arts page for more information.

International Foundation with English

For those applicants whose scores have not met the entry requirements for their chosen course, we offer our International Foundation courses fully integrated with 5 or 10-weeks English language teaching, helping you to reach your IELTS target for undergraduate level study. Visit the International Foundation page for more information.