Equivalent or lower qualifications | University of Oxford
Wall
A crenelated college wall against the Oxford skyline
(Image Credit: Flavia Kroetz / Graduate Photography Competition)

Equivalent or lower qualifications

If you are a Home or EU student who has already completed a previous programme of study at an equivalent level you will be classed as an Equivalent or Lower Qualification (ELQ) student.

The information on this page does not apply to you if you are:

  • classified as Overseas for fee purposes
  • wishing to undertake a graduate research programme of study
  • undertaking the Postgraduate Certificate in Education
  • are a Graduate Entry Medicine student

ELQ status impact

A status of ELQ will not impact on the level of fee you will be required to pay, but you will not be eligible for some forms of UK government support such as postgraduate masters loan funding.

Am I an ELQ student?

You are an ELQ student if you study for a qualification of an equivalent or lower level to one you already hold.

If you have studied for, but did not complete or were not awarded a qualification you should use your next highest qualification to do your calculations. If you hold an honorary degree (including the Oxbridge MA), this does not count as a relevant qualification when determining whether you are an ELQ student, you should use your other qualifications for your calculations. If you hold an MA from a Scottish institution where for historical reasons an MA is awarded instead of a BA and this is the highest qualification you hold, please use the Bachelor's degree group (Group 1) for your calculations.

Step 1: Identify the group(s) of your current qualification(s).

Step 2: Identify the group of the qualification you are now studying.

Step 3: Compare the group numbers.

Result: If the group number of the qualification you are now studying is higher than the group number of the qualification(s) you already hold then you are not classified as an ELQ student.

If the group number of the qualification you are studying is the same as or lower than the group number of the qualification you already hold then you are classified as an ELQ student.

Please note the examples of qualifications given in each group are not exhaustive lists of all affected qualifications nor are all the qualifications offered at Oxford. The lists are provided for illustrative purposes only.

Group 1Bachelor's DegreesBA, BEd, BEng, BMBS/BMBCH, BMus, BNurs, BSc, BTh, BVetMed, LLB
Group 2Graduate CertificatesPGCert
Group 3Graduate DiplomasPGDip
Group 4Master's DegreesBPhil, MA, MBA, MBiochem, MChem, MEarthSci, MEng, MLitt, MMath, MMus, MPhil, MPhys, MSt, MSc, MSci, MTh
Group 5Research DegreePhD, DPhil, MRes, MSc by Research