English language requirements
Working in the library at Somerville College.
(Image credit: Rob Judges Photography / Oxford University Images).

English language requirements

All teaching at Oxford University is carried out in English (with the exception of some language-specific teaching) and tutors must be convinced that you have sufficient fluency in written and spoken English to cope with your course from the start. Therefore, all non-native English-speaking applicants must satisfy one of the following requirements:

  • IELTS: overall score of 7.0 (with at least 7.0 in each of the four components)
  • TOEFL (paper-based): overall score of 600 with a Test of Written English score of 5.5

  • TOEFL (internet-based): overall score of 110 with component scores of at least: Listening 22, Reading 24, Speaking 25, and Writing 24.

  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): grade A

  • Cambridge Certificate for Proficiency in English (CPE): grade B

  • English Language GCSE,  or O-level: grade B

  • English Language GCSE, or O-level: grade B (for IGCSE, please see below)

  • International Baccalaureate Standard Level (SL): score of 5 in English (as Language A or B)

  • European Baccalaureate: score of 70% in English.

Exemptions from this requirement will be considered for applicants who have

  • studied the International Baccalaureate programme, if it is taught in English
  • studied the Singapore Integrated Programme (SIPCAL) 
  • been educated full-time in the medium of the English language throughout the two most recent years before the 15 October application deadline, and who remain in full-time education conducted in the English language until the end of the school year in their home country.


The University of Oxford is continuing to accept TOEFL tests for admissions and visa purposes for students starting degree-level courses in 2014.

On 17 April 2014 the UK Home Office announced that ETS, the company that administers TOEFL tests, was no longer licensed by the Home Office as a provider of an English language test for visa purposes for courses below degree level. If you are joining the University of Oxford in 2014 to study for one of our degrees the University will accept your TOEFL test for admissions and visa purposes, provided you meet the University's required scores, and will issue you with a CAS number for a student visa application. It does not matter if you took your TOEFL test before or after 17 April 2014, or have yet to take the test, so long as your test is not older than two years by the time you start your course and you meet any deadline set by Oxford in your offer of a place.


We have been notified by Cambridge International Examinations that the IGCSE in First Language English is no longer be accepted by the UKBA as proof of English language proficiency. We will continue to accept this qualification towards conditional offers for courses starting in 2014, but not for entry in 2015. We do not accept the IGCSE in English as a Second Language.

Evidence of your English language proficiency

You do not need to submit evidence of your English Language proficiency when you make your UCAS application.

If you have already achieved the required grade, please include the details along with your other qualifications in the appropriate section of your UCAS application.

If you have not yet achieved the required grade, this will form part of any conditional offer, and must be met by 31 July in the year after you apply.

Visa requirements

Please note that all students who require a visa to study in the UK will need to meet the UKBA requirement for English language proficiency. Your college will discuss this with you when preparing your CAS number for your visa application, if your application to study here is successful.