Radcliffe Camera
Radcliffe Camera.

Visas and English language requirements

The University's Student Immigration website provides guidance on:

  • the type of visa you may require to study at Oxford
  • your visa application and paying the Immigration Health Surcharge to access the UK's National Health Service
  • your visa status and legal obligations
  • travel during your stay
  • staying on to work after your studies

Our Oxford and the EU page is continually updated with information on the implications of the UK's exit from the EU. The Student visa webpages explain whether you can apply for the EU Settlement Scheme, or if you will need a student visa. Please regularly check this information if you are a student applying from the European Union, European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland considering undergraduate study at Oxford.

If you require a student visa, the University will vouch for your English language ability on your CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) provided you have achieved the University's required results in one of the English language tests accepted by the University or you have been granted an English language test waiver by your college. When submitting your student visa application, you will not be required to provide additional evidence of your English language ability.

Please note that the English language test you take does not need to be listed on the Home Office SELT (Secure English Language Tests) list as this only applies for students who want to study a course below degree level. 

If you receive an offer to study a 4-year course in Physics or Materials, you will also need to apply for and be granted ATAS clearance before you can apply for a visa. This may take several months so you should apply as soon as possible after your offer and your college will provide you with the information needed.

You can read more about ATAS on the student visa webpages.

Hertford Bridge

English language requirements

Oxford’s undergraduate courses are demanding, and you will need to demonstrate that you have a high level of proficiency in English to take up a place here.

If your first language is English and you have always been a resident and citizen of a majority English-speaking country recognised by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) you do not need to demonstrate your level of English.

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

If you are offered a place, you will need to show the correct level of proficiency by 31 July in the year you receive your offer. Note this deadline applies even if you are not due to start your course until the following October.

Recording this qualification

If you have already achieved the required level of proficiency, please include the details in the qualifications section of your UCAS application alongside your other educational qualifications.

Possible exemptions

Exemptions from this English Language requirement will be considered for those who:

  • are studying (or have completed) the International Baccalaureate programme, if it is taught in English
  • are studying (or have completed) the Singapore Integrated Programme (SIPCAL)
  • have been educated full-time in English for at least the two most recent years before applying and who remain in full-time education in this language until completion of their schooling. This means that a minimum of three years of your most recent education must have been in English before the start of your Oxford course.

If you believe that you meet one of the criteria for an English language proficiency waiver, a form will soon be available for you to complete and send to the college that has made your offer.

Age of qualification

Unless your English language certificate has an expiry date, the time when this was issued does not affect its validity. If your certificate does have an expiry date, you should ensure that it is valid at the point when you provide it to your college as evidence of English language proficiency.

If you need to meet English language conditions, you will be asked to show either a standard or a higher level of ability in English, depending on your course.

All courses require the higher level except the following, which accept the standard level:

  • Computer Science
  • Mathematics
  • Mathematics and Computer Science
  • Mathematics and Statistics.


Standard level scores

Higher level scores



Minimum 6.5 per component 


Minimum 7.0 per component 

TOEFL / TOEFL iBT Home Edition**


Minimum component scores:

  • Listening: 22

  • Reading: 24

  • Speaking: 25

  • Writing: 24


Minimum component scores:

  • Listening: 22

  • Reading: 24

  • Speaking: 25

  • Writing: 24

C1 Advanced (formerly known as Cambridge English: Advanced or CAE)


Minimum 176 per component


Minimum 185 per component

C2 Proficiency (formerly known as Cambridge English: Proficiency or CPE)


Minimum 176 per component


Minimum 185 per component

Trinity Integrated Skills in English (ISE)

ISE III with merit in all skills or
ISE IV with pass in all skills
ISE III with distinction in all skills or ISE IV with pass in each section

Pearson PTE Academic/PTE Academic Online

66Minimum 56 in Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing. We do not require particular scores in the Enabling Skills76Minimum 66 in Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing. We do not require particular scores in the Enabling Skills

English Language GCSE (UK-regulated awarding organisations only)

Grade B/6, plus Merit in the separate Speaking endorsement

Cambridge Assessment International Examinations IGCSE First Language English

Grade B/6, plus grade 2 in the Speaking and Listening test      

Second Language English International GCSEs are not accepted  

OxfordAQA International GCSE English Language (First Language)

Grade 6, plus Merit in the Speaking and Listening test

Second Language English International GCSEs are not accepted

Pearson Edexcel English Language A or B (First Language)

Grade 6, plus Merit in the Spoken Language endorsement

Second Language English International GCSEs are not accepted

Cambridge Assessment O-Level English

Grade B

Please note from the 2023-entry admissions cycle the CAIE O-Level English will no longer be accepted 

International Baccalaureate (for those not being taught in English)

English B with a score of 7 at HL 

European Baccalaureate

English at L1 or L2 with 70%.

SQA ESOL Higher in English Language 

Grade B

*We recommend that you take the IELTS Academic option. The IELTS General, IELTS UKVI General and IELTS life skills options are not suitable for admission. The IELTS UKVI Academic test can be accepted but is not recommended, as this is more expensive than the IELTS Academic test and is not offered in as many countries or centres worldwide so it may be difficult to book an appointment. This UKVI version of the test is required for students taking courses below degree level but is not required for courses at degree level or above and IELTS recommend that university applicants do not apply for this version of the test as it will fill up spaces required by other students (below degree level) who do have to take this version of the test.

** TOEFL Essentials is not accepted.