English language requirements | University of Oxford
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 requirements detailed below.

2018 entry

All non-native English-speaking offer holders who will start their course in October 2018 need to meet one of the following requirements as proof of English language proficiency.

• IELTS: overall score of 7.0 (with at least 7.0 in each of the four components). 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.
• 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 at least component scores of Listening – 22, Reading – 24, Speaking – 25, and Writing – 24
• Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): grade A if taken before January 2015, or a score of at least 185
• Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): grade B if taken before January 2015, or a score of at least 185
• English Language GCSE: grade B or grade 6
• O-level: grade B
• International Baccalaureate Standard level (SL): score of 5 in English (A or B)
• European Baccalaureate: score of 70% in English

2019 entry

The University's English language requirements are changing from the 2019 entry admissions cycle. Depending on the course, applicants need to show either a standard or a higher level of ability in English, if specified in the table. 

ONLY these courses accept the standard level: Computer Science, Mathematics, Mathematics and Computer Science, Mathematics and Statistics.

ALL other courses require the higher level. 

Test

Standard level scores

Higher level scores

IELTS*

7.0

Minimum 6.5 per component 

7.5

Minimum 7.0 per component 

TOEFL

100

Minimum component scores:

  • Listening: 22

  • Reading: 24

  • Speaking: 25

  • Writing: 24

110

Minimum component scores:

  • Listening: 22

  • Reading: 24

  • Speaking: 25

  • Writing: 24

Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE)

185

Minimum 176 per component

191

Minimum 185 per component

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)

185

Minimum 176 per component

191

Minimum 185 per component

English Language GCSE

grade B or grade 6

(We do not accept IGCSE in either First Language English or English as a Second Language as proof of English proficiency.)

English Language O-level

grade B

International Baccalaureate Standard Level (SL)

score of 5 in English (as Language A or B)

European Baccalaureate

score of 70% in English

*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.

Exemptions

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. 

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 you expect to begin your studies. For example, if you expect to begin studying here in October 2018, you will need to have provided evidence of meeting this requirement by 31 July 2018. Colleges will contact those holding an offer of a place to explain how to send in this evidence.

Visa requirements

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 (as shown in the list above) 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. 

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