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English language requirements

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Find out the English language skills you’ll need to study at Royal Holloway if you’re an international student

All teaching at Royal Holloway (apart from some language courses) is in English. You therefore need to have good enough written and spoken English to cope with your studies right from the start.

Covid-19 English Language testing update

Due to the disruption caused by Covid-19 we have been working hard to provide alternatives to the traditional IELTS testing. We can confirm that we are now able to accept the following online English Language Tests for 2020/21 entrants:

  1. IELTS indicator
  2. TOEFL Special Home Edition
  3. Duolingo English Test
  4. OnCampus OCTOE

For 2020/21 entry we will be accepting these qualifications where IELTS/SELT testing is disrupted or longer available for both pre-sessional and degree level courses. If you have already have your SELT IELTS test at the required level, this is perfectly acceptable.

If these tests are not available in your country please contact the International Student Recruitment Team. In China and some other countries, we are now able to offer an alternative test, to increase your options.

The new IELTS indicator and Toefl ibt Special Home Edition results are recorded in the same way as the standard IELTS and Toefl tests, meaning the entry requirements are unchanged.

Please find the Duolingo entry requirements below:

IELTS requirements of the course Duolingo score required
5.5 95
6.0 100-105
6.5 110-115
7.0 120-125
7.5 130-135
8.0 140-145
8.5 150-155
9.0 160

The English language qualifications we accept

We accept the following internationally-recognised English language qualifications:

  • Pearson Test of English
  • Cambridge ESOL

We also accept some local English language qualifications from certain countries. For details, see the information on our Find your country pages.

The scores we require

For IELTS and Pearson Test of English, see the table below for the scores needed by our individual departments. For other English language qualifications, give details in your application of the level you have achieved.

Does my English language qualification need to be a SELT?

A SELT is a Secure English Language Test that is acceptable for UK immigration purposes. It has to be taken at an approved centre.

Your IELTS qualification must be a SELT if one of your IELTS subscores is below 5.5 and you are:

  • applying for one of our Pre-sessional English Language Programmes with IELTS
  • eligible for a linked Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) covering both your degree and your pre-sessional English language programme.

If all of your IELTS subscores are at 5.5 or above, then we can give you a linked Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) for a non-SELT IELTS.

Please note that TOEFL iBT can not be used as a SELT.

English language requirements for Research degrees

All Postgraduate Research degrees (i.e. PhD and Masters by Research) require:

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall. Writing 7.0. No other subscore lower than 5.5.
  • Pearson Test of English: 61 overall. Writing 69. No other subscore lower than 51.
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE): ISE III.
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) grade C.
  • TOEFL iBT: 88 overall, with Reading 18 Listening 17 Speaking 20 Writing 26.

English requirements for undergraduate and taught Masters degrees can be found below.

University preparation programmes

International students, who do not meet the English language requirements for an undergraduate course, can apply for a preparation programme at the Royal Holloway International Study Centre. Once this
has been completed, students can progress to study the degree of their choice at Royal Holloway, University of London.

School of Business and Management

School of Engineering, Physical and Mathematical Sciences

School of Humanities

School of Law and Social Sciences

School of Life Sciences and the Environment

School of Performing and Digital Arts

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