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Can I study in the UK without giving IELTS?

Saumya Singh      December 26, 2022

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If you have chosen a UK university as your higher education destination, then you must know that you need to show excellent skills in the English language to make sure you are comfortable with the language in the foreign country.


There are typical examination tests that measure the level of your skills in English. Which is also required by the UK embassy to issue a UK student visa. One of them and the most common in the UK is the IELTS. The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is the standard test a student has to take whose mother tongue is not English in order to show his proficiency in English.


The IELTS test is the first obstacle you need to pass over when you start the application process for a university in the UK. Taking the IELTS is important because your UK student visa is linked with it. But please understand  IELTS is not the only way you can prove your English language skills, there are alternatives available and are acceptable by the visa office in order to grant you a UK student visa. It is true that English proficiency is a  UK student visa immigration requirement and universities have no impact on it. In some specific circumstances, some British universities may not assess your English proficiency through standard tests but in a different way.


First of all, you must research that how your chosen university in the UK estimates your English level through alternative methods so you can avoid taking an IELTS and still be eligible to get a UK student visa. For example, one of these methods can be by looking at the medium of instruction of your prior education. If you have studied in a school/university where the mode of instruction was English, then the admission board in the UK may take this into account as proof your English level is substantial.


Below are the three criteria at which a UK university may waive the IELTS for you;


  • The UK universities can only take into consideration your English score in your high school. Moreover, they may only focus on your senior secondary scores. If your score in English during your 10th and 12th was above 60% some of the  UK universities can waive the IELTS and give you an acceptance letter which can be shown at the visa office while submitting the UK student visa documents.


  • The second opportunity is what is mentioned in the previous para: your medium of instruction in the school. Currently, there are many schools outside India that offer education in the English language. If you have attended your high school at this kind of institution and your scores were outstanding, then the  UK university might not ask for an IELTS score and you can get a UK student visa without IELTS.


  • An alternative way to avoid IELTS and still get a UK student visa is by having an online interview. Some universities may request you to appear for an online interview through Skype/zoom so they can assess your English level.  


Please note -  The English proficiency or the minimum IELTS score is one of the requirements to get a Tier 4 (General) UK student visa so if you find a university that waives off the IELTS test, you must ask them to provide you a certificate that you’re eligible for UK student visa without IELTS.


Below are a few UK universities that can offer IELTS waivers and take alternative tests to check language proficiency.


  • Sheffield Hallam University.
  • University of Warwick.
  • Birmingham City University.
  • University of Bristol.
  • London Southbank University.
  • Northumbria University.
  • Robert Gordon University.
  • University of Northampton.
  • University of Plymouth.
  • Portsmouth University.
  • Swansea University.
  • University of Greenwich.
  • University of Central Lancashire.
  • Aston University, Birmingham.
Saumya Singh
Saumya Singh

Content Writer

Saumya is an enthusiastic reader with a keen inclination toward literature, academics, and marketing. Ideas, strategy, and impact are what keep her belief in marketing intact. Oh, and playing with content is her hobby.

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