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Postgraduate English language requirements

The University of St Andrews welcomes postgraduate students from many countries. To enter the University of St Andrews as a postgraduate student you must be able to provide evidence that you meet our minimum English language requirements. Your evidence should be one of the following:

  • a first or an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree in an appropriate subject OR an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard from a recognised higher education institution
  • proof that you are from majority English-speaking country
  • a valid English language test from this list:
    • IELTS Academic (International English Language Testing System - Academic version)
    • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English - Academic version)
    • CPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English)
    • CAE (Cambridge English: Advanced)
    • TOEFL iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language - internet-based test)
    • Trinity ISE (Trinity Integrated Skills in English) 

If you are made an offer that is conditional on attending a pre-sessional course before you start your postgraduate degree your English language evidence must be IELTS (Academic) for UKVI if you need a Tier 4 visa. The pre-sessional requirements are on the pre-degree page.

Postgraduate (Taught) requirements

For most of our postgraduate courses we require IELTS 7.0 overall, or equivalent. The exceptions, shown below, are the minimum English language requirements by subject:

Subject-specific Postgraduate (Taught) requirements
Biology 7.0 (6.5)*
Chemistry 6.5 (6.0)*
Computer Science 7.0 (6.0)*
Economics & Finance    7.0 (6.0)*
English                  8.0 (8.0)*
English Language Teaching 7.0 (6.5 in writing and speaking)*
Geosciences                     6.5 (6.5 in writing)*
History    7.0 (7.0 in writing)*
Management        7.0 (6.5)*
Management and Information Technology 7.0 (6.0)
Mathematics 7.0 (6.5)*
Medicine 7.0 (6.5)*
Modern Languages (inc. Comparative Literature) 7.0 (7.0 in writing)*
Physics 6.5 (6.0)*
Psychology 7.0 (7.0 in writing)*
Sustainable Development 7.0 (6.5)*
This table shows IELTS scores. Scores must be achieved at a single sitting of a test; we will not accept individual component scores aggregated from more than one test. For other English language tests, see 'Equivalent scores for English language tests' below.

* where minimum component scores are required, these are shown in brackets after the overall score. If no score is given in brackets, only an overall score is required.

We do not require the GMAT for entry to any programme.

Students who require to develop their English language and academic literacy may benefit from our pre-sessional courses and may be required to attend as a condition of their offer.

Postgraduate (Research) requirements

Research students are assessed on a case by case basis. Students are generally expected to have a score of IELTS 6.5 – 7.0 or equivalent. Students who require to develop their English language and academic literacy may benefit from our pre-sessional or presearch courses and may be required to attend as a condition of their offer.

Pre-Masters Programme requirements

 RequiredMinimum Grade/Score
IELTS
5.5 (5.0)*
CAE 162 / B2
CPE B2
PTE 51
TOEFL 75
Trinity ISE II

* where minimum component scores are required, these are shown in brackets after the overall score. If no score is given in brackets, only an overall score is required.

We do not require the GMAT for entry to any programme.

Equivalent scores for English language tests

IELTS*5.56.06.57.07.58.0
CAE

162

169

176

185

191

200

CPE

-

-

-

-

-

200-212

PTE

51

56

62

69

74

80

TOEFL

75

80

90

100

110

120

BSc/BA/MA from an appropriate institution in the UK or a Majority English Speaking Country.

*where minimum component scores are required, these are shown in brackets after the overall score. If no score is given in brackets, only an overall score is required.

When do I provide my English language evidence?

If you have already achieved the required English language level before you apply, please include the evidence with your application form.

Evidence of your English language ability can also be submitted after you have applied, so do not wait for your test results before you apply to the University.

If you have not yet achieved the minimum language requirement before you apply, this will form part of any conditional offer we make you. We may recommend or require you to attend one of our pre-sessional courses or you may be able to study on a Presearch or Pre-Masters programme before you start your postgraduate degree.