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2020/21 Language Requirements

As all students must be able to read textbooks, understand lectures, take part in classroom discussions and undertake written work in English, proof of academic-level English is required of all applicants.  

Please note that proof of academic level English is not required to apply, and would be made a condition of offer should you be otherwise eligible.

SELT requirement

The following is the list of approved Secure English Language Tests (SELT) for our programmes with the minimum results required.  SELTs must not be more than 2 years from the start of the programme (14th September 2020)

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module)
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

However, our MSc International Relations of the Middle East with Arabic (and Advanced Arabic) and Master of Social Work (MSW) require higher results in each module:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (with at least 6.5 in each section)
  • TOEFL-internet based test (iBT) total 100 (with at least 23 in each section)
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): 185 (with at least 176 in each module)
  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE): 185 (with at least 176 in each module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Pre-sessional English for Academic Purposes

Our Pre-sessional English for Academic Purposes programme will now be delivered online. Applications are open until 15 May. For more information and to make an application, please go online: Pre-sessional English

If you are unable to get a place on our pre-sessional English programme, we will also accept students with other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses from UK universities for 2020 entry. You can find a list online at: BALEAP accredited institutions

TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition

We have also approved the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition online test for entry to the University of Edinburgh. This test is available in many countries around the world, and can be taken online from your home.

Entry requirements based on the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition test are exactly the same as the entry requirements for the standard TOEFL iBT test which are listed in your offer.

For more information and to book a test, please go online: TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition   

Further developments

We continue to look at other ways in which we can help you to demonstrate your English proficiency meets our entry requirements. We will keep you informed of any further changes we make, and we will provide details on our website: University of Edinburgh English language requirements

PTE Academic: change in entry requirements

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The University is phasing out the use of PTE Academic to meet our English language entry requirements.
Does this apply to me?
My degree starts before 30 September 2020
  • If your degree starts before 30 September 2020 you will be able to take PTE Academic in place of another English language test. The only exceptions to this are MSc Science Communication and Public Engagement and MPH Public Health (see below).
  • Please see the degree finder entry for your degree to find the entry requirements for PTE Academic.
  • Please note that no offers made on the basis of PTE Academic can be deferred.   

Postgraduate degree finder

My degree starts after 30 September 2020
  • You will not be able to use PTE Academic for entry to a degree which starts after 30 September 2020.
  • If you already have a conditional offer for a degree starting after 30 September 2020 where PTE Academic is specifically listed in the conditions, we will honour the offer.
  • If you have an unconditional offer for a degree starting after 30 September 2020 which was made on the basis of a PTE Academic qualification, we will honour the offer providing it is dated before 31 January 2020.
I have applied for MSc Science Communication and Public Engagement or MPH Public Health
  • We will no longer accept PTE Academic for entry to MSc Science Communication and Public Engagement or MPH Public Health, with immediate effect.
  • If you have a conditional offer for MSc Science Communication and Public Engagement or MPH Public Health, where PTE Academic is specifically listed in the conditions, we will honour the offer.
  • If you have an unconditional offer for MSc Science Communication and Public Engagement or MPH Public Health made on the basis of PTE Academic, we will honour the offer providing it is dated before 31 January 2020.

Evidence by other means

While no longer considered by the UK Visa and Immigration office to be Secure English Language Tests, the following evidence is considered by the University:

•    TOEFL iBT 100 with at least 20 in each section will be accepted as evidence of English (TOEFL iBT with at least 23 in each section for our MSc International Relations of the Middle East with Arabic (and Advanced Arabic) and Master of Social Work [MSW].

If you are currently studying or have completed a degree in a majority English-speaking country (as defined by the UK Home Office, Visa & Immigration) within three years before the start of our programme, it may fulfil our English requirement provided that all/most of the degree was studied there.

Approved Universities

Please also see the list of approved universities from Non- majority English speaking countries that the University of Edinburgh accepts degrees from, as meeting English language entry requirements for programmes commencing in Septmember 2020.

Applications without evidence

Applicants who do not have evidence of their English skills or whose SELT (or other evidence as defined above) does not meet our minimum requirements may still apply.  Should an offer be issued, it would be made conditional on providing the required evidence at the above defined levels.  This evidence must be provided before the start date of the programme.

English Language Teaching Centre

The University of Edinburgh offers English language support and pre-sessional courses for incoming students. For further information, please refer to the English Language Teaching Centre's website or contact them at : eleinfo@ed.ac.uk

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