English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you will be required to demonstrate an acceptable level of both written and spoken English before being accepted onto one of our programmes.

What level do I need?

The normal examinations to demonstrate competence for September 2015 entry are:

English language requirements
 Level of studyRequired level of English for Southampton Solent University

Business Foundation Year
Law and Criminology Foundation Year
Sport, Event and Tourism Foundation Year
Football Foundation Year
Popular Music Production Foundation Year

- IELTS 5.5 (5.0 in writing)

- TOEFL IBT 71(19 in writing) - EU students only

 - or equivalent.

Technology Foundation Year

- IELTS of 6.0 (5.5 in writing)

- TOEFL IBT 80 (19 in writing) - EU students only

- or equivalent.

International Foundation Year

- IELTS of 4.5 (minimum of 4.5 in all four components)

- TOEFL IBT 57 (17 in writing) - EU students only

- or equivalent.

Bachelor's degrees

- IELTS minimum 6.0 (5.5 in writing)

- PEARSON Test of English (PTE) Academic 56 (51 in writing) - Accepted by Southampton Solent University as a Higher Education Tier 4 Sponsor.

- TOEFL IBT minimum 80 (19 in writing) - EU students only

- or equivalent.

Master's degrees

- IELTS minimum 6.5 (6.0 in writing)

- PEARSON Test of English (PTE) Academic 61 (56 in writing) - Accepted by Southampton Solent University as a Higher Education Tier 4 Sponsor.

- TOEFL IBT 92 (22 in writing) - EU students only

- or equivalent.

Note to all international students requiring a visa:

All international applicants need to be aware that the English language requirements to attend Southampton Solent University and the English language requirements to obtain a visa from the UK Visas and Immigration may be different. 

This means that if you meet the Southampton Solent University language requirements and gain a place on the course, you may still have to meet additional requirements to be issued with a visa by UK Visas and Immigration (5.5 in all 4 components of the IELTS, 51 in all 4 components of the PEARSON Test of English Academic, or equivalent for degree level and above).

We strongly advise all applicants to visit the UK Visas and Immigration website (external link) which outlines all the requirements for a successful visa application.

Also, see the following PDF which outlines both SSU and UK Visas and Immigration requirements for a number of language tests:

Language entry criteria for admissions to courses

Southampton Solent University offers an internal language exam which covers all four components of language learning. This test will only be recognised for UK Visas and Immigration purposes for students who have applied for a course at degree level or above. 

If a student is applying for a course which is below degree level, they must have completed a Secure English Language Test (SELT) to be able to obtain a visa.

For further information, please contact our international recruitment team on +44 23 8031 9646 or email international@solent.ac.uk

Note on Home Office approved English language tests (March 2015):

From 6 April 2015, only IELTS and Trinity College London English language tests will be approved by the Home Office as secure English language tests (SELTS) for immigration purposes.

IELTS tests can be taken around the world, but Trinity College London tests must be taken in the UK.

English language tests taken before 6 April 2015 from the current SELT approved list can be used in immigration applications until 5 November 2015. From 5 November 2015, only IELTS and Trinity College London English language tests will be acceptable on and after 6 April 2015.

On 19 February, the Home Office told education providers that:

"Applicants who want to go to a UK-based test centre will be able to book online with the new providers Trinity College from this week and with IELTS from 26 March 2015.

"The new SELT test centres are spread throughout the UK and the rest of the world and will continue to provide easy access for applicants. Applicants should go online from 26 February to find out where their nearest test centre is located."

The following is the list of Secure English Language Tests (SELTS) that have been assessed as meeting the Home Office’s requirements from 1 August 2014. These tests can be used in a UK immigration application until 5 November 2015 only when they have been taken on or before 5 April 2015:

Can I be exempt from taking an English test?

Some countries will have an educational system fully or mostly taught in English, in which case we may not require that you take an English test. 

To find out if you can be exempt from taking an English test, please see the list of countries which may be exempt from taking an English test.

Some aspects of the English entry requirements are currently being looked at by UK Visas and Immigration within the tier 4 student visa. Consequently, some countries currently listed on our list may be affected. Please check with UK Visas and Immigration (external link) for an update.

How can I improve my English before joining my course?

We offer a variety of English language programmes if you need or wish to improve your level of English before joining one of our undergraduate or postgraduate courses.

Still not sure? Contact us.

For further information on this topic, or for any queries regarding international applications, please contact our international recruitment team on +44 23 8031 9646 or email them at international@solent.ac.uk.

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