English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you will be required to demonstrate an acceptable level of competence in both written and spoken English, in order to join one of our programmes.

What level do I need?

The normal examinations to demonstrate competence for September 2014 entry are (if you require a visa, please see note| down below):

Foundation year (excluding International Foundation Year and Technology Foundation Year*)

  • IELTS 5.5 (5.0 in writing)
  • TOEFL IBT 71(19 in writing)
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic 51 (46 in writing)
  • or equivalent.

* The International Foundation Year| requires students to have achieved a minimum IELTS of 4.5 (minimum of 4.5 in all four components), TOEFL IBT 57 (17 in writing), PTE Academic 41 (41 in writing) or equivalent.
* The Technology Foundation Year| requires students to have achieved a minimum IELTS of 6.0 (5.5 in writing), TOEFL IBT 80 (19 in writing), PTE Academic 56 (51 in writing) or equivalent.

Bachelor's degree (excluding Journalism*)

  • IELTS minimum 6.0 (5.5 in writing)
  • TOEF IBT 80 (19 in writing)
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic 56 (51 in writing) 
  • or equivalent.

* The BA (Hons) Journalism requires students to have achieved a minimum IELTS of 7.5 (7.0 in writing), TOEFL IBT 110 (28 in writing), PTE Academic 73 (67 in writing) or equivalent.

Master's degree

  • IELTS minimum 6.5 (6.0 in writing)
  • TOEFL IBT 92 (22 in writing)
  • PTE Academic 61 (56 in writing)
  • 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 Border Agency 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 granted with a visa by the UK Border Agency.

We strongly advise all applicants to visit the UK Visas and Immigration| website 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. For further information on this please contact our International Recruitment team on +44 23 8031 9646 or email international@solent.ac.uk |

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. A list of UK Visas and Immigration approved English language tests can be found at:

 UK Visas and Immigration approved English language tests|

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| 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 prior to joining one of our undergraduate or postgraduate courses.

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