Entry Requirements for International Students

Choosing the right course and institution for you can be difficult if you are not familiar with the British education system or entry requirements. We advise you to contact your local British Council Office, which will give you impartial advice about studying in the UK. Also, we can recommend our recognised agents around the world.

If you would like to check whether your qualifications meet our entry requirements and/or provide you with advanced standing for a particular course, please contact us with details of your qualifications. Alternatively, you may like to contact one of our recognised agents for guidance or UK NARIC (National Academic Recognition Information Centre)

Important - Academic History

When completing your application for a course at Staffordshire University you must declare any previous study in the UK, regardless of whether or not you achieved a qualification.  Failure to provide this information will be considered an immigration offence which will further affect your Tier 4 visa application. You can spend no more than 5 years in the UK studying at or above UK bachelor's degree level as a Tier 4 (General) student. This 5-year limit is in addition to the time spent studying below degree level as a Tier 4 (General) student and in the Tier 4 (Child) category.
However, the 5-year limit does not apply if you are studying law and if you have completed a course at degree level in the UK and are progressing to:

  • a Law Conversion course validated by the Joint Academic Stage Board; or

  • the Legal Practice Course; or

  • the Bar Professional Training course

The limit will be 6 years if you are studying for a master's degree, following completion of an undergraduate degree where the length of that degree course was 4 or 5 academic years.
The time limit for a PhD - on completion of PhD course the time spent studying in the UK at or above the degree level must not exceed 8 years.

Please visit UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) for further information. 

English Language requirements

The Higher Education Institution that issues your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) must confirm that you have demonstrated English competency equivalent to the standard required by the UKVI which is level B2 or the Common European Framework of Reference.

Please find below a link to the lists of approved secure English language tests and test centres that have been assessed as meeting the Home Offices requirements from 6th April 2015.

Anyone taking a test on or after 6th April 2015 which they intend to use in a UK immigration application must take one of the tests listed in table 1 at one of the approved test centres in table 2 (UK) or table 3 (rest of world): http://bit.ly/1k2tlC9 

Anyone who has taken a previously approved test on or before 5th April 2015 may still use it in a UK immigration application until 5th November 2015 providing the test is one of those detailed in the Transitional Approved Tests list which can be found at this link: http://bit.ly/19bIi62

After 5th November 2015, UKVI will only accept the new test.

For degree level study (undergraduate and postgraduate taught), the minimum entry requirement is:

QualificationMinimum requirement

Overall score of 6.0

Minimum of: 5.5 in Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing.


No longer accepted as a SELT by UKVI

Overall score of 87

Minimum of: 20 Speaking, 17 Listening, 18 Reading and 17 Writing.

Pearson PTE Academic*

No longer accepted as a SELT by UKVI

Overall score of 51

Minimum of: 51 Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing.

 Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English ISEII : 'Pass' in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening

*Terms and conditions may apply.

Exceptions to this requirement are:

  • Postgraduate Law (LLM):  Minimum requirement of IELTS 7.0 (no equivalent)
  • Undergraduate and Postgraduate Journalism:  Minimum requirement of IELTS 7.5 (no equivalent)
  • BA (Hons) Social Work: Minimum requirement of IELTS  7.0 (with 6.5 in all bands)
  • Postgraduate MA Creative Futures and Undergraduate BA(Hons) Creative Writing: Minimum requirement of IELTS 6.5*
  • All psychology courses require IELTS 7 (across all domains) or equivalent – due to the nature of psychology as a ‘talking profession’ and the risks that may be involved when psychologists are working in practice if there are language issues
  • Postgraduate Research Degree: Minimum requirement within a range of IELTS 6.5 - 7.5 (Scores of at least 6.0 or more in each component).  Subjected to individual faculty.

If you need additional support for your English language skills we offer a range of courses to help you prepare for your degree study here at Staffordshire. 

If you hold an English language qualification and are unsure about its equivalence to IELTS, please contact us at central-admissions@staffs.ac.uk. Alternatively, please see the list of qualifications which are accepted by Staffordshire University:

English Qualifications Accepted by Staffordshire University

IGCSE  EnglishGrade A – C
CIE GCE O level EnglishGrade A – C
City & Guilds ESOL International (IESOL) DiplomaPass
International Baccalaureate (taught in English)Pass English Language module at Higher level
Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE)Overall score of 169 or above, with at least 162 in each component
India Standard XII (Central Board Secondary Education, Tamil Nadu Board, CISCE Board), Government of Karnataka Department of Pre-University Education CertificateStudents must pass the English module with an aggregated score of 65% (Y11 + Y12)  for all undergraduate courses and PG CES awards .  An aggregated score of 70% is required in English for Business awards.
Brunei Cambridge General Certificate of Education OrdinaryGrade C or above
Malaysian SPMMust include English 1119 (1119 Bahasa Inggeris) Grade A – C
Malaysian Cambridge General Certificate of Education OrdinaryGrade C or above
Malawi Secondary School Certificate in EnglishGrade 1 – 6
West African Examination Council (WAEC)Grade A1 – C6
Singapore Cambridge General Certificate of Education OrdinaryGrade C or above
Sri Lankan O Level English
  • Pre 2001: Credit or Distinction
  • Post 2001: Grade or above
Hong Kong HKALE

Grade E or above

Hong Kong HKDSEGrade 3 or above