Most aspirants think that it is mandatory to have an IELTS score to study in the UK. However, it is not entirely true. It is possible to study in the UK without IELTS. Most universities indeed demand an English language proficiency test score, but some institutions don’t require an IELTS score under certain circumstances. Some of the top UK universities which don’t require IELTS include Northumbria University, University of Greenwich, University of Plymouth and others.
Nevertheless, to know how to study in UK universities without IELTS, students must understand this examination beforehand.
What is IELTS?
IELTS stands for the International English Language Testing System and is a standardised test to determine a student’s ability to understand English. This test consists of 4 sections: reading, listening, writing and speaking. The test takes about 2 hours 45 minutes to complete, including all four quarters.
How to Get Admission to UK Universities without IELTS?
UK universities can waive the English language requirement during admissions depending on the country of origin. But, to secure admission without IELTS, students might need to fulfil at least one of these underlying conditions.
- Based on 10 and 10+2 Marks
Many institutions judge a student’s English capability based on their marks in the 10+2 examination. But, a prospective student must have secured at least 70% marks in their secondary and higher secondary examinations.
Although these parameters vary with a particular institution, St. Mary’s University can be cited as an example. For example, if a student secures 60% marks in CBSE or ISC class 12 examination, it is valued as 6.0 in IELTS. At the same time, 70% and 80% marks are valued at 6.5 and 7.0, respectively.
- If the Previous Education Has Been In English
Some of the institutions in the UK allow students to study without IELTS if their previous education history is from an English Medium School. But, to prove their English proficiency, students have to submit a medium of instruction (MOI) certificate from their past academic institution.
Also, if one has studied English as a major specialisation during their undergraduate, they won’t have to appear for the IELTS test.
- Online Interviews
In case prospective students can’t provide an English language test score, universities can arrange online interviews to test their English proficiency. A few universities can also conduct a Self English Language Test (SELT) for their personal assessment of a student.
- Opting for Other English Language Tests
Aspirants looking to skip IELTS can also look for additional English language tests. For example, tests like TOEFL, PTE, Cambridge English Proficiency Test, etc., are widely accepted globally and in the UK. However, the minimum requirement for these tests will vary with institutions.
- Opt for a pre-sessional English Course
Students who don’t meet the minimum score for IELTS can apply for a UK visa. For this, they have to apply for a pre-sessional course of about 6 to 12 weeks duration. These courses are designed for Indian students to adapt to their educational system and provide them with necessary English language skills. However, prospective students can check the official website of LeapScholar for detailed and comprehensive information in this regard.
List of UK Universities without IELTS
The list of universities that accept students without IELTS are –
- The University of Essex
- University of Central Lancashire
- Swansea University
- University of Northampton
- Portsmouth University
- The University of Greenwich
- Northumbria University
- University of Geneva
- Robert Gordon University
- University of Bolton
- Riga Technical University
- University of Plymouth
- London South Bank University
- Birmingham City University
- Bangor University
- University of Basel
- Aston University
- Sheffield Hallam University
- University of Warwick
- University of Bristol
- Audencia Nantes School of Management
- Brunel University
Can You Get Student Visa in the UK Without IELTS?
One can get a UK study visa without IELTS. However, the candidate needs to prove to the immigration authorities from the university that he/she is eligible. Discussed below are some of the key requirements for this:
One needs to get an attested document from the university stating that the student is eligible even without IELTS. Along with that, the candidate must also show the university’s acceptance letter. Besides, candidates can also appear for the SELT (Secure English Language Test), mandated by the UK Visas and Immigration, which serves as a relevant substitute proof for English proficiency without IELTS.
Thus, to study in UK universities without IELTS, students first need to sort the right course in a university that has not mandated IELTS. Then, they need to check the alternatives that can substitute for IELTS, such as alternative examinations, previous education history requirements, past English language examinations and others. Finally, after the acceptance letter arrives, students can proceed with their visa application and further procedures.