The normal minimum entrance requirement for all masters degrees is a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree from a university in the UK, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard (for example a Grade Point Average [GPA] of 3.0 or higher). A useful guide to the equivalence of overseas qualifications.
Applicants for Mphil / PhD are normally required to have a masters degree or equivalent.
Please see Admissions Policy for full details.
Applications may also be considered from candidates who do not meet the formal academic requirements, but who offer alternative qualifications and/or relevant experience.
English Language Competency
All students whose first language is not English must be able to provide recent evidence (gained in the last 2 years) that their written and spoken English language is adequate for postgraduate study. This requirement is specified in order to ensure that the academic progress of students is not hindered by language difficulties and that students are able to integrate socially while studying and living in the UK.
The School regards the following English Language Test scores as the minimum standards for entry to programmes of Institutes of the School:
•Common European Framework (CEF): Master’s applicants – level C1; research applicants (MPhil/PhD) – level C1; or
•a minimum overall score of 7.0, and no less than 6.0 in each category (academic reading, academic writing, listening and speaking), in the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) test administered by the British Council; or
•a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of at least 610 in the paper-based test plus 5 in the test of written English, or an Internet based TOEFL (IBT) with a score of 102 (School of Advanced Study DI Code 6707); or
•a Grade C or above in the Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English; or
•a Grade A in the Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English; or
•University of Reading TEEP test of proficiency for academic purposes at level 7.5 and above; or
•Trinity College English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) at level ISE Level III; or
•Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic): minimum PTE Academic score of 80; or
•a first or master's degree from a country where the majority of the inhabitants speak English (the list of these is tightly-defined by UK Borders Agency).
The School is required to comply with the UKBA Tier 4 English requirements, as amended, which can be found in the Tier 4 Guidance on the UKBA website.
The School reserves the right to require, from any applicant, additional evidence of language competence such as a piece of written work and/or an interview.
Evidence of an applicant’s English competence should, if possible, be included with the application. If unsatisfactory or no evidence has been provided with the application, admission will be conditional upon provision of such evidence.
For entry to research degrees, it may be acceptable in some circumstances i.e. where the qualifications achieved fall slightly short of the threshold standards, to allow a student to register, conditional upon him or her pursuing an appropriate course to raise competence to the required level. This decision will be made by the admitting Institute.
Accredited Prior Learning
The School of Advanced Study seeks to recognise legitimate claims of Accredited Prior Learning (APL), where possible, and an exemption from assessment or even participation in the relevant credits may be given if the prior learning is acceptable to the relevant academic Institute.
To make an APL claim, you must accurately complete the APL form and provide documentary evidence to support your claim.
Please note that it is a matter of academic judgment whether the Institute accepts or rejects your APL claim and that an application for exemptions does not constitute an entitlement to an exemption.
Institutes currently offering APL:
Guidance notes [PDF]
APL claim form [Word]