The normal minimum academic entrance requirement for taught postgraduate programmes is an upper-second class honours degree from the United Kingdom or an international qualification of an equivalent standard.

Applicants for research programmes (MPhil/PhD) are normally required to hold a master’s degree.

Please see our admissions policy [PDF] 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

The majority English-speaking countries as defined by the Home Office are the following:

• Antigua and Barbuda
• Australia
• The Bahamas
• Barbados
• Belize
• Canada
• Dominica
• Grenada
• Guyana
• Jamaica
• New Zealand
• St Kitts and Nevis
• St Lucia
• St Vincent and the Grenadines
• Trinidad and Tobago
• United States of America

English is the language of instruction for all programmes offered at the School of Advanced Study. It is mandatory that all theses, examination papers and coursework are written in English, except where School regulations permit otherwise.

All students whose first language is not English, or whose first language is English but are not a national of the UK, Ireland or a majority English-speaking country as defined by the UK Home Office, must be able to provide suitable evidence that their level of 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.

Students who have been awarded a bachelor’s or master’s degree from one of the countries listed above will not be required to submit any further evidence of English language competency.

The School only accepts UKVI-approved Secure English Language Tests (SELTs) – IELTS and Trinity College London.

IELTS/IELTS for UKVI tests can be taken around the world, but Trinity College London tests must be taken in the UK. A list of approved test centres can be found on the Home Office website: Approved Secure English Language Tests and Test Centres.

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic Version, 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. The qualification or test result must have been awarded no more than two years prior to the proposed date of enrolment - www.ielts.org
  • Trinity College London, ISE III exam = CEFR C1 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening

The School is required to comply with the UKVI Tier 4 English requirements, which can be found in the Tier 4 Guidance section of the UKVI website.

The UKVI may accept lower scores in some tests for the purposes of obtaining a visa, however please note that the School requires applicants to meet its minimum requirements as outlined above.

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. Please note that samples of written work and/or interviews cannot be used in place of an English test to meet the entry requirements.

More information for international students

Important information regarding ETS Tests (TEOFL, TOEIC)

The Home Office has suspended accepting ETS tests as evidence of English language competency. This includes the TOEFL and TOEIC tests. As a result the School of Advanced Study no longer accepts ETS tests as sufficient to meet the English language entry requirements. Applicants who are required to provide evidence of English language competency should arrange to take a test with an alternative provider. Please refer to the information below for further details. For information on test cancellation and refund policies please contact ETS directly by emailing toefl@ets.org or toeic@ets.org. Applicants who have already provided a TOEFL test will be contacted by email with further information.


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]