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

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.
If you have completed a bachelor’s or master’s degree in one of the countries listed above (except Canada) you will not be required to submit any further evidence of English language competency. 

Our current English language entry requirements are:

•    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.
•    Trinity College London, ISE III: CEFR C1 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. The qualification or test result must have been awarded no more than four years prior to the proposed date of enrolment.

We will request evidence of your restrictions in securing these language requirements, and in exceptional circumstances, if you are unable to sit any of the test listed above the School will assess a piece of academic written work and conduct an interview. 

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
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • Malta
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • UK
  • USA

International Students

If you are considering applying to graduate taught programmes at SAS as an international student, please read our immigration advice.

Find out more

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:

Institute of Commonwealth Studies [Word]

Guidance notes [PDF]
APL claim form [Word]