Entry requirements and how to apply

There is nowhere better to study than London: 100,000 international students from over 200 countries study here. Our unique evening teaching means that you can study alongside London's working professionals and pursue internship or part-time work opportunities during the day. 

Academic entry requirements

  • Undergraduate degrees: our students come to us with a wide assortment of qualifications and experience, and we believe that this variety adds to the Birkbeck student experience. We welcome applications from students with no previous qualifications or those with no recent experience of higher education. The full entry requirements for all our undergraduate courses can be found online.
  • Master's degrees: for most Master's degrees, we require the equivalent of a UK Bachelor's (undergraduate) degree (class 2:1 or 2:2, with honours). You must also meet our minimum English language entry requirements. 
  • MPhil/PhD degrees: for most MPhil/PhD degrees, we require the equivalent of a good UK Master's degree. 
    • You must also meet our minimum English language entry requirements
    • View our online list of countries to check the equivalencies for your qualifications
    • Our approved agents in your country may also be able to advise you on the equivalence of your qualification. 
    • If you do not know the equivalence of your qualifications, make an application and include as much information as possible about your qualification. We will then assess your eligibility.  

General English language requirements (all levels of study) 

  • These are the general English language entry requirements for our courses. It is very important that you carefully check the entry requirements for your chosen course of study online and ensure that you meet the English language requirements specified there.
    • Cambridge Test of English (Advanced English): overall score of 176, with 169 in each subtest. 
    • Cambridge Test of English (Proficiency in English): overall score of 176, with 169 in each subtest. 
      • Please note that for both Cambridge tests you must provide Birkbeck with your unique Candidate ID number and your Candidate Secret Number. 
    • IELTS (Academic): overall score of 6.5, with 6.0 in each subtest.
    • Pearson Test of English (Academic): overall score of 62 with 60 in each subtest. (Please note that you must inform Pearson that you give permission for Birkbeck to verify your scores.)  
    • TOEFL (Internet Based Test): overall score of 92, with 22 in Reading, 21 in Listening, 23 in Speaking, 24 in Writing. (Please note that you must quote Birkbeck’s institution code to TOEFL: 9961.)  
    • Trinity College London - Integrated Skills in English: ISE II. However, Admissions Tutors may ask for a higher score, depending on specific course entry requirements.
  • Please be aware that we cannot accept test certificates that were taken more than two years ago.

higher English language requirements (all levels of study)

  • Some subject areas, including arts policy and management, English literature, law and psychology, require higher English language scores. Many MPhil/PhD programmes also require higher English language entry requirements. It is very important that you carefully check the entry requirements for your chosen course of study online and ensure that you meet the English language requirements specified there.
  • Otherwise, our higher English language requirements are generally as follows:
    • Cambridge Test of English (Advanced English): overall score of 185, with 176 in each subtest and 185 in the Writing subtest. 
    • Cambridge Test of English (Proficiency in English): overall score of 185, with 176 in each subtest and 185 in the Writing subtest. 
      • Please note that for both of these Cambridge tests you must provide Birkbeck with your unique Candidate ID number and your Candidate Secret Number.
    • IELTS (Academic): overall score of 7.0, with 6.5 in each subtest and at least 7.0 in the Writing subtest. 
    • Pearson Test of English (Academic): overall score of 68 with 62 in each subtest and 67 in the Writing subtest. (Please note that you must inform Pearson that you give permission for Birkbeck to verify your scores.)
    • TOEFL (Internet Based Test): overall score of 100, with 23 in Reading, 22 in Listening, 22 in Speaking and 30 in Writing. (Please note that you must quote Birkbeck’s institution code to TOEFL:  9961.)
    • Trinity College London - Integrated Skills in English: ISE III. However, Admissions Tutors may ask for higher score depending on specific course entry requirements.
  • Please note that we cannot accept test certificates that were taken more than two years ago.

If you have already studied in English

If you are still improving your English

  • It is possible to apply to Birkbeck while you are working to improve your English, as long you reach our minimum requirements by the time you start your course.
  • It may sometimes be possible to be accepted onto an academic programme with less than the above scores on the condition that you attend a pre-sessional programme approved by Birkbeck
  • We will consider each case on its own merits.

How to apply for your course