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English language ability for Student visa holders

Applicants who need a Student visa have a specific set of requirements, to comply with Home Office regulations.

Your English language ability will be sufficient if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • You are a national of a majority English-speaking country (see list below).
  • You have completed a qualification at a level comparable to RQF 6 that was awarded and taught in a majority English-speaking country (see list below), completed within three years of admission to the College. Non-Canadian nationals with a degree from Canada will be required to take an English language test.
  • You have already proved your level of English in a previous UK visa application. This must be at the CEFR B2 level.
  • You have completed one of the following English language tests:
    • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English
    • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English
    • GCSE or A Level English (where studied at a UK school while you were aged under 18)
    • IELTS Academic and IELTS Indicator 
    • INTO Test of English: IELA
    • OnCampus Test of English: OCTOE
    • Pearson’s Test of English (Academic)
    • TOEFL: IBT and TOEFL Special Home Edition
    • Trinity College London: Integrated Skills in English.
  • Your IELTS, IELA, OCTOE, Pearson's, TOEFL or Trinity result must be less than two years old when your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) is issued.
  • If you don't meet the minimum IELTS (or equivalent) requirement, we offer online pre-sessional English courses and foundation programmes to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

EUROPEAN SCHOOL QUALIFICATIONS

  • Austria: Matura/Reifeprufung 
    • Standard and higher requirement: 2 (gut) in English when both written and oral exams are taken
  • Belgium: Diploma van Secundair Onderwijs or Certificat d'Enseignement Secondaire Superieur 
    • Standard and higher requirement: Distinction in English 
  • Denmark: Bevis for Studentereksamen 
    • Standard and higher requirement: 10 in English 
  • Finland: Ylioppilastutkintotodistus/Studentexamensbetgy 
    • Standard and higher requirement: 5 (magna cum laude approbatur) in English 
  • Germany: Abitur 
    • 12 (gut) in English when taken as an achievement/main/intensive course 
  • Iceland: Studentsprof matriculation examination 
    • Standard and higher requirement: 8 in English when taken as a compulsory modern language 
  • Luxembourg: Diplome de Fin d'Etudes Secondaires 
    • 45 (bien) in English 
  • Netherlands: Voorbereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs (VWO) 
    • 7 (ruim voldoende) in English
  • Norway: Vitnemal for videregaende opplaering 
    • 5 in English 
  • Poland: Swiadectwo Dojrzalosci (Certificate of Maturity/Matura) 
    • Standard requirement: Oral basic - 90%, written basic - 80% 
    • Higher requirement: Oral basic - 95%, written basic - 85% 
  • Sweden: Avgangsbetyg/Slutbetgy fran Gymnasieskola 
    • Standard and higher requirement: VG (val godkant) in English or Grade C in English 
  • Switzerland: Maturitatzeugnis/Certificat de Maturite/Attestato de Maturita federal maturity certificate or the recognised cantonal maturity certificate 
    • 5 (gut/bien/bene) in English 

MAJORITY ENGLISH-SPEAKING COUNTRIES

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