Undergraduate study - 2022 entry
Open to the world

English language entry requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

Degree requirements

English language requirements vary between degrees. 

Find the specific requirements for your chosen degree in our degree finder. 

Undergraduate degree finder

Unless a higher level is specified in the published entry requirements in our degree finder, you will need a pass in English at the following grades or higher:

  • National 5 at C
  • SQA Standard Grade at 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 at A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 at C
  • GCSE/IGCSE at C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate at C
  • IB Standard Level at 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)

Accepted qualifications

We also accept a wide range of international English qualifications and English language tests.

The qualifications we accept meet both the English language proficiency requirements listed above and the minimum standards for Student route visas.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the degree you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.  

The English language requirements for MBChB Medicine and BVM&S Veterinary Medicine may be higher than the levels listed below. For more information, please check your country's qualification page or contact us using our undergraduate enquiry form.

International qualifications by country

Two year expiry


International English Language Testing System (taken at any IELTS test centre)

PTE Academic 

PTE Academic taken at a test centre only. The online PTE Academic test is not accepted.

Please see our detailed information on PTE Academic entry requirements.


(including Special Home Edition)

Internet-based or Paper Edition Test of English as a Foreign Language.

English requirements must be met in a single test. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.

Trinity ISE Trinity Integrated Skills in English

Three and a half year expiry

AP English English Language and Composition or English Literature and Composition at 3
AS or A Level English English Language; English Language and Literature; or English Literature at C
Austria: Matura/Reifeprufung English at 2 (gut) in both written and oral exams
Botswana GCSE English (BGCSE) Grade C
Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) Overall score of 176 with 162 in each component
Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) Overall score of 176 with 162 in each component
Cambridge O Level English Language Grade C
Cambridge Pre-U English Literature in English (Principal) at M3 or above
Cameroonian O Level English Language Grade C  

Canadian Secondary/High School Diploma

(Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia)

Grade 12  English Language Arts/English at 70%

The Ontario Secondary School Diploma is only accepted if awarded by an Ontario Secondary School and not if taken online

Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate English A plus English B English Language at 3
Certificate of Nile International Secondary Level 1 English Grade C
Denmark: Studentereksamen English A or English B at 7
European Baccalaureate


  • L1 English - 6.0
  • L2 English - 7.0
  • L3 English - 7.5
Finland: Ylioppilastutkinto/ Studentexamen Grade M / 5 (magna cum laude approbatur)
France: French Baccalaureate General (2021 entry onwards) Langue vivante A (Anglais) – 14
Gatehouse ESOL International (Classic) Level 2 or Level 3
General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) English Language GCSE English Language at C / 4
  GCSE English Literature is not accepted
Germany: Abitur English at 12 (Gut) when taken as a Hauptfach / Leistungskurs / Kur smit erhohtem Anforderungsniveau
Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) English Language at Level 4 overall and Level 4 in each component
International Baccalaureate English Standard or Higher Level, (ab initio or Literature and Performance are not accepted)
International General Certificate of Secondary Education (iGCSE) English Grade C / 4. All First or Second Language iGCSE English qualifications are accepted
  iGCSE English literature qualifications are not accepted
Indian CBSE or CISCE Class XII English at 75%
Ireland: Irish Leaving Certificate Grade O4 or H4
Malaysian SPM English plus Cambridge GCE O Level English 1119 Grade C
Netherlands: VWO Diploma Grade 7
Norway: Vitnemål fra den Videregaende Skole Core English Grade 4
Option International du Baccalaureat (British/American version) English Language and Literature at 12
Poland: Matura English at Advanced Level in the 60th percentile and a score of 70% in the oral exam
Rwandan O Level English Language Grade C
Singapore Cambridge GCE A levels Higher 1, Higher 2, or Higher 3 English in Literature, or Higher 2 English Language and Linguistics at C
Singapore Integrated Programme / NUS High School Diploma Secondary 4 English or Language Arts at Grade Point 2.0
South African National Senior Certificate English Grade 4 when studied as Home/First Language
SQA National 5 English Grade C. National 5 English and National 5 ESOL are accepted.
SQA Higher English Grade C. Higher English and Higher ESOL are accepted.

SQA Higher National Qualifications

Higher National Certificate (HNC) or Higher National Diploma (HND)  
Sweden: Slutbetyg/Examensbevis från Gymnasieskolan – English English 7 at Grade C (VG)
Uganda Certificate of Education Grade 2 English
Zimbabwean O Level English Language Grade C

Applicants undertaking mandatory military service

We understand that applicants from Singapore are required to complete mandatory military service.  If you began your military service immediately after completing school, the three and a half year expiry period for your qualification will apply from the point you finished school providing that you were taught and assessed in English.

This extension does not apply if you are using IELTS, TOEFL and Trinity ISE to meet English language requirements.

Foundation English for Academic Purposes

We also accept satisfactory completion of all Foundation English for Academic Purposes (FEAP) modules in our International Foundation Programme in Arts, Humanities and Social Science as meeting our English language requirements.


We will need to verify your qualifications and/or test results. If your certificates are not in English you will also need to submit a certified translation.

Submitting your certificates

Students who require a visa to study in the UK

In addition to our English language proficiency requirements, the UK Home Office sets its own minimum standards for applicants who require a Student route visa to study in the UK. Our English language entry requirements are set at a level that will also meet the English language proficiency requirements of the UK Home Office.

If you require a Student route visa to study in the UK, the English qualification that you use for admission to an undergraduate degree must be included in our list of accepted qualifications, unless you are a national of a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).

UKVI majority English speaking countries

English Language Education / International Foundation Programme

If you are interested in our English language programmes as preparation for degree entry, or our International Foundation Programme in Arts, Humanities and Social Science you must have an approved secure English language test (SELT) for entry. Our approved SELTs meet our English language proficiency requirements and the minimum standard for student route visas.

English Language Education

International Foundation Programme in Arts, Humanities and Social Science

UKVI approved test centres

English language courses

If you do not have the English grades we require for entry, you can improve your language skills through our range of English courses.

English language courses at Edinburgh

Related links