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English Language Requirements

Important Notice for Applicants

Updated 23 November 2020
International students wishing to apply to Queen’s University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their competence in written and spoken English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research.   Non-EEA nationals (and EU/EEA nationals after 1 Jan 2021) will require a Student visa to study in the UK for periods of 6 months or more. For qualifications completed on or after this date, only Trinity ISE taken inside the UK and IELTS taken at UK government-approved test centres will be considered SELTs.  You can find more information about the changes on the UK Visas and Immigration webpages: Applying for a UK visa: approved English language tests


Universities have discretion to choose the methods by which they assess the English language competence of students.   Queen's University will accept the IELTS Academic (both SELT and non-SELT), and TOEFL internet-based tests for direct admission to undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes. 

We know that the closure of English language testing centres due to the COVID-19 pandemic has created some anxiety so we have increased the number of English language tests we accept, including some alternative online tests which are listed in the tables below.  These additional tests will be acceptable for admission in the 2021-22 academic year.

Details of the tests which may be accepted by the University for direct admission to degree programmes are listed in the tables below. 

Preparation Courses

Students applying for English Language preparation courses or pathway programmes offered by INTO Queen's are advised to contact INTO Queen's directly for information about English language requirements at Further information from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) regarding acceptable English language tests for visa purposes (for admission to programmes below degree level) and a list of test centres can be found at:

If you have any queries regarding your admission, please contact the International Admissions team at

Applicants who are either nationals of a country which is deemed by the UKVI to be majority-English-speaking*, or who hold a degree or an equivalent qualification which was taught in a country deemed to be majority-English-speaking** will normally be assumed to have met the UKVI requirements.  However, in some circumstances, applicants may be required to submit evidence of an English Language qualification to satisfy University course entry requirements.

English Language Qualifications

The tables below list the English Language qualifications and minimum grades which are accepted by the University for entry to degree level study, and which are also considered to satisfy a minimum standard of CEFR Level B2 in each component of language learning (Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing). 

Please consult the University Coursefinder for details of the English Language requirements for entry to individual undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes (both taught and research).

You are from a majority English-speaking country if you are a national of:

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, United States of America

** If you have completed an academic qualification equivalent to a UK Bachelor's degree which was taught in one of the majority English-speaking countries listed below, you are normally exempt from additional English language requirements:

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