Distance learning English language requirements
All international applicants must be able to show that their English is of a high enough standard to successfully engage with and complete their course at SOAS. If you have not yet taken an English language test, you can still apply for your degree, but we will include evidence of language requirements as part of your offer conditions.
You can demonstrate English language ability in several ways.
You do not need to provide evidence of your English language ability if any of the following apply:
- Nationals from a government recognised majority English speaking country who have successfully completed high school or a degree in the respective country.
- You've completed a degree in the UK or in any majority English speaking country within the last 5 years.
- You've completed a degree which was taught in English from Canada, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, or South Africa (or from certain recognised English-medium universities) within the last 5 years. (Please note that if you are a Canadian national we would ask you to include a transcript of your High School education with your application so we can confirm if you are of English language background).
- You've completed a SOAS Pre-Masters or International Foundation (60% in Academic English) or ELAS programme (70% in Academic English) within the last 2 years.
- You've passed a Pre-sessional English course at a UK university (2-year validity)
Distance Learning English Test Scores
Details of many of the English language qualifications that we accept with minimum scores are provided below. We consider these qualifications alongside other evidence of English language ability, such as your references, curriculum vitae or personal statement.
|Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (open validity)/Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English*||180||170 in Listening and Speaking, 185 in Reading and Writing|
|Duolingo*||125||Literacy and Production 100, others 90|
|IELCA Academic* IELCA Home Edition*||35||30 in Listening and Speaking, 40 in Reading and Writing|
IELTS Academic online*
|6.5||6.0 in Listening and Speaking, 7.0 in Reading and Writing|
|Password Skills Plus*||6.5||6.0 in Listening and Speaking, 7.0 in Reading and Writing|
PTE Academic online*
|65||63 in Listening and Speaking, 67 in Reading and Writing|
|TOEFL iBT/at Home*||95||22 in Listening and Speaking, 25 in Reading and Writing|
|Trinity ISE III*||Pass||Pass in Listening and Speaking, Merit in Reading and Writing|
|Trinity ISE IV*||Pass||Pass in all subscores|
* normally 2 year validity
|English language subject degree (e.g. BA English Language or Literature)||Pass||Open|
|English medium work experience||3 years experience where at least 75% of work is done in English from a reputable, well-established organisation, with letter of reference. This must be supported by some historical evidence of English language education or qualifications.||2 years|
|Translation qualification from a respected institution (various)||High level translation qualification||
In addition to the tests listed above, we also accept a range of alternative qualifications to demonstrate evidence of English language proficiency. Generally, these have open validity, but some may have a two-year validity. In all cases, Distance Learning students will need to meet the 'direct entry' requirements for the alternative qualifications, as 'in-sessional English' is not available to Distance Learning students.
In-sessional and Pre-sessional English courses are not available for Distance Learning applicants. All applicants for postgraduate Distance Learning programmes must meet the direct entry English language requirements listed above.
- Degrees from majority English speaking countries or English-medium universities are valid for a period of 5 years before start date of SOAS distance learning programme.
- Where applicants have submitted more than one piece of evidence of English (e.g. an IELTS test and a degree from a majority English speaking country), we are only able to accept the most recent evidence.
- If your qualification is not included on this page or on the alternative qualifications, please contact Distance Learning Admissions at email@example.com.
- The information provided on this page is a basic guide to our English admissions and SOAS reserves the right to apply the criteria at its own discretion in all cases.