English Language Requirements

The most common English language certificate we accept is IELTS but we also accept other English language qualifications. Please see below the certificates we accept and the equivalent grades that are required.

If your native language is not English, you will be required to demonstrate your English proficiency by gaining an English language qualification prior to the commencement of your course. Minimum requirements are detailed below on this page, however higher levels may be required for entry onto certain courses.


For programme requiring IELTS score of 6.0 with no element below 5.5 we accept:

Overall: 54 or above:

Listening  51
Reading 51
Speaking 51
Writing 51

For programme requiring an IELTS score of 6.5 with no element below 6.0 we accept:

Overall: 62 or above

Listening 54
Reading 54
Speaking 54
Writing 54


For programme requiring an IELTS score of 6.0 with no element below 5.5 we accept:

Overall: 78 with the following minimum element scores:

Listening 17
Reading 18
Speaking 20
Writing 17

For programme requiring an IELTS score of 6.5 with no element below 6.0 we accept:

Overall: 90 with the following minimum element scores:

Listening 19
Reading 20
Speaking 21
Writing 20


IELTS requirements Minimum Cambridge English Grades
Academic IELTS 6.0 with no element below 5.5

CAE Grade C

CPE Grade C

Academic IELTS 6.5 with no element below 6.0 and

Academic IELTS 6.5 with no element below 6.5

CAE Grade B

CPE Grade C
Academic IELTS 7.0 

CAE Grade A

CPE Grade B

Please note that we accept Cambridge tests which are less than two years old. If the test is more than 2 years old, you need to have taken a bachelor degree taught in English. We would require an evidence confirming that the degree was taught in English preferably letter from the institution.

International Qualifications

Please check the entry requirements for your chosen course against the qualifications achieved in your country in the below table.

Country Qualifications
West Africa (Nigeria, Ghana, The Gambia and Liberia) - West African Education Certificate (WAEC) at C / 6 [2]

- National Examinations Council (NECO) with a pass mark of 4[3]

(similar to WAEC but only offered in Nigeria)


- Kenyan KCSE at Grade C 


- Batswana [4] GCSE/ O Level in English at Grade C or above

- XII standard at 70% or higher


- SPM 1119 at Grade C (grade 6) or higher 

Hong Kong HKDSE

- Level 4 English Language as equivalent to IELTS 6 and Level 5 for IELTS 6.5 programmes


- Maltese Intermediate or Advanced Matriculation exams

Other secondary school level qualifications

For programmes requiring an IELTS 6 with no element below 5.5, accept grade C in the following examinations:

  • AS Level English language/Literature
  • Singapore GCSE English
  • Cambridge O level English
  • Edexcel O level English
  • Irish Higher English

We accept grade 4 in the International Baccalaureate.

We accept Cambridge or Edexcel IGCSE English as a First Language, overall Grade C with no individual score below D.

We accept grade D in the following examinations:

  • A Level English language/Literature
  • Singapore A Level English

Please note that the MSc Public Health course requires an IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component.   

Additional English language tests accepted during COVID-19

We know that the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the closure of English language test centres worldwide, and now with test centres starting to reopen across the world, it may not be possible for everyone to visit these centres or get an available slot to attend. Therefore, we are now temporarily accepting a range of alternatives to our current English language requirements to allow a more flexible route for you to achieve your English language standard for entry to one of our courses.

GCU will also continue to accept local equivalencies for English language.

Temporary alternative options:

  • IELTS Indicator home-based test
    • Results require to be as per GCU Academic IELTS requirement
  • Where the above are not available, the Duolingo English test will also be accepted with a minimum mark of 115, no element below 90.