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English Language Test and Certificate

You may be aware that the Home Office UKVI (UK Visas & Immigration) announced major changes to the Secure English Language Tests (SELTs) which would be acceptable for use in UK visa applications in April 2015.

As a result, from 12 November 2015, only IELTS taken in test centres approved by the Home Office (and have 'UKVI reference number' printed on the test certificate) will be acceptable for use in a UK visa application.

For ease of understanding, we will refer this type of test as 'IELTS for UKVI'. More information can be found on the Home Office website.

If you wish to take the Pre-sessional English course, please refer to our 'CAS Eligibility self-assessment' flowchart before making an application.

Does it mean that the University of Warwick will only accept 'IELTS for UKVI' for admission purposes?

No. The University of Warwick continue to accept a variety of English language tests and certificates for admission purposes, and this English language requirement applies to both EU/EEA students, international students who require a Tier 4 visa, and international students who do not require a Tier 4 visa.

You can find the detailed English language requirement to secure an offer of a place here:

Undergraduate courses: www.warwick.ac.uk/ug/apply/language

Postgraduate courses: www.warwick.ac.uk/pg/apply/english

WMG full time Master's courses: www.warwick.ac.uk/wmgmasters/entry/english/

International Foundation course: https://warwick.ac.uk/study/ifp/apply/englishrequirements/

Study Abroad/Exchange courses: https://warwick.ac.uk/study/studyabroad/

Is there any benefit in taking 'IELTS for UKVI' if the University accept normal 'IELTS Academic' and other English language tests?

For some students, taking an 'IELTS for UKVI' is mandatory.

For others, having an 'IELTS for UKVI' will give them the option to take an additional preparatory course (Pre-sessional English language course), or, give them greater flexibility in terms of how to meet the English language condition of their offer.

For example, if you wish to undertake a course below degree level, for example, the International Foundation course (RQF Level 3) or Diploma in Economics (RQF Level 5), and you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, then you must take 'IELTS for UKVI' because the University is not permitted to assess your English language abilities independently.

If you hold a conditional offer for a postgraduate course (perhaps because your degree results are not released until August) and you would like to attend the 'Pre-sessional English language' course voluntarily (this is an academic English language and study skills programme that takes place every summer to prepare you linguistically and culturally for your future degree studies and gives you a chance to settle into university life beforehand), having an 'IELTS for UKVI' will enable you to apply for a visa to attend the Pre-sessional English course prior to meeting the offer conditions for your academic course.

You will be able to extend your Tier 4 visa in the UK once you have secured an unconditional offer for the academic course and completed the Pre-sessional English language course, and we will organise visa tutorial sessions to help you prepare your visa application.

For some postgraduate courses (Master's or PhD), if you do not quite meet the standard English language entry requirement but only missed the required score marginally, you may still be accepted onto the course if your academic department consents that you attend the Pre-sessional English course instead prior to starting the postgraduate course.

In this case, having an 'IELTS for UKVI' test report will give you the flexibility of using the 'Pre-sessional English language' course to meet the English language requirement whilst you have other offer conditions outstanding (for example, if your degree will not be conferred until August).

If you are unclear as to whether your academic department would accept the Pre-sessional English language course to meet the English language requirement, you should check with the Pre-sessional English team in the first instance.

It is unlikely that you will benefit from having a 'IELTS for UKVI' test in the following scenarios:
  • If you do not require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK; or,
  • If you have already secured an unconditional offer for a postgraduate course, or, your academic department has agreed for you to use the Pre-sessional English language course to meet the language condition and registering on the Pre-sessional English language course is your last outstanding offer condition (in these cases, you will be automatically eligible for the Pre-sessional English course and will be given a 'combined CAS' that covers both periods of study);

OR

  • if you have no intention of taking the Pre-sessional English Language Course either to meet the English language requirement or voluntarily.

Do I need to submit an English language test certificate with my Tier 4 visa application?

This will depend on the course you will be studying at Warwick.

If you will be studying a course at degree level and above (this includes undergraduate degrees and postgraduate degrees, as well as degree courses combined with a pre-sessional English course), as an HEI (higher education institution) and Tier 4 Sponsor, the University of Warwick is able to make its own assessment of your English language ability. The University has taken the decision that for all such students, your CAS will state that the University has made its own assessment of your English language abilities. This means that you should choose 'Your sponsor is an HEI and has made its own assessment' on your Tier 4 visa application form (provided that your CAS contains the same information), and you do not need to provide an English language certificate with your Tier 4 visa application.

If you will be studying a course below degree level (Warwick International Foundation programme, Economics Diploma or Pre-sessional English course alone), The University is not permitted to make its own assessment of English language ability. Therefore, if you will require a Tier 4 visa to study the course, you must ensure that you take an 'IELTS for UKVI' test in a Home Office approved test centre in order to be assigned a CAS. Your English language scores and UKVI reference number will be listed on your CAS and you will need to provide details of your IELTS when applying for a UK Tier 4 visa

What happens if I want to take the Pre-sessional English course in the summer (Phase 4 and/or 5) before starting my postgraduate course?

  • For unconditional offer holders: you will be eligible for a CAS for the Pre-sessional English course. You should apply for the Pre-sessional English course online and once accepted, you will receive a 'combined CAS' which will cover the duration of the Pre-sessional course and the academic course.
  • For conditional offer holders: if you have a valid 'IELTS for UKVI' test report which meets the English language requirement of the degree level course, then you are eligible to take the Pre-sessional English course. It is possible for you to obtain a CAS for the Pre-sessional English course first, and then extend your Tier 4 visa once your academic offer becomes unconditional. You can make this visa application in the UK and we will help you prepare your visa application. If you do not have a valid 'IELTS for UKVI' test report, then you will NOT be eligible for a CAS for the Pre-sessional English course unless 'English language' is the ONLY outstanding offer condition.
  • If you are still waiting for your final degree results/transcripts/certificate to meet the degree condition of your offer, and believe that you can meet this condition before the Pre-sessional English Application Deadline, you may wish to ask the Centre for Applied Linguistics to put you on a waiting list so that they can process your application quickly once you have met the degree condition.

Where can I find more information about the 'IELTS for UKVI' tests?

For more information about the 'IELTS for UKVI' tests including availability, please check British Council website or IELTS website and search for your country.