Postgraduate Degrees - English Requirements

Postgraduate Degrees - English Requirements

To study for a postgraduate degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write academic English fluently. These skills will allow you to understand lectures, produce high standards of written work, and perform well in examinations.

We can assess your English language proficiency through a variety of means: through your nationality, through the qualifications you gained in high school, through the degree you undertook or are undertaking at university, or through a recognised English language test. Please use the checklist below to determine how you can meet our English language requirements:

1. Are you 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, or The United States of America?

If YES then no further evidence will be required of your English language proficiency.

2. Have you undertaken or are you undertaking a qualification equivalent to a Honours degree in Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Ireland, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Malta, New Zealand, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, or The United States of America?

If YES then all we require is a copy of your transcript or certificate.

3. Have you undertaken one of the high/senior school qualifications on our approved list and achieved the minimum grade? If yes your certificate must be no older than 10 years at the start of your programme of study.

If YES then all we require is a copy of your high school transcript and certificate.

4. Have you undertaken or are you undertaking a qualification equivalent to a UK Honours degree in a non-majority English speaking country which has been fully delivered, assessed, and examined in English?

If YES then we may be able to accept this to assess your English language proficiency.  Please provide a copy of your transcript or certificate, translated into English. The transcript or certificate MUST specify that the qualification was fully delivered, assessed and examined in English.

5. Have you achieved the required grades in a recognised English language test as shown in the table below?

If YES then all we require is a copy of your certificate, which we will verify with the awarding organisation. Please note certification must be within the two years prior to commencement of your course, unless otherwise stated.

If NO you will need to register for one of the tests listed below and achieve the required grade prior to commencement of your studies with us, we will make this a condition of your offer.

For postgraduate study, there are two main distinct English language criteria, referred to as Postgraduate Standard and Postgraduate Higher as outlined in the table below.

Postgraduate Standard requirements are used by the Schools of Biological Sciences; Engineering; Geosciences; Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition; Natural and Computing Sciences; and Psychology.

Postgraduate Higher requirements are used by the Schools of Business; Divinity, History and Philosophy; Education; Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture; Law; and Social Sciences. The MSc in Oil and Gas Enterprise Management and the MSc in Integrated Petroleum Geoscience also make use of the Postgraduate Higher requirements.

The MSc Human Nutrition, the MSc Clinical Nutrition, and the MSc Physician Associate Studies have their own separate English requirements which are listed on their prospectus pages.

Please note certification must be within the two years prior to commencement of your course, unless otherwise stated.

  Postgraduate Standard Postgraduate Higher

University of Aberdeen English Pre-Sessional Programme (PSE)

Valid for one year, refresher can be offered if out of date.

Pass Pass

Pre-sessional Academic English Preparation

Programmes undertaken at other UK HEI’s, accredited by BALEAP 

Certification must be within the one year prior to commencement of your course.

Pass Pass

IELTS Academic / IELTS Online (not IELTS Indicator or IELTS General Training)

Must have minimum 5.5 in all elements

Listening - 5.5 or above

Reading - 5.5 or above

Speaking - 5.5 or above

Writing - 6.0 or above

Overall - 6.5

Listening - 5.5 or above

Reading - 6.0 or above

Speaking - 5.5 or above

Writing - 6.0 or above

Overall - 6.5

TOEFL iBT and TOEFL iBT Home Edition

The University accepts MyBest scores for the TOEFL iBT test in addition to TOEFL iBT scores from a single test date

TOEFL DI code is 0818

Listening - 17 or above

Reading - 18 or above

Speaking - 20 or above

Writing - 21 or above

Overall – 90

Listening - 17 or above

Reading - 21 or above

Speaking - 20 or above

Writing - 21 or above

Overall – 90

Cambridge B2 First or C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency

Listening - 162 or above

Reading - 162 or above

Speaking - 162 or above

Writing - 169 or above

Overall - 176

Listening - 162 or above

Reading - 169 or above

Speaking - 162 or above

Writing - 169 or above

Overall - 176

Duolingo English Test (online from July 2019)

Accepted for January 2023 entry only

Overall - 115

Minimum of 90 in the sub scores for literacy, conversation, comprehension and production

Overall - 115

Minimum of 90 in the sub scores for literacy, conversation, comprehension and production

LanguageCert Level 1 Certificate in ESOL International (Listening, Reading, Speaking, Writing) Communicator B2

Online / In-centre

Overall High Pass

Listening, Reading and Speaking 33 or above

Writing - 38 or above

Overall High Pass

Listening, Reading and Speaking 33 or above

Writing - 38 or above

PTE Academic

Listening - 59 or above

Reading - 59 or above

Speaking - 59 or above

Writing - 59 or above

Overall - 62

Listening - 59 or above

Reading - 59 or above

Speaking - 59 or above

Writing - 59 or above

Overall - 62