Study without IELTS in UK in 2024

Meridean Overseas
Meridean Overseas

Updated On 23 January 2024 & Read Time 12 minutes


Do you want to study in English-speaking countries like the UK without IELTS?


In 2024, studying in the United Kingdom has become more accessible for international students as many UK universities provide opportunities to study in UK without IELTS. The country embraced diverse language proficiency assessments, promoting inclusivity in higher education.


This change allows international students to study without IELTS in UK. Every year, many international students apply to UK Universities with alternative language tests such as TOEFL, Pearson PTE, Cambridge C1 Advanced, etc.


So, if you also dream of studying in the UK without IELTS, this blog answers most of your questions related to this. This guide provides you with all the alternatives to the IELTS Exam to study, work, or immigrate to the United Kingdom. You can also check the list of UK universities that accept applications without IELTS and how to apply for them in this blog.


Let’s read the blog and know the details.


What is IELTS?

IELTS is an English proficiency test recognised by almost all universities abroad. The test contains four modules, i.e., speaking, writing, listening, and reading. Each module helps to determine an individual's English language skills. The maximum band that one can score in IELTS is 9. The IELTS band is valid for 2 years. The exam is valid for admission to Undergraduate, postgraduate, and PhD level courses. The registration fee for IELTS in pounds is GBP 160.


Eligibility Criteria to Take Admission in UK Universities Without IELTS

There are various options through which UK Universities assess the English language skills of an international student. Some of the criteria universities consider for application are as follows -


MOI (Medium of Instruction)

International students who have completed their previous education in English medium schools can study in UK without IELTS. To prove English proficiency, students must get a Medium of Instruction (MOI) certificate from a previous educational institute.


English scores of class 12th

Some UK universities set criteria that if an international student scores certain minimum marks in class 12th English subject, they can be directly admitted to UK Universities without IELTS. In some exceptional cases, universities may also require the 10th class marks.


Study in English-Speaking Country

International students who have completed their previous degree from an English-speaking country are not required to submit an IELTS Score. Universities in UK provide an exemption to submit proof of English language proficiency for those candidates.


Other English Language Proficiency Test

Candidates can take alternative English proficiency exams, including the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), PTE (Pearson Test of English), and Cambridge English Exams (such as Cambridge Advanced or Cambridge Proficiency), which is the most widely acknowledged English language test in the UK.


Pre-Sessional English Language Courses

Pre-sessional English language courses are provided by several UK institutions to overseas students who fall short of the competency requirements in the language. Students can satisfy the language requirements for their intended degree programs and enhance their English language proficiency with these courses. After finishing a pre-sessional course, they may not need to take the IELTS exam to be admitted directly into their degree program in the UK.


Foundation Programs

To help overseas students get ready for their degree programs, a few UK universities provide foundation programs. These programmes contain academic coursework in their chosen subject and pre-sessional courses. 


Job Experience

Some colleges may remove the IELTS requirement if you have substantial job experience in an English-speaking nation and can substantiate your English language competency via your professional experience.



Some UK Universities may ask international students to appear for an online interview. During this interview, the university's application team examines a student's English language skills. 


Documents Required to Study in UK Without IELTS

To prove their English Language skills, students have to present the original documents, including - 

  • SSC mark sheet

  • HSC mark sheet

  • Bachelor's mark sheets (if going for master's)

  • Medium of Instruction certificate from School (if required)

  • Passport

  • Provisional certificate and consolidated marks memo

  • LOR (Letter of Recommendation)

  • Resume

  • SOP (Statement of Purpose)

  • Experience letter (if any)

  • ATAS Certificate

  • CAS Letter

  • Financial documentation, such as a bank balance certificate backed up by the last three months' worth of bank statements, a bank loan approval letter, and, if relevant, certificates for fixed deposits

  • A certificate of health from a clinic approved by the UKVI that is provided by the clinic

  • Birth Certificate

  • A sponsorship affidavit from the parent may be necessary if funds are kept in their account.


List of Universities without IELTS in UK

Various UK universities don't require English proficiency test scores as part of their admission criterion for international students. We have curated a list of UK universities without IELTS so that you can make an informed decision and be aware of different options:


Students who wish to study without IELTS in UK Universities in the January intake in UK 2025 may contact our expert counsellors at MOEC. 


Alternatives Exams to Study in UK Without IELTS

There are various options available to study without IELTS in UK, such as -


Study in UK without IELTS through TOEFL

It is an English proficiency test that measures language skills on the basis of four academic modules- reading, listening, speaking, and writing. The students who have completed their 10+2 level education are eligible to appear for this test. The maximum score that students can obtain in TOEFL is 120. There are no such passing criteria for the exam; the score required to take admission varies from university to university and course to course. It is valid for 2 years. The fee for TOEFL is nearly 165 GBP.


Study Without IELTS in UK through PTE

PTE (Pearson Test of English) is a standardised test that measures the English proficiency skills of a student. It is a computer-based test that has two versions, Academic and General. To take admission to Universities without IELTS in UK, students must appear for the PTE test's Academic version. The students can score a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 90 on the PTE test. The PTE score required to take admission varies from university to university and course to course. The fee for PTE is 155 GBP.


Study in UK without IELTS through Duolingo

Duolingo is considered one of the most accessible and most convenient English proficiency tests. The test allows students to assess their English proficiency skills and take admission on the basis of test scores. The students can get the test results of Duolingo in just 48 hours. However, one can only take it once in 30 days. The fee for Duolingo is 165 GBP.


Study Without IELTS in UK through Language Certificate

The Language Certificate score is often used in universities without IELTS in UK. This test contains four sections: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. The score Language Cert is valid for lifelong; it does not expire. The fee for a Language Certificate is around 130 GBP till the B2 level. 


Alternative Exams Accepted by UK Universities Except IELTS

Various UK Universities without IELTS accept applications from international students. Some of the top universities where students can take admission on the basis of the above-mentioned English proficiency tests are as follows:

UK Universities without IELTS

Tests Accepted

University of Oxford


University of Cambridge


University of Chester

TOEFL, Language Cert, PTE

University of Portsmouth

Duolingo, TOEFL, PTE

University of York

Duolingo, TOEFL, PTE

Cardiff Metropolitan University


King's College London


University of Warwick


Imperial College London

TOEFL, PTE, Language Cert

University of Bristol


How to Apply to Universities in the UK without IELTS?

Applying to universities without IELTS in UK is feasible through various alternative routes that showcase your English language proficiency. Here's a step-by-step guide:


Step 1 - Research Universities and their Requirements

Explore universities in the UK that accept alternative proof of English proficiency or have specific exemptions. Visit their official websites or contact the admissions offices to understand their language requirements.


Step 2 - Gather All Required Documents

Collect all necessary application documents, including academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and any other materials required by the university. Ensure that you have everything ready before starting the application process.


Step 3 - Collect Alternative of IELTS to Show Your English Proficiency

Identify alternative English language proficiency tests that are accepted by the universities. Common alternatives include TOEFL, Cambridge English exams, Pearson Test of English (PTE), or successful completion of English-taught programs.


Step 4 - Carefully Read the Application Instructions

Thoroughly go through the application instructions provided by the university. Pay attention to specific details about document submission, deadlines, and additional requirements. Following these guidelines is crucial for a successful application.


Step 5 - Fill the Application Form and Submit it to Universities

Complete the online application form accurately. Double-check the information you provide and ensure that you attach all required documents. Submit the application within the specified deadline.


Step 6 - Get Additional Support

If you need assistance submitting your application without IELTS in UK Universities, you can contact the MOEC counsellors for clarification on any aspect of the application process. This can include inquiries about alternative English language proficiency requirements or any challenges you may face during the application. 


UK Study Visa without IELTS

In the UK, there is a possibility of obtaining a UK Study Visa without IELTS with a confirmed admission offer from a university or having chosen alternative English proficiency assessments.


However, obtaining a UK Study Visa without IELTS exam might affect your education journey as English language proficiency is essential for efficient communication, engaged involvement in class discussions, timely assignment completion, and easy assimilation into an Abroad nation's academic and social life.


Given these factors, taking the IELTS exam before starting your study abroad experience is highly recommended. This guarantees that the conditions of your UK Study Visa without IELTS are met, and it also makes you more equipped to deal with the language barriers of studying abroad.


Ultimately, getting English language proficiency helps you to have a successful and enriching educational experience overseas. 



In 2024, international students can study without IELTS in UK. There are various alternatives available for IELTS that UK Universities and organisations consider. Above, we have covered all the alternative options for IELTS. It means students now have the opportunity to access quality education in the UK without the traditional language barrier imposed by IELTS. We hope the above information will be helpful for you.


Moreover, students who wish to study abroad in the world’s top universities can contact our expert counsellors at any branch of Meridean Overseas Education Consultants (MOEC). Our expert counsellors will provide you with guidance on which English test you should appear for, the admission process to the university and the visa process. The students can also take free online counselling through our website. For more queries or any further information, you can mail us at or call us at our toll-free no. 1800-1230-00011. 



Q1. What alternative language proficiency tests are accepted by UK universities in 2024?

Ans. Various universities in the UK may accept alternative tests such as TOEFL, Pearson PTE, Cambridge C1 Advanced, or even English-medium qualifications. It is essential to check with each institution to confirm their specific language proficiency requirements.


Q2. Are there specific academic programs exempt from IELTS requirements in the UK?

Ans. While the trend towards flexibility is increasing, certain professional courses or universities may still maintain IELTS requirements. It is advisable to consult with the admissions offices of the respective institutions or refer to their official websites for accurate and up-to-date information.


Q3. Do universities in the UK offer English language preparation courses for international students without IELTS scores?

Ans. Many universities provide pre-sessional English language courses designed to enhance language skills for students who do not meet the standard entry requirements. These courses can be an alternative pathway for gaining admission without a traditional IELTS score.


Q4. How can I demonstrate English proficiency through work experience or prior education?

Ans. Some institutions may consider relevant work experience or academic qualifications obtained in English as evidence of language proficiency. Applicants should provide detailed documentation and seek clarification from the admissions offices regarding accepting such qualifications.


Q5. Is there a specific application process for international students opting to study in UK without IELTS?

Ans. The application process for students exempt from IELTS may vary among universities. It typically involves submitting alternative language proficiency evidence and regular application documents. Prospective students should carefully review the application guidelines provided by each institution to ensure compliance with their specific requirements.

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