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Study in the UK without an IELTS: A Student's Guide

Study in the UK without an IELTS: A Student's Guide

Jul 20, 2022

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If you didn't take the IELTS, do you feel like you missed out on a chance? Do not fret! Many students who want to study abroad find it difficult to navigate the various alternative cities and universities worldwide. They waste a lot of time second-guessing their choices because they are bombarded with questions about the requirements for studying at UK-based universities. They typically want to know if 

Is it possible to gain admission to a UK university without taking IELTS?

Is it viable to acquire a UK visa without an IELTS score?

Can you still choose from the various disciplines without IELTS?

YES is the response to each of these queries. Many students believe that to be accepted into UK-based universities, they must have an IELTS score in hand. However, that is untrue. You can pick from various UK colleges that also consider other options when determining your eligibility for their programs. Many universities in the UK will accept your application and take your admittance into account, even without IELTS. We have listed them for you to sort your options out and plan your entrance accordingly. 

Let's first examine what IELTS is and why it's so crucial while applying to universities throughout the globe. 

The IELTS Test

The acronym IELTS denotes International English Language Testing System. It is also an internationally accepted and recognized English Proficiency test which establishes a standard for education and job-related immigration worldwide. There are two renditions of this test -


This one is for students who want to study at universities, schools, and other academic institutions in other countries.


This is to assess your English proficiency if you wish to migrate to an English-speaking country through non-academic means.

IELTS is recognized in most English-speaking countries, including all institutions from the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and South Africa. IELTS is required by the majority of universities in countries such as the United States, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. However, in a few countries, such as the United Kingdom, you can be accepted into universities for your preferred course without having to take IELTS.

Eligibility Criteria to Study in the UK without IELTS

IELTS is not the only alternative to demonstrate your English proficiency and eligibility for admission to a UK university. This is only required for citizens from non-English speaking backgrounds. A student is expected to have basic English language skills, both spoken and written, to gain admission to UK universities. This can be accomplished by meeting any of the requirements listed below. 

Having Completed Previous Education in English

Various UK-based universities give weightage to your previous education being completed in an English Medium Institution. They allow students who have met this requirement to enrol in university without taking IELTS. You must obtain a Medium Of Instruction (MOI) certificate from your previous institution, indicating that your education was completed in English.

70 & Above in High School English

During high school, one must obtain a total of 70-grade points or higher in English. This is an alternative to IELTS. Suppose your overall English score in high school is above 70%. In that case, the UK universities might accept your application based on that instead of IELTS. This may vary from university to the courses you choose. 

Online Interviews 

The university schedules an online interview round if a student fails to fulfil all the above-listed language proficiency requirements. This enables them to assess an individual's English speaking ability by conversing with them. Some universities administer their English proficiency tests to evaluate the applicants. 

Degree in English Specialization 

You may be exempt from taking IELTS if you have completed a bachelor's degree in English specialization. You're considered proficient in English and evaluated on the same criteria. It can be an excellent option for students pursuing English Literature as their primary field of study.

Special English Courses by University

Some universities also arrange English courses for students enrolled in their respective institutions. This option is provided to students who have not taken IELTS but have been accepted into a specific program or degree in a UK university.

Top Universities in the UK without IELTS 

Numerous UK universities admit students without requiring IELTS. However, applicants are still expected to demonstrate their English proficiency through some medium, 

Here is a list of such universities for you!

University of Bristol

University of York

University of Birmingham

Coventry University

Nottingham Trent University

Kingston University

Sheffield Hallam University

University of Warwick 

University of Essex

London Southbank University

University of Bristol

Explained: UK Universities Without IELTS!

Here is how different universities have different criteria depending upon their requirements. Following is a detailed explanation of UK universities that provide admission to students without IELTS. 

University of Bristol

To be admitted to the University of Bristol, students must meet the required English level for their chosen course. This can vary depending on the language skill necessary for that course. If you don't have an IELTS score, the University of Bristol provides you with a pre-sessional language course that enhances your language proficiency. It is known to provide part-time and full-time courses in diverse streams. Some of the most prominent courses offered by the University of Bristol include -

BSc in Accounting and Finance

BEng. in Aerospace

BA in History

BSc in Chemistry

Although, you can choose the courses which don't require language proficiency scores of IELTS.

University of Birmingham

As proof of your abilities, the University of Birmingham accepts a variety of English proficiency tests. The university arranges an online presessional course for direct entry into the September intake. They also take your high school score as an alternative to IELTS bands. 65% and above is accepted, depending on your chosen course and program. Some of the famous courses offered by Birmingham are -

America Studies

Biomedical Materials Science 

Biomedical Science BSc

Dental Hygiene and Therapy BSc

Nursing BNurs

Creative Writing

Tourism, Transport, & Heritage Studies

Sheffield Hallam University

As one of the most prestigious UK universities, the institute is known for offering the majority of courses in both full-time and part-time formats. Here are the courses for which Sheffield Hallam University is most well-known:

Healthcare, Social Care, and Teacher Training

Accounting and Economics

Accounting and Finance


Applied Social Sciences

Business Analytics

You can study at Sheffield Hallam University if you do not have IELTS by enrolling in an alternative English Language course at the University's TESOL centre, where you will be trained in the language to achieve the desired score.

University of Essex

The University of Essex has been ranked 29th in the 2019 Good University Guide by The Times and The Sunday Times. It houses around 15000 students from 130 nations around the globe. It has a diverse pack of batches, making studying there an extremely dynamic process. A few of the popular courses offered by the University of Essex are -


Acting, Producing, and Stage Management

Art History


Biological Sciences

Biomedical Sciences

If you haven't appeared for IELTS, the university requires you to take a presessional English course, which improves your English skills and allows you to meet the institution's requirements. These courses can be availed by both UG and PG applicants.

University of Warwick

The University of Warwick has constantly achieved numerous rankings for being immaculate with its courses and teaching methods. Its QS ranking is 61 in 2022. It is stated as one of the best global universities according to the US news and world report 2022. Here are a few courses the university is famous for -


Biological Sciences

Classics and Ancient History

Computer Science

Creative Writing

Business Studies

As the other universities do, the University of Warwick also provides pre-sessional English courses for those who wish to enrol without IELTS. A course like this can hone one's overall ability in the English language.

UK Visa - Documents Required 

  1. All your academic records - 10th result,12th result, Final Graduation result (IA)
  2. Passport
  3.  Documents from previous work experience: Offer Letter, Presently Working, Pay Slips
  4. If necessary, the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS).
  5. Financial Documents - Bank Balance Certificate, Bank Statements, Loan Approval Letter
  6. Fixed Deposit papers (if any)
  7. Written Parental/ Guardian Consent if you're under 18
  8. Proof of relationship with parent or guardian if you're under 18
  9. Medical Tests/ Medical Certificates from UKVI certified clinic
  10. Birth Certificate
  11. Written consent of your financial sponsors (including parents)

 UK Student Visa Application without IELTS. How to apply?

  1. Check and see if you are eligible for a student visa.
  2. Go to the home office website and apply for a student visa.
  3. Fill in the application and pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)
  4. Pay the Visa Application Fees
  5. At the Visa Application Centre, provide your biometrics.
  6. Submit the application along with the required documents

It will take approx 2-15 working days to process.


How much does it cost to live in the UK?

This varies depending on the university, but it typically ranges between £10k and £15k.

This can be further bifurcated into various factors -

Accommodation in the UK -  £500- £700/ month

Food & Groceries - £100-£200/ month

Transportation - £30-£40./ month

Household Bills - £40-£50/ month

Entertainment - £40-£50/ month

Miscellaneous - £200-£300/ month

Can I work in the UK if I don't have IELTS score?

Yes, you can apply for a work visa in the UK even if you don't have an IELTS score. You can do so based on your bachelor's or master's level academic records. You must verify that you have scored more than 70% in your college or school. You can apply for the job in the UK in the following streams-

Data Science




Design Engineering

Can I avail a scholarship while studying in the UK?

Yes, scholarships are the best way to lower the high-end expense of studying in the UK. There are various scholarships for students willing to study in the UK, which abets them in studying abroad while incurring lower costs. Here are the top 5 UK scholarships that you can apply for -

The Chevening Scholarship 

The UK government offers these scholarships to individuals with outstanding academic records. The selected students are specially chosen by UK embassies around the world.

Euraxess UK

This scholarship is especially for those in the research stream. This scholarship helps elevate and develop the careers of researchers worldwide working at all levels. 

The Commonwealth Scholarships

These scholarships are for the students belonging to Commonwealth countries who would not be able to study in the UK without financial assistance. Students are chosen for this based on their academic records and willingness to support their home country in the future.

The Royal Society Grants

These scholarships are explicitly science-oriented for those who excel in science. These scholarships are available to those interested in learning more about science and contributing their time and resources to the field.

Scholarships by the UK universities

Various universities in the UK provide scholarships based on their various programs and policies. Here are some universities which offer several scholarships to deserving students -

University of Cambridge

University of Oxford

King's College London

Imperial College London

London School of Economics and Political Science