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Postgraduate Study


Language Tests Accepted by the University of Cambridge

Not all of the following tests are accepted by all courses, and the required scores may vary.

All language tests including C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency are only valid for two years before course start date.  

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, some test centres in some countries are temporarily closed. For the latest guidance, including which online home tests applicants are able to take in order to meet their English language condition, please visit

IELTS Academic

The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is the University's preferred test. You may take either the IELTS Academic or the IELTS for UKVI Academic (see further information below for applicants who require a visa). Details of the IELTS tests, and tests centres can be found on the IELTS website. There is a cost for this test.

IELTS Indicator

The IELTS Indicator is an online test that can be taken from the comfort and safety of your home. As with the above IELTS Academic test, details can be found on the IELTS website. There is a cost for this test.


The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) test is offered at authorised test centres around the world. Details of the test, and test centres can be found on the TOEFL website. There is a cost for this test. 

TOEFL iBT Home Edition

The TOEFL iBT Home Edition is the second home testing format that we can accept. Details can be found through the TOEFL website. There is a cost for this test.

C1 Advanced

The C1 Advanced is accepted with a minimum overall score of 193, with no element lower than 185plus an assessment by the Language Centre. Following assessment the University Language Centre may advise further action from the applicant (eg enrolment at one of the Language Centre courses, or completion of an IELTS test).

C2 Proficiency

The C2 Proficiency is accepted with a minimum overall score of 200, with no element lower than 185

Applicants who require a Visa

Please note that the University accepts IELTS Academic, IELTS for UKVI Academic, TOEFL, C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency as evidence of English language for admission and for Tier 4 visa sponsor purposes. Home Office regulations allow the University, and other higher education institutions, to choose their own method of assessment for English language ability. The English language test does not need to be listed on the Home Office SELT (Secure English Language Tests) list as this only applies for students who want to study a course below degree level. If the language requirement for your admission is met, you will not be required to provide any further evidence of your English language ability in your visa application.