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Minimum IELTS score to study in UK universities in 2023

With a range of reputable educational institutions, the UK has cemented its reputation as a top choice of study destination for those looking to further their studies.

On top of that, the vibrant country also offers exciting experiences and unique landmarks for those looking to enjoy weekends off campus.

Year after year, many students from all over the world choose to study in the UK.

If you’re planning to follow suit, you should know that UK universities require international students to prove their proficiency in the English language through International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test scores.

Hence, you’ll have to take the IELTS test and also attain the minimum band score necessary.

Minimum scores for UK universities

To successfully study in the UK, you’ll be required to obtain a tier 4 visa, which you can only get if you meet the English proficiency requirements set by your education institution.

Here are the minimum IELTS requirements according to the top-ranked universities in the UK.

Complete University Guide (CUG) rankings in 2023

The CUG university rankingsexternal icon is an independent rankings provider for UK universities. It offers course and expert advice for students who want to learn more about studying in the country.

RankUniversityIELTS minimum requirement
(undergraduate programmes)
IELTS minimum requirement
(postgraduate programmes)
1University of Oxford7.07.5
2University of Cambridge7.07.0
3London School of Economics & Political Science7.07.0
4University of St Andrews6.57.0
5Imperial College London7.07.0
6Durham University6.56.5
7Loughborough University6.56.5
8University of Bath7.06.5
9UCL (University College London)6.56.5
10University of Warwick6.57.0
11Lancaster University7.06.5
12University of Edinburgh6.57.0
13University of Southampton6.56.5
14University of Birmingham6.56.0
15University of Bristol6.06.0
16University of Leeds6.06.5
17University of Manchester5.57.0
18University of Surrey7.0To be confirmed
19University of Exeter6.57.0
20University of York6.57.0

Times Higher Education world university rankings in 2023

One of the world’s most established metrics, the Times Higher Education world rankingsexternal icon assesses universities based on the following five key performance indicators: teaching, research, citations, international outlook and industry income.

RankUniversityGlobal rankIELTS minimum requirement
(undergraduate programmes)
IELTS minimum requirement
(postgraduate programmes)
1University of Oxford17.07.5
2University of Cambridge37.07.0
3Imperial College London107.07.0
4UCL (University College London)226.56.5
5University of Edinburgh296.57.5
6Kings College London357.57.0
7London School of Economics & Political Science377.07.0
8University of Manchester545.57.0
9University of Bristol766.06.0
10University of Glasgow827.07.0
11University of Warwick1046.57.0
12University of Birmingham1086.56.0
13University of Southampton1086.56.5
14University of Sheffield1146.06.5
15Lancaster University1227.06.5
16Queen Mary University of London1246.56.5
17University of Leeds1286.06.5
18University of Nottingham1305.56.5
19University of Exeter1376.57.0
20Newcastle University1396.56.5

QS World University rankings in 2023

The Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) world rankingsexternal icon is also another global premier ranking system which rates universities by institution and subject through academic, student, employer and international indicators.

RankUniversityGlobal rankIELTS minimum requirement
(undergraduate programmes)
IELTS minimum requirement
(postgraduate programmes)
1University of Cambridge27.07.0
2University of Oxford47.07.5
3Imperial College London67.07.0
4UCL (University College London)86.56.5
5University of Edinburgh156.57.0
6University of Manchester285.57.0
7Kings College London377.57.0
8London School of Economics & Political Science567.07.0
9University of Bristol616.06.0
10University of Warwick646.57.0
11University of Southampton786.56.5
12University of Glasgow817.07.0
13University of Leeds866.06.5
14University of Birmingham916.56.0
15Durham University926.56.5
16University of Sheffield966.06.5
17University of St Andrews966.57.0
18University of Nottingham1145.56.5
19Newcastle University1226.56.5
20Queen Mary University of London1256.56.5

Further your studies in the UK with IDP

Are you ready to take the plunge and pursue higher education in the UK?

At IDP, we have the experience and expertise to help you out.

From offering 7 convenient IELTS test locations to providing support and resources to help you prepare for the test, here’s why you should take your IELTS test with usexternal icon!

Get started by booking your IELTS test today!