Study in UK Without IELTS


Mrunmayai Bobade
Updated on Mar 15, 2023 11:19 PM IST

Planning to study in top UK universities without IELTS? Scroll through the article to know UK admission criteria without IELTS, eligibility for Indian students to study in UK without IELTS, alternative exams for IELTS, top UK universities to study without IELTS, and top MBA universities in the UK to study without IELTS.

Study in UK Without IELTS

Whether or not one can study in UK without IELTS is a question that many aspirants from non-native countries often ask. The answer is YES! To continue attracting more international students, UK universities are abandoning the mandatory requirement of standardised exams and English proficiency test scores.

Is IELTS necessary to study in the UK? Undoubtedly, exams are an unavoidable part of a student's academic experience. It is hard for international students to avoid these competitive exams. IELTS is one of many English proficiency tests required to fulfil the language requirements for universities abroad. However, there always exists a loophole.

While the top universities in the UK require proof of English proficiency, some UK universities accept international students without an IELTS score. In such cases, students must submit another proof of language proficiency equivalent to an IELTS score.

Now, the question arises - How would you get permission to study or work in the UK without IELTS while applying from a non-English speaking country like India? Continue reading to know how to study in the UK without taking the IELTS exam.

UK Student Visa Without IELTS - Can You Get a Study Permit?

Yes, it is possible to get a UK student visa without IELTS only if a student can produce relevant documents to the embassy during the visa process. The immigration authorities usually require a letter from the school or university stating that the candidate has studied in English in their institution or that the medium of instruction of the institution is primarily English. In short, a student can apply for a UK study visa without taking the IELTS exam if they meet the following requirements:

  • A letter of acceptance from a university in the UK

  • A document issued by the educational institution stated that the medium of instruction of the course was English

  • A letter stating that the student has studied in an institution whose primary language is English

  • The student has studied core English as a subject in school and scored 90%-95%.

  • Sit for the Secure English Language Test (SELT), which is required by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as valid proof of English proficiency.

Note: The ability to communicate in English is one of the prerequisites for obtaining a Tier 4 visa. Even if the university waives off IELTS requirements, students are still required to show English proficiency for a UK student visa.

Our well-versed study abroad consultants have assisted numerous Indian students to study in the UK without taking the IELTS exam. Want to attend a prestigious university in the UK?

Get One-On-One Guidance to Study in UK Without IELTS!

Eligibility Criteria to Study in UK without IELTS

Acceptance of international students in top UK universities without IELTS is mainly based on the following four criteria:

English as Medium of Instruction at School Level

Occasionally, institutions request the medium of the student's past education. If a student's medium of instruction for all subjects was English, the university may use this evidence to accept them without IELTS. To study for a master's degree in the UK without IELTS, a student must demonstrate graduation in the English language.

An Interview Conducted by University

Some institutions may require candidates to participate in a video interview. This will let the university assess a student's level of English comprehension and make an appropriate judgement. Students must do well in this interview to gain admission to UK universities that do not require IELTS.

Class 10 and 12 English Scores

Universities may examine a student's high school or senior year grades at times. For example, if a student has achieved more than 75% in English in Classes 10th and 12th, universities may consider this proof of English competency.

Alternative Language Assessment Exams

Aside from the IELTS, students can also take the TOEFL, the Duolingo English Test (DET), Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE), and PTE Academic. Various universities in the UK may require students to complete a language assessment test. As a result, students should read university guidelines and language requirements thoroughly.

IELTS Alternatives to Study in the UK

As English is the first language in the UK, it is necessary that the students planning to study there must have prior knowledge of the language to effectively understand and communicate in the classroom environment with their peers and tutors. If students are weak in English or do not meet the requirements laid down by the universities, they will be denied admission. Therefore, taking an IELTS exam to demonstrate proficiency is important. 

However, students can take any other English language test such as TOEFL, Duolingo, PTE Academic, or Cambridge Assessment if they are unwilling to take the IELTS Academic. Some of these tests are extremely convenient, cheap and can be taken from the home. 

Another alternative to overcome weakness in English is to take pre-sessional courses from UK universities if students have low or no IELTS scores. These sessions help to strengthen English language competencies and classroom skills. Students have to arrive a few months ahead to take the benefits of pre-sessional English lessons. Therefore, students must check if their university offers pre-sessional English courses that would help them adjust to the classroom environment in the UK.

The video highlighted below will shed some more light on IELTS alternatives for UK universities that will allow international students to fulfil their dream of studying in UK without IELTS. 

Study in UK Without IELTS for Indian Students

Most of the universities in the UK enable students to study without taking the IELTS provided they have already completed their education using English as a medium of instruction and can demonstrate it. Here are a few universities where Indian students can apply without having to take the IELTS test:

UK Universities Accepting 60% or Above in English UK Universities Accepting 65% or Above in English
Bedfordshire University University of Law
Cardiff Metropolitan University Chester University
Bangor University Coventry University
- London Metropolitan University
- Middlesex University
- Oxford Brookes University
- Teesside University
UK Universities Accepting 70% or Above in English
Bath Spa University (CBSE only) Sunderland University, London Campus
Anglia Ruskin University Sheffield Hallam University
Bolton University Solent University
UCLAN Birmingham City University (CBSE)
De Montfort University Wolverhampton University
University of Greenwich (CBSE & ICSE) The University of West of England
Hertfordshire University (CBSE & ICSE) University of West London (CBSE)
University of South Wales -

Top Universities to Study in UK Without IELTS

Let us take a closer look at some of the leading universities in the UK that accept students without having to take the IELTS exam.

University Name

IELTS Alternative

London Southbank University

Grade 12 English score

Pre-sessional English classes

Sheffield Hallam University


University of Warwick

Pre-sessional English courses

University of Essex

Pre-sessional English courses

University of Bristol

Pre-sessional English courses

Robert Gordon University

Pre-sessional English courses

Study MBA in UK Without IELTS

Many international students prefer the UK as a place for their MBA education. However, the prospect of taking IELTS puts them off. The good news is that students can study for an MBA in UK without having to take IELTS, provided they must meet other eligibility requirements set by individual universities. Here is a list of UK institutions that offer MBA programs without IELTS:

University Name

MBA Programme Offered

De Montfort University

MBA Global

Middlesex University

With Placement

Teesside University

Business & Marketing

University of Bedfordshire

Executive MBA With Placement

University of East London

Business & Marketing

University of Greenwich

International Business

University of Sunderland

MBA Finance, MBA Marketing, and MBA Human Resource Management with Placement

Note: Students must check the eligibility criteria and prerequisites before applying to any MBA institutions in the UK without IELTS.

Can Indian/International Students Work in UK Without IELTS?

Yes, international students can work in UK without IELTS. Students will be eligible to work legally in the UK after finishing the degree.

If a student wants to apply for a UK post-study work visa without taking the IELTS, they can do so by submitting their bachelor's or master's level academic records. They are required to show that they received a grade of at least 70% in English high school.

The UK is one of the few countries that permits overseas students to work off-campus. During the semester, students can work up to 20 hours per week and full-time during holidays. Students should be aware, however, that an MBA is an extremely demanding programme, and there will be several tasks and projects at any one time. Taking time out during the semester to do any extra work is difficult.

The majority of occupations are low-wage ones, such as those in fast-food restaurants and department stores. Working at call centres is one of the better-paying jobs. Part-time wages are estimated to be between GBP 4 to GBP 5 per hour.

Students need to check each university's website to determine what language requirements they need to meet as it differs from university to university. Even without taking the IELTS exam, students can study in UK universities and pursue the top courses of their choice.

In case you wish to study in UK without IELTS, you must thoroughly acquaint yourself with the requirements and recommendations of the specific university. The academic infrastructure and research opportunities in the UK will open a plethora of opportunities in front of you. You will be pushed to explore new limits of success while being immersed in a culture that motivates you to give your best.

Looking for more countries to study abroad without IELTS? Check out these options:

Study in UAE Without IELTS

Study in USA Without IELTS

Study in Ireland Without IELTS

Study in Germany Without IELTS

Study in NZ Without IELTS

Study in France Without IELTS

Study in Australia Without IELTS

Study in Canada Without IELTS

The number of international students coming to the UK has decreased since the UK imposed post-study work visa limitations in 2012. However, the UK government reinstated the two-year post-study work visa for international students in 2020. Following this, the United Kingdom has resurfaced on the map as a place to study abroad with a two-year stay after graduation.

Our experts have an impeccable track record of helping Indian students to make it to top universities in the UK. For more information, drop us a line at

Get Expert Advice for IELTS Alternatives to Study in UK!


Is IELTS important to study in the UK?

No, the IELTS exam is not important to study in the UK if you fulfil the other requirements of the UK universities. If your schooling or previous education was in English medium then you will be exempted from taking the IELTS test. Universities also conduct interviews to check your English proficiency and if you successfully demonstrate your proficiency then you can study in the UK without IELTS. 


What are the alternatives to the IELTS exam to study in the UK?

The alternative exams that students can take to study in the UK are the TOEFL exam, PTE exam and Duolingo Exam. Cambridge Assessment Test is also acceptable. Universities have their own score requirements for each of the tests. The cut-offs can be sectional as well as overall. It is necessary to clear the minimum requirement to gain entry into UK universities. 

What are the top universities in UK to study without IELTS?

The top universities in UK to study without IELTS are the University of Bristol, the University of Manchester, the University of Warwick, the University of Essex, the University of Greenwich and the University of Sunderland. These universities accept alternatives to IELTS and even accept scores of classes 10 and 12 for admission to various courses.

Who can study in UK without IELTS?

Students who have studied in a school where the medium of instruction was English or have completed a few years of study in an English-speaking country can study in the UK without IELTS. Also, students who have IELTS equivalent test scores or have attended an International Baccalaureate programme will be exempted from taking the IELTS exam. 

What is the entry requirement to study in the UK without IELTS?

The entry requirement to study in the UK without IELTS is the same as with IELTS. You must meet the academic criteria highlighted by the university. You will have to submit all the documents such as the statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, academic CV, essays and etc as required. Besides their previous education must be in English to study without IELTS.

Is it possible to get a scholarship to study in UK without IELTS?

Yes, universities provide scholarships to study in UK without IELTS. Once a university accepts you without IELTS, you are eligible to apply for various scholarships. You may be directly eligible for some scholarships and for some you will have to make a separate application and submit a scholarship SOP. 

Can I get a visa to study in UK without IELTS?

Yes, you can get a visa to study in UK without IELTS if you produce relevant documents to the visa authorities during your interview. The immigration officials will demand a letter or document from your university that certifies that you are eligible to study in UK without IELTS. 

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