This page is for those whose first language is not English.

We are very happy to accept and assess applications from those whose first language is not English, wherever they are living at the time of application. This page provides information relating to your English Language at the application and offer stages.


The application process for Cambridge requires a good standard of spoken and written English. You may be asked to take a written assessment (depending on which course you apply for), and you must have sufficient English language ability to interact with a high level academic interview, if selected.

We will assess your English language competency during the application process. Throughout the process, interviewers and Admissions Tutors will be assessing your English language skills as well as your academic ability. In all cases, if you are selected to attend online interviews your English language ability will be assessed at interview.

There is no requirement to have taken an English language qualification before you apply, however we will take this into account as part of our assessment of your English if you have taken one.

  • It is very important that you enter any English language qualifications you have already taken in your UCAS application. For English language qualifications that you enter on the UCAS application, you do not need to provide the test report during the application process (though we will ask for it later if you are made an offer).
  • After you have completed your application forms, please keep us updated with the results of any further English language assessments you take during the application process by uploading your results document as an additional document (page available Oct - December). We will add your results to your application.
  • If you have taken an English language qualification recently but have not quite met the standard required for entry, we can still consider your application as long as your results are close to the requirement, because if you receive an offer you will have until the following June to achieve the required scores. For example, the IELTS academic standard  for Cambridge requires an overall grade of 7.5, usually with 7.0 or above in each element, however we would be able to assess you at application stage if you have achieved 7.0 overall, and 6.5 in each element. We would then ask you to take IELTS again if we make an offer in order to achieve the 7.5, usually with 7.0 or above in each element by the following June.

If you would like to check which English language qualifications we look at and what grades are required for entry, please see the English language qualifications page.

  • We are not able to accept IELTS Online as it is not currently accepted for visa and immigration purposes.
  • We are able to accept TOEFL Home Edition in addition to the test centre option.



If your application is successful we need to be sure that you have sufficient English language ability to thrive on a high-level fast-moving academic course, taught and examined in English, and we need to meet any requirements for your student visa, if you need one.

Your offer may or may not include an English Language condition - you will need to wait to receive your offer to find out, as we will only do our final assessment of whether a condition is needed at the point when we set your offer.

If there were concerns about your English language ability during any part of the application process, you may be asked to achieve an English language qualification at the relevant level as part of a conditional offer. We make our offers in mid-January, and you would then have until the following July / August to meet all the conditions of your offer.


Visa Requirements

If you need a student visa to enter the UK and study here, the College and the University must demonstrate that a student whose first language is not English has sufficient English language ability to succeed on the course.

For students in non-English speaking countries an English language qualification may be required in order for the university to issue the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) that you will need from us to apply for your visa. Cambridge University is able to accept English language qualifications it deems suitable when sponsoring student visas, and if we need you to take a qualification, we will make this part of your offer conditions.

English language qualifications are only valid for two years from the date of the exam. If your previous English language qualification was taken more than two years before the date when you start your course, you may be asked for recent proof of English language ability as part of your offer.

Once you have met all of our offer conditions, the CAS that you will receive will confirm either

  • that you are a national of a majority English speaking country (as defined by UK Visas and Immigration). You do not need to prove your knowledge of English if you are from one of the countries listed on the Gov.UK website.
  • or that the University, as a Higher Education Provider, has assessed your English language ability and it is at the required level.


International Students main page / International Entrance requirements / Webinars