A Comprehensive Guide To Study In The UK Without IELTS

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Anand Patinge

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Does the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) requirement by the UK universities act as a hurdle between you and your dream education in the UK?

Then hold on for 5 minutes and read this guide before giving up your dream! 

Yes! You can study in the UK without IELTS. Too good to be true, right?

Of course, IELTS is a standard examination for a student to take whose mother tongue is not English. 

But there are UK universities that make an exemption by making the study in the UK possible without IELTS. 

Curious? Take a closer look at it as we answer the following questions in detail:

  • Is the quality of education good in UK universities without IELTS?
  • What are the eligibility criteria to study in the UK without IELTS?
  • Which UK universities offer admissions without IELTS?
  • When to start applying to study in the UK without IELTS?
  • What is the possibility of getting a scholarship in the UK without IELTS?

Is the quality of education good in UK universities without IELTS?

Absolutely, Yes!

Whether with or without IELTS, academic excellence is the primary reason UK universities are popular. 

International student statistics in UK 2022

According to the International Student Statistics conducted by Studying-in-UK.org, approximately 600,000 international students come to study in the country annually.

Only the institutes with Higher Education Institute(HEI) status have the privilege not to demand IELTS. 

It gives them the liberty to do the assessment based on other specific criteria to guarantee the student’s proficiency in English. 

What are the eligibility criteria to study in the UK without IELTS?

  • High school English marks in classes X and XII: If you score 60% or above in 10th and 12th classes, you will get admission without IELTS. Use SelectRight to get the best-matched university program that fits your eligibility.

It’s like having Ramanujan crunch the numbers for you, so you go to a massive-RoI university.

What are the eligibility criteria to study in the UK without IELTS?

  • English as the medium of communication in school: If you have studied in an English medium school, submitting the Medium of Instruction (MOI) certificate to the UK admission board will prove your English proficiency.
  • Online interview: If you cannot complete the above language proficiency requirements, University will set a Skype interview to assess your English language proficiency.
  • Pre-sessional English course: Some UK universities offer pre-sessional courses if you have low IELTS scores. You will progress to your degrees after successfully completing the 6 to 12 weeks course.
  • An undergraduate degree in English: IELTS is not mandatory if English is your main specialization for completing your undergraduate degree.

Which UK universities offer admissions without IELTS?

Based on the QS World University Rankings 2023, we have listed below the best ten universities that offer admissions without IELTS. Take a look:

1. University of Bristol

University of Bristol

The University of Bristo, holding the 9th position in the UK, is one of the best universities to apply for admissions without IELTS. Here are the criteria for admission:

  • Must have completed 12th from a recognized board and institute.
  • 75% in English with 60% of the average score in the 12th.
Establishment Year 1876
Location Beacon House, Queens Road,

Bristol, BS8 1QU, UK

Employer reputation 84.1
QS World University Ranking 2022 #=61
International Students Ratio 84.9

According to QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022, 26 subjects at the University of Bristol are in the top 100, with nine in the top 50. The list of study programs includes

  • Social Policy & Administration 
  • Veterinary Science
  • Philosophy 
  • Earth and Marine Science
  • Geology

2. University of Warwick

University of Warwick

Ranking 10th in the UK, the University of Warwick is a world-class university with 269 undergraduate and 345 postgraduate programs.

If you have not attended IELTS, you must appear for the Pre-sessional English language course for admission to the university.

Establishment Year 1965
Location Coventry CV4 7AL, United Kingdom
Employer reputation 89.3
QS World University Ranking 2022 #64
International Students Ratio 99.2

The best study programs in the university are:

  • Arts and humanities
  • Business management
  • Engineering and technology
  • Life science and medicine
  • Social science and management
  • Natural science

3. Swansea University

Swansea University

Ranking 39th in the UK, Swansea University is a research-led university in South Wales.

If you don’t have English scores that meet the university requirements, you can complete English Language Pre-sessional Programme at the university’s English Language Training Services (ELTS).

Establishment Year 1920
Location Singleton Park, Sketty, Swansea SA2 8PP, United Kingdom
Employer reputation 33.7
QS World University Ranking 2022 #=425
International Students Ratio 52.8

Swansea University provides a wide range of degree programs in several fields, including

  • Engineering 
  • Business Management 
  • Accounting and Finance
  • Media, Communication and Public Relations
  • Aerospace engineering
  • Biological sciences

4. Aston University

Aston University

Welcoming international students from over 120 countries, Aston University is home to career-focused students. 

It has a history of passing out graduates who are the highest-paid after five years of graduation.

For those who don’t have the English score to meet the university’s minimum entry requirements, a range of Pre-sessional English Language programs is available at the university.

Establishment Year 1895
Location Aston St, Birmingham B4 7ET, United Kingdom
Employer reputation 19.6
QS World University Ranking 2022 #561 -570
International Students Ratio 48.6

The top study programs in the university are in the fields of

  • Biosciences
  • English
  • Social Policy
  • Computer Science
  • Business and Management 

5. The University of Plymouth

The University of Plymouth

Being in the top 25 for teaching quality, The University of Plymouth is famous for its research work and climate action.

The students can join a pre-sessional English language course conducted by the university’s English Language Centre if they don’t have the demanded IELTS score.

Establishment Year 1862
Location Drake Circus, Plymouth PL4 8AA, United Kingdom
Employer reputation 12.9
QS World University Ranking 2022 #651-700
International Students Ratio 33.9

Some of the courses and degree subject areas the university offers:

  • Architecture and built environment
  • Earth, geography, and environment
  • Marine
  • Art
  • Chemistry
  • Design

6. University of Portsmouth

University Of Portsmouth

The University of Portsmouth, excels in teaching, internationalization, and inclusiveness, holding a 5-star rating from QS Stars University Ratings. 

The qualification criteria for Indian students who don’t meet the IELTS criteria is Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) / Standard 12 – 75% or above in English. 

Establishment Year 1870
Location University House, Winston Churchill Ave, Portsmouth PO1 2UP, United Kingdom
Employer reputation 13.3
QS World University Ranking 2022 #701-750
International Students Ratio 81.6

The University offers several bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in various subjects like

  • Accounting and finance
  • Architecture
  • Biological science
  • Business management and marketing
  • Computer games and animation
  • Criminology and forensic studies

7. London South Bank University

London South Bank University

LSBU has remained in the education industry for over 125 years, with its real-world courses, first-class facilities, and personalized student support.

If Indian students have low IELTS scores, your XIIth class English grades will be considered for Bachelor’s or Taught Master’s level entry.

Establishment Year 1892
Location 103 Borough Rd, London SE1 0AA, United Kingdom
Employer reputation 3.1
QS World University Ranking 2022 #801-1000
International Students Ratio 95.9

LSBU offers several courses in different subjects like

  • Allied health
  • Accounting and finance
  • Baking science and food technology
  • Biological and biomedical sciences
  • Drama and theatre
  • Creative technologies

8. University of Greenwich

University of Greenwich

The University of Greenwich, with historic architecture on the bank of the River Thames, has taken the name of a top-notch education provider with inspirational learning, placements, and research works. 

Eligibility criteria to study at the university:

  • Without IELTS – take the online entry test, the university of Greenwich English Language Test (OIETC), in place of an IELTS.
  • With a low IELTS score – you can take the pre-sessional English program.
Establishment Year 1890
Location Old Royal Naval College, London, United Kingdom
Employer reputation 5.9
QS World University Ranking 2022 #801-1000
International Students Ratio 99.6

The university offers study programs in various subjects like

  • Accounting and finance
  • Architecture
  • Biology and biomedical science
  • Games and digital media
  • Health and social care
  • History

9. Birmingham City University

Birmingham City University

Providing merit-based scholarships and student employment opportunities, Birmingham City University makes the perfect place for higher education for international students.

Indian students with 65%, 70%, and 80% in the English language for standard XII get qualified to study at the Birmingham university without IELTS.

Establishment Year 1971
Location Birmingham, United Kingdom
Employer reputation 4.3
QS World University Ranking 2022 #1001-1200
International Students Ratio 80.4

Many of the university courses have internationally recognized accreditations, such as:

  •  Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
  •  Chartered Institute of Management Accountants 
  •  Royal Institute of British Architects

10. Northumbria University

Northumbria University

With uncompromised academic excellence, Northumbria University is recognized as one of the top 25 in the UK for graduates in highly skilled employment.

Northumbria offers a Pre-sessional English language program at the Newcastle campus for students who have not met the IELTS or similar English language test requirements.

Establishment Year 1969
Location Sutherland Building, 2 Ellison Pl, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 8ST, UK
Employer reputation 23.1
QS World University Ranking 2022 #651-700
International Students Ratio 69.6

Some of the subjects that offer courses in the university are:

  • Accounting and finance
  • Animation
  • Architecture and built environment
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Automotive engineering

When to start applying to study in the UK without IELTS?

Some universities demand the Pre-sessional English Course, which lasts from 6 to 12 weeks, as the admission criteria for students without IELTS. 

Hence, identify the right course based on your interest and start finding a qualified university minimum of six months early. 

Identifying the right university might not be easy, with 100+ universities providing study opportunities in the UK without IELTS. 

When to start applying to study in the UK without IELTS

Using SelectRight, you get to access 6 million data facts across 10,000+ STEM, CS & MBA study programs. This will give you unbiased suggestions on the best programs and universities that meet your requirements. 

What is the possibility of getting a scholarship in the UK without IELTS?

Scholarships are available for students to study in the UK without IELTS. 

Yes, you heard it right. 3200+ fully funded scholarships are available for doctoral degrees, masters, and undergraduate programs. 

Here goes the list of five scholarships to study in the UK without IELTS in 2022:

  • Clarendon Scholarship (150 Scholarships)
  • Commonwealth UK Scholarship (200 Scholarships)
  • British Chevening Scholarship (1,800 Scholarships)
  • Rhodes Scholarship (100 Scholarships)
  • Gates Cambridge Scholarship (90 Scholarships)

Conclusion: Studying in the UK without IELTS

Getting higher education in the UK without IELTS is not daunting, provided you get the proper guidance. SelectRight has experts and is equipped with the right tools to make your education process not only possible but easy. 

Picture of Anand Patinge

Anand Patinge

A master storyteller, Anand has enriched multiple entities with captivating designs, compelling messaging, and impactful media campaigns. Beyond work, you can find him feeding stray dogs, exploring art, and watching insiprational documentaries.

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