Studying for a degree at Durham (or at any other British university) requires significant proficiency in English. Whether you are a prospective undergraduate or postgraduate, you will be required to have a sufficient level of English to be accepted onto your chosen course of study.
Academic Programme Entry Levels
Academic departments at Durham set minimum entry language requirements for their degree courses. These are given here. Please contact your department directly if you have questions about the requirements for a particular degree programme.
Pre-Sessional Entry Levels
Departments also set, in collaboration with theEnglish Language Centre, minimum entry requirements for Pre-Sessional. These requirements vary depending on the degree programme to which you are applying. They also vary for different lengths of Pre-Sessional programme. Entry points onto different Year-round and Summer Pre-Sessional programmes are given here.
Offers with a Pre-Sessional Condition
If your department has made you an offer with a Pre-Sessional condition, the details will be given on the offer letter. If you have questions or if you would like to request a Pre-Sessional programme instead of re-taking IELTS (or another accepted test), please contact your department.
- If you receive an offer for the four-week PARSE* Pre-Sessional course, please note that your achievement on this course will not be made a condition of entry. Acceptance onto the one-month Pre-Sessional course means you will proceed onto your degree programme automatically. You will receive a single CAS, to cover you for both your Pre-Sessional course and your degree programme.
- 'Successful completion' of a 12 or 8-week Pre-Sessional programme normally requires the student to achieve a Pre-Sessional exit grade of 'B' or higher.
*PARSE = Preparatory Academic Research Skills & English
Important Additional Notes:
i) We cannot accept IELTS (or other accepted) certificates with test dates that are more than 24 months before the proposed date of entry onto a Durham degree programme. Candidates with English language certificates more than two years old will be asked to retake a recognised test (usually IELTS) before their Pre-Sessional offer is made. This is also now a UKVI visa requirement.
ii) We are usually unable to accept any student onto a Durham Summer Pre-Sessional programme with an overall English level lower than IELTS 5.5 or equivalent. In our experience, students below this level require 6 months to a year (or more) of dedicated language study in order to be ready for their chosen Durham degree.
If your level is indeed lower than IELTS 5.5, please see information on the year-round courses available at the English Language Centre during term time. This course will be a better option for you until you reach the minimum entry requirements for a Pre-sessional programme.