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Is IELTS Compulsory for UK Student Visa from Nigeria?

Many Nigerians will have to take an English language proficiency test for a Student visa in the UK, but is it possible to apply for a UK Study visa without IELTS?

Immigration Advice Service (IAS) are experts in immigration law and will be able to help you get a Student visa. Call us at +23413438882 or +44 (0) 331630092 for bespoke advice on your visa, or contact us online.

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Want to Study in the UK?

The UK is a popular destination to go to university, and many Nigerians travel to the UK to study every year. If you are thinking of applying for a Study visa and are unclear whether you need to prove your knowledge of the English language, IAS can provide expert advice on if and what tests you need to do before applying.

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Overview of Studying in the UK

If you are thinking of going to the UK to attend university, on top of meeting the requirements for your chosen course, you will also have to meet the requirements to get a UK study visa.

One of the eligibility criteria for a visa is that you can speak, read, write and understand the English language. Often you will see visas and universities requesting something called an IELTS as evidence of your English language skills.

What is IELTS?

Universities worldwide use the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), a standardised language assessment, to assess international students’ language skills before accepting them onto their courses.

The exam produces one score for your reading, writing, listening and speaking abilities that English-speaking countries use to judge your language level when you apply to study.

You can register to take your IELTS test through the IELTS official website and must have received your results no longer than 2 years before the date of your application.

However, IELTS is only the most popular exam; it is also possible to take another Secure English Language Test (SELT) from a certified provider, or some people can apply for a UK Study visa without any English test.

Can I Get a UK Study Visa Without IELTS?

The IELTS test is not mandatory to obtain a UK Study visa. However, you may have to prove your English language ability in some form when applying.

People from certain countries listed on the UK government website do not need to prove their English language proficiency and the same applies if you already have a degree in one of these countries.

However, Nigeria is not on the list, and if you are from Nigeria and have only studied there, you will need to complete an English language assessment.

You also don’t need to provide evidence of your English language skills if you have a GCSE or above in English from a UK school that you started when you were under 18 years old.

Aside from IELTS, other tests are accepted for your visa when you’re applying from outside the UK, these include:

  • LanguageCert
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE)
  • PSI Services (UK) Ltd – Skills for English (UKVI)

You must sit your exam in an approved test location two years before your visa application and will have to submit a copy of your certificate.

Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)

You can make a visa admission without IELTS if, as part of the university application process, you have had to prove your knowledge of the English language another way.

When you are accepted onto a course, you will receive a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS), which will outline the requirements for your course. This may include certain qualifications, but, if this document does not say you need evidence of English, you can apply for a UK Study visa without IELTS.

Get in touch with our experts for guidance on UK visa applications from Nigeria.

What Other Ways Do Universities Assess English in the UK Without IELTS?

Other English Language Assessments

Suppose you already know what universities and courses you want to apply to. In that case, you can check what English proficiency tests they accept through their websites, as there are other widely accepted English assessments.

Other popular English tests include:

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  • PTE
  • Duolingo English Test
  • Cambridge English Proficiency
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE)

English Medium Schools

Nigeria has many schools or universities where English is the primary medium of instruction; if you have attended a school like this, many universities will accept this as proof of your English proficiency and you will not have to take an IELTS.

English Grade From High School

The grade you received in your 10th or 12th English class is also accepted by many of the universities in the UK to assess your English proficiency.

If you want to apply to one of the main universities then it is best to achieve a minimum of 70% in your final English exams.

University Interview

You may need to have an interview as part of your university admissions process. In some universities, the interviewers may assess your English level and decide if you can study in the UK without IELTS.

Certificate From an Employer

Some of the universities that accept applications in the UK without IELTS will accept a certificate from a previous employer instead. The English proficiency certificate must confirm that English was the official language at work, you are fluent in English, or you are competent in communicating and writing in English.

Student in class, taking a test

What UK Universities Can I Apply to Without IELTS?

Many top universities all over the UK do not require international students to take an IELTS, including:

  • The University of Warwick
  • Birmingham City University
  • The University of Bristol
  • London Southbank University
  • Northumbria University
  • The University of Bolton
  • The University of Northampton
  • The University of Plymouth
  • Portsmouth University
  • Robert Gordon University

Together, these universities boast thousands of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, from MSc Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship and MEg Engineering Management to MA Fashion Marketing and MA Architecture.

They each have different requirements to study in the UK without IELTS. For example, the University of Bristol offers pre sessional language or a different accepted language course, and Robert Gordon University accepts 60% in English in 12th grade or other standardised tests like TOEFL or PTE.

Please note that there are many options for international students, as many other universities accept applications without taking the IELTS exam.

Universities for MBA in UK Without IELTS

It is also possible for international students to study an MBA in UK universities without IELTS, for example, at:

  • The University of Bedfordshire
  • The University of Greenwich
  • Middlesex University
  • De Montfort University
  • The University of Sunderland
  • The University of East London
  • Teesside University

For information on UK visa application processes, speak with us today.

How Can IAS Help?

The process of moving to the UK to study at university requires many steps and submitted documents, and you may have many questions about whether it is possible to study in UK universities without IELTS.

IAS is a full-service immigration law firm that can support you with any step of your journey of moving to the UK to study. We can help you prepare the documents and evidence you need to submit, and advise you on filling in your visa application correctly to receive a positive decision on your visa.

For advice on your UK Study visa, how to apply for a visa without IELTS, or any other immigration questions you might have, call us today at +44 (0) 3316300929 and +23413438882, or contact us online.

We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at our Lagos office, all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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Frequently Asked Questions

If you didn’t score well in your IELTS, missed your exam, or want to study in the UK without IELTS, some universities offer 4- to 10-week pre sessional English courses.

These courses, which run before your course, will improve your English language proficiency and teach you classroom skills to prepare you for studying in the UK.

You can check a university’s website to see if they offer pre sessional or English foundation courses.

Taking the IELTS exam can positively impact your university application and give you a wider selection of universities to choose from; however, the education you receive will be no different in the UK without IELTS.

It may be best to find the right university course first and see what their English language requirements are in advance, as they may accept your application without IELTS.

If you are unable to personally afford to study abroad, there are many scholarships you can apply for in the UK without an IELTS. Some scholarships include UK Bristol University Scholarships, University of Westminster Scholarships, and University of Birmingham Scholarships, to name a few.

Many major countries allow you a study visa without IELTS; for example, USA, Canada, Germany, Malaysia, Australia, and more.

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