IELTS Score for UK 2024: Minimum Score for Top Universities & Visa

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IELTS score for UK depends on the university and your desired course. Typically, universities in the UK ask for a minimum score of 6.0-6.5, but top universities may require a much higher IELTS score of 7 and above. Some universities also accept an IELTS score of 5.5. 

The IELTS band required for the UK mainly depends on your chosen university and program. Besides, you will need a Tier 4 Visa to study in the UK. You can only get it if you attain the minimum IELTS score requirement.

In this blog, we’ll explain in detail how the IELTS score varies with courses and universities and help you understand what you should be preparing towards. Consider this your go-to guide.

Let’s start with the basics!

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How much IELTS Band is required for UK in 2023?

The IELTS minimum score varies depending on the university. On average, you need a band score of 6.0 for a bachelor’s and 6.5 for a master’s. 

DegreeMinimum IELTS ScoreMinimum IELTS score per section
Bachelor’s6.05.5 each section
Master’s6.56.0 each section

The IELTS minimum score depends on various factors. For example, if you’re interested in studying a course in healthcare, universities will expect you to have an IELTS score of 6.5 and above. 

The reason is simple. Healthcare courses have advanced information, plus all healthcare jobs require you to communicate fluently with the patient. The same applies to Journalism, Psychology, and Law. Since the jobs in these fields require a lot of human interaction, having good English proficiency is a must! 

If you score above 6.5-7, you can get into top-ranking universities in the UK with various choices for competitive courses. 

If you score between 6.0-6.5, you can get into excellent universities that rank in the range of 80-150.

If your score is between 5.5-6.0, you have fewer course options, but you can still find a good university that works for you.

A score lower than 5.5 has limited course and university options. You can retake the IELTS test and aim for a better score or find universities that do not require the IELTS exam. 

However, since your score is low, these universities might have additional requirements, such as your marks from 12th grade, additional certificates, or interviews.

IELTS ScoreAvailability of Universities Based on Global Rankings
7.0+Universities ranking within the top 50-100 
6.5+ Universities ranking within the top 80-200
6.0+Universities ranking within the top 150-300
5.5+A limited number of universities, ranking between 300-500

IELTS Score for UK: IELTS 6.0 Universities

  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Manchester
  • University of Sheffield
  • University of Nottingham

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IELTS Score for UK 2024: Minimum Score for Top Universities & Visa

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IELTS Score for UK 2024: Minimum Score for Top Universities & Visa

IELTS Score for UK: IELTS 5.5 Universities

  • University of East Anglia
  • Swansea University
  • Newcastle University
  • Staffordshire University
  • University of Gloucestershire

For a full list of universities along with IELTS score requirements, book a free call with our experts! 

Did not get your ideal IELTS score for UK? Here’s what you can do!

Firstly, don’t be discouraged! IELTS is a challenging exam; we’re sure you tried your best. 

Your advantage in this situation is knowing exactly where you lack. The best way to go forward is to make amends to your study plan and focus especially on the areas you lack. 

Here are a few things you can do: 

Retaking the exam: If you haven’t scored your ideal band score, we highly recommend preparing for it again and retaking the exam. IELTS is set to release IELTS one-skill retake, which lets you re-test for just one exam section. So, you’re in good luck! 

Look at alternate universities: The UK has plenty of universities that accept a score range of 5.5-7+. Don’t be discouraged because you don’t meet the requirements of one particular university. You can always look for other universities that accept your score.

If you need more help shortlisting universities according to your IELTS score, Chat with our experts. 

How to get a good IELTS score for UK? 

If you’re starting your IELTS preparation for the UK, we suggest thoroughly researching your course and university requirements. Following are some tips to help you with your IELTS journey. 

  • You should start by analysing your English language proficiency if you’re a beginner. Based on your proficiency level, make a study plan. 
  • If you’re unsure, get a profile evaluation from experts. 
  • Familiarize yourself with the IELTS format. Ensure you give enough time for each of the IELTS sections. Pay extra attention to IELTS writing, as most students find it challenging. 
  • Practice all sections with a timer, as the IELTS exam is highly time-sensitive.
  • Ensure that your resources are up-to-date. 
  • Take mock tests throughout your preparation journey. 

Study abroad applicants for the UK are multiplying by the day, and a high score in IELTS can help you stand out! LeapScholar’s IELTS courses can help you score 7+ in your IELTS exam! Get access to mock tests, live and recorded classes, profile evaluations, and the best study materials!

IELTS Score for UK Visas

UK visa and immigration department accepts IELTS Academic, IELTS General tests, and IELTS life skills. IELTS Academic is the best option if you apply for a student visa.

IELTS score for UK

The UK’s IELTS score depends on the visa type you are applying for. Generally, the UK has a requirement of 6.0 and above, with a minimum of 5.5 in each section. 

Here’s an overview of the IELTS score for UK visas.

Type of VisaIELTS minimum score 
Student visa: below degree level and pre-sessional coursesIELTS for UKVI – 4.0 overall, and in each of the four skills
Student visa: degree level and aboveIELTS/IELTS for UKVI3 – 5.5 overall, and each of the four skills

How to study in the UK without IELTS?

Is it possible to study in UK universities without IELTS? Yes, it is. But it also depends on the university and course you choose. However, we highly recommend writing the IELTS exam as it can help you in your career and secure other visas.

TOEFL, PTE, and Duolingo Tests are a few alternate English proficiency tests that the UK accepts. Some colleges and universities allow you to skip English proficiency tests entirely. They may, however, request proof that you have completed your former education in English. 

Being confused about whether or not to write IELTS is completely normal at this stage. Talk to our experts and find out what’s the right choice for your profile.

Overall, IELTS scores can be game-changing for your application. IELTS scores can be used for admissions, part-time and full-time jobs, visas, and permanent residence. IELTS scores can also help you cut costs because most scholarships require IELTS.

We highly recommend writing the IELTS exam and aiming for a score above 7. Talk to our experts and learn how you can make your journey to the UK easier.

Good luck!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q. Is IELTS accepted in the UK?

    A. Yes, absolutely. IELTS is widely accepted in the UK for admissions to UK universities, immigration, and employment purposes. IELTS is also one of the most widely recognized English language proficiency tests globally and is accepted by most educational institutions, employers, and immigration authorities in the United Kingdom.

  • Q. What is the minimum IELTS score for a UK visa?

    A. If you plan to study a degree course or above, you will need a 6.0 overall and a 5.5 in every IELTS section. For other visa categories, such as work visas, the English language requirement may vary based on the specific visa route and the job’s skill level. You can visit the official UK government website or the UK Visas and Immigration website for the most up-to-date and accurate information.

  • Q. How long does it take to get an IELTS score for UK results?

    A. If you have given the paper-based test, the results for IELTS will be available within 13 days of the test. The results will also be sent to you by mail. You will receive your results for the computer-delivered IELTS earlier than for the paper-based test. In many cases, results for computer-delivered IELTS are available within 3 to 5 days after completing all test sections.

  • Q. Is it possible to study in the UK without IELTS?

    A. Yes, you may take alternate English proficiency tests. Some universities also accept your English scores from the 12th grade. If you have good scores in your English subject in 12th grade and have an experience in an English-speaking environment or possess specific academic qualifications, the university may exempt you from the English language test requirement.

  • Q. How much does writing IELTS to study in the UK cost?

    A. From April 2023, the conducting body of the IELTS exam 2023 has increased the Pen and paper-based IELTS and Computer-delivered IELTS exam fee to INR 16,250.

    The IELTS exam fees for Computer-delivered IELTS for UKVI have been revised to INR 16,500, the IELTS exam fee for the IELTS Life Skills (A1 and B1) has been revised to INR 15,350, and the exam fee for the IELTS for UK Visas and Immigration has been updated to INR 16,500.

  • Q. What is IELTS minimum score required for a master’s in the UK?

    A. You need an average IELTS score of 6.5 and above to study master’s in the UK.  The minimum IELTS score requirement for a master’s course is 6.0 or more. However, for top universities, one needs to score 6.5 or more.

  • Q. Is 6.5 a good IELTS score for UK universities?

    A. Yes, with a 6.5 in IELTS, you can apply to some of the best universities in the UK. Different universities and courses may have different English language proficiency requirements, and some competitive programs might have higher IELTS score requirements. While some universities may accept an overall band score of 6.5, others might have higher requirements, such as 7.0 or 7.5.

  • Q. Will I receive a refund if my visa application is unsuccessful and I have already taken the IELTS test?

    A. No, you do not receive a refund if your visa is rejected. You only get a refund if you cancel the test well ahead of time or cannot attend the test due to health issues. The IELTS exam fee is non-refundable. 

  • Q. What are some IELTS 5.5 band universities in the UK for masters?

    A. The University of Leeds, the University of Aberdeen, the University of Liverpool, and the University of Sussex are some universities that accept IELTS 5.5 bands in the UK. Remember that while IELTS 5.5 might meet the minimum language requirement, universities may also consider other aspects of your application, such as academic qualifications, relevant work experience, statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation.

  • Q. Can I retake the IELTS if I am not satisfied with my score?

    A. Yes, you can retake the IELTS exam multiple times. There are no restrictions, but you must pay the test fee each time. If you feel that your score does not accurately reflect your English language abilities or need a higher score to meet the requirements of a university, immigration application, or any other purpose, you can retake the test.

  • Q. How long is an IELTS score valid for studying in the UK?

    A. IELTS scores are generally valid for two years from the test date. This means that the IELTS score you receive after taking the exam will be considered valid for university admissions, visa applications, and other purposes for a period of two years from the date you took the test.


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Saket Kohli

An International Higher Ed professional with 7+ years of experience studying, working, and living across three geographies, currently on a mission to share his journey as an International Student.

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