English Language Requirements

All International students are required to demonstrate their English Language ability before starting a Harper Adams University based course at undergraduate and postgraduate level. For the majority of students who require a Tier 4 visa to be able to study, this ability must be evidenced by a Secure English Language Test (SELT) from an approved list of English Language Tests determined by the Home Office. This list has been substantially reduced and from 6 April 2015, only IELTS and Trinity College London tests will be accepted by the Home Office. (There are transitional arrangements in place for those who took tests prior to this date and who make a visa application by 5 November 2015). The Home Office have also issued a list of approved test centres where the tests must now be taken. Tests from other centres, taken after 6 April 2015, will not longer be accepted. In addition to the minimum requirements set by the Home Office, Harper Adams also applies additional requirements to ensure that students are best equipped to study and succeed on our courses.

The minimum English language requirements for our courses and how this compares to IELTS, are detailed below:

HAU Programme CEFR
Common European Framework of Reference
International English Language Testing System
6 month pre-sessionalB1IELTS 4.5 overall, with no lower than 4 in any component
3 month pre-sessional B1+ IELTS 5.5 overall, with no lower than 5.0 in any component
6 week pre-sessional B2 IELTS 5.5 overall, with no lower than 5.5 in any component.
Direct entry onto PhD/ TPG or UG B2+ IELTS 6.0 overall, with no lower than 5.5 in any component

All SELTs are based on four separate components, Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing, and the scores for each individual component have to be considered, as well as the overall total. We are happy to consider all SELTs which are on the published Home Office list, provided that the student meets the requirements for the course level in the box above. Please note that this list is determined by the Home Office and is subject to change at any time and without warning and any such changes are beyond our control.

Applicants who are not from a Majority-Speaking English country may find an online IELTS course useful as they make their preparations for joining their course. The course is free and run by the British Council. Where a course is already running, you will be able to join at any point, otherwise you can register your interest for the next one. Please note however that this is an IELTS preparation course and does not replace the need for an IELTS test if you are required to complete one.

There are some circumstances where a student requiring a Tier 4 visa will be exempt from the English language requirements for visa purposes; these include students who are from a majority English speaking country and those in possession of an honours degree (or equivalent) from one of those countries. However, Harper Adams may still require the student to have proof of English language to ensure that they are at a level to be able to perform on the course. Students who are on courses at Harper Adams University, which are based in China in the early years of their course will be required to pass designated English Language modules within their course to ensure that they meet the requirements.

While not required for visa purposes, students from Europe, and majority speaking English countries, may also be required to have proof of their English language ability, especially if their first language and qualifications are not in English.

All students who require proof of their English language ability will have it clearly stated as a condition of their course offer. If there is any confusion about this, students are required to contact the relevant admissions administrator for clarification and advice.

Further help

If you are an international student and would like some advice on English language entry requirements, please contact:

 Stephen Giles

Stephen Giles
English Language Support Team Manager
Email: Click here to contact Stephen Giles
Telephone: +44 1952 81 5051

Useful websites for international students: