English language requirements for distance learning applicants 2021/22: research degrees

If you're a non-native English speaking applicant you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability.

You need to show enough fluency in all aspects of English (reading, writing, speaking and listening) to the required level of the course you're applying to.

Exceptions

There are some instances where you do not normally need to provide evidence of your English language abilities.

Contact us

Postgraduate Admissions
pg-admissions@york.ac.uk

If you're applying to a distance learning course and you're from one of the following majority English-speaking countries, you will not normally need to provide evidence of your English language abilities:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Bermuda
  • British Virgin Islands
  • The Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Cayman Islands
  • Dominica
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Gibraltar
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • Kiribat
  • Malawi
  • Malta
  • Mauritius
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Sierra Leone
  • Solomon Islands
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Tanzania
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Uganda
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • Zimbabwe

If you have completed a degree within two years of your intended start date which has been taught in English in one of the following countries, you do not need to provide further evidence of your English language abilities. If your country is not listed, you will need to provide official confirmation from the institution where you completed your degree that the medium of instruction was in English:

  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Micronesia
  • Philippines
  • Rwanda
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • South Sudan (for degrees completed after 2008)
  • Swaziland
  • Tonga
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

The information regarding work experience below is subject to further review. Check back shortly when we hope to have the details finalised. Apologies for any inconvenience.

We can also usually accept at least one year of recent work experience from one of the following English-speaking organisations as proof of English language ability. This must be within two years of your proposed start date.

United Nations organisations:

  • United Nations (UN)
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation(UNESCO)
  • United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO)
  • UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR)
  • UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
  • UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA)
  • UN-Habitat
  • UN Children's Fund (UNICEF)
  • World Health Organisation (WHO)
  • Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO)
  • World Food Programme (WFP)
  • World Bank
  • Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)
  • UN Mine Action
  • UN Women (UNIFEM)
  • UN Population Fund (UNFPA)
  • International Labour Organisation (ILO)
  • UN Development Programme (UNDP)
  • UN University (UNU)
  • University for Peace
  • International Organisation for Migration (IOM)
  • UN Environmental Programme (UNEP)
  • UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNOHCHR)
  • UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS)

International NGOs:

  • Mercy Corps
  • Save the Children
  • Oxfam
  • Care International
  • Doctors without Borders (MSF)
  • Goal
  • World Vision
  • Tear Fund
  • Islamic Relief Worldwide
  • Muslim Aid
  • Christian Aid
  • Danish Refugee Council
  • Norwegian Refugee Council
  • Norwegian Church Aid
  • Inter-Action
  • Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development
  • Agha Khan Development Network
  • Action Aid
  • Plan International
  • The Asia Foundation
  • International Rescue Committee
  • International Medical Corps
  • Shelter Box
  • AusAID
  • USAid
  • International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

UK government departments

  • Department for International Development (DFID)

Accepted tests

The following tests are accepted for entry into degree-level courses:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) (Academic)
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) (Academic)
  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE)
  • Cambridge Proficiency (CPE)
  • TOEFL IBT (internet based and special home edition) (TOEFL MyBest score is not acceptable for meeting the English language requirement)
  • Trinity ISE
  • Duolingo.

We seek formal confirmation of all test results. For this purpose, if you are intending to take a TOEFL test please enter our Designated Institution code 3065 on your test form. 

We must be able to verify your test within two years of completion, but you may have completed the test up to two and a half years prior to the start date of your course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test or multiple different tests.

The requirements for these tests vary by academic department.

Departmental requirements

PhD Archaeology
PhD Conservation Studies

  • IELTS: 6.5, with a minimum of 6.5 in Writing and no less than 6.0 in all other components
  • PTE: 61, with a minimum of 61 in Writing and no less than 55 in all other components
  • CAE and CPE (from January 2015): 176, with a minimum of 176 in Writing and no less than 169 in all other components
  • TOEFL: 87, with a minimum of 23 in Writing and a minimum of 21 in all other components
  • Trinity ISE: level 3 with Merit in all components
  • Duolingo: 110, minimum 110 in production and 100 in all other components
  • IELTS: 6.0, with no less than 5.5 in each component
  • PTE: 55, with no less than 51 in each component
  • CAE and CPE (from January 2015): 169, with no less than 162 in each component
  • TOEFL: 79, with a minimum of 17 in Listening, 18 in Reading, 20 in Speaking and 17 in Writing
  • Trinity ISE: level 3 with Pass in all components
  • Duolingo: 100, minimum 90 in all other components
  • IELTS: 7.0, with no less than 6.5 in each component
  • PTE Academic: 67, with no less than 61 in each component
  • CAE and CPE: (from January 2015) 185, with no less than 176 in each component
  • TOEFL: 96, with no less than 23 in each component
  • Trinity: Level 3, with 'Distinction' in each component
  • Duolingo: 120, minimum 110 in all other components
  • IELTS: 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component
  • PTE: 67, with a minimum of 61 in Writing and no less than 51 in all other components
  • CAE and CPE (from January 2015): 185, with a minimum of 176 in Writing and no less than 162 in all other components
  • TOEFL: 96, with a minimum of 23 in Writing, 17 in Listening, 18 in Reading and 20 in Speaking
  • Trinity ISE: level 3 with Distinction in all component
  • Duolingo: 120, minimum 110 in all other components

Contact us

Postgraduate Admissions
pg-admissions@york.ac.uk