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Qualifications we accept

Usually you will need to provide your score from the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination. IELTS score requirements for each programme are shown on the programme web pages. Equivalent qualifications and scores accepted by the RCA are shown below.

We are aware that, due to the Covid-19 global pandemic, a number of approved English language test centres around the world have been closed. Below you'll find alternative online equivalents that we now accept. 

If you have not already taken an approved English Language Test and achieved the required score, then we will advise you to book a test if all of the other elements of your application are successful. 

Note: If you have received a second class (upper division) degree or above from a university in a majority English-speaking country within the last two years, you are exempt from this requirement when applying for our MA programmes.

Online tests

The College has joined with Password English Language Testing and Proctor: U invigilation services to offer applicants the opportunity to complete an online English test that will enable you, on successful completion, to achieve the standard necessary to register for a programme of the College.

The Password Exam operates a similar format to the IELTS examination, testing on your English listening, reading, speaking and writing ability. Further detail is available at ProctorU, a live online proctoring service that allows you to take your exam from home at any time of your choosing. You will need a high-speed internet connection, a webcam (internal or external), a Windows operating system, and a current government issued photo ID. 

To access the test please go to payments.rca.ac.uk, and select the option 'English language test' from the drop down menu. The fee for the test is £100. Once you have paid your fee, please email your receipt to [email protected], with the subject heading 'English Language Test Request: [APPLICANT ID], [FAMILY NAME]' and we will respond within three working days with details of how you can access your test.

English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Pre-Sessional Courses

The College offers an eight-week EAP Pre-Sessional course from July to September every year for applicants who have not reached the required IELTS level before they start their Programme.

We also offer a four-week version of the Pre-Sessional course in August–September. This is for students who have reached the required IELTS score for their programme but wish to improve their language skills. The pre-sessional course provides a valuable chance to practise academic English in the context of art and design with authentic and relevant tasks and materials.

In 2021, both Pre-Sessional courses are offered online.

Find out more about English for Academic Purposes support at the RCA here.

Home Office English Language Requirements

In addition to the RCA’s minimum requirements, students who need a student visa for their studies at the RCA will need to show that they have met the Home Office’s minimum requirements for entry clearance into the UK. For detailed guidance on English language requirements for all higher education students coming to the UK, please see the Home Office information.

Equivalent IELTS scores

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 5.5 (overall), 5.0 (writing), 5.0 (other skills)

70, 19, 18

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 6.0 (overall), 5.5 (writing), 5.5 (other skills)

80, 20, 20

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 6.5 (overall), 6.0 (writing), 6.0 (other skills)

92, 23, 20

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 7 (overall), 6.5 (writing), 6.5 (other skills)

100, 22, 22

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 5.5 (overall), 5.0 (writing), 5.0 (other skills)

50, 47, 47

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 6.0 (overall), 5.5 (writing), 5.5 (other skills)

54, 51, 51

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 6.5 (overall), 6.0 (writing), 6.0 (other skills)

62, 59, 59

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 7 (overall), 6.5 (writing), 6.5 (other skills)

69, 62, 59

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 5.5 (overall), 5.0 (writing), 5.0 (other skills)

162, 154, 154

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 6.0 (overall), 5.5 (writing), 5.5 (other skills)

169, 160, 154

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 6.5 (overall), 6.0 (writing), 6.0 (other skills)

176, 169, 160

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 7 (overall), 6.5 (writing), 6.5 (other skills)

185, 176, 169

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 5.5 (overall), 5.0 (writing), 5.0 (other skills)

5.5, 5.0, 5.0

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 6.0 (overall), 5.5 (writing), 5.5 (other skills)

6.0, 5.5, 5.5

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 6.5 (overall), 6.0 (writing), 6.0 (other skills)

6.5, 6.0, 6.0

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 7 (overall), 6.5 (writing), 6.5 (other skills)

7, 6.5, 6.5

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 5.5 (overall), 5.0 (writing), 5.0 (other skills)

Level II: Pass

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 6.0 (overall), 5.5 (writing), 5.5 (other skills)

Level II: Merit in all four components

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 6.5 (overall), 6.0 (writing), 6.0 (other skills)

Level III: Merit in all four components

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 7 (overall), 6.5 (writing), 6.5 (other skills)

Level III: Merit in all four components

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 6.0 (overall), 5.5 (writing), 5.5 (other skills)

Pass, Pass, Pass

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 6.5 (overall), 6.0 (writing), 6.0 (other skills)

Pass, Pass, Pass

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 7 (overall), 6.5 (writing), 6.5 (other skills)

Pass, Pass, Pass

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 5.5 (overall), 5.0 (writing), 5.0 (other skills)

5.5, 5.0, 5.0

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 6.0 (overall), 5.5 (writing), 5.5 (other skills)

6.0, 5.5, 5.5

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 6.5 (overall), 6.0 (writing), 6.0 (other skills)

6.5, 6.0, 6.0

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 7 (overall), 6.5 (writing), 6.5 (other skills)

7, 6.5, 6.5

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 5.5 (overall), 5.0 (writing), 5.0 (other skills)

5.5, 5.0, 5.0

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 6.0 (overall), 5.5 (writing), 5.5 (other skills)

6.0, 5.5, 5.5

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 6.5 (overall), 6.0 (writing), 6.0 (other skills)

6.5, 6.0, 6.0

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 7 (overall), 6.5 (writing), 6.5 (other skills)

7, 6.5, 6.5

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 5.5 (overall), 5.0 (writing), 5.0 (other skills)

72, 17, 17

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 6.0 (overall), 5.5 (writing), 5.5 (other skills)

80, 20, 20

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 6.5 (overall), 6.0 (writing), 6.0 (other skills)

92 23, 20

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 7 (overall), 6.5 (writing), 6.5 (other skills)

100, 22, 22

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 5.5 (overall), 5.0 (writing), 5.0 (other skills)

496

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 6.0 (overall), 5.5 (writing), 5.5 (other skills)

547

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 6.5 (overall), 6.0 (writing), 6.0 (other skills)

550

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 7 (overall), 6.5 (writing), 6.5 (other skills)

587

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 5.5 (overall), 5.0 (writing), 5.0 (other skills)

B2 pass

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 6.0 (overall), 5.5 (writing), 5.5 (other skills)

B2 high pass

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 6.5 (overall), 6.0 (writing), 6.0 (other skills)

C1 pass 

Equivalent scores to IELTS: 7 (overall), 6.5 (writing), 6.5 (other skills)

C1 pass

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Grand Challenge Workshop.2019