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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

Alongside other acceptable online tests (see below), the College has joined with Password Plus 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.

Students are now able to purchase an exam and receive their voucher code directly from Password for £95. Please visit this page to purchase an exam: passwordplus.englishlanguagetesting.co.uk/buy-a-test/

Once purchased, you will receive two emails. The first is from Password confirming your purchase and giving your test login. You will need this on the day of the test so keep it safe!

You will also receive a second email from Examity asking you to create an account and schedule your test. It can take up to 48 hours for you to receive this email.

Your results certificate will be emailed to you within 3-5 working days of your test. You can email your certificate to [email protected], which they will verify online.

You can find more information about the test and how to prepare, a breakdown of the modules and format, sample questions, and information about technical requirements and scheduling the exam with Examity, the invigilator. Please also view the Password student handbook for more information.

If you have any issues, please get in touch with the Password support team at [email protected] or +44 (0)20 8326 5608.

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

At test centre

IELTS - overall 5.5 | writing 5.5 | other skills 5.5

TOEFL iBT - overall 72 | writing 17 | listening 17 | reading 18 | speaking 20

Pearson (PTE) - overall 51 | writing 51 | other skills 51

Cambridge English Scale - overall 162 | writing 162 | other skills 162

TEEP - overall 5.5 | writing 5.5 | other skills 5.5

OIBEC - overall Pass | writing Pass | other skills Pass

Trinity ISE Level II - overall Pass | writing Pass | other skills Pass

Online testing

IELTS Online - overall 5.5 | writing 5.5 | other skills 5.5

Password - overall 5.5 | writing 5.5 | other skills 5.5

TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition - overall 72 | writing 17 | listening 17 | reading 18 | speaking 20

TOEFL ITP - overall 496

Pearson (PTE) Online - overall 51 | writing 51 | other skills 51

Language Cert B2 - writing Pass 25 | other skills Pass 25

Language Cert C1 - writing Pass 25 | other skills Pass 25

(we recommend taking the B2 Communicator version of the Language Cert test, rather than the C1 Expert version)

At test centre

IELTS - overall 6.5 | writing 6.0 | other skills 5.5

TOEFL iBT - overall 88 | writing 20 | listening 17 | reading 18 | speaking 20

TOEFL - overall 92 | writing 23 | other skills 20

Pearson (PTE) - overall 62 | writing 59 | other skills 51

Cambridge English Scale - overall 176 | writing 169 | other skills 162

TEEP - overall 6.5 | writing 6.0 | other skills 5.5

OIBEC - overall Pass | writing Pass | other skills Pass

Trinity ISE Level III - overall Merit | writing Merit | other skills Merit

Online testing

IELTS Online - overall 6.5 | writing 6.0 | other skills 5.5

Password - overall 6.5 | writing 6.0 | other skills 5.5

TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition - overall 88 | writing 20 | listening 17 | reading 18 | speaking 20

TOEFL ITP - overall 550

Pearson (PTE) Online - overall 62 | writing 59 | other skills 51

Language Cert B2 - writing Pass 33 | other skills Pass 25

Language Cert C1 - writing Pass 25 | other skills Pass 25

(we recommend taking the B2 Communicator version of the Language Cert test, rather than the C1 Expert version)

At test centre

IELTS - overall 6.0 | writing 5.5 | other skills 5.5

TOEFL iBT - overall 80 | writing 17 | listening 17 | reading 18 | speaking 20

Pearson (PTE) - overall 54 | writing 51 | other skills 51

Cambridge English Scale - overall 169 | writing 162 | other skills 162

TEEP - overall 6.0 | writing 5.5 | other skills 5.5

OIBEC - overall Pass | writing Pass | other skills Pass

Trinity ISE Level II - overall Merit | writing Merit | other skills Merit

Online testing

IELTS Online - overall 6.0 | writing 5.5 | other skills 5.5

Password - overall 6.0 | writing 5.5 | other skills 5.5

TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition - overall 80 | writing 17 | listening 17 | reading 18 | speaking 20

TOEFL ITP - overall 547

Pearson (PTE) Online - overall 54 | writing 51 | other skills 51

Language Cert B2 - writing Pass 25 | other High Pass 25

Language Cert C1 - writing Pass 25 | other skills Pass 25

(we recommend taking the B2 Communicator version of the Language Cert test, rather than the C1 Expert version)

At test centre

IELTS - overall 6.5 | writing 6.5 | other skills 5.5

TOEFL iBT - overall 88 | writing 22 | listening 17 | reading 18 | speaking 20

Pearson (PTE) - overall 62 | writing 62 | other skills 51

Cambridge English Scale - overall 176 | writing 176 | other skills 162

TEEP - overall 6.5 | writing 6.5 | other skills 5.5

OIBEC - overall Pass | writing Pass | other skills Pass

Trinity ISE Level III - overall Merit | writing Merit | other skills Merit

Online testing

IELTS Online - overall 6.5 | writing 6.5 | other skills 5.5

Password - overall 6.5 | writing 6.5 | other skills 5.5

TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition - overall 88 | writing 22 | listening 17 | reading 18 | speaking 20

TOEFL ITP - overall 550

Pearson (PTE) Online - overall 62 | writing 62 | other skills 51

Language Cert B2 - writing Pass 38 | other skills Pass 25

Language Cert C1 - writing Pass 25 | other skills Pass 25

At test centre

IELTS - overall 7.0 | writing 7.0 | other skills 5.5

TOEFL iBT - overall 95 | writing 24 | listening 17 | reading 18 | speaking 20

Pearson (PTE) - overall 69 | writing 69 | other skills 51

Cambridge English Scale - overall 185 | writing 185 | other skills 162

TEEP - overall 7.0 | writing 7.0 | other skills 5.5

OIBEC - overall Pass | writing Pass | other skills Pass

Trinity ISE Level III - overall Merit | writing Merit | other skills Merit

Online testing

IELTS Online - overall 7.0 | writing 7.0 | other skills 5.5

Password - overall 7.0 | writing 7.0 | other skills 5.5

TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition - overall 95 | writing 24 | listening 17 | reading 18 | speaking 20

TOEFL ITP - overall 587

Pearson (PTE) Online - overall 69 | writing 69 | other skills 51

Language Cert C1 - writing Pass 25 | other skills Pass 25

Contact us

Get in touch if you'd like to find out more about studying at the RCA.

Register your interest with us here
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