Guide to Study in UK Without IELTS For Indian Students in 2024

Did you know you can study in the UK without the IELTS?

The UK has long been known as a great destination for international students, and it’s no wonder – the country is home to some of the best universities in the world. But what if you don’t have an IELTS score? The answer is yes.

In this article, we’ll look at the benefits of studying in the UK without IELTS and provide you with an overview of some of the best universities to study at. We will also take a look at how to complete your student visa application in the UK without IELTS. Let’s get started.

What is IELTS?

Every year, over 5.3 million students embark on their educational journey abroad. For most of them Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the USA are some of their top destinations where they can get access to a world-class education that sets them apart from their peers. As a student you should do your homework to compare which one is better and the right fit for you.

IELTS exam, or the International English Language Testing System, is an English language proficiency test used as a requirement for entry into many universities and other educational institutions around the world. This is one of the online English language tests which assesses the exam taker’s English proficiency by testing all four language skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Personal and professional development is also an important part of the course. Some other tests include TOEFL, PTE, C1, and so on.

Studying overseas brings lots of opportunities for cultural immersion and meeting people from different backgrounds; not only that but it also provides you with an opportunity to gain specialisation in your chosen field so that you could have more chances for future employment once your studies end.

IELTS is one of the online English language tests which is accepted by a multitude of entities, such as educational institutions and professional bodies, equalling more than 11,000 organisations. Universities in nations that don’t primarily speak English may also demand an IELTS score from individuals seeking to enroll in courses taught in the language.

Can you get a student visa in the UK without IELTS?

If you are looking to secure a UK study visa without IELTS, it is possible. Obtaining a document from your university that verifies you can apply for a UK study visa without IELTS scores is highly recommended.

Student visa requirements also list an acceptance letter to a higher education institution in the United Kingdom as one of the key components of your university application process. Furthermore, immigration authorities may consider an application for a UK student visa if you take and pass alternative language tests such as the Secure English Language Test (SELT) mandated by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).

What are the benefits of studying in the UK without IELTS?

UK universities are some of the best in the world – from Engineering to Film Schools, the UK has it all. If you decide to study in the UK without IELTS, you will benefit from:

  • A quality education: The universities and colleges that offer courses without IELTS requirements are amongst the most prestigious institutions in the UK. This means that you will be able to gain a top-notch education that can lead to successful career opportunities.
  • A supportive student community: Whether you are studying with IELTS or without, the international student community in the UK is incredibly welcoming and supportive. You will be able to make lifelong friends and have a great time exploring the country!
  • Great job prospects: The UK is renowned for its excellent job opportunities. After you graduate, you can take advantage of the country’s thriving economy and look for amazing internships and work experiences.

Disclaimer: This video reflects details and rankings from 2023

What are the best universities to study in the UK without IELTS?

Living and studying in the UK without IELTS is a great way to gain valuable knowledge, meet new people and expand your horizons. With quality education and excellent job prospects, the UK is an excellent choice for international students who want to advance their education without having to take the IELTS test.
UK Universities typically forego IELTS requirements for students when:

  • Applicants have attained a minimum score of 70% in English language courses during High School (Class XI and XII) or can provide proof that they successfully completed English language courses.
  • Students can provide evidence that English is the language of instruction in your school
  • Students have an undergraduate English degree
  • The applicants choose to improve their language proficiency and enrich their academic experience by enrolling in a Pre-sessional English course offered by the university before beginning their studies in the UK.
  • Have a good score on alternative language tests such as TOEFL, PTE, C1 Advanced, and Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE).

There are a number of top universities in the UK that offer courses without IELTS requirements. Let’s have a look at some of the best Uk universities without IELTS that you can apply for.

Sr No. Name of the University
1 University of Essex
2 London South Bank University
3 University of Bristol
4 Northumbria University
5 Portsmouth University
6 University of Greenwich
7 Birmingham City University
8 University of Plymouth
9 University of Central Lancashire
10 Swansea University

University of Essex

Source: The University of Essex

The University of Essex is unwavering in its commitment to ensuring student success is the key focus. Striving for excellence both in teaching and research, the university prioritizes student achievement and offers a world-class education. It is ranked 459 globally by QS] rankings in 2024 and has an impressive international student population from over 140 countries, making the university well-equipped to provide quality support and resources for students.

It focuses on personal and professional development, offering courses and activities to help students discover their potential. Its diverse student body and enriching environment make the University of Essex a great choice for international students looking to study in the UK without IELTS.

Why is it good to study here?

Ranked 56th among 1400 global universities in the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings, The University of Essex believes in creating impact through research. They specialize in providing research-led teaching that allows each student to gain hands-on experience as a researcher.

This enables students to build vital skills such as critical thinking, analysis, and transferable knowledge. As a demonstration of their commitment to delivering the highest quality education and expanding research capabilities, in 2019 the University of Essex announced an unprecedented 100 new academic appointments.


While the course fees for a few programs are the same for UK and international students, international students have to pay a slightly higher amount than home students for most courses. It ranges from £809 to£19,425 depending on the course you opt for.


The University’s undergraduate Bachelor’s degree courses require an average of 60% in the best four subjects from Indian High School qualifications. Fortunately, if you score 70% or higher in English on either CBSE or CISCE exams, there is no need to submit a separate language test score or IELTS score.

For the Postgraduate Taught Masters, the university accepts applicants with a minimum grade of 50% or 5.3/10 from Band 1 and 2 institutions, and 55% or 5.8/10 from all other higher education institutes.
Other international students can view the detailed eligibility requirements here.

Courses offered & admission process

The University of Essex has the following three departments:

  • Faculty of Arts and Humanities
  • Faculty of Science and Health
  •  Faculty of Social Sciences

They offer over 674 undergraduate and 333 postgraduate programs. You can apply online on the university’s website. An SOP or an essay, two letters of recommendation, your high school qualifications, English language skills, copies of official transcripts and a CV are some of the documents you will require for the same.

London South Bank University

Source: Wikipedia

For over 125 years, London South Bank University (LSBU) has been preparing and empowering students from all around the world to succeed in their professional lives. Our student-centric approach is why nearly 2,000 international learners from 130 countries have chosen LSBU — located conveniently minutes away from downtown London

Why is it good to study here?

With a QS ranking of 851-900, the London South Bank University is a class apart. It has an impressive staff-to-student ratio, which enables personalized guidance and mentorship. LSBU was recently granted the honour of ‘Outstanding Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ at The Times Higher Education Awards 2022. This award recognizes and commends LSBU’s Research, Enterprise, and Innovation group located within its Clarence Centre for Enterprise and Innovation as well as its faculty members’ commitment to providing entrepreneurial support to students, alumni, staff members, and even locals in their communities.


To attend London South Bank University, students have to pay fees ranging from £14,900 to £15,500.


To apply for undergraduate courses, Indian students require:

  • A minimum average of 55-65% or higher in Indian Standard XII exams
  • 3 passes at GCE A Level
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma: 24 points or higher
  • A minimum 55-60% or higher in any accredited UK Foundation programme:
  • 58% or higher in any accredited Polytechnic/College Diploma

To apply for postgraduate courses, Indian students require:

  • 53-55% or higher in an honours degree from a prestigious Indian university
  • 55% or higher in an honours degree from any recognised Indian university
  • A honours Degree from any recognised international university

For the English language requirements, Indian students with good scores from Standard XII English medium school boards such as ICSE, CBSE, and Maharashtra exam boards or other State Exam Boards do not require IELTS tests.
For all international students, the detailed eligibility criteria and information on application fees can be found here.

Courses offered & admission process

LSBU offers 189 undergraduate and 107 postgraduate across the following 7 departments:

  • School of Applied Sciences
  • School of Arts and Creative Industries
  • School of The Built Environment and Architecture
  • LSBU Business School
  • School of Engineering
  • School of Law and Social Sciences
  • Institute of Health and Social Care

All international students can explore the courses offered and apply for the same through the LSBU Online Application System and international undergraduate students can apply via UCAS.

University of Bristol

Source: University of Bristol

Bristol has risen significantly in this year’s QS World University Rankings, currently sitting at an impressive 55th place worldwide and 9th within the UK. It is an inviting and varied destination to study at – home to over 30,000 undergraduates and postgraduates. Around 28% of our students come from other countries around the world making up a total of 150 distinct nations represented.

Why is it good to study here?

With over 600 Indian students currently enrolled at the University of Bristol, it is a highly sought-after destination for international students. The university’s strong research credentials and innovative teaching, coupled with its supportive and inclusive environment, make it a premier choice for applicants. The Global Lounge serves as an opportunity for cultural immersion and to feel connected with other international students.


The fees at the University of Bristol range £5,670 to £49,600


Undergraduate Students
Indian students applying to the University of Bristol require

  • A score of 70-80% in CBSE or CISCE English language courses is accepted in lieu of an English test like the IELTS.
  • To gain admission, an applicant should obtain 80-90%, the equivalent of ABB – A*AA at A-level.

Every course has specific entry requirements and students are encouraged to check them before applying.
Post Graduate students

  • Students from CBSE or CISCE schools are required to attain a score of 80% or higher in English for admission, accompanied by an MOI letter confirming that English is the language used at their institution.
  • Most of the university’s master’s degree programs require a first-class credential (60% or higher) from any recognized Indian college. Programs that are more competitive may call for a first-class distinction score.
  • Knowing that achieving a first-class degree in India’s most esteemed universities is often very rare, some departments are open to accepting applicants who have received 55% or higher from one of these leading institutions.

Other international students can check out the detailed criteria here.

Courses offered & admission process

The University of Bristol offers 307 undergraduate and 237 postgraduate programs across the following departments:

  • Arts
  • Engineering
  • Life Sciences
  • Science
  • Health Sciences
  • Social Sciences and Law

Always keep an eye on the application deadline for the programme you are applying to as deadlines may vary. After shortlisting your course from an online prospectus students can apply using the online application portal.

How to apply for universities in the UK without IELTS

Source: Wikipedia

Besides the universities listed above, it is important to note that several other institutions like Northumbria University, Portsmouth University, University of Greenwich, Birmingham City University, University of Plymouth, University of Central Lancashire and others also accept applications without IELTS scores. Here are three ways you can study in the UK without IELTS:

  • Alternatives to IELTS: For many candidates from India, applying to universities in the UK without having to take an IELTS test is possible. The majority of institutions in the UK accept CBSE or CISCE English at 70-80% or above in lieu of an IELTS test.
  • Alternative Language Tests: Alternative language tests such as the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the PTE Academic, and the Cambridge English Advanced (CAE) may also be accepted by some UK universities in lieu of an IELTS score, so it is always worth checking with the university you are applying to before beginning your application.
  • Medium of Instruction Letter: Most institutions require an MOI (medium of instruction) letter from your school or college confirming that English is the language of tuition at your institution.

Planning your application

Beyond English language requirements, universities typically have a minimum required grade in your final examinations, such as the Indian School Certificate (ISC), Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) or Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE). The entry requirements can vary from university to university depending on the level and type of degree you are applying for.

For undergraduate degree applications, these may also include an essay, internships or work experiences, personal statements, and/or references. For postgraduate applicants, these may also include a research proposal, academic transcripts, and/or publications. It is important to ensure that you meet all of the university’s entry requirements before making your application.

In addition to meeting the entry requirements for your chosen programme, it may also be beneficial to demonstrate your commitment to the subject by participating in relevant clubs and activities or taking part in internships or volunteering. Taking such steps can help to strengthen your application and show that you are an enthusiastic and committed candidate.

Other Options

Here are two other options that will let you study in the UK without IELTS:

  • Foundation Programs– The universities offer these programs to international students to prepare them for their degree programs. Although these programs are similar to pre-sessional courses, they additionally include academic coursework in the chosen field of study.
  • Work experience– There are a few universities that can forgo IELTS requirements if you have worked in an English-speaking country for a significant period of time and can prove your command over the English language through your work experience.

The following are the required documents to study in the United Kingdom without IELTS.

  • Secondary School Certificate (SSC) mark sheet
  • Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) mark sheet
  • Bachelor’s mark sheet (of each semester), provisional certificate, and consolidated marks memo (only required if you are applying for postgraduate or PhD programs)
  • Original degree certificate if it’s been more than 2 years since you completed your last bachelor’s (not applicable for individuals applying for undergraduate programs)
  • Medium of Instruction (MOI) letter based on your English scores in senior year
  • Passport
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation (should not be more than a month old at the time of application)
  • Resume
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Work experience letter (if any)
  • Offer letter

Once you have received your acceptance letter from a university in the UK, you should start applying for your visa via the Home Office website. While you are making the application, make sure that you are applying for the right type of visa, which is the student visa. After filling out the application, pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) and application fees. Then, you are required to make an appointment at the nearest VFS to provide biometrics and submit the application along with the necessary supporting documents. Depending on the type of service used during the time of application, it will take around 2-15 working days to get a decision on the visa. Generally, for standard applications, it will take around 15 days. On the other hand, while it takes 5 days for a priority application, super-priority applications require only 1-2 days.

These are the requirements for a UK study visa without IELTS:

  • Academic documents
  • Passport
  • Experience letters (if any)- should include offer letter, current working letter (if you are) and payslips from the last 3 months
  • Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate (only if applicable)
  • Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) letter
  • Financial documents- bank balance certificate together with bank statement for last 3 months, loan approval letter, and fixed deposit certificate (if any)
  • Medical certificate (should be taken from a clinic approved by UKVI)
  • Affidavit of Sponsorship from parents if your study funds are held in their account

How TC Global Can Help With Your Application?

Bottom Line: Applying to universities in the UK without IELTS is possible but it is important to check with your chosen institution that they accept CBSE or CISCE English as a substitute for an IELTS test. In addition, it is important to ensure that you meet both the academic and entry requirements of the programme in order to give yourself the best chance of success when applying.

You can easily apply to universities in the UK, from our student portal.  We simplify international education, learning, and mobility through connecting students, universities, and a global community on a single platform where there are over 1000+ education providers and over 80,000+ courses.

Our platform enables students to study anywhere in the world in just a few steps. From search and discovery and finding the right course fit for you, to applications, visas, and departure – we see you through it all.

To move forward with us, download our app or visit and sign in to create an account on our student platform and onboard with us in quick, easy steps.! 🚀

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