English Language Requirements

English is the language of instruction at Robert Gordon University, therefore you must be proficient in speaking, listening, reading and writing English.

Male international students on Union StreetThis means that we will normally ask you to provide evidence of your English language skills as well as evidence of your academic record before we can make you an Unconditional Offer to study at the University.

Most applicants must submit an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or a Pearson PTE Academic score. We will however accept other evidence of proficiency in English in individual cases. 

Important notice regarding TOEFL iBT tests

ETS have recently announced that it will not be extending its SELT licence with the Home Office. As a result of this decision TOEIC and TOEFL iBT tests dated after the 5 April 2014 will not be accepted as evidence of English language ability for individuals who have a UK visa application in progress. At the moment we are awaiting further advice on how this change will impact on students who already hold a TOEFL iBT qualification and have yet to apply for their visa. As soon as we further details we will be in contact with students in this situation.

If you have not yet attained an English language qualification and require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, we cannot accept the TOEFL iBT test at this time. We would advise you to source an alternative SELT test such as IELTS Academic or Pearson PTE Academic, both of which meet UK visa and our own academic entry requirements. 

Undergraduate International Students

In line with the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) regulations introduced in April 2011, full time International students studying at Robert Gordon University must meet English language entry criteria.

Secure English Language Testing (SELT)

  • IELTS Academic Test - 6.0 (with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component)
  • TOEFL iBT 80 (with a minimum score of Listening 17, Reading 18, Speaking 20 and Writing 21)
  • Pearson PTE Academic Test - 59 (with a minimum score of 51 in each component)

Non Secure English Language Testing - Alternative Qualifications

  • Malaysian 1119 O Level English - Grade C6 or above
  • Indian State or National Exam Boards 65% or above in 12th Standard English, excluding State Exam Boards of Gujarat, Punjab or Kerala
  • WAEC Senior School Certificate English - Grade 6 or above
  • NECO English - Grade 4 or above
  • HKALE AS Level English - Grade E or above/ HKDSE English Language - Grade 3 or above
  • Successful completion and achievement of a minimum score of 50% Academic and 60% English or above from a recognised Undergraduate Pathway programme provider in the UK such as Kaplan, INTO, Study Group or Bellerby's (See Note 1)
  • GCSE English/GCE O Level English - Grade C or above
  • UCLES First Certificate at Grade B or above
  • UCLES Certificate in Advanced English at Grade C or above
  • Scottish SQA Higher in ESOL at Grade C or above
  • International Baccalaureate (if taught in English) - Completion of Certificate or Diploma
  • International Baccalaureate (if taught in French or Spanish) - Higher Level English

Note 1. Excludes Navitas with whom we have a separate and legal contractual arrangement for delivery of pathway programmes through the International College of Robert Gordon University (ICRGU).

What does all this mean for prospective students?

  • If your English tests scores are more than two years old at the stage of the university issuing a CAS, you  will need to resit one of the recognised English language tests
  • If you are holding a conditional or unconditional offer and you fail to meet any of the minimum points in your chosen test, you will need to resit one of the recognised English language tests

For more information please e-mail us at ugoffice@rgu.ac.uk or you can call us direct on +44 1224 262180.

Postgraduate International Students

In line with the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) regulations introduced in April 2011, full time International students studying at Robert Gordon University must meet English language entry criteria.

Secure English Language Testing (SELT)

Postgraduate Research Students

  • IELTS Academic Test 6.5 overall (with a minimum score of 6.5 in each component)
  • TOEFL iBT 90 (with a minimum score of Listening 21, Reading 22, Speaking 23 and Writing 24)
  • Pearson PTE Academic 61 (with a minimum score of 61 in each component)
  • HKDSE English Language - Grade 5 or above

Postgraduate Taught Students

  • IELTS Academic Test 6.5 overall* (with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component)
  • TOEFL iBT 90 (with a minimum score of Listening 17, Reading 18, Speaking 20 and Writing 24)
  • Pearson PTE Academic 61 (with a minimum score of 51 in each component)

Please note the above individual component scores, are UKVI immigration mandatory requirements.

*Some courses may list different requirements. The requirements listed under Entry Requirements on each individual course page are the minimum that we will accept for that particular course.

In addition to the above our university will also accept some alternative qualifications as evidence of English language ability at Postgraduate study level. These are:

Non Secure English Language Testing - Alternative Qualifications

  • Malaysian 1119 O Level English - Grade C6 or above
  • Indian State or National Exam Boards, 70% or above in 12th Standard English (or 65% or above from West Bengal) Excludes State Exam Boards of Gujarat, Punjab or Kerala.
  • WAEC Senior School Certificate English - Grade 1 to 6 or A to C
  • NECO English - Grade 4 or above
  • HKALE AS Level English - Grade E or above / HKDSE English Language - Grade 4 or above
  • Successful completion and achievement of a minimum score of 50% Academic and 60% English or above from a recognised Pre-Masters/Graduate Diploma programme provider in the UK such as Kaplan, INTO, Study Group or Bellerby's. (See Note 1).
  • Successful completion of a UK Masters degree, whilst studying in the UK, for at least one full academic year or more
  • Successful completion of a UK Bachelor Honours degree, whilst studying in the UK for at least one full academic year or more, at 2:2 level or above
  • Successful completion of a degree at 2:2 level equivalents or above as taught in, and issued by a NARIC recognised university, in a UKVI  recognised English speaking country. (See Note 2).
  • GCSE English/GCE O Level English - Grade C or above
  • UCLES Certificate in Advanced English at Grade B or above
  • UCLES Certificate of Proficiency in English at Grade C or above
  • Scottish SQA Higher in ESOL at Grade B or above

Note 1. Excludes Navitas with whom we have a separate and legal contractual arrangement for delivery of pathway programmes through the International College of Robert Gordon University (ICRGU).

Note 2. UKVI classified English speaking countries are shown as Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

What does all this mean for prospective students?

  • If your English tests scores are more than two years old at the stage of the university issuing a CAS, you  will need to resit one of the recognised English language tests
  • If you are holding a conditional or unconditional offer and you fail to meet any of the minimum points in your chosen test, you will need to resit one of the recognised English language tests

For more information please e-mail us at pgoffice@rgu.ac.uk or you can call us direct on +44 1224 262180.

Summer Pre-sessional English Programme

The Summer PSP is for students who have met all academic requirements at Robert Gordon University but have not yet reached the required level in English.

The course is also designed for students who have unconditional offers, but would like to improve their language competency and gain an insight into studying at a UK university before beginning their degree programme.

At the end of the course you will not be required to sit another IELTS, TOEFL or PEARSON test.
Your performance in the Pre-Sessional Programme (class work and final assessments) will determine whether or not you are ready to commence your academic course. 

Please note there is no automatic right to progression and students will be continuously assessed throughout the programme. Whilst there is a likelihood of success we cannot guarantee all students will pass the programme.

Download our PSP booklet for full information.

RGU PSP Summer Brochure 2014

Download advice on finance and Tier 4 visa applications

UKVI  and Finances

Undergraduate Applicants

  • Induction date: Friday 18 July
  • Course start date: Monday 21 July - Friday 12 September (8 weeks)
  • Eligibility: IELTS 5.5 with a minimum of 5.0 in all elements/TOEFL iBT70 with a minimum of 16 in writing/PEARSON 46 with a minimum of 46 in all elements.
  • Pharmacy applicants: IELTS 6.5 is required for entry to the Undergraduate Pharmacy course, therefore you should apply to the Postgraduate PSP course 1 or 2. Further details can be found in the English Language Pre-Sessional Programme booklet

Postgraduate Applicants

Postgraduate Course 1

  • Induction date: Friday 20 June
  • Course start date: Monday 23 June - Friday 12 September (12 weeks)
  • Eligibility: IELTS 5.5 with minimum of 5.0 in all other elements/TOEFL iBT70 with a minimum of 16 in writing, 15 in listening, 14 in reading and 19 in speaking/PEARSON 46 with a minimum of 46 in all elements.

Postgraduate Course 2

  • Induction date: Friday 1 August
  • Course start date: Monday 4 August - Friday 12 September (6 weeks)
  • Eligibility: IELTS 6.0 with minimum of 5.5 in writing and 5.0 in all other elements/TOEFL iBT80 with a minimum of 20 in writing, 15 in listening, 14 in reading and 19 in speaking/PEARSON 54 with a minimum of 47 in writing and 46 in all other elements. 

Accommodation

Accommodation is available for all PSP courses. Robert Gordon University offers on-campus accommodation during Pre-Sessional study at Garthdee Flats - Round Tower (standard) and Crathie Student Village (en-suite).

All Dorms are Mixed (Male and Female sharing) unless otherwise requested.

How to Apply

Applications for the 2014 Pre-Sessional Programme are now closed. An application form for the 2015 programme will be available early 2015.

You will be required to upload a copy of your current English Language Test results and a scan of your current passport data page at the time of application. If you are currently in the UK or studying another course we will need to receive a copy of your current visa when applying.

Applications take between 7 – 10 working days to process and if you are made an offer, a copy of the offer letter will be scanned and emailed to you.

Please email psp@rgu.ac.uk for any questions you may have about the programme.

Please note, some courses may require a higher standard of English than stated in this page. Refer to course details or contact ugoffice@rgu.ac.uk (undergraduate courses) or pgoffice@rgu.ac.uk (postgraduate courses) for further information.

“I would summarise my experience at Robert Gordon University as a perfect balance of knowledge, opportunity, entertainment and innovation.”

Bagyavasan Kannan LLM International Commercial Law


Robert Gordon University, Garthdee House, Garthdee Road, Aberdeen, AB10 7QB, Scotland, UK: a Scottish charity, registration No. SC013781