Pre Sessional English and UKVI Secure English Language Test (SELT)

If you need a Tier 4 student visa, the UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) will require evidence of your English Language level unless you are from a UKVI defined majority English-speaking country.

When applying to an Undergraduate or Postgraduate programme at Keele, the University will evaluate your English language proficiency using the evidence and information you send us with your application. The Admissions team will inform you with your Offer if they require further evidence of your English Language ability.

Undergraduate applicants recently educated in English-medium schools will normally be able to demonstrate their English language proficiency by having achieved a satisfactory level in the English component of their school leaving qualifications. For example, GCSE or IGCSE English Language (Specific Syllabus’s), or the English courses within the International Baccalaureate and European Baccalaureate.

Postgraduate applicants who have recently been educated in English, for example a Bachelor’s Degree studied in the UK will normally be exempt from the requirement to take a separate language test.

If you are planning on undertaking a Pre Sessional English programme to achieve the English condition of your offer or you have been offered a place on a standalone foundation programme at the University, you must provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT). The SELT that the University accepts is IELTS Academic for UKVI. This is a separate test to the normal IELTS Academic and contains a specific UKVI reference number on the test report form in addition to the IELTS TRF number.

More information on this can be found from the IELTS web pages with a full list of test centres can be found on the UK Home Office web site

You may find it helpful to take the free online IELTS course offered by the British Council. It will help you to prepare for an English language test and applying to a UK university.


When you return your Visa & Confirmation (pre-CAS) checklist, your English level be checked again against the requirements of the UKVI. If the evidence or level of English provided is not suitable for sponsorship the University will not be able to issue a CAS to support a Tier 4 Visa application.