TOEFL Scores for the Top Universities in the UK

UK universities become more popular amongst international applicants by the day. For example, Oxford University is the number one institution on the Times Higher Education World Ranking, 2022. Gaining admission into one of the prestigious universities is an opportunity of a lifetime. Each institution’s cut-off mark differs based on prestige – high-ranking schools usually have higher requirements.

This article will provide an overview of studying in the UK. It will capture what it is like to study in the UK and some of the top UK universities’ TOEFL score requirements.

What Should International Students Know About Studying in the UK?

The United Kingdom is a very accommodating environment for educational tourists. The Country has highly reputed universities that are famous for their “international-student-friendliness.”  Also, The UK’s institutions offer compact degrees that help students complete their studies at one of the fastest rates in the world.

Students looking to study in the UK can enjoy some of the UK’s best features. These features include:  

  • Student Route Visa: The Student Route replaced Tier 4 in October 2020. International students willing to stay in the UK for more than six months need to apply for this visa. Upon successful application, students can live in the UK for 2-3 years after completing their degree. The student route visa is one of the fastest ways for international students to get post-degree residency. It’s also an easy process that costs less than £1000.
  • Work + Study Programs: The opportunity to work and study simultaneously is a great opportunity that students can take advantage of. Most UK universities permit international students to work for a restricted time per week – often 20 hours. Also, the UK’s work + study policy allows international students to participate in internship programs. That’s unlike several countries where access is restricted to citizens only.  
  • Financial Aid: Students studying in the UK can benefit from financial aid given by the Government, Educational institutions, and NGOs. After fulfilling the requirements, students may take advantage of grants, scholarships, and financial aids to help with tuition. These rewards are usually given on merit;  therefore, outstanding students who maintain a good CGPA qualify for these rewards more quickly.
  • Relatively Shorter University Programs: As earlier mentioned, in the United Kingdom, students can complete degrees faster than in other countries. Typically, international students can finish four-year courses in four years in the UK. The only exception is Medical School. 
  • Affordable Cost-of-living: Most UK universities have on and off-campus housing. Having this opportunity takes the load off international students visiting the country for the first time.

Typically, students can benefit from living in the school environment, forming relationships, and socializing with their peers more easily.

 What are the Requirements for Studying in the UK?

A student visa is an essential requirement to study at a UK university. To apply for this visa, you have to submit three documents:

  • An admission letter from your school
  •  Proof of knowledge of the English language,
  • Proof of finance for tuition and living expenses. 

A TOEFL test would suffice as proof of English to most UK universities. Upon verification, the school would issue a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies – CAS. The CAS is to be presented at the immigration office. 

Please note that CAS isn’t a substitute for Financial Sponsorship

To show Financial capability to fund studies, the UK Home Office requires presenting a sponsor’s bank statement.   

There are two types of TOEFL tests:

  • TOEFL Paper-Based Test (PBT) 
  • TOEFL Internet-Based Test (iBT)

iBT is an upgrade of the Computer Based Test, valid since 2006. Most universities prefer iBT to PBT. They only accept PBT from countries without internet access. 

The PBT TOEFL test has only three elements – Reading, Listening, and Writing. There’s no Speaking section because you’ll take the test in an academic setting.

An iBT test has multiple-choice questions that last as long as 4 hours. It’s divided into four categories – Reading, Listening, Writing, and Speaking. UK universities have minimum score requirements per element. You must fulfill that cut-off as well as the overall.   

What is the Minimum TOEFL Score for UK Universities?

Renowned universities often have high TOEFL requirements. They get thousands of applications, and they have to accept only the best into their schools. Their typical cut-off mark is between 90 to 100 overall on the iBT test

Some schools would consider a TOEFL score between 75 to 89. However, this is not a certainty. Therefore, since there’s no guarantee, it’s better to aim high. 

Graduate studies often have the exact TOEFL score requirements as undergraduates. Some universities, however, put a higher or lower cut-off mark for graduate students. 

The requirements depend on the course of study – English and Literary studies have a 100 cut-off mark while others have an average of 80 to 90 overall score expectations.  

TOEFL Score Requirements for Leading UK Universities

Some of the world’s most prestigious ranking metrics, such as the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and the Quacquarelli Symonds University ranking, are highly rated English universities. 

English universities rank 1st – 1000th best universities globally in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022 rank out of the assessed institutions.

1. University of Oxford

The University of Oxford is the number one research university in the world. Although famous for its low acceptance rate, the school welcomes potential from all nations as long as you’re qualified.

It’s the home to international students from over 160 countries. International students make up 45% of the student body; therefore new applicants will feel right at home. 

The University of Oxford requires students to meet the 100 overall TOEFL score requirements in a single test. 

2. University of Cambridge

Since its founding in 1209, the University of Cambridge has maintained a reputation for outstanding academic achievement. Cambridge is a collegiate university with 31 autonomous colleges and 9000 International students. The school’s alumni are some of the leading forces in the world. 

Cambridge is the alma mater of 47 Heads of State and 190 Olympic Medalists. To join the University of Cambridge, you need an overall TOEFL score of 110 or above in each category. 

3. Imperial College London

If you’re looking for innovation, the Imperial College of London is for you. The University is world-famed for its discovery of penicillin, and it has 14 Nobel prizes for other similarly ground-breaking feats. This school focuses on business, engineering, medicine, and science. 

Aspiring applicants to Imperial College Londo should have an overall TOEFL score of 92, a minimum of 20 in each section of the test. The scores must be valid from one sitting at the beginning of your studies. Failure to use your results in due time leads to expiration. 

4. University College of London

University College of London is one of the top schools in the UK. As the first English university to admit women and multi-religious students, it’s; however an epitome of diversity. The college boasts 30 Nobel Prize laureates – alumni and current – staff and students. 

The TOEFL score requirement for the University College of London is an overall score of 92. A score of 24 in the Reading and Writing sections, 20 in the Speaking and Listening sections for a standard level degree. You’ll need 100 and 109 for the advanced level. UCL doesn’t accept MyBest Score from TOEFL – you must meet the requirements in one test. 

5. London School of Economics and Political Science

If you’re pursuing a Social Science course, think no further than the London School of Economics and Political Science. The school offers over 40 undergraduate and 160 graduate programs. 

Aspiring students to the London School of Economics and Political Science can apply with a minimum overall TOEFL score of 100. However, aspiring international students must obtain this score at most two years before the start of their program. 

6. The University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh is the leading school of education and sports in Scotland. Aspiring students may enroll for a full-time on-campus program or part-time online study. The institution is a good fit for international students who have to work. Its 1% withdrawal rate is proof of a conducive learning environment. 

The TOEFL requirement for the University of Edinburgh is an overall score of 107.

7. King’s College London 

King’s College London is one of the oldest universities in London. With roots dating back to the 12th Century, it’s one of the pillars of higher institutions in the UK. KCL is all about saving the environment and plans to be a zero-carbon school by 2025. 

The overall TOEFL score requirement for King’s College London is 109, with 27 in the Writing section and 25 in the Listening, Speaking, and Reading sections. 

8. The University of Manchester

The University of Manchester is part of the respected Russell Group. The school produced 25 Nobel Prize winners – past and present – students and staff. The campus is in the middle of the city so, students have access to historical sites, including the Manchester Museum. 

The TOEFL requirements aren’t strict. The minimum overall TOEFL score is 90, with at least 21 in the Writing and Speaking sections. The University of Manchester is one of the few that permits international students’ work, albeit for 20 hours a week. Renowned for discovering graphene and splitting an atom, this university is a good fit for ground-breakers.

9. University of Warwick

With 200 plus partner institutions across 40 countries, the University of Warwick offers a wide range of opportunities. International students can participate in volunteer or placement programs abroad. This school stays connected with its community and has a zero-discrimination policy

To join this citadel of learning, you should score 92 overall on the TOEFL test. The cut-off mark for the Listening and Writing sections is 21, the Reading section is 22, and 23 for the Speaking section. You can’t present two results or score meet the overall requirement yet fail the individual ones. 

10. University of Glasgow

The University of Glasgow is the fourth oldest in the English-speaking world. This school has strategic partnerships with other top institutions – The Universities of Columbia, McGill, Hong Kong, and Sydney. 

This university is the only prestigious school that offers lenient requirements. For a student to have a valid TOEFL result, they would need to overall TOEFL score of 100 overall : 

  • Speaking section == 23.
  • Writing section == 27.
  • Listening section == 24
  • Reading section == 24.

Applicants can combine two results within six months of each other. The TOEFL test stays valid for four years and five months till the date of admission. 

11. University of Bristol

The University of Bristol has 25 academic schools arranged into six faculties. This public school has an active Students’ Union to protect your interest. As the first university to admit women and men on an equal basis, there’s an assurance of non-discriminatory education. 

There are scholarships for outstanding international students, so that funding wouldn’t deter their dreams. 

To successfully apply and enroll at the University of Bristol, international students must score a minimum of 20 in all test sections and a 90 overall TOEFL iBT score. Applicants can’t combine scores from multiple certificates. 

12. University of Birmingham

A global university with international institution partnerships, the University of Birmingham is one of the best in the UK. It’s the home to a large multinational student body and staff – 8,700 international students from 150 countries.

A TOEFL “at home” test is also valid for admission to this university. The TOEFL requirements differ based on “Group.”:

  • Group D == the highest – needs a 95-overall score with no less than 23 in each band. 
  • Group A == overall score of 80
  • Group B  == overall score of 88.
  • Group C  == overall score of 95 with no less than 23 in each test section. 

13. The University of Sheffield

Five-time Queen’s Anniversary Prize recipient, The University of Sheffield, is an innovative school. One of the brightest higher institutions in Yorkshire and the Humber, the school accepts a TOEFL iBT test as proof of English. It’s also a member of the respected Russell Group of leading UK research universities. 

The requirement for the application to the University of Sheffield is an overall TOEFL score of 80. To qualify, students need to score a minimum of 17 in Listening, 18 in Reading, 20 in Speaking, and 17 in Writing. The school doesn’t accept paper-based tests or MyBest Scores. You must meet the cut-off mark in one sitting within two years of the admission date.  

14. Queen Mary University of London

The Queen Mary University of London is a fully integrated school accepting applications from 162 countries. Students can get accommodation on and off-campus. 

Aspiring students to this university should score 92 or higher in TOEFL as proof of English. There’s no individual band requirement at this moment, however, this information is subject to change. 

15. Lancaster University

Lancaster University is located in the historic town of Lancaster. The school is equipped with excellent facilities, creating a perfect environment for study. Also, the city Cambridge where the school is situated, has a wealth of organizations offering work experiences and internship programs that can aid students in preparing for the professional world.

The university’s TOEFL score requirement is not uniform – it varies based on what school the student wishes to attend. 

For instance, Management school requires an average score of 94, with a minimum of 22 in Writing and 19 in Reading, Listening, and Speaking. 

At the same time, for Health and Medicine, you need an 87 overall TOEFL score with a minimum of 18 in Reading, 20 in Writing, 17 in Listening and Speaking. 

16. University of Southampton  

The University of Southampton is a member of the Russell Group. It has five faculties with over 40 academic schools. As part of the Russell Group, the University of Southampton commits to maintaining high educational standards. 

The university doesn’t recognize MyBest Scores and would only accept one result within two years of the start date. Applicants must have an overall TOEFL score of 120 points. They also have minimum scoring requirements for each test section:

  • Reading section == 18.
  • Speaking section == 20.
  • Listening secftion == 17
  • Reading section == 17.

17. University of Leeds

The University of Leeds has an inclusive campus with students from over 130 countries. The institution is part of the Worldwide Universities Network. You’ll blend in with the 12,000 plus international students from over 130 countries. 

The TOEFL iBT requirement for Leeds is an overall score of 87 with a minimum of 21 in the Writing section, 22 in the Speaking section, 20 in the Listening and Reading sections. The school would reject paper tests, multiple results, and expired records. 

18. The University of Nottingham

As the fourth in the UK for employability, The University of Nottingham is a good choice for professional courses. Graduates of this school get offers from Top employers in their fields. The school has earned 22 Green Flag Awards thanks to its stunning campus.

The University of Nottingham requires an overall TOELF score of 100, with a minimum of 20 in the Speaking section and 19 in the other remaining test sections. Other grades have 79 and 87 cut-off marks. 

19. University of Exeter

The University of Exeter has a thriving, diverse community with 5,450 international students from 140 different countries. As a member of the Russell Group, this school has an international reputation for excellence. 

Applicants to the University of Exeter should score 90 overall on the TOEFL test with no minimum for each band. However, this requirement is subject to change, so you should visit the university’s website periodically for updates. 

20. Newcastle University 

Newcastle University partners with governments and cultural organizations to provide students with world-class learning experiences. The school has campuses in Malaysia and Singapore. You’ll bloom in this people-focused university as a foreigner, starting with a warm welcome from the Meet and Greet service package. The university helps you adapt to your new environment. 

The TOEFL score requirement at Newcastle University is 90:

  • Reading section == 18
  • Speaking section == 20
  • Writing section == 17
  • Listening section == 17

When ranking universities globally, there are two universities whose rankings take precedent above all else:

  • The Times Higher Education Ranking
  • The Quacquarelli Symonds University rankings

Where do UK Universities Stand According to Times Higher Education Ranking?

The Times Higher Education ranking has been collating performance-related statistics on universities globally since 2004. The rankings are majorly based on three areas of which are:

  • Research: The institution judges institutions based on their learning environment, research volume and reputation, research influence, and international outlook.
  • Impact: The institution assesses universities against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and their progress towards delivering them.
  • Teaching:  This aspect of the ranking focuses on student engagement and student success in universities.
Times Higher Education RankingUniversity/Educational Institution NameRequired Score

TOEFL Reading Section
Required Score

TOEFL Listening Section
Required Score

TOEFL Writing Section
Required Score

TOEFL Speaking Section
Overall TOEFL score Requirements
1The University of Oxford25252525100 to 110
5The University of Cambridge25252525100
12Imperial College London1717171782
18University College of London2420242092
27London School of Economics and Political Science23222422100
30University of Edinburgh23232220107
35King’s College London25252725109
50University of Manchester212190
78University of Warwick2221212392
86University of Glasgow24242723100
92University of Bristol2020202090
105University of Birmingham2323232395
110University of Sheffield1817172080
117Queen Mary University of London92
122Lancaster University1817201787
124University of Southampton1817172092
127University of Leeds2020212287
141University of Nottingham20202122100
143University of Exeter90
146Newcastle University1817172090

Where do UK Universities Stand According to Quacquarelli Symonds University Rankings?

Widely known as the QS Rankings, the institution has been independently provided world university rankings since 2010.

The QS ranking comprises six parts, which are:

  •  Academic Reputation
  •  Employer Reputation
  • Faculty/Student Ratio
  • Citations per faculty
  • International Faculty Ratio
  • International Student Ratio
QS RankingsUniversity/Educational Institution NameRequired Score

TOEFL Reading Section
Required Score

TOEFL Listening Section
Required Score

TOEFL Writing Section
Required Score

TOEFL Speaking Section
Overall TOEFL score Requirements
2The University of Oxford25252525100 to 110
3The University of Cambridge25252525100
7Imperial College London1717171782
8University College of London2420242092
16London School of Economics and Political Science23222422100
27University of Edinburgh23232220107
35King’s College London25252725109
49University of Manchester212190
61University of Warwick2221212392
73University of Glasgow24242723100
62University of Bristol2020202090
90University of Birmingham2323232395
95University of Sheffield1817172080
117Queen Mary University of London92
132Lancaster University1817201787
77University of Southampton1817172092
92University of Leeds2020212287
103University of Nottingham20202122100
149University of Exeter90
134Newcastle University1817172090

What are the TOEFL Score Requirements for Tier 4 Student Visa?

The UK Home Office that issues Student Visa doesn’t recognize the TOEFL test. It’s an American-based exam, so they prefer the SELT. You can still use your TOEFL certificate to get a Student Route Visa (formerly Tier 4).

UK universities can vouch for their students at the Home Office. So, once your school accepts your TOEFL certificate and grants you admission, you can get your VISA. There are a few conditions to fulfill for TOEFL test recognition. 

The UK Home Office uses a points-based system. International students must meet 70 points to qualify. English language proficiency accounts for 10 points. 

Your UK university must accept your TOEFL test at the degree or graduate level. You must meet the requirements of the University and Home Office for immigration’s B2 level. This process doesn’t apply to students from European Union countries. 

B2 Level TOEFL score requirements 

ReadingListeningWritingSpeakingTotal TOEFL Score
1817172072

Additional FAQs for TOEFL Scores for UK Universities

What Average TOEFL Score is Required for UK universities?

The median TOEFL score for regular UK universities is an overall score of 75 to 89. Higher tier universities such as Oxford and Cambridge require 100 and above! If you want to study in a prestigious Russell Group school, your target is 90 to 100. We’ve summarized the individual test section score requirements and overall TOEFL requirements for the Top 20 UK universities in this article.

Can I Get A UK Student Visa With TOEFL?

Proof of English proficiency is one of the requirements for a Student Visa application. There are many acceptable tests you can use as evidence – TOEFL is one of them. Students are required to apply for the visa at most 6months before starting a course. Ph.D. and Masters’ students can apply through the Graduate route. They can also use a TOEFL certificate no older than 2 years as proof of English aptitude.  

Which UK Universities Don’t Require TOEFL?

You can use an alternate test like Pearson’s test (PTE) or IELTS as evidence of English understanding. What is impossible is studying in the UK without an English proficiency certificate! All prestigious UK universities accept them so long as the British Council recognizes them. All your lectures would be in the English language – except Foreign language courses. The school has to ensure you’re not wasting your money and time (theirs as well).  

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