Entry requirements

 English language entry requirements*

International Foundation Year
Academic IELTS for UKVI* 5.0 overall (minimum 5.0 in writing)
 IGCSE/GCSE/O-Level 5 passes at A-C in relevant subjects (excluding native language) with a C in Maths for Engineering pathway. New grades 9-4 in English and Maths.   
English Language Preparation Programme
Academic IELTS for UKVI*
1 term  4.5 overall

* If you do not need a Tier 4 visa, or are exempted in another way, we can accept equivalent proof of English. The English language entry requirements stated are for information regarding entry to the course. If you require a UK visa to study, depending on the type of visa you need, the English language requirements and valid English tests to satisfy the UK visa criteria may differ.

If you are applying to study in the UK under the Tier 4 student route it may be necessary for you to submit a Secure English Language Test as part of your visa application.

Find out more about valid test providers and approved test centre locations for tests taken on or after 6 April 2015. To find out if you are exempt from the Secure English Language Test requirement and to find out about acceptable English language tests please contact us.


Students usually have a minimum of 12 years in education with good grades. Students with 11 years of schooling may be accepted in exceptional cases. AS levels and IB certificate are also acceptable.


The International Foundation Year is only available to international students, non-UK and non-EU.


Students need to be at least 17 years old when they start the course.

Important information for Music applicants

Students wishing to undertake the International Foundation Year with a view to progressing onto an undergraduate degree in Music will need to demonstrate an ability to play to a proficient level. Certificates of achievement, a YouTube video (submitted to the Head of Centre) or playing live to the department may be used as evidence to demonstrate your practical skill level. You will also be required to demonstrate your knowledge of music theory as evidence.

An additional condition of entry in progressing from the International Foundation Year to an undergraduate degree in Music will be dependent on students reaching the equivalent of a Grade 7 in music theory and practical performance. Additional practical and theory music tuition can be provided on top of your International Foundation Year tuition. A short interview and audition may be required to assess your level in order to make a decision on whether you are permitted to progress to a Music degree programme at Royal Holloway.

Important note: Please visit the Progression degrees page for details of particular undergraduate degrees which require additional academic entry requirements or practical experience. Depending on your chosen degree, you may be required to submit evidence of an additional requirement(s) as condition of an offer of a place for the International Foundation Year.

What our students say

“At the International Study Centre, the style of teaching was feeding you information. It’s similar to high school, and there is your own time to study, so they help you transfer from high school teaching to university teaching. When I was studying my Foundation Year I had the chance to go to the library and use the resources and develop my knowledge for my next year.”


Omar from Saudi Arabia studied the Sciences pathway and progressed to BSc (Hons) Computer Science (Information Security)