Frequently asked questions

Please note, these FAQs refer only to Academic Success Credit Courses (all course units with codes starting with ULEN).

What are Academic Success Credit Courses?

They are courses designed for Visiting/Exchange students who already have a good level of English but wish to improve it further.

What do I need to apply for an Academic Success Credit Course?

You will need:

  • To be a visiting/exchange student – note that these courses are not open to international students enrolled on full-time degree course.
  • For English to not be your first language.
  • To have the English proficiency level as described in the course description (see the questions below for further information on this.)
  • To have 10 credits available.
  • To make sure that the course timetable fits with your other commitments.

What is IELTS?

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is an internationally recognised assessment of English language proficiency. It is designed to determine the ability of non-first language speakers of English, who intend to study or train in English.


Visit the IELTS website for further information.

What if I have no IELTS qualification?

The pre-requisite is that you possess the required IELTS level or equivalent.

Other accepted qualifications are:

  • Cambridge (for example First Certificate)

You may submit a qualification other than the ones mentioned if it is easily comparable with IELTS or the Common European Framework (CEF).

Whichever qualification you send must be recent (generally no more than two years old).

You may use the comparison table below, but bear in mind this is only an approximation as it is very difficult to match up exactly all the different English examinations. You can also find further information about the University’s English language requirements here.

The Academic Success Credit team will make a final decision on whether your qualification is accepted:

ALTE level: Level 5  
CEF level: C2  
IELTS exam: 7.5+ 
BEC exam and CELS exam: - 
Cambridge exam: CPE
Pitman ESOL: Advanced
TOEIC: 910+
TOEFL Computer based: 280-300
TOEFL Internet based: 115-120


ALTE level: Level 4 
CEF level: C1
IELTS exam: 6.5 - 7 
BEC exam and CELS exam: Higher
Cambridge exam: CAE
Pitman ESOL: Higher Intermediate
TOEIC: 701 - 910
TOEFL Computer based: 245 - 280
TOEFL Internet based: 98-114


ALTE level: Level 3 
CEF level: B2
IELTS exam: 5 - 6
BEC exam and CELS exam: Vantage
Cambridge exam: FCE
Pitman ESOL: Intermediate
TOEIC: 541 - 700
TOEFL Computer based: 215-245
TOEFL Internet based: 82-97


ALTE level: Level 2 
CEF level: B1
IELTS exam: 3.5 - 4.5
BEC exam and CELS exam: Preliminary
Cambridge exam: PET
Pitman ESOL: -
TOEIC: 381 - 540
TOEFL Computer based: 200-215
TOEFL Internet based: 72-81


ALTE level: Level 1 
CEF level: A2
IELTS exam: 3
BEC exam and CELS exam: -
Cambridge exam: KET
Pitman ESOL: Elementary
TOEIC: 246 - 380
TOEFL Computer based: -
TOEFL Internet based: -


ALTE level: Breakthrough level
CEF level: A1
IELTS exam: 1 - 2
BEC exam and CELS exam: -
Cambridge exam: -
Pitman ESOL: Basic
TOEFL Computer based: -
TOEFL Internet based: -

How can I submit proof?

Scan your qualification and attach it to an email together with your enrolment form (please do not send originals). 

I have already sent proof of my English level to the school / Study Abroad Unit. Is that enough?

You will still need to send a copy of your qualification (not the original document), to the Academic Success office:

How do I know if I have enough credits?

Some of you will have been given a learning agreement to complete by your home university, which allows you to easily compute your credits.

Typically you will have 60 UK (30 ECTS) credits per term (120 UK [60 ECTS] if you come to Manchester for the whole academic year); this should appear in the learning agreement between your home university and the University of Manchester.

You cannot exceed this amount of credits.

Note that not all exchange students are given learning agreements by their home university. Please check with them if you are unsure.

Is there an upper IELTS limit pre-requisite?

Yes. You need to make sure to not only have the minimum IELTS level required, but also that you do not choose a course that is too low for your current English proficiency level.

For instance, if you have IELTS 7.0, you will not be accepted onto a course like ULEN20001/2, English for Academic Purposes, as this is set at IELTS 6.5.

Are there any other pre-requisites I need to be aware of?

Yes. You cannot:

  • Apply for both ULEN20001 and ULEN20002