Frequently asked questions

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions for visiting and exchange students, or those on an ERASMUS programme.

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 Erasmus/Visiting/Exchange students who already have a good level of English but wish to improve it further, while at the same time having the chance to explore different aspects of British life and culture.

The courses are not open to international students enrolled on a full-time degree programme.

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

You need to have the English proficiency level as described in the course description for each individual course unit (see the questions below for further information on this), and make sure that the timetable fits with your other commitments. You will also need to have available 10 credits per course unit.

Note that Academic Success Credit Courses are only open to non-native speakers. They are not open to members of the public. They are also not open to full-time undergraduate students: only to Visiting and Erasmus students. You must have credits available to apply for a course.

What is IELTS?

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

Visit the IELTS website for further information. On the next question you can view a table comparing IELTS to other well-known qualifications.

What if I have no IELTS qualification?

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

Other accepted qualifications are Cambridge (for example First Certificate), or TOEFL / TOEIC. You may submit a qualification other than the ones mentioned as long as 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. The LEAP office will let you know if 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?

Simply 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?

Even if you have already sent proof to the School / Study Abroad Unit at the University you must also send (copy of) proof to the Academic Success office:

How do I know if I have enough credits?

You will have been given a learning agreement to complete, 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.

Is there an upper IELTS limit pre-requisite?

Yes. In choosing an Academic Success Credit Course 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 ULEN10041, English Language in Use, as this is set at IELTS 6.

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

Yes, you should note that you cannot:

  1. Apply for both ULEN20001 and ULEN20002
  2. Apply for both ULEN10041 and ULEN20051
  3. Apply for both ULEN10042 and ULEN20052

As we have tried to make clear here, it is very important that you realise that the course(s) you choose must correspond roughly to your current level of English.

This means that if you IELTS level is 7.0, you should not apply for courses at level 6.0. This also means that you cannot choose courses at both IELTS 6.0 and 7.0, as these represent two very different levels.