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University Language Centre

Frequently asked questions

For visiting and exchange students, or those on an ERASMUS programme.

Please note, these FAQs refer only to LEAP English courses (all course units with codes starting with ULEN). 

What are LEAP English 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 a LEAP English course?

You need to have the English proficiency level as described in the course description for each individual course unit (see questions 4 and 10 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 LEAP English language 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, i.e. no older than December 2014.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
TOEIC: -
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 (do not send originals!). A letter from your personal tutor may also be scanned and emailed. You will be informed if you are successful by return of email.

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 LEAP office as well.

What if have no formal qualifications or any that can be easily matched to the CEF?

By far the simplest thing to do is ask your personal tutor at your home university to provide the LEAP office with a letter or email, clearly stating your current level of English language (as per the table under question four, otherwise it will not be accepted).

Otherwise, you must complete the Online Diagnostic Test. At the end of the test you will be presented with a result. Copy this (press 'Print Screen' on your keyboard) and send it together with your application form.

Your place will be confirmed once the results prove you do have the IELTS level required.

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 a LEAP English course you need to make sure that not only you do 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 ULEN10032, British Language and Culture through Film, 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 ULEN10062 and ULEN20062
  2. Apply for both ULEN21011 and ULEN21022
  3. Apply for both ULEN10011 and ULEN10022
  4. Apply for both ULEN20031 and ULEN10032
  5. Apply for both ULEN20071 and ULEN20072

IMPORTANT - 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.