In the UK, approximately 66-68 universities acknowledge the Duolingo English exam scores for assessing language proficiency requirements. Among these, some renowned institutions stand out:

University Accepting Duolingo Scores – Popular Courses

  • University College London: Economics, Mathematics, Medicine, Law, Psychology, Theoretical Physics.
  • University of Edinburgh: Business Administration, Biotechnology, Computer Science.
  • University of Birmingham: Financial Management, Computer Science.
  • University of Glasgow: Aerospace Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Data Analytics.
  • University of Bristol: Bioinformatics, Data Science, Engineering Mathematics.
  • Queen’s University Belfast: Actuarial Science, Environmental Engineering, Film.
  • University of Southampton: Engineering and Technology, Environmental Science, Medical Science and Health, Finance and Law.

Minimum/Maximum Scores Accepted

The Duolingo exam scores range from 10 to 160. A score of 10 indicates basic conversational English proficiency, while 160 signifies a fluent understanding in diverse situations.

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Duolingo Score Requirements for UK

For admission into UK universities, the Duolingo score requirements typically range from 105 to 120. A score above 120 strengthens one’s profile for programs like MS in Finance, MBA, MA Fashion, and Masters in Law.

Seven UK Universities Accepting Duolingo Scores with Minimum Requirements

  • University of Southampton: 120
  • Middlesex University: 75
  • Glasgow Caledonian University: 105
  • University of Bristol: 110
  • University of Birmingham: 105 or more
  • Queen’s University Belfast: 95 or above
  • University College London: 135
  • University of Edinburgh: 115
  • University of Exeter: 115 to 125

Which is better for the UK: IELTS or Duolingo?

Deciding between IELTS and Duolingo for the UK largely depends on your circumstances, preferences, and the institutions you’re applying to:

IELTS (International English Language Testing System):

  • Widely Accepted: IELTS is globally recognized and accepted by most universities and organizations in the UK and worldwide.
  • Test Familiarity: It’s been around for a long time, making it a more traditional and well-known option. There’s a wealth of resources, study materials, and coaching available to prepare for the test.
  • Visa Acceptance: IELTS scores are also accepted for UK visa applications, which is crucial if you plan to study and require a student visa.
  • Test Sections: IELTS has four sections: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking, assessing comprehensive language skills.


  • Convenience: Duolingo offers a convenient test-taking experience, allowing you to take the test online from home. It’s accessible and user-friendly.
  • Cost-Effective: It’s generally more affordable compared to IELTS, which involves higher test fees.
  • Accepted Institutions: Some UK universities have started accepting Duolingo scores as an alternative to traditional language tests like IELTS. However, the number of institutions accepting it may be more limited compared to IELTS.
  • Test Structure: Duolingo’s test structure involves sections on reading, writing, listening, and speaking, but the format differs from IELTS.


  • Institution’s Requirements: Check the specific requirements of the universities you’re applying to. Some may accept Duolingo scores, while others might require IELTS or have a preference for one over the other.
  • Visa Applications: If you’ll need a UK student visa, IELTS might be a safer option as it’s widely recognized by immigration authorities.
  • Preparation Time: Consider how much time you have to prepare for each test. IELTS may have more preparation resources available due to its long-standing history.

Ultimately, the “better” choice depends on your individual situation, the institutions you’re targeting, and your comfort level with the test format. If the universities you’re interested in accept Duolingo scores and you’re comfortable with the test structure, it can be a viable alternative. However, ensure you fulfill visa requirements if you plan to study and require a student visa, as IELTS might be a safer choice in that context.

While both IELTS and Duolingo are accepted by many UK universities, understanding their patterns, costs, and suitability is crucial. For practicality, IELTS remains a favorable choice as it caters to both college admissions and the UK Visa process, unlike Duolingo.

This blog post highlights the growing acceptance of the Duolingo English Test by UK universities, offering students a viable alternative in the midst of the pandemic’s uncertainties.