The Tier 4 (General) category is for adult students who want to come to or remain in the UK for their post-16 education.

If you are 16 or 17 years old and you want to study a course at or above National Qualfication Framework level 3, you can apply under this category or under Tier 4 (Child) – you should discuss and agree this with your approved education provider (known as a “Tier 4 sponsor”). But if you want to study English as a foreign language, you must apply as a Tier 4 (General) student.


The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEF or CEFR)

was put together by the Council of Europe as a way of standardising the levels of language exams in different regions. It is very widely used internationally and all important exams are mapped to the CEFR.

The Common European Framework divides learners into three broad divisions which can be divided into six levels:

A. Basic User

A1 Breakthrough or beginner

A2 Waystage or elementary IELTS 4 / KET

B. Independent User

B1 Threshold or intermediate, IELTS 4.5 / PET

B2 Vantage or upper intermediate, IELTS 6 / FCE

C. Proficient User

C1 Effective Operational Proficiency or advanced, IELTS 7.5 / CAE

C2 Mastery or proficiency, IELTS 9 / CPE


IELTS (International English Language Testing System), is an international standardised test of English language proficiency. It is jointly managed by University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations, the British Council and IDP Education Pty Ltd, and was established in 1989.

It is the worlds most popular English Language test.

There are two versions of the IELTS: the Academic Version and the General Training Version.


The Test of English as a Foreign Language or TOEFL evaluates the ability of an individual to use and understand English in an academic setting. It was developed to address the problem of ensuring English language proficiency for non-native speakers wishing to study at American universities. It has become an admission requirement for non-native English speakers at many English-speaking colleges and universities.


The UK Border Agency (UKVI) is the border control agency of the United Kingdom (UK) government.

Responsible for:

External controls including visa issue in overseas posts

Borders, including passport and customs controls

Internal immigration controls including asylum, management of applications for further stay and enforcement.




Offices of the Immigration Services Commissioner

The OSIC is responsible for regulating immigration advisors by ensuring they are fit and competent and act in the best interests of their clients.


Confirmation of acceptance of studies. Before you can apply for permission to enter or remain in the UK under Tier 4 (General), your education provider must assign a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) to you. This confirms that you have been given an unconditional offer of a place on a course of study with a licensed Tier 4 sponsor.


Independent Schools Inspectorate. A body approved by the Secretary of State for Education for the purpose of inspecting independent schools under Section 162A of the Education Act 2002. They report to the Department for Education (DfE) on the extent to which schools meet statutory requirements. ISI is the agency responsible for the inspection of schools in membership of the Associations of the Independent Schools Council (ISC).


Key English Test. Cambridge English: Key, also known as Key English Test (KET), is a basic level qualification that shows you can use English to communicate in simple situations and have achieved a good foundation in learning English.


First Certificate in English. Cambridge English: First, also known as First Certificate in English (FCE), is an exam for people who need to prove they can use everyday written and spoken English at an upper-intermediate level for work or study purposes.


Global London College


English for Academic Purposes. An EAP programme focuses instruction on skills required to perform well in an English-speaking academic context across core subject areas generally encountered in a university setting. Programmes may also include a more narrow focus on the more specific linguistic demands of a particular area of study, for example business subjects. Programmes may be divided into Pre-sessional courses and courses taken alongside students’ other subjects. In the former case, sometimes EAP courses may be intended to raise students’ general English levels so that they can enter university. In the UK, this often means endeavouring to help students get a score of 6 or above in the IELTS examination.

BA / BSc

Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Science – UK University degrees


Master of Arts / Master of Science – UK University Masters degrees


The Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) is the national credit transfer system for education qualification in England, Northern Ireland and Wales. The QCF replaces the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) which closed for accreditations at the end of 2010.

Every unit and qualification in the new framework has a credit value (where one credit represents 10 hours of learning time). There are three different types and size of qualification:

– Awards (1 to 12 credits)
– Certificates (13 to 36 credits)
– Diplomas (37 credits or more)

In addition, each qualification has a level of difficulty from Entry level at the bottom to Level 8 at the top.