Cambridge International Examinations

Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) qualifications are offered internationally and some New Zealand schools offer it as an alternative to NCEA. 

Minimum CIE scores for University Entrance

CIE qualifications are primarily managed by Cambridge International Examinations and are part of the University of Cambridge. 

You can gain admission to UC if you meet the minimum requirements -

  • A or AS level entrance requirement: at least 120 points on the UCAS Tariff and a minimum grade of D in each of at least three subjects equivalent to those on the approved list. (Similar to NCEA approved subjects)
  • Literacy requirement: a pass in any of AS English Language, Language and Literature in English or Literature in English.
  • Numeracy requirement: either (i) a D grade or better in IGCSE or GCSE mathematics or (ii) any mathematics pass at AS level.

Note: International applicants applying with CIE study outside of New Zealand may also meet the standard literacy requirement through an alternative approved English test-Admissions will contact you if we require more information regarding your English.

If you completed CIE with other New Zealand study

If you have taken CIE in combination with NCEA or other UC accepted pre-university qualification please email

If you completed A (A2) levels outside of New Zealand

You can gain admission to UC if you meet the following minimum requirements:

  • at least three A (A2) levels at grade C or above. A result in General Studies cannot be included. If English is not your first language you must meet additional UC English requirements.  

Preferential Entry

If you are a high achiever and score 160 points or higher across your top six approved subjects, you are eligible for Preferential Entry. This means you will have first choice of qualifications and courses.

More information

Liaison Office
Freephone in New Zealand 0800 VARSITY (827 748)
Phone +64 3 364 2459

If you don’t quite feel ready to tackle degree level study, there are a variety of study options available to prepare you for successful university study.

If you’re a New Zealand student and do not yet meet the requirements for UC admission, you may still be eligible to gain admission through the Certificate in University Preparation.

If you’re from outside New Zealand and want to study at UC but don’t yet meet the UC entry requirements, you may be eligible for another preparatory programme.