English language requirements

To study at UC, you need to have sufficient fluency in written and spoken English.

Admission to UC with qualifications gained in New Zealand

You must provide evidence of your English skills. If you gain University Entrance with a New Zealand based qualification, you have satisfied the English language requirements, these include:

Admission to UC with qualifications gained outside of New Zealand

If you are applying for admission to UC with qualifications gained outside of New Zealand, you need to provide evidence of your English language skills. You can do this by:

  • Completing an academic qualification substantially taught in English in a country where English is the predominant language; or
  • Obtaining a satisfactory result in an approved English language test taken within the last two years.

Approved English tests

UC recognises the following English Language tests and courses:

  • International English Language Testing System Academic (IELTS Academic)
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-Based Test (TOEFL iBT)
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language Paper-Based Test (TOEFL PBT)
  • CCEL English for Academic Purposes Level 2 (EAP Level 2)
  • Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE)
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) - PTE

Please arrange for the testing centre to send your test result directly to UC:

Admissions
University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand

English test scores

You must meet the minimum score for your level of study at UC relevant to the qualification you want to study. General guidelines for test scores are:

Undergraduate qualifications

If you want to study towards a Bachelor Degree (excluding teaching degrees), Certificate of Proficiency, Undergraduate Certificate or Diploma, or Graduate Certificate or Diploma you must have one of the following:

  • IELTS Academic with an average score of 6.0, with a minimum of 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking
  • TOEFL iBT total minimum score of 80, with at least 19 in writing
  • TOEFL PBT with a minimum score of 550 and TWE with a minimum score of 4.5
  • CCEL EAP Level 2 with a minimum C+ grade
  • CAE or CPE minimum score of 169 with at least 162 in reading, writing, listening and speaking
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) - PTE with an overall score of 57 and no PTE communicative skills score below 50

Teaching qualifications

If you want to undertake an initial teaching qualification at undergraduate, graduate or postgraduate level you must have one of the following:

  • IELTS Academic with an average score of 7.0, with a minimum of 7.0 in reading, writing, listening and speaking (undergraduate degrees and graduate diplomas in teaching and learning)
  • IELTS Academic with an average score of 7.5, with a minimum of 7.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking (Master of Teaching and Learning)
  • At least two years of successful study in a New Zealand secondary school, with at least eight Level 2 NCEA credits in English (four reading and four writing).

Postgraduate qualifications

If you want to study towards a postgraduate qualification, eg a Postgraduate Diploma, Masters, or PhD you must have one of the following:

  • IELTS Academic with an average score of 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in reading, writing, listening and speaking
  • TOEFL iBT total minimum score of 90, minimum score of 20 in writing
  • TOEFL PBT with a minimum score of 575 and TWE with a minimum score of 4.5
  • CCEL EAP Level 2 with a minimum B+ grade
  • CAE or CPE score of 176 with a minimum of 169 in reading, writing, listening and speaking
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) – PTE with an overall score of 64 and no PTE communicative skills score below 58

Some departments and programmes might require higher test scores. You should also refer to specific course or qualification information for further details.

If you don't meet the English language requirements

If you are an international student but don't meet the English language requirements, UC recommends the English language programme offered by CCEL College of English

Their courses are designed to provide you with the specific language and study skills needed to succeed in academic study. The CCEL EAP2 programme has been approved as a non-IELTS university language entry standard to both undergraduate and postgraduate study. 

More information

Admissions and Enrolment
Email admission@canterbury.ac.nz
Freephone within NZ 0800 VARSITY (827 748)
Phone outside of NZ +64 3 364 2555

Location
Student Services information desk on Level 1, Matariki