How to apply

Hands typing on a laptop, College of Education

Entry into our MBA, PGDIPBA and PGCERTSTRATLDRSHIP programmes is based on work experience, as well as results of previous study (if applicable), so these programmes have a special application process.

Once you have decided on your qualification of choice and made sure you meet the entry requirements, please complete the application form and email it to, with the required supporting documents as listed on the form.

You will need to arrange three referees, who are able to comment on your suitability for the programme via our confidential referee form. Preferably, at least one will be a current or previous employer, and at least one will be a current or previous subordinate, to give a 360 degree view of you in the workplace.

If you are applying for the PGDIPBA or MBA, you are also required to have an interview with the MBA Director to complete your application. We will contact you via email to arrange this once we have received your application form and supporting documents.

Previous study

Applicants to our MBA programme must have qualified for a degree in any discipline with a minimum B grade average or equivalent. Applicants without a degree can apply for admission to the Postgraduate Certificate in Strategic Leadership (PGCertStratLdrship) and Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration (PGDIPBA) and will be assessed for entry on the basis of work experience.

English language

Applicants who speak English as a second language will be required to produce evidence that their ability to communicate in English is of a high standard.

Work experience

For the Master of Business Administration (MBA), Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration (PGDipBA), and Postgraduate Certificate in Strategic Leadership (PGCertStratLdrship) you must have at least five years' work experience of an appropriate kind.

Other considerations

Your application will be assessed by the Programme Committee. If you are an international student, the committee will also assess your previous qualifications for equivalency. Depending on your programme, the committee will consider a combination of the following:

  • Whether the decision to undertake the qualification has been well reasoned and that you are clear on how it will contribute to your career
  • Whether you are able to contribute to the programme in class, in groups and to the general ethos of the programme
  • Your previous study results (if applicable)
  • English language test results (for international students)
  • Your supporting references
  • Your past and current employment experience 
  • Your future vision and goals, including your direction and motivation

If you are applying for admission to UC with qualifications gained outside 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 (as listed below) in an approved English language test taken within the last two years.*
Approved English testOverallLowest band
International English Language Internet-Based Test (IELTS) 7.0 6.5**
Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-Based Test (TOEFL iBT) 100 23 in each band***
Test of English as a Foreign Language Paper-Based Test (TOEFL PBT) 575 4.5 TWE****
CCEL English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Level 2 B+  
Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE) 176 169**
Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) 176 169
Pearson Test of English: Academic (PTE) 65 58

* You must satisfy the English language requirements in one sitting. The English language test must have been taken within two (2) years of the proposed study start date at the University of Canterbury.

** In reading, writing, listening and speaking

*** The University of Canterbury only accepts TOEFL iBT® scores from a single test date, not MyBestTM scores. The TOEFL Institution Code for UC is 9482.

**** Test of written English

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