English language requirements

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

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

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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. 

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.

You must satisfy the English language requirements in one sitting. The English Language test must have been taken within three years of the proposed study start date at the University of Canterbury. 

We are currently accepting online English Language Proficiency, due to COVID-19 restrictions in lieu of face-to-face testing. Please check with your testing provider to see if this is an option for you.

Approved English tests

UC recognises the following English Language tests and courses:

  • International English Language Testing System Academic (IELTS Academic) *Including Online*
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-Based Test (TOEFL iBT) *Including Online*
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language Paper-Based Test (TOEFL PBT) *Including Online*
  • CCEL English for Academic Purposes Level 2 (EAP Level 2)*Including Online*
  • Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE)
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) - PTE
  • New Zealand Certificate in English Language (NZCEL)
  • FluentIQ (*FluentIQ should be used where IELTS Indicator or TOEFL cannot be used)
  • LanguageCert

All recently added acceptable English Language Proficiency Tests will be in use for
• Semester 2 2020 and Semester 1 and Semester 2 2021 only; or
• Until normal face-to-face testing can resume.

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. For IELTS or TOEFL, please ask the testing centre to send the result directly to the University of Canterbury. For TOEFL our Institution Code is 9482. For information about CCEL courses please see www.ccel.co.nz

General guidelines for test scores are:

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:

Approved English Tests Minimum Requirements
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 reading, writing and listening. Please note UC only accepts TOEFL iBT scores from a single test date, not MyBest scores.
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 50 and no PTE communicative skills score below 42
NZCEL Level 4 - Academic endorsement
FluentIQ  Overall mark of 8/10 with nothing less than a 7 being scored in a single category.
LanguageCert B2 Communicator High Pass, with no individual score below PASS

One of the following types of evidence must be provided to demonstrate English language competency:

  • Achieved an outcome in one of the approved tests which is equivalent to or better than those specified (see below) within the past three years:
TestListeningReadingWritingSpeakingOverall Mark (in one test)
Cambridge English exams C2 Proficiency (CPE) or C1 Advanced (CAE) or Cambridge English exams 185 min 185 min 185 min 185 min 185 min
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic 7.0 7.0 7.0 7.0 7.0
Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic 65 65 65 65 65
TOEFL Internet - based test (iBT) 24 24 27 23 minimum of 94

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

English Test Minimum Requirements
IELTS Academic 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 19 in reading, writing and listening. Please note UC only accepts TOEFL iBT scores from a single test date, not MyBest scores.
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 58 and no PTE communicative skills score below 50
NZCEL  Level 5
FluentIQ Overall mark of 8/10 with nothing less than a 7 being scored in a single category.
LanguageCert C1 Expert IESOL (LRWS) with HIGH PASS and no less than PASS in each skill or C2 Mastery IESOL (LRWS) with PASS and no less than PASS in each skill

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

If you have yet to meet the English language requirements

If you are an international student and have yet to 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. 

For more information please

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