English Language Requirements

International students must be able to demonstrate (written and spoken) English language proficiency for admission to UC. 

Acceptable evidence of English language proficiency

If you are an international student applying for admission to UC, you will need to provide evidence of your English language proficiency with your application. The following forms of evidence are considered acceptable:  

Approved English language 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 Home Edition and Paper Edition #
  • 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) - including online
  • New Zealand Certificate in English Language (NZCEL)
  • FluentIQ (*FluentIQ should be used where IELTS Indicator or TOEFL cannot be used)
  • LanguageCert

#Note: for TOEFL our Institution Code is 9482.

Booking an IELTS test

Book your IELTS test directly through the IELTS website. If you are currently in NZ, there are several IELTS test locations around the country, including at the Centre for Assessment & Monitoring on the UC Dovedale campus in Christchurch. Select the location and time that suits you plus the test type and delivery format required. Please email ielts@canterbury.ac.nz with any queries related to your test.

English language test scores

You must meet the minimum score for the level/type of qualification you are hoping to study at UC:

If you want to study towards a Bachelor Degree (excluding teaching degrees), Certificate of Proficiency, Undergraduate 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.
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 (LRWS) overall with High Pass
NZAPA English New Zealand Accredited Pathway Assessment Level 2 (with no skill lower than Level 1)

You must provide evidence of your English language skills with equivalent or better results in one of the following approved tests 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 minimum 185 minimum 185 minimum 185 minimum 185 minimum
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 98 minimum
LanguageCert - C1 Expert IESOL* no less than 35/50 no less than 35/50 no less than 35/50 no less than 35/50 no less than 35/50
LanguageCert - C2 Mastery IESOL* no less than 25/50 no less than 25/50 no less than 25/50 no less than 25/50 no less than 25/50

* LanguageCert has changed the way it reports test results, changing from the language of 'pass/fail' to a numerical score. This change does not change the score required, it is simply a change in language.

More information on Language competency requirements for teachers in Aotearoa is available on the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand website.

If you want to study towards a postgraduate qualification, eg a Postgraduate Diploma, Graduate 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.
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
NZAPA English New Zealand Accredited Pathway Assessment Level 3 (with no skill lower than Level 2)

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

Providing evidence to UC

Upload an electronic copy of your evidence in myUC. You can do this as part of your application for Admission or add it later in your Document Library. 

Alternatively you can email a copy of your evidence to admission@canterbury.ac.nz, or request that the Testing Centre send a hard copy to the following postal address:

Admissions
University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand

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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