English Language Requirements

Our courses are taught in English, so you need to be able to read and write well in English to understand the course materials and submit written assessments.

If English is not your first language you may need to provide evidence that your English skills are suitable for the level of programme or course you want to enrol in.


Use the list below to check the level of English needed for each programme type. You should also check the admission requirements on the qualification page, as some may have higher requirements.

International student English language requirements

This list shows the minimum English language requirements for international students by programme level. TOEFL (Paper-based test and Internet-based test), Pearson Test of English (Academic), Trinity ISE, OET, and LanguageCert test results may also be accepted.

Certificate at Level 3

• IELTS test – a General or Academic score of 5 with no band score lower than 5.

• Cambridge English Qualifications – B2 First or B2 First for Schools with a score of 154. No less than 154 in each skill.

• NZCEL – Level 3 (General).

Certificate at Level 4

• IELTS test – a General or Academic score of 5.5 with no band score lower than 5.

• Cambridge English Qualifications – B2 First or B2 First for Schools with a score of 162. No less than 154 in each skill.

• NZCEL – Level 3 (Applied).

Exceptions:

• New Zealand Certificate in Pharmacy (Community Pharmacy Assistant) (Level 4) requires an IELTS band score of 6.0 with no band score lower than 5.5, or equivalent.

• New Zealand Certificate in Pharmacy (Pharmacy Technician) (Level 4) requires an IELTS band score of 6.0 with no band score lower than 5.5, or equivalent..

Certificate or Diploma at Level 5

• IELTS test – an Academic score of 5.5 with no band score lower than 5.

• Cambridge English Qualifications - B2 First or B2 First for Schools with a score of 162. No less than 154 in each skills.

• NZCEL – Level 4 (General) or (Employment).

Certificate or Diploma at Level 6, Degree, Graduate Certificate or Diploma at Level 7

• IELTS test – an Academic score of 6 with no band score lower than 5.5.

• Cambridge English Qualifications - B2 First, or B2 First for Schools, or C1 Advanced, or C2 Proficiency with a score of 169. No less than 162 in each skill.

• NZCEL – Level 4 (Academic).

Exception:

• The Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education) (Level 7) requires a minimum IELTS score of 7 (Academic) with no band score lower than 7, or equivalent.

Existing English Language Proficiency

You may also provide evidence of your English skills from one of the criteria below.

Previous secondary school study in New Zealand

If you have achieved NCEA Level 3 and have met New Zealand University entrance requirements, you may be eligible for enrolment at all levels of the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF).

Previous primary and secondary study in English

If you can provide evidence that you attended a school where English was the language of instruction you may be eligible for enrolment at all levels of the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF).  However you must have studied in a country that has a student visa approval rate of least 80 per cent.

 Evidence includes:

• if you completed all of your primary education and at least three years secondary education (the equivalent of New Zealand  years 9 to 13),

or

• if you completed at least five years secondary education (the equivalent of New Zealand years 9 to 13).

Previous tertiary study in English

If you can provide evidence that you finished a tertiary qualification, which took at least three years and was taught in English in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom or the United States, you may be eligible for enrolment at all levels of the NZQF.

Cambridge Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA)

If you can provide evidence that you have gained a Cambridge Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages(CELTA), previously the Cambridge Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults, you may be eligible for enrolment at all levels of the NZQF.

Trinity College London Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CertTESOL)

If you can provide evidence that you have gained a Trinity College London Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CertTESOL), you may be eligible for enrolment at all levels of the NZQF.

Need help?

If you have any questions about English language requirements contact us or check the NZQA website.

English language requirements for international students - NZQA website (Opens in new window)

Related information

How to apply
Plan your study
International students