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 who do not have English as their first language, by programme level. TOEFL (Paper-based test and Internet-based test), Pearson Test of English (Academic) and City and Guilds IESOL test results may also be accepted.

Certificate at Level 3

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

• University of Cambridge English examinations – FCE or FCE for Schools with a score of 154. No less than 154 in each skill.

• NZCEL – Level 3 with an endorsement of either General, Workplace or Academic.

Certificate at Level 4

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

• University of Cambridge ESOL examinations – FCE or FCE for Schools with a score of 162. No less than 154 in each skill.

• NZCEL – Level 3 with an endorsement of either General, Workplace or Academic.

Exceptions:

• New Zealand Certificate in Pharmacy (Community Pharmacy Assistant) (Level 4) requires an IELTS score of 6.0 across all bands.

• New Zealand Certificate in Pharmacy (Pharmacy Technician) (Level 4) requires an IELTS score of 6.0 across all bands.

Certificate or Diploma at Level 5

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

• University of Cambridge ESOL examinations - FCE or FCE for Schools with a score of 162. No less than 154 in each skills.

• NZCEL – Level 4 with the Academic endorsement.

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

• IELTS test – a score of 6 (Academic) with no band score lower than 5.5.

• University of Cambridge ESOL examinations - FCE, or FCE for Schools, or CAE, or CPE with a score of 169. No less than 162 in each skill.

• NZCEL – Level 4 with the Academic endorsement.

Exceptions:

• 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.

• Bachelor of Engineering Technology requires a minimum IELTS score of 6 (Academic) with no band score lower than 5.5, or equivalent.

Existing English Language Proficiency

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

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 Forms 3 to 7 or years 9 to 13), or

• if you completed at least five years secondary education (the equivalent of New Zealand Forms 3 to 7 or 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.

Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA)

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


New Zealand Certificate in English Language (NZCEL)

If you can provide evidence that you have completed:

• NZCEL Level 3 with an endorsement of General, Workplace or Academic you are eligible for enrolment up to and including at NZQF Level 4.

• NZCEL Level 4 with the Academic endorsement you are eligible for enrolment up to and including at NZQF Levels 6 and 7.

• NZCEL Level 5 with an endorsement of either Academic or Professional you are 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