Postgraduate English language requirements

If you are an international applicant whose first language is not English, you must provide evidence of your English proficiency.

English is considered the first language of citizens of the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, the United States of America and Canada.

If you have an offer of place conditional on English, you may wish to consider applying for entry to a pathway English language course at the University’s English Language Academy (see below).

Minimum postgraduate English language requirements for 2018

Every programme page on our website specifies an IELTS score as the minimum English language requirement for that programme, see Study options finder. You must satisfy the requirements in one sitting. The results are valid for two years from the date on the test certificate.

If you have taken a different English language test or qualification, these are the equivalent scores or marks you need to match the IELTS grade for your programme. The University accepts Internet-based TOEFL (iBT), Paper-based TOEFL, Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) or Proficiency (CPE), Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic, and Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB). Due to professional registration requirements, only IELTS can be accepted for all Graduate Diplomas in Teaching, the Master of Social Work (Professional) and Master of Teaching (Primary or Secondary).

You must authorise the University to view and verify your PTE scores. See How can I submit verified PTE Academic results to the University of Auckland?

IELTS Academic overall score equivalencies

IELTS 6.5 7.0 7.5
TOEFL (iBT) 90 100 106
TOEFL (paper-based) 575 600 625
CAE or CPE 176 185 191
PTE 58 65 73
MELAB 85 90 92

IELTS Academic minimum bands score equivalencies

IELTS 6.0 6.5 7.0
TOEFL (iBT) written score 21 24 24
TOEFL (paper-based) TWE score 4.5 5.0 5.0
CAE or CPE no bands less than 169 176 185
PTE communicative skills score 50 58 65

English Language Academy pathway programmes

You can meet postgraduate English language requirements by successfully completing:

The ELA grades shown below are deemed to be equivalent to the following IELTS bands for admissions purposes.

  • IELTS 7.0: A- in FCertEAP or EPPS
  • IELTS 6.5: B- in FCertEAP or EPPS

Equivalent qualifications

If you have successfully completed study in the English medium, you may not have to take a language test. Certain conditions may apply, see Approved alternatives to IELTS requirements and English language waivers below.

International tertiary qualifications

You must have completed at least an undergraduate degree, at a level equivalent to a New Zealand bachelors degree, in the last two years at a recognised university (or similar institution). Your study must have been completed in one of the following countries or territories:

Australia, Botswana, Canada, Cyprus, Fiji, Ghana, Guyana, Hong Kong, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Lesotho, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Nigeria, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Tanzania, The Netherlands, Uganda, UK, USA, Zambia, Zimbabwe. 

We also accept study completed at the University of the South Pacific (Cook  Islands,  Fiji,  Nauru,  Kiribati,  Marshall Islands, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tokelau, Tuvalu, Vanuatu) and the University of West Indies (all Caribbean countries and territories). 

If you completed your degree within the last five years you will still meet our requirements provided you have evidence of sustained work in an English language environment. You may be required to provide further evidence of your English language proficiency if you are applying for a doctoral programme.

Approved alternatives to IELTS requirements and English language waivers

For a full list of approved alternatives to IELTS and English language waivers see,


Phone: +64 923 5025 (within Auckland)
Phone:  0800 61 62 63 (outside Auckland)
Phone: +64 9 373 7513 (from overseas) (domestic applicants) (international applicants)