Undergraduate English language requirements

If you are an international applicant and your first language is not English, you will need to provide satisfactory 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, Canada and Singapore.

If you are a domestic applicant and your first language is not English you may be asked to provide evidence of your competence in written and spoken English.

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).

Students studying NCEA, CIE or IB in New Zealand

You must meet the standard literacy requirements for admission.

If you are entering the University on the basis of National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA), University of Cambridge International examinations (CIE), or International Baccalaureate (IB) taken in New Zealand, you must meet the standard literacy requirements for admission.

IELTS and other English language tests listed below are not replacements for these literacy requirements. See, New Zealand secondary school applicants.

International applicants entering the University on the basis of qualifications other than NCEA, CIE or IB taken in New Zealand must meet the English language proficiency requirement through an IELTS test or an approved alternative as outlined below.

Minimum undergraduate 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 Find a study option.

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 the Bachelor of Education (Teaching) and Bachelor of Social Work.

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 6.0 6.5 7.0 7.5
TOEFL (iBT) 80 90 100 106
TOEFL (paper-based) 550 575 600 625
CAE or CPE 169 176 185 191
PTE 50 58 65 73
MELAB 80 85 90 92

IELTS Academic minimum bands score equivalencies

IELTS 5.5 6.0 6.5 7.0
TOEFL (iBT) written score 21 21 24 24
TOEFL (paper-based) TWE score 4.5 4.5 5.0 5.0
CAE or CPE no bands less than 162 169 176 185
PTE communicative skills score 42 50 58 65

English Language Academy (ELA) pathway programmes

You can meet undergraduate 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 EPUS
  • IELTS 6.5: B- in FCertEAP or EPUS
  • IELTS 6.0: C- in FCertEAP or EPUS

Equivalent qualifications

If you have successfully completed study in the English medium, you may not have to take a language test. The tables below are only intended as a guide and certain conditions may apply, see Approved alternatives to IELTS requirements and English language waivers below.

International secondary school qualifications

The table below shows the equivalent scores or marks you need in English-intensive subjects (within the last two years) to match the IELTS grade for your programme.

IELTS Academic 6.0 6.5
GCE A-Level E C
GCE AS-Level E C
Singapore-Cambridge GCE A-Level (H2 level) E C
Singapore-Cambridge GCE A-Level (H1 level) C B
IB (English Language A1 or 2 Higher Level) 4 5
IB (English Language A1 or 2 Standard Level) 5 6
IB (English Language B Higher Level) 5 6

We also accept the following country-specific qualifications. We may require you to have achieved a specific score or mark in an approved English-intensive subject within your qualification.

  • Australia: recognised Year 12 qualification
  • Canada: recognised Canadian High School Diploma or completion of a recognised two-year community college associate degree
  • Denmark: Studentereksamen
  • Fiji: Fiji Year 13 Certificate Examination (7th Form)
  • Finland: Ylioppilastutkinoto, Studentexamen or the Upper Secondary School Certificate.
  • Germany: Abitur or DAAD
  • Hong Kong: Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE)
  • India: Indian School Certificate (ISC) or All-India Senior School Certificate (AISSC) Year 12 qualifications
  • Malaysia: STPM
  • Norway: Vitnemal
  • Samoa: Foundation English in Foundation Certificate from National University of Samoa
  • Singapore: National University of Singapore (NUS) High School Diploma or a three-year diploma from Singapore Polytechnic, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Temasek Polytechnic, Nanyang Polytechnic and Republic Polytechnic
  • Sweden: Avgangsbetyg or Slutbetyg
  • South Africa: National Senior Certificate / Senior Certificate / Matriculation
  • South Pacific Countries: South Pacific Form Seven Certificate
  • The Netherlands: Voorbereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs (VWO)
  • Tonga: Tonga National Form Seven Certificate
  • USA: SAT, High School Diploma or completion of a recognised two-year community college Associate degree.

International tertiary qualifications

You must have completed at least one year of full-time study, in the last two years at a recognised university (or similar institution). Your study must be at a level equivalent to a New Zealand university degree and 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).

Approved alternatives to IELTS requirements and English language waivers

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

Academic English Language Requirement (AELR)

You must meet the AELR if you are admitted to a University of Auckland bachelor’s degree programme and you are:

  • a domestic student
  • an international student applying on the basis of a New Zealand secondary school qualification
  • an international student applying on the basis of results at another New Zealand tertiary institution

The AELR may be met through your entry qualification or through satisfactory completion of an approved course in your first 12 months of study.

See Academic English Language Requirement (AELR).


Phone: +64 923 5025 (within Auckland)
Phone:  0800 61 62 63 (outside Auckland)
Phone: +64 9 373 7513 (from overseas)
Email:admission@auckland.ac.nz (domestic applicants)
int-questions@auckland.ac.nz (international applicants)