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Entry requirements

International students need to meet our English-language and academic entry requirements to study at Victoria University of Wellington.

English-language requirements

You can still apply if you don’t meet our minimum English-language requirements. You will get a conditional Offer of Place and must meet the requirements before you apply for your student visa.

We can help you meet your English-language requirements through our English Proficiency Programme.

If your previous studies were in a native English-speaking country for at least one year, including at a New Zealand secondary school, you may not need to meet these requirements. This will be assessed by the Admissions team when you submit your application.

These are the minimum requirements. Some programmes may require a higher level of English. You will need to check the ‘Proof of English Proficiency’ requirements on your degree page before you apply.

One of:



IELTS (Academic) Overall band of 6.0 with no sub-score below 5.5 Overall band of 6.5 with no sub-score below 6.0
TOEFL (iBT) A score of 80 on the internet-based test A score of 90 on the internet-based test with at least 20 in writing
Pearson Test of English (Academic) A score of 50 with a ‘Communicative’ score of not less than 42 A score of 58 with a ‘Communicative’ score of not less than 50
C1 Advanced (formerly known as Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE))

A score of 169 or higher, with each skill score no less than 162

A score of 176 or higher, with each skill score no less than 169
C2 Proficiency (formerly known as Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE)) A score of 169 or higher, with each skill score no less than 162 A score of 176 or higher, with each skill score no less than 169
New Zealand Certificates in English Language (NZCEL)

NZCEL Level 4 (Academic)

NZCEL Level 5 (Academic)
Victoria University of Wellington English Proficiency Programme (EPP)

A minimum of three ratings of 4 and one rating of 3

A minimum of two ratings of 5 and two ratings of 4

English Proficiency Programme (EPP)

You can improve your English on campus in our English Proficiency Programme (EPP). This 12-week course is taught at the University by a supportive team of academics. You will meet fellow international students and have the chance to adjust to university life before you start your degree study. You may need to take two or more consecutive courses to meet your study goal.

We are now offering an online learning experience for students who are overseas or in New Zealand, but outside Wellington, until further notice.

Undergraduate academic entry requirements

We welcome applicants from countries all around the world. Find out the minimum undergraduate academic entry requirements for your country. This includes entry requirements for international students from a New Zealand secondary school.

The entry requirements for your chosen degree or programme are also listed on your degree page.

Foundation Studies

If you don’t meet the undergraduate entry requirements, successful completion of our Foundation Studies programme is a guaranteed pathway to our undergraduate degrees. Offered by our partner UP Education in a central Wellington city location, this programme has flexible study options and will give you regular opportunities to get to know the University before you start your degree.

Postgraduate academic entry requirements

For entry into a programme at postgraduate level (including a graduate diploma, Honour’s degree, postgraduate diploma, or Master’s degree), as a minimum, you need the equivalent of a Bachelor’s (undergraduate) degree from a recognised institution with at least a B average.

A background in a particular subject area may be required or recommended. Entry is at the programme director’s discretion.

For PhD study, you need to meet the PhD entry requirements. You should contact the Faculty of Graduate Research with any questions about applying.

How to apply

Once you know the entry requirements for your degree or programme, you can apply at any time. Find out how to apply to study.