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Undergraduate English Requirements

 Library bookshelf

If your first language is not English you must provide evidence of a satisfactory level of English language proficiency. You can submit your application without an English result and provide this at a later date. Any offer made will be conditional until the English requirement has been met.

The English language test must have been taken within two years of the proposed study start date.

Please Note: the following programmes require higher levels of achievement than the minimum requirements listed above:

  • Applicants for the Bachelor of Teaching or Bachelor of Education Studies are required to provide an IELTS of 7.0 with no individual band below 7.0

NCEA Applicants

Please note all international students seeking admission on the basis of NCEA will be required to demonstrate literacy by achieving 10 credits at Level 2 or above from the specified list (5 credits in Reading and 5 credits in Writing).

You cannot use any of the tests listed below to meet these requirements.

All other international applicants for undergraduate programmes

The minimum requirements are:

International Tests

  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score of 6.0 in the academic module (with no individual band below 6.0)
  • Paper-based TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of 550 (TWE 4.5)
  • Internet-based TOEFL of 80 with a writing score of 20
  • CIE Cambridge International Examinations E grade or higher in any one of AS English Language, AS Literature in English, or AS Language & Literature in English; OR meeting the NCEA literacy requirements
  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) - Overall score of 176 (with no individual band below 169)
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) - Overall score of 176 (with no individual band below 169)
  • GCE 'A' Level or 'AS' Level English Language or English Literature - grade C or higher
  • GCE 'AS' Level General Paper (English) - grade C or higher
  • APIEL (Advanced Placement International English Language) Examination - grade 3 or higher
  • IB International Baccalaureate - English at Higher or Standard level in Language A: literature, Language A: language and literature, or at Higher level in Language B
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic - Overall score of 58 with no communicative skills score below 50

The University of Otago TOEFL institution code is: 9483

University of Otago

University of Otago Foundation Studies Ltd - successful completion of ‘English for Undergraduate Academic Purposes’ paper grade 'C' or higher.


A minimum GPA of 6 in A-level English or a minimum GPA of 9 in B-level English when graduating from Upper Secondary School.


Fiji Year 13 Certificate English score of 50%


B or higher in each of the four components of the University English Language Proficiency test from the English department of the home institution, or B or higher in the old DAAD test, or C1 or B2 overall in the new DAAD test

Hong Kong

A minimum test score of C in the Use of English paper in the Hong Kong A level examination


A minimum of 70% in English for the All India Senior School Certificate(CBSE) or the Indian School Certificate (CISCE)


GCE 'O' Level English 1119 - grade B4 or higher


A minimum of grade 7 in the VWO-Gymnasium or the VWO-Atheneum A or B

New Zealand

Successful completion of the English Pathway for Undergraduate Studies (EPUS) with a C Grade in the University of Auckland English Language Academy (ELA) pathway programmes.

Successful completion of the University of Auckland Foundation Certificate in English for Academic Purposes (FCertEAP) with a B Grade.


A grade of 4.0 or better in English in the final year of studying English in the Vitnemål fra den Videregående Skole


A score of B3 (60%) in English A in the University Preparatory Year of the National University of Samoa.


GCE 'O' Level English - grade C or higher


A grade of VG or MVG in English A & B in the final year of the Slutbetyg Från Gymnasieskolan

If your country is not listed above you will have to submit an International test.

The University of Otago Language Centre offers courses in General English and English for Academic Purposes, and is a registered test centre for TOEFL and IELTS.