English Language requirements

Australian academic qualifications for domestic students | Overseas academic qualifications for domestic students | English language tests for domestic students | For international students


Domestic students

If you are a domestic student, you need to demonstrate English language proficiency. The following qualifications are accepted as proof of English:

Australian academic qualifications
  • the New South Wales Higher School Certificate (or an equivalent interstate senior secondary qualification)
  • one or more full-time years of study in a bachelor’s degree or higher level qualification
  • a completed AQF diploma or advanced diploma
  • one or more full-time years of study in a recognised associate diploma or higher level qualification, or
  • a preparation course approved by the University for mature-age entry.
Academic qualifications from overseas
  • a senior secondary qualification normally accepted by the University for admission, and
  • one or more full-time years in a bachelor’s degree or higher level qualification.

These qualifications must have been taught in English, and must have been undertaken in one of the following countries:
American Samoa, Australia, Canada, Fiji, Ireland, Kenya, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States of America or Zambia.

In addition to the types of qualifications described above, any of the following will also be accepted:

  • GCE A Level subjects: a result of C or better in English or a humanities subject (from Britain or Singapore)
  • GCE O Level/GCSE subjects: a result of B or better in English (from Britain or Singapore)
  • Hong Kong A Level subjects: a result of B or better in Use of English
  • STPM subjects: a B or better result in English 914 or a D or better result in English 920
  • Completion of the Cambridge Certificate in Proficiency in English with a Pass of B grade or better

See the University's list of accepted and recognised qualifications from overseas

English language tests

If you are not able to demonstrate English language proficiency by presenting an acceptable qualification, you need to take an English test. We recommend the IELTS academic exam. You must achieve a score of 7 in each band and an overall score of 7.

Alternatively, you can complete a TOEFL test in one of two ways:

  • Paper-based
    A minimum result of 600 overall including a minimum result of 5.0 in Writing
  • Internet-based
    A minimum result of 100 overall including a minimum result of 24 in Reading, Listening and Speaking and 25 in Writing

International students

International students must demonstrate evidence of English language proficiency in one of the following ways:

1. By completing your secondary school study at a recognised institution (see the complete list of countries, qualifications and standards) where English is the medium of instruction.

2. By completing either the IELTS of TOEFL English language tests within 2 years prior to commencing your course, and obtaining:

  • IELTS (academic)
    A minimum result of 7.0 overall and a minimum result of 7.0 in each band, or
  • TOEFL Paper-based
    A minimum result of 600 overall including a minimum result of 5.0 in Writing, or
  • TOEFL Internet-based
    A minimum result of 100 overall including a minimum result of 24 in Reading, Listening and Speaking and 25 in Writing.


3. By completing at least one year of full-time university study in an English speaking country or in a tertiary institution where the language of instruction (ie teaching, assessment and examination) was in English.

4. By completing an International Baccalaureate and meeting certain criteria indicated in the English Language Requirements website.

Centre for English Teaching (CET)

If you don't have the required level of English language proficiency, you can visit the Centre for English Teaching (CET) to find the right program for your needs. CET is the English language centre of the University of Sydney. It offers high quality English language programs and provides a superior level of teaching and support. See more information on: