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English language requirements

How to demonstrate your proficiency in English
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Depending on your educational background and country of origin, you may need to provide evidence of your English proficiency to be able to study here.

It’s important to understand English well enough that you can comfortably cope with lectures, tutorials, examinations, assignments and examinations. That's why our courses require a certain level of English proficiency (individually specified in Find a course).

If English isn't your first language, you’ll need to provide proof of your English proficiency before you can enrol here.

You can do this by showing that you have completed certain secondary or tertiary qualifications, by taking an English language skills test, or by completing a relevant English language course at the University’s Centre for English Teaching (CET) – visit the CET website for more information, including how to package your degree with your language studies.

English language skills tests we accept include:

  • IELTS (International Language Testing System)
  • TOEFL PB (Test of English as a Foreign Language: paper based)
  • TOEFL iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language: internet based)
  • Pearsons Test of English (PTE)
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) – prior to 2015
  • Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE) – prior to 2015
  • Cambridge English Scale – from 2015.

To convert scores between these tests, use our concordance table.

If English is not your first language, you need to provide evidence of English language proficiency through one of these three methods:

1. Complete a secondary or tertiary qualification in English

You need to show you have completed an accepted senior secondary qualification or at least one year of full-time university study from a recognised institution:

  • in an English-speaking country (American Samoa, Australia, Canada, Fiji, Ireland, Kenya, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States or Zambia) or
  • where the language of instruction for your qualification (teaching, assessment and examination) was entirely in English. For example, GCE Advanced Level, International Baccalaureate, SAT or ACT examinations.

2. Complete a specific secondary subject in a recognised qualification

If your qualification was not conducted in English, you may still be eligible if you have completed a particular subject (usually English or a humanities topic) in a recognised qualification such as:

  • Denmark Studentereksamen
  • Finland Upper Secondary School Certificate
  • Germany Abitur
  • Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education
  • Hong Kong A Levels
  • Netherlands VWO
  • Norway Vitnemal
  • Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia
  • Sweden Avgangsbetyg/Slutbetyg.

Please refer to the concordance table to see the subject and grade required for your course.

3. Take an English proficiency test

The University's standard IELTS requirement is an overall score of 6.5 with no band below 6.0, however some faculties and courses have different requirements. Check them here.

For other English tests accepted by the University, please refer to this concordance table to convert the IELTS requirement to TOEFL PB, TOEFL iBT, PTE, CAE or CPE scores.

All IELTS and PTE requirements refer to the academic test. Non-academic tests are not accepted. All English tests need to be no more than two years old at the date of course commencement.

If English is not your first language, you need to provide evidence of minimum English language proficiency through one of the following methods.

  1. Complete tertiary studies taught in English.
  2. Take an English proficiency test.

1. Complete tertiary studies taught in English

You need to show that you successfully completed tertiary studies in which the language of the institution and of instruction, examination and assessment was English. The studies need to have been undertaken no more than five years before the date of application.

Some faculties have additional requirements.

  • Architecture, Design and Planning: You need to have successfully completed tertiary studies – a minimum two years of full-time university study.
  • Sydney College of the Arts: You need to have successfully completed tertiary studies – a minimum of one year of full-time university study.
  • Nursing and Midwifery: You need to have a record of satisfactory achievement in:
    • a three-year degree, completed no more than five years before commencement or
    • a degree of two or more years' duration, completed no more than three years before commencement.

For pre-registration courses, external bodies such as the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency or the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards NSW may specify additional English language proficiency requirements for professional registration.

2. Take an English proficiency test

The University's standard IELTS requirement is an overall score of 6.5 with no band below 6.0, however some faculties and courses have different requirements. Check them here.

For other English tests accepted by the University, please refer to this concordance table to convert the IELTS requirement to TOEFL PB, TOEFL iBT, PTE, CAE or CPE scores.

All IELTS and PTE requirements refer to the academic test. Non-academic tests are not accepted. All English tests need to be no more than two years old at the date of application.

If English is not your first language, you need to provide evidence of minimum English language proficiency through one of the following methods.

  1. Complete tertiary studies taught in English.
  2. Take an English proficiency test.

1. Complete tertiary studies taught in English

You need to show that you successfully completed tertiary studies in which the language of the institution and of instruction, examination and assessment was English. The studies need to have been undertaken no more than five years before the date of application.

Some faculties have additional requirements.

  • Architecture, Design and Planning: You need to have successfully completed tertiary studies – a minimum of two years of full-time university study.
  • Sydney College of the Arts: You need to have successfully completed tertiary studies – a minimum of one year of full-time university study.
  • Nursing and Midwifery: You need to have a record of satisfactory achievement in:
    • a three-year degree, completed no more than five years before commencement; or
    • a degree of two or more years' duration, completed no more than three years before commencement.

For pre-registration courses, external bodies such as the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency or the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards NSW may specify additional English language proficiency requirements for professional registration.

2. Take an English proficiency test

The table below shows the minimum IELTS scores needed for specific courses.

Faculty Overall score Section minimum*
Architecture, Design and Planning 7.0 6.0
Business 7.0 6.5
Law 7.0 6.0
Music 7.0 6.5
Nursing and Midwifery 7.0 7.0
Veterinary Science 7.0 6.5
All other faculties 6.5 6.0

* IELTS, IBT sections and PTE section minimums are: L-Listening, R-Reading, S-Speaking, W-Writing.

For other English tests accepted by the University, please refer to this concordance table to convert the IELTS requirement to TOEFL PB, TOEFL iBT, PTE, CAE or CPE scores.

All IELTS and PTE requirements refer to the academic test. Non-academic tests are not accepted. All English tests need to be no more than two years old at the date of application.