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University of Canterbury



Founded over 140 years ago, the University of Canterbury (UC) is a prestigious institution based in Christchurch, New Zealand, that is ranked among the world's top 250 universities. It is in the top 1% of universities worldwide and boasts graduates who have a real impact on the world we live in - including actor Sam Neil and Google's Engineering Director, Craig Nevill-Manning.

Lecturers and professors at the institution are leaders in their fields and take real pride in providing not only the best possible education for their students, but also conduct effective research that addresses some of the biggest issues facing our society. This is reinforced by the fact that the institution has been awarded with a 5-star ranking for research and teaching by the QS World University Rankings.

Students will find everything they need on campus, including four different libraries, a state-of-the-art fitness facility called the RecCentre, art galleries and a number of different bars, eateries, cafes, and restaurants.

There is a vast student support network at UC, with a dedicated Student Care team that help with both personal and study issues. There is also a student mentoring programme, English language support and a vast orientation programme for international students in their first week. There are also over 130 student clubs and societies to get involved in.

A large number of the courses on offer at UC provide hands-on experience, such as internships and work experience opportunities, so that students can have a smooth transition into the world of work.

Based on New Zealand's beautiful South Island, there is lots for students to do outside of lectures. From surfing to skiing, the diverse landscape that surrounds the city of Christchurch provides unique sporting and cultural opportunities for international students.

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What's new

What's new

Two of the projects for native planting as well as restoration in Canterbury have received the support from the One Billion Trees Fund, which includes a unique project that is led by UC.

''The projects include a 20-hectare native forest regeneration project on the Banks Peninsula and a restoration ambassador role led by the University of Canterbury,'' said Shane Jones, Forestry Minister.

He also said, ''Partnership funding of up to NZD 98,875 has enabled the creation of a native forest restoration ambassador, led by the university's School of Forestry. The aim of the native restoration ambassador will be to provide free, independent advice to farmers, community groups and iwi about how to conserve native biodiversity on their land.''

The One Billion Trees Fund provides direct grants for planting as well as regeneration projects and partnership funding for projects which aims at reducing the barriers to planting trees.

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Teaching quality

Teaching quality

The University of Canterbury is placed among the top 250 universities in the world, with 15 of its subjects being ranked in the top 200 in the world (QS World University Rankings). UC has also been awarded a 5-star ranking by the QS World University Rankings for its research and teaching excellence.

The University of Canterbury's academic staff are popular in their fields and often write the textbooks. The university also brings in academics from other universities situated all around the world, including Cambridge and Oxford, through its staff exchange programme. In addition, The University of Canterbury's Erskine Programme attracts nearly 75 international academic lecturers every year, like winners of the Nobel Prize Emeritus Professor Clive Granger as well as Professor Bob Grubbs.

The University of Canterbury has partnerships with more than 60 different institutions in Asia, North America, Europe, as well as Australia. There are also more than 100 different nationalities as well as ethnicities represented on campus, ensuring a diverse and welcoming home for international students.

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Department structure

Department structure

College of Arts

The College of Arts is both academically vibrant and culturally diverse. The arts degrees are provided in more than 40 disciplines in the field of humanities.

College of Business and Law

The College of Business and Law has a strong global reputation for fostering both innovation and extensive links with the industry.

College of Education, Health and Human Development

The College of Education, Health and Human Development will equip students to make a positive impact to the lives of both children and adults, as well as their communities. Its graduates are sought after both nationally and internationally and have a high rate of employment.

College of Engineering

The College of Engineering's highly-ranked degrees provide traditional disciplines as well as new subjects such as product design.

College of Science

The College of Science provides highly-regarded qualifications in both science and communication disorders in all levels.

International partnerships

The University of Canterbury works closely with a number of distinguished universities all across the world.

The university is part of a strong international network which ensures that its students have many excellent opportunities to obtain global experience while they study at UC, including spending one semester abroad as a part of its student exchange programme or taking part in an international short course.

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Entry requirements

Entry requirements

The English language test scores required for entry to the University of Canterbury includes:

Undergraduate qualifications

  • IELTS (Academic) - An overall score of 6.0, with no section having a score of less than 5.5
  • TOEFL (iBT) - An overall score of 80, with a score of 19 in writing, reading, and listening
  • Pearson (Academic) - 57 as an overall score with no section having a score below 50

Postgraduate qualifications

  • IELTS (Academic)- An overall score of 6.5, with no section having a score less than 6.0
  • TOEFL (iBT) - An overall score of 90, with a score of 19 in listening, reading, and writing
  • Pearson (Academic) - An overall score of 64 with no section having a score below 58

If international students do not meet the entry requirements, the university's partners provide several preparatory programmes on campus to help them meet these requirements, and they include:

  • Foundation Studies Certificate
  • English for Academic Purposes
  • University Transfer Programmes

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There are a number of facilities which will support the students' education at UC, and they include:

  • innovative learning hubs and modern lecture theatres
  • more than 1.9 million research items in the university's three libraries
  • computer suites which are open 24/7
  • online portals as well as interactive resources
  • well-equipped laboratories, which include the recent Canterbury engineering the future precinct, as well as the Rutherford regional science and innovation centre, with learning spaces which are flexible, and modern specialist teaching as well as research laboratories.


Students over the age of 18 years who apply for stay at Ilam Apartments are guaranteed accommodation if they apply before 1 December each year.

All the university's residential accommodation provides:

  • students' own fully furnished rooms, each of which includes a bed, chair, desk, wardrobe, as well as bookshelf
  • heating and power
  • laundry facilities
  • computer rooms as well as wi-fi access
  • study areas and recreational facilities
  • high-quality meals, or equipped kitchens to help students cook for themselves
  • bike storage and car parking.

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Scholarships & funding

Scholarships & funding

The University of Canterbury offers a number of scholarships to its international students which includes the International First Year Scholarships for several top-achieving international students. This scholarship provides between NZD 10,000 and NZD 20,000 towards the first-year fees of the international students' study at UC.

It also offers the UC College of Engineering International Scholarship which recognises the top international scholars, as well as supporting them in their study towards an engineering degree at an undergraduate level. The scholarship offers an amount of NZD 15,000 for a tenure of one year.

The Roper Scholarship in Science supports students in their study towards achieving a PhD degree in the University of Canterbury's Faculty of Science. The scholarship will be granted to those candidates who have achieved first rank on the Faculty of Science's list of candidates for the University of Canterbury Doctoral Scholarship.

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International students

Average cost of living in Newzealand

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Engineering at UC
At the University of Canterbury
At the University of Canterbury
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Join us at the University of Canterbury
Christchurch Canterbury 20 Kirkwood Avenue, Upper Riccarton
Established in 1873 Canterbury College, as it was then known, was only the second university in Aotearoa New Zealand. It was set up on the Oxbridge model with one major difference, women students were admitted from the start. An early graduate, Helen Connon, became the first woman in the then British Empire to win honours. The University of Canterbury gives an excellent educational foundation that students will be able to turn into an amazing career.

From English language and foundation studies in academic skills, through to undergraduate, master?s and doctoral degrees, UC offers over 100 qualifications in more than 80 different subject areas and has launched qualifications in Criminal Justice, Health Sciences, Global Humanitarian Engineering, Communication, and Product Design.

The university is in the world?s top 1% of universities and has a strong reputation for high-quality degrees, research-active teaching staff, and world-class facilities. Teaching excellence is highly valued at UC, with outstanding teachers recognised by annual teaching awards. On average, UC academics are cited more than any other Aotearoa New Zealand university.

UC has award-winning and prestigious researchers who supervise postgraduate students and collaborate with other academics. The University of Canterbury is one of the first institutions to be recognised by Inland Revenue as an approved research provider. The researchers and students have access to the state-of-the-art facilities and equipment.

More than 100 student-run clubs and organisations support the varied intellectual, artistic, cultural, social, and recreational pursuits of the UC community. From engineering to film, rugby to board games, politics to religion, acting to motor cross, we have a club for every different kind of interest for students.

The RecCentre is the primary fitness facility on campus. It offers a gym with cardio and weight equipment. It also includes a boxing training area, climbing wall, squash and sport courts. A busy class timetable offers lessons in everything from yoga and pump to spin and circuit classes.

Situated on 76 hectares in the leafy Christchurch suburb of Ilam, the UC campus is a beautiful space to learn in. The Ilam campus is the central hub where learning and living are combined. It houses teaching and learning facilities, accommodation and leisure activities all together. With expansive green spaces and gardens, UC builds off the natural beauty by which it is surrounded. This includes Christchurch's iconic Avon river which meanders alongside University Drive through the campus. University of Canterbury

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