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University of Canterbury

New Zealand


The University of Canterbury (UC), founded more than 140 years ago, is renowned as a prestigious higher education institution located in Christchurch, New Zealand. The university is rated among the top 300 universities worldwide (QS World Universities rankings, 2021), putting it in the world's top 1% of universities - thanks to its outstanding teaching quality, support services and impressive graduate outcomes.

UC prides itself on being home to a world-leading community of lecturers and professors at the forefront of their fields, who are passionate about offering their students the best possible educational experience. UC and its staff consistently lead the delivery of globally important research that seeks to address society's biggest challenges. The QS World University Rankings demonstrate this, with the university achieving a 5-star ranking for research and teaching. Students will graduate with a valued degree certificate, representing a wealth of academic knowledge in addition to real-world expertise through internships and work experience opportunities.

Students learning at UC can access everything they require for a successful academic journey and rewarding lifestyle - whether it's one of four distinct libraries, cutting-edge sports and fitness facilities like the Rec Centre, modern workshops, laboratories and art galleries, or the wide range of cafes, restaurants and bars, it's all right there on campus.

The university's specialist Student Care team are always on hand to support, whether it's a personal or academic issue. The university is committed to the growth and success of its students, with mentoring programmes, ESL support and comprehensive orientation for all international students from day one.

UC is found on New Zealand's South Island, which is home to breathtaking natural landscapes and outdoor activities ranging from skiing to surfing. The leafy green campus is nestled between Moana (sea), Maunga (mountains) and Rangi (sky) offering the chance to learn and experience many different worlds - adrenaline, art, biculturalism, biodiversity, innovation, southern lights, sustainability, and more - all while studying at a world-class institution.

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What's new

What's new

Top ranking

The University of Canterbury ranks among the world's top 401-500 in the 2021 ShanghaiRanking (AWRU).

UC lecturer wins national award for teaching

A UC Computer Science lecturer, Dr Richard Lobb, is one of only nine recipients nationally to have won an Ako Aotearoa Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award recently. He has been with the university since 2004 and says, ''I focus on teaching, on the students, and on sharing my enthusiasm for programming. It's a great place to be. I enjoy my work so much that I don't even think of it as work. It's my life. I've grown up with computers, I'm a computer geek. I was one of the early adopters and I worked as a programmer here and overseas. It has been a fun ride and it's still going.'' This prestigious award offers him a grant of NZD20,000. This is testimony to the high quality of teaching on offer at UC.

Visit the University of Canterbury website for more on recent events.

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Teaching quality

Teaching quality

The University of Canterbury is ranked among the top 300 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 all around the world, including Cambridge and Oxford, through its staff exchange programme.

In addition, The University of Canterbury's Erskine Programme attracts up to 70 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 as well as culturally diverse. The arts degrees are provided in more than 40 disciplines in the field of humanities.

UC Business School

UC Business School enjoys a strong global reputation for fostering both innovation as well as extensive links with the industry.

UC Law

UC's Faculty of Law is one of New Zealand's leading law schools - consistently ranking in the top 150 law schools worldwide - and combines academic rigour with the development of essential legal skills.

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 as well as 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
  • Pearsons (Academic) - 57 as an overall score with no section having a score below 50

Teaching Qualifications

  • Cambridge English exams C2 Proficiency (CPE) or C1 Advanced (CAE) or Cambridge English exams
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic
  • TOEFL Internet – based test (iBT)

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
  • Pearsons (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 a stay at Ilam Apartments are guaranteed accommodation.

All of the university's residential accommodation provide:

  • students' own fully furnished rooms, each of which includes a bed, chair, desk, wardrobe, as well as book shelf
  • heating and power
  • laundry facilities
  • computer rooms as well as wi-fi access
  • study areas and recreational facilities
  • high-quality meals (optional), 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 15,000 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.

Full-time students of the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) degree programme are offered the NZD 5,000 AECOM Civil/Natural Resources Engineering Scholarship during their second year. And if available, a paid employment opportunity may also be given to the recipient during summer break post their second year.

Visit the UC website for more on scholarships.

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International students

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