English Language


UOW English language requirements

All students are required to meet the UOW English language requirement for their course.

Results in major international tests are accepted, including IELTS, TOEFL, Pearsons, Cambridge and OET for some health-related courses*.

You can meet the requirement by completing an English course at UOW College. UOW also recognises English language courses offered by some other colleges in Sydney - contact UOW Future Students for details.

A guide to the length of English course you may need to study is provided below. Please note that this table should only be considered a guide. Lower scores in Writing may necessitate a longer duration of English study.

To see the IELTS or TOEFL score required for entry to each bachelor, master or doctoral course, find the entry for your course on Course Finder and select the International Students tab. Students applying for a study abroad, exchange or a visiting research practicum program should check under the application criteria for these programs.  

If you are using Pearsons or Cambridge tests, use the equivalence to IELTS tables to determine the required score.

Requirements may also be met in some cases if you have previous study in English

How long do I need to study English?

Score at time of application Estimated time required to reach entry score (weeks)
Level IELTS TOEFL (paper/ internet) IELTS 5.0 IELTS 5.5 IELTS 6.0 IELTS 6.5 IELTS 7.0
Advanced 6.5 575 / 88         12
6.0 550 / 79     6 * 12 18
5.5 525 / 70   6 # 12 18 24
Intermediate 5.0 500 / 61   12 18 24 30
4.5 475 / 52 12 18 24 30 36
Lower intermediate 4.0 450 / 45 18 24 30 36 42
3.5 425 / 38 24 30 36 42 48
Elementary 3.0 375 / 24 30 36 42 48 48+

# for students with 5.5 overall, but less than 5.0 in reading or writing
* for students with 6.0 overall, but 5.5 in either reading or writing

For entry into English for Tertiary Studies or English for Business, you must have the required IELTS or equivalent test result.  If you do not have an IELTS or equivalent, you can be offered English for Academic Purposes with a minimum duration of 24 weeks. 

Visit the UOW College website for more information on English language courses.

Other English language assessments

Cambridge examinations

The following Cambridge ESOL Examinations are acceptable:

Overall score IELTS academic Cambridge English: advanced (CAE) pre-2015 Cambridge English: proficiency (CPE) pre-2015 Cambridge English: CAE & CPE (from 2015)
  5.5 47 - 162
  6.0 52 - 169
  6.5 58 45 176
  7.0 67 51 185

OET - Occupational English Test

OET is accepted for courses related to *Nursing, Exercise Science and Nutrition & Dietetics. 

Overall score
The required score is "B" and above

Pearson test of English

The following will be acceptable on the PTE Academic:

Overall score Minimum communicative skill scores IELTS equivalent
42 Reading & Writing 42, Speaking & Listening 36 5.0
49 All bands 43 5.5
57 Reading & Writing 57, Speaking and Listening 50 6.0
64 *All bands 57 6.5
72 Reading & Writing 72, Speaking & Listening 65 7.0

 * Bachelor of Nursing / Bachelor of Nursing for Overseas Qualified Nurses and some courses requires all bands 59 with an overall of 64 in PTE. 

Previous study in English

Applicants may meet the English language requirement based on successful study in English medium in Australia or offshore.

Study in Australia or Australian Qualifications Offshore

Successful completion of the following qualifications may satisfy the University's English language requirement:  

  • Year 12 in Australia, or any Australian Year 12 qualification completed offshore;
  • ** Foundation Studies, Certificate IV or Diploma with a minimum duration of one year (full-time) completed in Australia; or any of these qualifications completed at an Australian institution offshore;
  • ** At least one year (full-time) of study toward a Bachelor or Masters degree in Australia, or at an Australian institution offshore.

** For students applying for Bachelor of Nursing and the Bachelor of Nursing for Overseas Qualified Nurses, these exceptions do not apply. Students must meet English conditions by providing their IELTS, TOEFL, OET, or PTE results, equivalent to IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.5 in each band.

Students can also meet the English requirements through recognised English language studies at Australian institutions, provided they meet the IELTS equivalence as stated above to have satisfied course entry. 

Other Qualifications Completed in English

Applicants may be considered as meeting the English language requirements if successfully completing two (2) years of secondary or tertiary study at an approved institution where:

  • the language of instruction was English; and
  • the institution is located in a country where the official language is English.

The following citizenships may be considered for an English language waiver under the above guideline: Bahamas, Barbados, Canada, Fiji, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, UK, USA.

As an International student you may have to meet the English language requirements based on your citizenship as advised by Department of Immigration and Border Protection for visa purposes. Please refer to https://www.border.gov.au for more details.

Academic transcripts and an official letter from the institution certifying that English was the sole language of instruction and assessment must be provided. Previous study in English is considered on a case-by-case basis and does not automatically meet UOW's English language requirement.

Last reviewed: 26 April, 2017