English language competency

View our English language competency regulations.

13. English is the most commonly spoken language in New Zealand, while Te Reo Māori and New Zealand Sign Language are recognised as official languages in New Zealand. Tuition, examination and assessment at Massey University is normally in the English language, although students may be required to write or speak Te Reo Māori or foreign languages in some courses. Procedures exist for those students who wish to submit written work, assignments or examinations in Te Reo Māori or New Zealand Sign Language.

14. It is expected that on entry to Massey University all students will be able to:

(a) write grammatically correct English. Students must be able to develop ideas and to express themselves in well-structured, accurate and extended written English. Typically essays or reports of about 1,000 words are expected of first-year undergraduate students. Even in courses where mathematical and scientific symbols are the main means of expression, the ability to write clear, accurate English is still needed. Most assignments and examinations use essays and reports as the main type of written work. Equivalent criteria apply for students who choose to submit their work in Te Reo Māori.

(b) read English actively and with understanding. Students must be able to find relevant information, without special guidance, to follow the structure of a narrative, and to comprehend and analyse a line of argument.

(c) listen to and discern key points in English. Students must be able to follow complex and technical discussion in both formal lectures and informal groups.

(d) speak freely and clearly in English. Students will be expected to contribute actively to discussion and to present ideas in classes.

15. The University does not accept responsibility for academic failure that is attributable to a student’s lack of competence in English. . Students who submit their work in Te Reo Māori are expected to meet equivalent standards in Te Reo Māori.

16. International students – all international students whose first language is not English will be required to provide satisfactory evidence of their proficiency in English, in the form of an Academic IELTS score, an equivalent recognised English language test, or other such evidence that is acceptable to Academic Board. Satisfactory evidence from IELTS is as follows:

(a) Academic IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score of 6.0 for undergraduate programmes with no band less than 5.5, and 6.5 for postgraduate programmes with no band less than 6.0.

The Massey University Centre for Professional and Continuing Education is a registered IELTS testing Centre.

Satisfactory evidence of proficiency in English includes

(b) Satisfactory completion of the Massey University English for Academic Purposes 2 course for undergraduate programme entry.

(c) Some programmes have different English language entry requirements, which are detailed in relevant qualification regulations.

17. New Zealand school leavers – New Zealand students (including permanent residents) and international students must gain a university entrance qualification in either English or Te Reo Māori, which includes literacy and numeracy requirements, as set out by the NZQA.

18. Other students whose first language is not English, and who have not gained a New Zealand university entrance qualification, or an overseas entrance qualification in a country where the main language is English, will also be required to provide satisfactory evidence of their proficiency in English in the form of an academic IELTS score or other such evidence that is acceptable to the Academic Board.

19. English language competency requirements for foundation studies and pre-degree level programmes are available from Student Registry.