University of Canterbury
Christchurch, NEW ZEALAND
University Info | College of Engineering Info | Exchange Student Info
- Top 1% Engineering: Engineering programmes at the University of Canterbury (UC) are accredited by Engineering New Zealand, which is a signatory to the Washington Accord. ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2021places UC 9th in the world for Civil Engineering.
- Our lecturers are passionate about sharing their knowledge, and they are top experts in their field, meaning you will learn from the best in the field and at the cutting-edge of research. They are actively involved in research and publishing in their specialist areas. UC is leading the country for the proportion of researchers that teach.
- UC’s Erskine programme brings 70 experts from around the world to teach at UC each year, giving students the opportunity to interact with world-leaders in their fields.
- Over the last few years, UC has invested $162 million in new state-of-the-art laboratories, teaching spaces, and study areas.
- UC is the only university in New Zealand to offer Natural Resources Engineering, Forest Engineering and Forestry Science.
- UC offers a comprehensive range of courses, including several that you’re unlikely to come across in your home country, such as Maori language and culture, Antarctic Studies, Forestry and courses in New Zealand and Pacific literature, history and politics.
- Study outside the classroom - at UC, you can put theory into practice. Many of our courses offer community engagement and access to worldclass field stations.
- Service learning and community engagement: CHCH 101: Strengthening Communities through Social Innovation is a for-credit course incorporating service learning. Building on the community spirit of the famous Student Volunteer Army, you will conduct up to 20 hours of community service related to social innovation and volunteerism in the Christchurch community.
- A recreational hub - UC is on the doorstep of a huge outdoor “playground” – with 10 ski fields within a two-hour drive and beautiful beaches close by, you can surf and ski in the same day. The University of Canterbury Students’ Association (UCSA) runs more than 160 clubs and societies covering almost every interest such as Snow Sports Club, Tramping (Hiking) Club and ENSOC (Engineering). Canterbury University Snow Sports Club (CUSSC) has their own lodge at Temple Basin Ski Area.
University of Canterbury (UC) – Top 1% in the world and the first New Zealand university to receive the prestigious QS five-star ranking for overall excellence. Founded in 1873, UC is an important research university in Australasia. UC is ranked 3rd in New Zealand for research intensity of its academic staff.* UC’s academic staff are well known in their fields. UC also brings in academics from around the world, including Oxford and Cambridge, via our staff exchange programme. UC is known for offering a supportive campus community, high-quality courses and unique applied learning opportunities, including service learning, and community engagement. UC provides the facilities to support your study at UC include modern lecture theatres, innovative learning hubs, well-resourced libraries, computer suites, and an Academic Skills Centre. With dedicated support services, a focus on student health and well-being, and so many clubs, events, and outdoor adventure activities on our doorstep, you will have an unforgettable UC experience.
*The TEC Performance-Based Research Fund Assessment (PBRF), 2018
Over 100 different programmes are offered across 5 Colleges (Arts, Business and Law, Education, Engineering and Science). Whatever your academic interests, UC has a broad selection of courses to choose from. Whichever courses you choose, you’ll study alongside Kiwi students. Community service learning opportunity provides the opportunity to get involved in our community.
Vibrant student community
Students on campus have a choice of modern accommodation and access to all the amenities of a fully equipped student village. UC features a thriving student association plus over 160 student led clubs catering to a huge range of interests. UC students are part of one of the most active students’ associations in the country.
See how our Study Abroad and Exchange students have experienced New Zealand with their own photos and videos in our photo and video gallery.
Information for incoming exchange students such as selection of courses, costs, insurance, accommodation, etc. is available on the Incoming Exchange Programme website.
Terms of Exchange
- Undergraduate students: Accepted
- Graduate students: Accepted
- Computer Science majors: Accepted
Note: Graduate and postgraduate applications are considered on a case-by-case basis. Undergraduate students are preferred.
- Students must have completed at least one year of university study at a recognised university or college.
- Students should have a grade point average (GPA) of 2.8 or higher (on a scale of 4.0), or a B average or higher.
Note: Undergraduate students are preferred. Postgraduate applications are considered on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us to discuss before you apply.
English Proficiency Requirements
- Minimum TOEFL iBT score – 80, with a minimum score of 19 reading, writing and listening (note: UC only accepts TOEFL iBT scores from a single test date, not MyBest scores)
- Minimum IELTS Academic score – 6.0, with a minimum of 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking
- Minimum TOEFL iBT score – 90, with a minimum score of 19 in writing (note: UC only accepts TOEFL iBT scores from a single test date, not MyBest scores)
- Minimum IELTS Academic score – 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in reading, writing, listening and speaking
More information on English language requirements can be found on the website.
Fall, Spring, or Academic Year
Academic Calendar | Semester Dates (including exam period)
- Semester 1 (corresponds to GE3's Spring cycle): mid- to late February to late June
- Semester 2 (corresponds to GE3's Fall cycle): mid-July to mid-November*
* Exchange students are required to arrive in time to attend the compulsory International Induction (Orientation) and complete International Enrolment in person. You should also plan to stay till the end of the exam period.
* Semester 2 students cannot arrive too early as there is a tight turnaround time between Semester 1 students leaving and Semester 2 students arriving. See the move-in date on the website of the Study Abroad and Exchange accommodation package below.
Restricted Disciplines and Courses
There are some courses which may not be available to Exchange students. You should read the information about course restrictions carefully on the Incoming Exchange Students website before selecting your courses.
- Students should provide a list of UC courses they wish to take with their application. If you meet the general admission requirements you will be granted admission to the University first as per usual and your courses will then be sent to the relevant departments for a decision as to whether you are able to take your selected courses.
- UC will seek pre-approval for you to take the courses.
- Some other courses are limited entry and may have additional entry requirements. Please contact the International Mobility Coordinator or Officer if you have enquiries about course restrictions.
- If you are a postgraduate student, you must provide a complete list of courses you would like to study. Postgraduate applications are considered on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us to discuss before you apply.
Please make sure you read the information about course restrictions carefully on the Incoming Exchange Students website before selecting your courses.
This is a searchable course timetable (click on the web link under "Timetable Planner.") It allows anyone to enter combinations of courses and preview how they would fit into a timetable before the enroll at UC.
In Arts, Science and Commerce, the undergraduate (Bachelor) degree is a 3-year degree at Canterbury. This means that 300 level courses are the most advanced undergraduate courses in these areas. 400 level courses in these disciplines are graduate courses and undergraduate exchange students are not eligible to take 400 level courses, unless students have been granted admission to a Postgraduate Certificate of Proficiency.
Note, however, that some professional degrees such as Engineering, Forestry, Speech and Language Therapy, and Social Work are 4-year degrees and 400 level courses in these areas are therefore classed as undergraduate courses. Exchange students may be permitted to take 400 level courses in these disciplines if they have the necessary pre-requisites and the approval of the relevant department.
Exchange students are allowed to take courses across various departments, provided the courses are open to exchange students, they meet the pre-requisite requirements of the courses, places are available, and they have a viable timetable.
Workload per Semester
A normal workload for one semester is 60 points (or 120 points for one year). Minimum course load is 45 points per semester (90 points per year) and the maximum load is 75 points per semester (150 points per year).
Additional Application Materials
Students nominated by IIE to UC must submit an official transcript, nomination letter from home university, a list of courses they wish to take at UC (including back-up courses) and evidence on English language ability if English is not the student’s first language. Information on the English language requirements is available online.
Recommendation letter from a professor or academic staff:
UC usually notifies students the decision of their applications 4 weeks after the applications are received.
The usual accommodation for Exchange students is at UC Accommodation Student Village and students can find information on the Study Abroad and Exchange accommodation package website. Students must complete a separate accommodation application online before the application deadline. Detailed information on the package including fees, how to apply, arrival dates, etc. is available at the website above.
Accommodation on campus is guaranteed provided that you apply by the deadline (you must apply for accommodation online by the deadline and return all subsequent accommodation contracts by the required deadlines in order to secure the room). When making travel plans, please also refer to the above accommodation website for the earliest move-in dates and latest move out dates for on campus accommodation, since if you arrive earlier than the move in dates you would need to find temporary accommodation until the move-in time.
Estimated Cost of Living
Cost of Living
Living expenses will vary depending upon your accommodation and lifestyle choices. Please see the Incoming Exchange website and the cost of living website for more information.
The usual accommodation facilities for Exchange students are self-catered apartments. Students can purchase meal plans and information about this can be found on the Accommodation website.
Please note that exchange students should also budget for other non-tuition fees including (but not limited to) course related costs for field trips (if field trips are included as part of their courses), books, stationery and other course-related costs. Other expenses should also be included in your budget such as compulsory medical and travel insurance acceptable to UC and your home university, visa application fee and Late Enrolment fee (if applicable).You should see the Incoming Student Exchange website for further details.
Office Responsible for International Exchange Students
International Relationships Office | Incoming Student Exchange
Percy Chan, International Mobility Co-ordinator, email@example.com
The city of Ōtautahi Christchurch is a recreational hot spot within easy reach of all the fun and adventure the region has to offer. It is the gateway to the South Island, and located in the province of Waitaha Canterbury.
Gateway to the South Island
With a population of around 380,000, Christchurch is the largest and most central city in the South Island making it the ideal base from which to explore.
A recreational hub
Christchurch is on the doorstep of a huge outdoor playground – with 10 ski fields within a two-hour drive and beautiful beaches close by, you can surf and ski in the same day. The city’s Port Hills are also popular for walking, rock climbing, and mountain biking.
Vibrant entertainment options
Christchurch has a busy calendar of events — from art exhibitions and cultural celebrations to sporting events and music festivals. There are over 900 restaurants, cafés, and bars to sample, many of them close to UC.
Leisure and Lifestyle
In 2019, Christchurch topped CNN’s list of 19 places to visit – describing the city, its buildings, and culture as “elegant”, “gorgeous”, “colourful”, and “dynamic”.
Christchurch is known as a future-focused, entrepreneurial city. It leads the country in innovation, research, and technology and is home to the country’s largest ICT industry cluster.
The Canterbury region
A temperate climate with lots of sunshine and a full range of spectacular seasons, Canterbury is an ideal place to explore throughout the year. Canterbury has more ski areas than anywhere in the Southern Hemisphere, making it a winter playground.
See more about Christchurch at:
Get outdoors in Canterbury
Do Winter Different in Christchurch and Canterbury